Ina Garten’s Cookbooks are a popular resource for Thanksgiving menus across the country. But the Barefoot Contessa approaches this national holiday with one idea in mind — keeping Thanksgiving “simple.” the Food Network star recommends choosing “a few fabulous recipes you know well that your guests will absolutely love.”
for you thanksgiving menu this year, here are 15 of Ina’s best recipes that are easy, crowd-pleasing favorites. There are even a few on this list that you can make in advance!
1. Ina Garten’s Pomegranate Gimlets are the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail
desde Modern Comfort FoodIna’s version of the traditional gin gimlet is the Pomegranate Gimlet. The bright red pomegranate juice gives this drink its holiday color. But, it must be served ice cold—this is important. The Food Network star suggests putting your cocktail glasses in the freezer for at least an hour before serving.
2. Fig and Cheese Toasts are an easy appetizer
Ina says that she and her husband Jeffrey were having some friends over for drinks, and he couldn’t believe how quickly she put her Fig and Cheese Toast appetizer together.
“You put the fig spread on toast, then add some creamy cheese, sprinkle with microgreens, and drizzle it all with syrupy balsamic vinegar. They taste like grown-up cream cheese and jelly sandwiches,” Ina explains.
3. Green Beans Gremolata is a new way to prepare French string beans
Always looking for new ways to prepare French string beans — because Jeffery loves them so much — Ina came up with her recipe for Green Beans Gremolata and put it in her cookbook Foolproof.
“I blanch the beans and make the gremolata in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. Then, just before dinner, I’ll reheat the beans and toss on the topping with all the garlic, lemon zest, Parmesan and pine nuts,” Ina says.
4. Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes are ‘exquisite’
To put a fun twist on a classic thanksgiving side dishtry Ina’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes. It’s an easy recipe that calls for Yukon gold potatoes, garlic cloves, salt and pepper, garlic and herb goat cheese, unsalted butter, sour cream, half and half, and parmesan.
“I had the joy of tasting this recipe at a Thanksgiving dinner I attended. It was so good that I asked for the recipe and made it for myself and my mother because it was that amazing. I now have an exquisite new recipe to make whenever I like! 10/10!” a satisfied fan shared.
5. Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding gets ’10 stars out of 5′
The reviews on Ina’s Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding made it clear it had to be on the menu this Thanksgiving…and at Christmas.
“10 stars out of 5. So delicious and it tastes amazing the next day and the day after etc lol, it’s just a different spin on Stuffing, fantastic side dish for Thanksgiving,” one happy fan wrote. Another added, “Delicious! Was a big hit for christmas dinner. The leftovers heated up in the air fryer were very good, but we had enough to also reheat in a waffle maker. Out of this world!”
6. Cranberry Fruit Conserve is a mainstay on Ina Garten’s Thanksgiving table
Ina’s Cranberry Fruit Preserve is a colorful sweet-tart preserve that was featured in her Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook. To thicken the sauce, use tart Granny Smith apples because they have more pectin.
7. Winter Squash Soup
Ina’s simple and delicious recipe for Winter Squash Soup is so good, you’ll want to double it so you can have leftovers. “Easy to add your own twist to the flavor but perfect as is,” one reviewer shared.
8. No lumps allowed in Ina Garten’s Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Onions and Sausage
To avoid lumpy gravy when the turkey comes out of the oven, Ina has a make-ahead recipe for Turkey Gravy with Onions and Sausage. It’s made with homemade chicken stockbutter, onion, garlic, flour, Cognac or brandy, sage leaves, bay leaves, and dry white wine.
The gravy base can be simmered up to a week in advance. Then, whisk the onions, sage and Cognac into the pan after your turkey is done.
9. Garlic Mashed Potatoes is a Thanksgiving staple
You can’t go wrong with this classic — Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Like Ina said, keep it simple with fabulous recipes that your guests will love.
10. Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Turkey is oh so good
If you want to make a Perfect Roast Turkey the star of your Thanksgiving menu this year, look no further than Ina’s recipe.
“First time we ever made this was on Thanksgiving and it was delicious from the very start! The flavor is just right for a night with candlelight. Love the crispy skin and perfectly roasted flavor. This turkey truly is perfect!” one reviewer shared.
11. Make-Ahead Roast Turkey
Of course, cooking a turkey on thanksgiving can be an extremely stressful task. Not to mention, having to carve it at the last minute and keeping it hot. So, Ina has a recipe option for Make-Ahead Roast Turkey that allows you to carve it in advance and arrange it on a platter with a layer of gravel. This method keeps your turkey moist, delicious, and hotter for much longer.
12. Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream is as yummy as it sounds
This is the ultimate Ina Garten thanksgiving dessert — Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream. Everything in this Foolproof The recipe is made from scratch—the pie filling, the crust, and the whipped cream (of course, Ina’s recipe calls for “good” dark rum).
13. Raspberry Cheesecake never fails to turn out perfect
Ina’s fabulous recipe for raspberry cheesecake will never let you down. It’s the only cheesecake recipe you’ll ever need because it turns out perfect and delicious every time.
14. Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits are worth the time and effort
If you are looking for a little bit of a challenge, try making Ina’s Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits. They do require some work, but it’s absolutely worth it.
15. Lemon-Ginger Molasses Cake with Whipped Cream is ‘phenomenal’
Thinking outside of the Thanksgiving dessert box, Ina’s Lemon-Ginger Molasses Cake with Whipped Cream could be your holiday showstopper.
“It is Phenomenal, Beautiful & Taste Yummy! Don’t expect a sweet dessert, one of a Kind!!! Thanks, Ina, another Home Run! If your cake turns out soupy…check your oven temp. I keep an oven thermometer in my oven at all times,” one happy reviewer shared.
The Barefoot Contessa airs weekly on the Food Network and is available to stream on discovery+.
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