I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (2024)

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Review by Anneta Konstantinides

Updated

2023-07-24T17:22:57Z

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (1)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider
  • I've been making my way through Ina Garten's breakfast recipes.
  • Her breakfast tacos are super easy, while her bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich only needs a microwave.
  • But Garten's delicious blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake took my top spot in this ranking.

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If anyone knows how to make a quick and flavorful breakfast dish, it's Ina Garten.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (2)

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The "Barefoot Contessa" star has shared countless breakfast recipes over the last two decades, reminding us that the first meal of the day can be tasty without being complicated.

In the introduction to the breakfast section in her cookbook, "Modern Comfort Food," Garten says she prefers breakfast dishes that are "fairly healthy" and "easy enough to be prepared while I'm half asleep."

"And, of course, it needs to be delicious," she added. "Or I won't get out of bed."

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I've made dozens of Garten's recipes over the last few years, and recently decided to rank her breakfast dishes.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (3)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

From Garten's boozy co*cktails to her comforting pastas, there's always been a great new "Barefoot Contessa" recipe to try.

It wasn't long before I started making my way through her breakfast dishes, finding easy and delicious spins on everything from scrambled eggs to breakfast sandwiches.

Here's how they all stack up.

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In sixth place is Garten's smashed eggs on toast.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (4)

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Garten's smashed eggs on toast, which appears in "Modern Comfort Food," was the first "Barefoot Contessa" breakfast recipe I ever made. Garten explains in the description that the dish is her modern twist on a traditional plate of poached eggs on toast.

"It's easier than poaching eggs," she wrote in her book. "And so much more delicious!"

Garten's smashed eggs on toast recipe only requires four main ingredients.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (5)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

All you need for this dish are:

  • Extra-large eggs
  • Whole-grain mustard
  • Fresh dill
  • Bread

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Garten's smashed eggs on toast look beautiful on the plate, but the recipe was trickier than I expected.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (6)

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This dish is all about timing. Garten says the eggs must cook for exactly six and a half minutes, then sit in an ice bath for exactly two minutes.

I was paranoid that the eggs would knock into each other if I turned my stove up too high, so I ended up undercooking a few of them —which turned into a mess when I tried to unpeel the eggs. I had accidentally taken the "smashed" in Garten's smashed eggs on toast a little too literally.

But some eggs still turned out great, and I loved how they paired with the crunchy, toasted bread. The whole-grain mustard gave each bite a nice kick, while the dill helped elevate the flavors — and looked gorgeous on top of the eggs.

Get the full recipe for Ina Garten's smashed eggs on toast here.

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Taking the fifth spot are Garten's breakfast tacos.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (7)

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This recipe, which also appears in "Modern Comfort Food," actually comes from Garten's social-media producer and recipe tester Kristina Feliz Ibarra.

"We were thinking about breakfast recipes and she suggested her favorite breakfast tacos," Garten wrote in the recipe's introduction. "Corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, and avocado — who wouldn't want that for breakfast?"

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Garten's breakfast tacos include scallions, hot sauce, and avocado.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (8)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make Garten's breakfast tacos at home, you'll need:

  • Extra-large eggs
  • White-corn tortillas (Garten recommends the 6-inch)
  • Scallions
  • Monterey Jack cheese (grated)
  • Avocado
  • Chipotle hot sauce or Tabasco

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The star of Garten's breakfast tacos are definitely the super creamy eggs.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (9)

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The eggs only needed about five minutes to set, and I made sure to stir them constantly to get them especially fluffy. They looked beautiful with the scallion greens and bright-green slices of avocado, as well as the streaks of Chipotle sauce across the top.

The tacos were deliciously light, but my family and I agreed they needed just a bit more flavor. We added some chopped tomatoes to give the dish a bit more oomph, and next time I'd definitely throw in more cheese.

Get the full recipe for Ina Garten's breakfast tacos here.

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In fourth place is Garten's bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (10)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

What makes Garten's breakfast sandwich unique is that the eggs are cooked in the microwave.

Garten wrote in "Modern Comfort Food" that she wanted her "perfect" breakfast sandwich to taste amazing while being "easy enough to prepare in the morning."

Almost all of the sandwich ingredients are pantry staples, and there's also very little prep.

Garten's breakfast sandwich features bacon, eggs, and sharp white cheddar cheese.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (11)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make the sandwich at home you'll need:

  • Extra-large eggs
  • Thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese (grated)
  • English muffins
  • Avocado
  • Whole milk

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I couldn't believe how fluffy Garten's eggs turned out in the microwave.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (12)

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I had no idea you could make such creamy eggs in a microwave. I loved how their texture contrasted with the crispy thick-cut bacon, which served as the perfect sandwich base with the creamy avocado.

