I made 4 easy Ina Garten breakfast recipes, and ranked them by deliciousness

·7 min read
Ina Garten eggs
I've spent the last year making Ina Garten's recipes.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider
  • I've been making Ina Garten's breakfast recipes over the last year.

  • Her breakfast tacos are super easy, while her bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich only needs a microwave.

  • But Garten's delicious avocado and fried egg tartine took my top spot in this ranking.

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

Ina Garten
Ina Garten has dozens of delicious breakfast recipes.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 most recent 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."

I've made dozens of Garten's recipes since the pandemic began, and recently decided to rank her breakfast dishes.

Anneta with Ina Garten's breakfast tacos
Me with Garten's breakfast tacos.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

From Garten's boozy cocktails to her comforting pastas, there's always been a "Barefoot Contessa" recipe to cheer me up over these last two wild years.

It wasn't long before I got bored of my usual breakfast, so I turned to Garten's cookbooks for new ideas. One recipe I tried can be made in the microwave, while others take less than 15 minutes. But all are packed with delicious eggs, fresh veggies, and those special "Barefoot Contessa" twists.

Here's how they all stack up.

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

Ina Garten eggs on toast
Ina Garten's smashed eggs on toast.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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.

Ina Garten eggs on toast
Garten's smashed eggs on toast include dill and whole-grain mustard.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

All you need for this dish are:

  • Extra-large eggs

  • Whole-grain mustard

  • Fresh dill

  • Bread

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

Ina Garten eggs on toast
Garten's smashed eggs recipe was trickier — and messier — than I expected.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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.

Taking the third spot are Garten's breakfast tacos.

Ina Garten's breakfast tacos
Ina Garten's breakfast tacos.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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?"

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

Ingredients for Ina Garten's breakfast tacos
Garten's breakfast tacos include avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, and scallions.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

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

Scrambling eggs for Ina Garten's breakfast tacos
The eggs for Garten's breakfast tacos turned out super creamy.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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.

My second favorite "Barefoot Contessa" breakfast is her bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich.

Ina's Breakfast Sandwich
Ina Garten's bacon, egg, and cheddar breakfast sandwich.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.

Ina's Breakfast Sandwich
Garten's breakfast sandwich includes avocado, English muffins, and sharp white cheddar cheese.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

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

Ina's Breakfast Sandwich
I couldn't believe how fluffy the microwaveable eggs were.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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.

But when it comes to my favorite breakfast dish, Garten's avocado and fried egg tartine takes the top spot.

Ina Garten's avocado tartine
Ina Garten's avocado tartines.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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."

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

Ina Garten's avocado tartine ingredients
Garten's avocado tartines include Sriracha, prosciutto, and lemon juice.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

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

Frying eggs for Ina Garten's avocado tartine
Fried eggs for Garten's avocado tartine.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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.

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

Want to learn even more Barefoot Contessa recipes? Check out the cookbook we got some of these recipes from:

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