The Best Recipes Ina Garten Ever Made On TV, In Her Own Opinion

Ina Garten has graced our television screens for more than two decades. She brought her signature "how easy is that" charm (not to mention, her love of vodka) to the masses in 2002, whipping up a pitcher of fresh lemonade for her first-ever Food Network episode. (The booze was optional). Ever since then, she's been warmly inviting viewers into her home, allowing them to be the proverbial fly on her kitchen wall as she expertly prepares easy-to-make, yet deliciously elevated recipes in a way that always seems to leave us hungry for more. 

Of course, we'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite dish. But, her creamy truffled mashed potatoes and signature "outrageous" brownies are among some of Ina Garten's best recipes according to fans. Although it's safe to assume the Barefoot Contessa has enjoyed making all of her recipes on-air — handcrafting meals takes a labor of love, after all — she seems to favor her comfort food staples the most, from desserts like chocolate cake and parfaits to hearty classics like beef stew and racks of lamb.

Ina Garten's dessert recipes take the cake

It's no secret that Ina Garten is fond of her sweets, but there are a couple of dessert recipes she's enjoyed making on TV more than others. In an interview with Food & Wine, Garten shared that her pumpkin mousse parfait and luscious chocolate cake recipes, both of which are included in her 2006 cookbook, "Barefoot Contessa at Home," were at the top of the list — namely for the reactions they garnered from those trying them, presumably the cast and audience. "People were sticking their tongues into the parfait glasses," she said — while also noting that everyone was "face down in the chocolate cake," too. 

Named after a friend's grandmother, Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe is quite addictive, literally. This is partly due to its secret ingredient: a cup of hot brewed coffee, which she explained during a Food Network episode "makes it taste really chocolatey." Of course, her chocolate cake recipe wouldn't be complete without a teaspoon of "good" vanilla, an ingredient the Barefoot Contessa says is "really important when you're doing chocolate."

Garten's savory recipes take the spotlight, too

When it comes to savory, soul-soothing recipes, the TV personality's slow-cooked, red wine-braised short ribs hold the distinction of being Ina Garten's favorite recipe ever written. Just be sure to cook them the Ina way, opting to make them in the oven instead of searing them in a pan, so you don't have to flip them and get splattered with oil in the process. For side recommendations, the Barefoot Contessa suggests serving them with blue cheese grits or a "big puddle" of mashed potatoes (per YouTube), which she says hasn't disappointed anyone yet.

Red wine also gives a rather intense flavor boost to Garten's signature Parker's Beef Stew, which is another one of the author's favorite recipes to make on TV. And, to ensure none of the sauce goes to waste, she likes serving the browned pieces of chuck beef over grilled bread, which helps to soak up all of those delicious juices.

In keeping with the meaty theme, the kitchen queen is also a big fan of making rack of lamb on-air, and it's not hard to see why. She's able to effortlessly pull together a juicy, gourmet-looking lamb rack slathered to perfection with a marinade of salt, rosemary, garlic, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar — all in under 35 minutes.