Ina Garten's Favorite Meal To Make Every Year

Every cook has a favorite meal to cook and Ina Garten is no different. When the Barefoot Contessa isn't whipping up one of her special skillet-roasted lemon chicken dinners for her husband Jeffrey and herself or offering advice about the best brand of vanilla ice cream to enjoy, she is thinking about what she is cooking for Thanksgiving Day dinner. Garten told Food Network, "It's my favorite meal to make each year."

What's on her turkey day menu? She tends to stick to recipes from her own cookbooks because she "trusts" them. Case in point is her Accidental Turkey, which can be found in her "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof" cookbook, and is served alongside spinach gratin, truffle mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie with rum. But if you are among the 61.1% of people who, according to Cinch Home Services, find making this meal stressful, don't worry, Garten has sage advice and guidance to help alleviate that culinary pressure.

Make a plan

Garten understands that feeling of wanting everything cooking in the oven and on the stove when guests arrive. That's she starts with a plan. She told USA Today, "I decided what I can do on Monday, what I can do on Tuesday, what I can do on Wednesday." Her plan includes thinking about what she can buy ahead of time and what she can ask guests to make and bring.

Additionally, Garten has changed her approach to holiday cooking. She told Food Network, "For years I believed that food was better if you made it right before you ate it. I had to force myself to start doing things differently." This led the professional chef to create a make-ahead turkey and gravy that ensures you are not stressing about lumps and bumps right before your guests start gobbling it up. And speaking of another food where lumps can be an issue, Garten also has a recipe for goat cheese mashed potatoes that can be reheated and refrigerated for up to three days.