Ina Garten’s Best Italian Recipes

Everyone adores Ina Garten because she resurrects the joy, charm, and nostalgia of early-2000s cooking television. She’s friendly, funny, and, most importantly, teaches novices how to cook delicious food!

Pasta and the Barefoot Contessa go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re both timeless, effortless, and always available to you. Pasta is among the most popular Italian comfort foods. Garten’s 11 cookbooks and her Barefoot Contessa website contain many pasta recipes with different types of pasta, from a quick pesto, pasta, and peas to an Italian wedding soup.

So let’s get started on some of Ina Garten’s best Italian recipes! There are hundreds of recipes to choose from, but we think these are some of her best.

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

a delicious roasted chicken with lemon slices

This one-pan roast chicken offers everything we adore about a classic Ina recipe: simple ingredients, clean and bright flavors (lemon, fresh thyme, garlic), and, of course, a clever trick (allowing the lemon slices to roast alongside the chicken until they’re caramelized and ready to sop up with bread).

Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Meet the broccoli that is almost certainly going to be the best broccoli you’ve ever had. It all comes down to the flavorful combination of lemon zest, fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, hunks of shredded parmesan, and a healthy drizzle of high-quality olive oil that the broccoli is tossed and coated with before it goes into the oven.

Ina Garten’s Lemon Capellini

Ina’s super-easy capellini is among food writer Alyse Whitney’s all-time favorites. Only lemon juice, lemon zest, and two sticks of butter are required (plus pepper and salt).

Ina Garten’s Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola

Ina’s rendition of a longtime favorite from Toni and Nick’s restaurant in East Hampton, New York, is Genius-approved pasta. The creamy vodka sauce’s rich, highly concentrated flavor comes from an important element: roasting the sauce inside the oven for around an hour and a half.

Ina Garten’s Cauliflower Toasts

Cauliflower toast may not appear particularly appealing at first glance, but as Ina points out, it is a greatly underappreciated vegetable. Roast it to bring out its flavor. It’s also good with creamy mascarpone, grated Gruyère, and thinly sliced prosciutto.

Ina Garten’s Chicken Piccata

Ina Garten’s chicken piccata should become a weeknight staple in your home. The chicken is golden-crisp and juicy, but the pan sauce—a reduction of butter, white wine, and lemon juice—is our favorite part of the dish (it’s also delicious over spaghetti).

Ina Garten’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Only four ingredients are required for great roasted Brussels sprouts. A quick toss with salt, olive oil, and pepper, followed by 30 or 40 minutes in the oven, and you’ve got yourself a crispy green side dish that goes with everything from grilled meats to a perfect roast chicken.

Ina Garten’s Sausage and Fennel Rigatoni

Homemade Sausage and Fennel Rigatoni

Ina’s sausage and fennel rigatoni pasta dish is one that you should save to one of your recipe books! It’s flavorful and creamy, with fennel and Italian sausages and topped with parmesan.

Ina Garten’s Crispy Chicken With Lemon Orzo

This Ina chicken recipe can help you save time at the dinner table. With juicy, crispy herbed chicken breast sitting atop a bed of zingy lemon-infused orzo pilaf, this one comes together in a flash and serves as a complete meal. The buttery, rich flavors are buoyed by buzzy dill and salty feta, which perk up the entire dish.

Ina Garten’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pork

Try this spice-rubbed, slow-roasted pork for a show-stopping dinner-party main. It bakes for about six hours, so it’s largely hands-off; it also won’t dry out if you overlook it for a little while.

Ina Garten’s Pastitsio

This one is more of a pasta dish, similar to a lasagne or pasta pie. Ina Garten’s Pastitsio is made with a layer of al dente pasta, lamb, ground beef, and two sauces: tomato sauce and bechamel sauce. The dish is then baked for an hour in a baking dish until bubbly and golden brown.

Ina Garten’s Broccoli & Kale Salad

Ina knows how to make vegetables exciting again, this time with crunchy vegetal kale and broccoli smothered in a creamy Caesar dressing. Add a couple of jammy eggs (they’re essential) and a handful of oily, crispy croutons, and you’ve got a salad that will be on my menu for the rest of my life.

Ina Garten’s Salmon Teriyaki With Broccolini

This virtuous-looking salmon dinner is also chock full of flavor, Ina-style. It’s a little spicy, sweet, and more than a little simple. You’re good to go if you steam some basmati rice using Contessa’s no-fail method.

Ina Garten’s Penne With Pesto And Peas

Spring penne with spinach pesto and green pea

Pesto and peas are a fantastic saucy topping to incorporate into any pasta dish simply because they look good! The green color will add a professional touch to your pasta dish. 

This pasta recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare and serves up to 12 people. It’s made from a combination of bowtie and fusilli pasta.

Ina Garten’s Traditional Italian Tiramisu

Tiramisu means “pick me up” or “cheer me up,” and it does exactly that. A decadent yet light treat with delicate layers of zabaglione, shaved chocolate, espresso-soaked ladyfingers, and a light dusting of cocoa powder.

The key to making a fantastic tiramisu is to ensure that the ladyfingers are moistened but not saturated to retain texture and shape. A bite of this simple yet fulfilling authentic dish will transport you to an Italian cafe on Rome’s cobblestone streets.

Ina Garten’s Company Pot Roast

This Barefoot Contessa company pot roast transforms an inexpensive beef chuck roast, a little brandy, a bottle of red wine, leeks, carrots, celery, onions, and tomatoes into a dinner party-worthy meal. And enough leftovers to last a week.

Ina Garten’s Fettucine and Mushrooms

This Fettucine with mushrooms and white truffle butter recipe appears to be something you’d order at a high-end Italian restaurant. Still, it’s a quick and easy recipe that you can make in your kitchen in under 30 minutes. It’s decadent and creamy, with the truffle butter adding a divine flavor that everyone should try.

Ina Garten’s recipes are among the best and easiest to follow on the internet (or in her cookbooks). You can rely on them for weeknight meals or full dinner parties with friends, and none will disappoint.