Ina Garten’s 10 Best Recipes From ‘Barefoot Contessa Parties!’


  • Barefoot Conetssa Parties! has party ideas for every season and course.
  • Warm your soul with Chicken Matzo Ball Soup or Chicken Chili.
  • Wow your guests with her Chocolate Ganache or classic Lemon Cake.
Ina Garten smiles as she cooks on the Today show
Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ina Garten knows so much about hosting a good party, she wrote an entire book about it. Twenty years ago, Garten published Barefoot Contessa Parties!, the follow-up to her original Barefoot Contessa cookbook.

The Food Network star divided the book into seasons, and she shared her recipes and tips for throwing a perfect party for those seasons. Here are 10 of her best recipes from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

10. Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake perfect for brunch or dessert

The Barefoot Contessa’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake works well for parties because it’s easy to make, and everyone will love it. Kitchen tools needed to make this yummy dessert (or brunch dish) include a 10-inch tube pan, an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, wire racks, plenty of bowls, and a whisk.

9. Chicken Matzo Ball Soup is not just for when you are under the weather

Garten’s Chicken Matzo Ball Soup is an intermediate recipe, so it does require a few kitchen skills. This fantastic appetizer serves 10, plus there’s extra for freezing. The soup recipe calls for three five-pound roasting chickens, plus veggies, and tons of fresh spices. For the Matzo Balls, you’ll need eggs, chicken stock, rendered chicken fat, fresh parsley, kosher salt, and matzo meal.

8. Pesto Pasta and Peas uses freezer staples

Pasta dishes are great for feeding a crowd, and Garten’s Pesto Pasta and Peas won’t disappoint. All you need is some fusilli pasta, bow tie pasta, olive oil, pesto (packaged or homemade), frozen chopped spinach, lemon juice, mayo, grated Parmesan, frozen peas, pine nuts, salt, and pepper.

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s 9 Favorite Dinner Recipes of All-Time

7. Orzo with Roasted Vegetables is perfect for spring or summer

Orzo is rice-shaped pasta that makes a perfect side dish. Especially when you add roasted veggies, like The Barefoot Contessa does in her recipe for Orzo with Roasted Vegetables. Garten classifies this recipe as “easy.” But, you’ll need to know how to cut fresh basil leaves “into chiffonade.”

That’s a knife technique used for cutting herbs and leafy vegetables into thin strips or ribbons. For basil, you stack the leaves, roll them into a tube, and then cut carefully across the ends of the tube to get the fine strips.

6. Ina Garten’s Chicken Chili is the ultimate fall party comfort food

Garten’s Chicken Chili features split, bone-in chicken breasts with the skin, whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, chopped onions, diced red and yellow bell peppers, fresh basil, and tons of chili seasonings. While your chili is cooking on the stove, you’ll roast the chicken separately and then add it in at the end.

5. Lobster Rolls — a Hamptons classic

If you live in an area with access to fresh lobster meat, then Garten’s Lobster Rolls are a must for your next party. In addition to the lobster, you’ll need good mayo, diced celery, capers, finely minced fresh dill, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and grilled or toasted hot dog rolls.

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten Top 7 Chicken Recipes Go Beyond Jeffrey’s Favorite Dish

4. Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola sauce is a classic Barefoot Contessa recipe

Garten says that her Filet of Beef is easy to make for a fancy dinner, and the oh-so-good Gorgonzola Sauce will take it over the top. To make the sauce, all you need is heavy cream, crumbly Gorgonzola, grated Parmesan, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and minced fresh parsley.

3. Perfect Roast Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving

It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to enjoy The Barefoot Contessa’s Perfect Roast Turkey. Garten loves to roast a turkey in the fall when her friends come over, and she serves it with Popovers and creamy Spinach Gratin.

2. Chocolate Ganache Cake is a showstopping dessert

If there was such a thing as chocolate overload, Garten’s Chocolate Ganache Cake might be it. But, we all know you can never have too much chocolate. If you follow Ina’s directions step-by-step, the results will be Instagram-worthy.

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s Top 10 Breakfast Recipes Include Both Savory and Sweet Options

1. Ina Garten’s fans fell in love with a photo of her Lemon Cake

You know you’ve got kitchen skills when a simple picture of your food makes fans go nuts. When Garten released her first Barefoot Contessa cookbook in 1999, it featured a photo of her Lemon Cake. But, it didn’t include the recipe. She changed all that with her Parties! cookbook because her fans couldn’t stop drooling.

Honorable Mention – Real Margaritas

We couldn’t have a top 10 Ina list without including a cocktail recipe. Our honorable mention is her recipe for Real Margaritas because the addition of freshly-squeezed lemon juice makes it absolutely perfect.

The Barefoot Contessa airs Sundays on the Food Network.