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16 Foods Ina Garten Loves to Cook (and Eat!)

The Queen of the Hamptons knows all there is to know about making her guests happy, but what foods delight her?

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Ina Garten headshotFacebook / Ina Garten

Ina Garten is a leading lady in the cooking world—like her mentor Martha Stewart. Her best-selling cookbooks and beloved Barefoot Contessa show have opened up a whole new culinary world! Here’s what Ina loves to cook and eat.

Want to cook even more like Ina? Check out her best cooking tips and tricks.

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Roast Chicken

The one meal Ina simply couldn’t live without is roast chicken. She even cites it as one of the reasons her husband, Jeffrey, proposed marriage in 1968.

Learn about what Ina and Jeffrey ate on their first date, and throughout their courtship, here.

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Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Ina says she’s eaten the same breakfast every day for ten years. She loves Irish oatmeal (also known as steel-cut oats). Smart lady, as oatmeal is an excellent way to start the day. Learn more about oatmeal’s health benefits here.
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Chocolate Mousse

Ina’s most-loved recipe from another famous cook is Julia Child’s chocolate mousse. The silky dessert is rich, sophisticated and easy to make. (Read the cooking lessons Julia taught us, too.)
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Good Butter

The culinary queen says butter is the most underrated ingredient and makes it a point to use good butter in her recipes. She’d be delighted by this fresh and herby compound butter.

Not sure what brand is good butter? We put some of the top brands to the test! Check out which landed in the top spot.

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Parmesan Polenta

One of the Barefoot Contessa’s go-to comfort foods is creamy Parmesan polenta, which she serves with meatballs or ratatouille (similar to this stovetop recipe). We feel warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about such a meal!
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Chicken Stew

Instead of a chicken pot pie, Ina likes to make a chicken stew and top it with flaky biscuits. She names it as one of her all-time favorite comfort foods, and we can easily see why. This version is stick-to-your-ribs delicious.

Craving the classic? Here are our most comforting chicken pot pie recipes.

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Avocado Toast

Ina doesn’t get super-fancy with her everyday meals at home. She says the most extravagant thing she makes for herself is avocado toast topped with an egg!

Psst…here’s how to tell when an avocado is ripe.

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Believe it or not, Ina buys the granola she eats for dessert on the weekends. Though she’s willing to use store-bought ingredients from time to time, we think she’d love this tasty recipe.
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Hot Dogs

Somewhat surprisingly, Ina says her last meal would consist of a hot dog with French fries at Frenchie to Go in Paris. To make hot dogs even more delish, don’t miss our top recipes!
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Whiskey Sour

Ina’s drink of choice is a whiskey sour. This spin on the classic drink is flavored with honey, lemon and ginger beer. Learn how to make this drink, and more classic cocktails, here.
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The classy Ms. Garten’s favorite restaurant is Café de Flore in Paris, and she loves to go and enjoy an omelet with a glass of champagne. Though your kitchen might not have the same atmosphere as a cafe in Paris, we can recommend the best omelets to make at home.
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Ina loves a good meatloaf, and she makes hers with beef, pork and veal. She uses panko crumbs in the mix to soak up the meat juices—and our mouths are watering to think of it!

Serve up a dinner Ina would be proud of by checking out these comforting meatloaf recipes.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ina has a number of favorite Thanksgiving recipes, including sausage-stuffed mushrooms, turkey roulade, pumpkin spice cupcakes and balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts.
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In-N-Out Burger

Even an elegant lady loves In-N-Out Burger! Ina says it’s the only fast food restaurant she’ll visit. For anyone who’s not on the West Coast, check out our In-N-Out Burger copycat recipes.
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Parmesan Chicken

Parmesan chicken is Ina’s favorite weeknight recipe—it comes together quickly and easily and tastes great.

Don’t forget the pasta! Here are some of the tastiest pasta recipes to whip up.

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Another of Ms. Garten’s favorite comfort foods is bolognese, which she makes using sirloin, plus heavy cream, a pinch of nutmeg and a splash of wine. Sounds perfect for any night of the week.

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.

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