The 2 Egg Dishes Ina Garten Loves To Cook For Dinner

Ina Garten may be a world-famous celebrity chef, cookbook author, television personality, and social media presence, but she's also the unofficial leader of the breakfast for dinner fan club. In 2016, the Barefoot Contessa named breakfast as her favorite meal of the day. Yet, the chef admits, weekday mornings seldom allot enough time for home cooks to embark on an elaborate breakfast-making fantasia. "The time I love to prepare a really good breakfast is actually for dinner," says Garten. "There's something about breakfast-for-dinner that makes everyone feel like a kid again."

Judging by her recent publication, it looks like the chef's enthusiasm has only grown since then. In her 13th cookbook, "Go-To Dinners," which came out in October, Garten shares a collection of recipes specifically designed for a home cook's ease. Happily enough, there's an entire chapter in the book dedicated to breakfast for dinner. Egg dishes aren't just for breakfast. The Barefoot Contessa knows this. That's why she sat down with NYC-based podcast "Cherry Bombe" to talk about the two egg dishes she loves to cook for dinner.

Eggs in purgatory and Gruyère omelets

Without further ado, two of Ina Garten's favorite egg dishes to make for dinner are eggs in purgatory and Gruyère omelets, per "Cherry Bombe." In case you haven't tried it before, eggs in purgatory consists of poached or fried eggs swimming in a tomato sauce. It's often served with crusty bread or polenta, via Taste of Home. But, Garten's fellow celebrity chef, Giada De Laurentiis, serves her version over potato pancakes, via Food Network. It's a dish reminiscent of shakshuka, and it's filling enough to be a dinnertime superhero.

Garten said on "Cherry Bombe" that omelets are "the simplest thing once you get the hang of it ... You get all of the ingredients already, and it's ready in five minutes." While omelets are a technically simple dish, Garten's Gruyère omelet is culinarily elevated. The Guild of Fine Food crowned a Swiss Gruyère the World's Best Cheese for 2022, and it won the title for a reason. According to the authority at, Gruyère is a cow's milk cheese with a sweet yet slightly salty flavor, an earthy aroma, a hard rind, and a dense texture. The taste is creamy and nutty, and it ages to an earthier profile with time. Perhaps most importantly, says The Spruce Eats, despite its denseness, Gruyère melts very well — so well that it's commonly the preferred cheese for making fondue. 

It's no mystery why Garten names the cheese as her ideal choice for an omelet that transcends the breakfast table.