The microwaving process is time-consuming if you're making more than two sandwiches, but the recipe is proof that you don't need a stove to make a great breakfast. Garten's recipe even won second place in my celebrity breakfast sandwich showdown.

Get the full recipe for Ina Garten's bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich here.

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Rounding out the top three is Garten's avocado and fried egg tartine.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (13)

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Garten's fresh spin on avocado toast appears in the republished version of "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook," which originally came out in 1999.

She reveals in the recipe's description that this avocado and fried egg tartine is always her first choice "for a quick and satisfying breakfast or lunch."

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Garten's avocado and fried egg tartine also includes Sriracha, lemon juice, and roasted prosciutto.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (14)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To whip up Garten's recipe, you'll need:

  • Eggs
  • Prosciutto slices
  • Large (½-inch thick) slices of rustic bread, such as sourdough
  • Haas avocados, halved and pitted
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Sriracha
  • Unsalted butter
  • Microgreens or baby arugula

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Garten's elevated twist on avocado toast is so simple to make, but she adds special touches that make the recipe memorable.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (15)

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Her tartines are bursting with color, from the bold green avocado and crimson prosciutto to the sunshine yellow of the egg yolk —which is perfectly cooked, thanks to helpful "Barefoot Contessa" frying tricks.

I love that Garten roasts the prosciutto, which gives the tartines a delicious crunch, while the lemon juice and Sriracha give the avocado both a lift and a kick. The overall effect is a beautifully fresh and light breakfast that feels both healthy and comforting. What more could you want?

Get the full recipe for Ina Garten's avocado and fried egg tartine here.

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In second place is Garten's scrambled eggs cacio e pepe.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (16)

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I was so excited when I saw a recipe for "scrambled eggs cacio e pepe" in Garten's newest cookbook, "Go-To Dinners." The recipe is inspired by the traditional Roman pasta dish, which is made with just spaghetti, Pecorino cheese, and black pepper.

"Eggs are always my go-to breakfast for dinner because they're substantial without being heavy, but I like to dress them up, like adding spicy Italian Pecorino cheese and pepper," Garten wrote in the recipe's description. "Just take your time with the cooking and you'll serve the most delicious scrambled eggs ever."

I'm a huge fan of Garten's pasta recipes, so I knew I had to try this.

Garten's scrambled eggs cacio e pepe only requires five basic ingredients.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (17)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make 4-5 servings of Garten's cacio e pepe eggs, you'll need:

  • 12 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, quartered
  • ⅔ cup freshly-grated Italian Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 4-5 slices country bread, toasted

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Garten's cacio e pepe scrambled eggs were deliciously rich, cheesy, and super easy.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (18)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's scrambled eggs tasted so elevated from your everyday recipe. The Pecorino gave the eggs a salty sharpness that I loved, and the texture had a creaminess that reminded me of recipes I've made from Gordon RamsayandMartha Stewart — but with way less effort.

I could happily eat these scrambled eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I'd also recommend pairing them with some toast and jam. The latter works really well with the cheesy flavor, and helps cut through the Pecorino with some sweetness.

Get the full recipe for Ina Garten's cacio e pepe scrambled eggs here.

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But when it comes to my favorite, Garten's blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake takes the top spot.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (19)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake appears in "Go-To Dinners," and she also shared the recipe on Instagram in honor of a special holiday.

"For Mother's Day, let mom sleep in while you bake her my Blueberry Ricotta Breakfast Cake. It's so easy to make — and who wouldn't love cake for breakfast?!!!" Garten wrote onthe post.

Garten wrote inher cookbook that everyone who makes her blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake "can't believe how easy it is!" I understood why after I tried it.

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Garten's breakfast cake features ricotta, lemon zest, and blueberries.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (20)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make Garten's blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake, which serves eight, you'll need:

  • 2 cups (12 ounces) fresh blueberries
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Sifted powdered sugar, for dusting

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Garten's blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake is light, fluffy, and a major crowd-pleaser.

I made 6 of Ina Garten's easy breakfast recipes and the best one was a major crowd-pleaser (21)

Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's breakfast cake is a stunning centerpiece, and it tastes even better than it looks. Every bite is super moist thanks to the ricotta and sour cream, and I love how the sweetness of the blueberries pairs with the zingy and bright lemon zest. I had my mom test it since Garten said it was perfect for Mother's Day, and she was a huge fan.

"This was superb," my mom declared. "I give it a 10/10."

I loved how easy it was to make Garten's cake, and it still tasted incredible the next day. I've since made it for friends at a brunch party, and everyone couldn't get enough of it.

Get the full recipe for Ina Garten's blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake here.

Stay tuned for more "Barefoot Contessa" breakfast dishes to come.

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