Ina Garten has blessed us with another cookbook — Go-To Dinners. We couldn’t wait to dive in and find all of the new recipes and tips from The Barefoot Contessa, and we were not disappointed. Here’s our list for the 15 best recipes from Ina’s new cookbook that highlights “satisfying and uncomplicated dinners.” Plus some bonus boards — because sometimes the best dinner is one you don’t have to cook.
1. Ina Garten was inspired by a Los Angeles caterer to make Bourbon Arnold Palmers
We begin with a cocktail known as Bourbon Arnold Palmers. Ina says that she discovered LA caterer Jennifer Naylor was adding bourbon to Arnold Palmers (a mixture of lemonade and iced tea) to serve at a party, and she was inspired. Ina’s version includes Earl Gray or English Breakfast tea, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, good bourbon, and sliced lemon.
2. Avocado and Fried Egg Tartines are a quick and satisfying meal from ‘Go-To Dinners’
Tartines is the French word for open-faced sandwiches. And Ina’s recipe for Avocado and Fried Egg Tartines will give you a whole meal in a sandwich. It includes toasted bread, mashed avocados, roasted prosciutto, and fried eggs.
3. You won’t believe how easy it is to make Blueberry Ricotta Breakfast Cake
Everyone who makes Ina’s Blueberry Ricotta Breakfast Cake can’t believe how easy it is. The cake stays moist thanks to the ricotta and sour cream. While the blueberries and lemon zest make this cake burst with flavor.
4. Weeknight Spaghettoni with Tomatoes and Pancetta is a quick pasta recipe
Everyone needs a quick pasta recipe in their arsenal, according to The Barefoot Contessa. So, she included her Weeknight Spaghettoni with Tomatoes and Pancetta. This recipe is great as is, but is also highly adaptable. Ina recommends adding her veal meatballs, and that recipe is also included in Go-To Dinners.
5. Ina Garten made Chicken Ramen-Noodle Soup during the pandemic
Ina says that she stocked up on ramen noodles during the pandemic because she never knew when she would get to the grocery store. One day, she discovered that the noodles make a great addition to chicken soup.
6. Caramelized Butternut Squash and Burrata is the perfect fall dinner
The Barefoot Contessa loves to roast butternut squash until the edges caramelize. But what really makes this side dish special is pairing the warm squash with cold Burrata cheese, and serving it with big slices of toasted country bread.
7. Creamy Eggs With Lobster and Crab turns breakfast into dinner
Turn a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs into an elegant dinner by adding lobster and crabmeat. The key to this dish is cooking the scrambled eggs slowly over low heat so that they are creamy and light.
8. ‘Go-To Dinners’ features Roast Chicken With Spring Vegetables
Of course, Ina included a Roast Chicken recipe in Go-To Dinners. This version is Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables, and it includes carrots, potatoes, and asparagus. To make it even better, drizzle the pan juices over the chicken and veggies. Yum!
9. Make Mussels with Saffron Cream for dinner, then use the leftovers as an appetizer thanks to ‘Go-To Dinners’
Ina loves to eat a big bowl of steamed mussels for dinner, served with french bread and a yummy wine and saffron cooking broth for dipping. So, she included her fantastic mussel recipe in Go-To Dinners. The Food Network star recommends serving leftover mussels as an appetizer with a side of herbed mayonnaise.
10. Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac and Cheese is the easiest she has ever made
The Barefoot Contessa has given us some fantastic mac and cheese recipes in the past. But, she says that her Overnight Mac and Cheese is “the easiest, cheesiest, and crustiest” that she’s ever made.
11. Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Almost Any Green Vegetable is a ‘master recipe’
In her cookbook, Ina states that everyone must have a “master recipe” in their head when they go grocery shopping that is easily adaptable to seasonal veggies. She explains that her Roasted Fingerling Potatoes pair just as well with snow peas as it does broccolini.
12. Easy Sesame Noodles is an old recipe with an update for ‘Go-To Dinners’
The complex-tasting sauce in Ina’s recipe for Easy Sesame Noodles comes from an old Barefoot Contessa recipe. But for Go-To Dinners, she updates the sauce recipe so it’s much easier to make.
“All you do is throw the ingredients into a blender and give it a good buzz,” Ina writes.
13. Dark Chocolate Tart is adapted from ‘The Lost Kitchen’
Ina’s recipe for her Dark Chocolate Tart is an adaptation from Erin French’s cookbook The Lost Kitchen. For her version, the Food Network star includes a graham cracker-like crust made with chocolate wafers instead of making a tart shell.
14. Lemon Meringue Squares are easier than pie
One of the features of Go-To Dinners is make-ahead recipes, like the one Ina included for her Lemon Meringue Squares. It has all of the qualities you would find in a great lemon meringue pie, but it’s much easier to prepare. The crust and filling can be made days in advance and refrigerated separately. Then, just before you are ready to bake, assemble the squares and add the meringue topping.
15. Ina Garten found created her Rum Raisin Ricotta Ice Cream thanks to Food52
Another great dessert in Go-To Dinners is Rum Raisin Ricotta Ice Cream. Ina says that she was inspired by a recipe on the website Food52, and it doesn’t require you to make a custard. Instead, you purée the ingredients in a food processor before chilling the mixture. Then, you freeze it in an ice cream maker.
Go-To Dinners is available everywhere. The Barefoot Contessa airs on The Food Network and discovery+.