Chefs We Love

June 6, 2023

Ina Garten’s Go-To Recipes

It might surprise you to learn that Ina Garten, author of 12 bestselling cookbooks, TV chef on Food Network since 2002, James Beard Award–winner and Daytime Emmy– winner, sometimes finds cooking stressful. Appropriately, her latest cookbook, Go-To Dinners, is all about making dinner less difficult.

Prior to the pandemic, Ina prioritized the “multicourse extravaganza” when entertaining, but with isolation came a new perspective. “I started making simpler dinners for my husband, Jeffrey, and me… often a lighter, easier, all-in-one dinner… They were delicious, satisfying and everything we needed and wanted for dinner. If I loved eating this way, wouldn’t my friends like it, too?” writes Ina in the book’s introduction. One of Ina’s favorite recipes in Go-To Dinners is her Overnight Mac & Cheese. It can be prepped in advance and smells delicious coming out of the oven.

Ina’s signature phrase “store-bought is just fine” makes a return in this book. That said, she stresses the importance of using high-quality cuts and ingredients that will make these uncomplicated recipes shine. For the Creamy Hummus, she suggests topping it with gourmet Spanish Marcona almonds, and, when using packaged ramen noodles, throwing away the flavor pack in favor of a custom mix. For her Orange Marmalade–glazed Ham recipe, she recommends buying the bone-in variety, rather than spiral-cut, for the best results.

Author: Alexandra Whyte

Quentin Bacon


Recipes excerpted from the book GO-TO DINNERS: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. ©2022 by Ina Garten. Photographs ©2022 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC