Ina Garten’s favorite weeknight recipe is quick, breaded and delicious

If you’re in search of a zesty dinner to get you through the midweek slump, look no further than Ina Garten’s go-to weeknight recipe. 

During the Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro season two premiere, Garten revealed that her favorite weeknight dish is none other than her lemon Parmesan chicken recipe from her Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook. 

RELATED: More of Ina's favorite dishes

10 PHOTOS
Ina Garten's 10 best-kept kitchen secrets
See Gallery
Ina Garten's 10 best-kept kitchen secrets

1. Splurging Is OK…In Moderation

Prior to hitting the grocery store or market, make a list to avoid excess purchases. But don’t punish yourself for occasional impulse buys—even Garten sometimes splurges on sweet treats (and hence why she has Lidey handle most of her ingredient shopping). Her favorites are Tate's chocolate chip cookies and vanilla Häagen-Dazs.

Instagram

2. Breakfast K.I.S.S.

Everyone loves pancakes and French toast but both require multiple ingredients to make. (Not to mention the mess!) Garten keeps it simple and eats the same breakfast every.single.day. For the last decade, she’s had a cup of coffee and McCann's Quick-Cooking Oatmeal. No lie.

Getty

3. And Salt Makes All the Difference

That Eeyore-inspired breakfast Queen Ina eats every morning? Garten adds a heavy shaking of salt so her oatmeal doesn’t “taste like wallpaper paste.”

Getty

4. Instead of Take-Out, Prepare ‘No Cook’ Options For Lazy Days

Even the Barefoot Contessa has days where she doesn’t feel like cooking. “I always have soup in the freezer that's hearty enough to be a meal, like Tuscan white bean, split pea, cauliflower, or Loaves & Fishes' tortellini en brood,” she says. Simply come home, zap it in the microwave and voilà!

Instagram

5. Coffee + Chocolate Are a Delicious Combo

Garten adds coffee to chocolate to “give it a depth of flavor.” Bonus: The delectable pairing satisfies chocolate cravings and caffeine fixes.

Instagram

6. Don't Forgo the Essentials

Garten says she always keeps the following items in her kitchen: Lemons (always in a bowl on the counter), butter, eggs, Parmesan cheese and chocolate.

Instagram

7. The More Seasoning the Merrier

Season your meal throughout the cooking process—not just at the end.

Instagram

8. Follow the Recipe…No Matter What

Cooking is a science, and one bad move can ruin the entire dish. Garten admits she measures everything, exactly.

Instagram

9. DIY-ing Isn't For Everyone

If starting from scratch isn’t your thing...don’t start from scratch. Garten’s mantra: Unless you can make something that's better than what you'd buy, there's no point in spending the time! Less time cooking equals more time eating, ladies.

Getty

10. And It’s Not Always About the Food

OK…food does take priority, but no Garten meal is complete without a beautiful bouquet of flowers to brighten the table.

Instagram

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

To whip up this delicious Monday-through-Friday treat, the Barefoot Contessa either makes bread crumbs from leftover homemade bread (of course) or uses the premade stuff. Other ingredients in the surprisingly simple recipe are boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salad greens, Garten’s lemon vinaigrette recipe and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The best part? It only takes about 30 minutes to make. 

Ina, you had us at bread crumbs. 

RELATED: LET’S ALL TAKE A MOMENT TO OGLE INA GARTEN’S GORGEOUS NEW $15,500 STOVE

RELATED: 10 quickest recipes ever 

10 PHOTOS
In a Rush? Our 10 Quickest Recipes
See Gallery
In a Rush? Our 10 Quickest Recipes

Cumin Seed Roasted Caulifower with Salted Yogurt, Mint and Pomegranate Seeds

This healthy recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Don't forget pomegranate seeds for serving.

Click here for the recipe: Cumin Seed Roasted Caulifower with Salted Yogurt, Mint and Pomegranate Seeds

Rigatoni Ai Carciofi

If you have never tried artichokes, have a go at this pasta dish — you won’t be disappointed. But never buy artichokes that are preserved in brine because they aren’t worth eating.

Click here for the recipe: Rigatoni Ai Carciofi

Watercress and Fennel Salad with BLood Orange and Thyme Vinaigrette

The combination of bitter greens, soothing fennel and tart blood orange makes this a super-refreshing and beautiful addition to nearly any spring menu.

Click here for the recipe: Watercress and Fennel Salad with Blood Orange and Thyme Vinaigrette

Mustard-Garlic Chicken Paillards with Spring Peas

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be bland, but paillards cook so quickly that they retain a lot of flavor and stay really moist.

Click here for the recipe: Mustard-Garlic Chicken Paillards with Spring Peas

Churrasco Steak and Arugula with Candied Pepper Chimichurri

In only 15 minutes, you can have a flavor-packed steak on your plate.

Click here for the recipe: Churrasco Steak and Arugula with Cnadied Pepper Chimichurri

The Piazza Family Sicilian Caponata with Cornmeal Crackers

Capers, onions and eggplant make this meal burst with flavor.

Click here for the recipe: The Piazza Family Sicilian Caponata with Cornmeal Crackers

Fusilli with Italian Sausage, Parmesan and Wilted Romaine

The sausage in this satisfying dish might take the spotlight, but the unsung hero award goes to the crisp and refreshing wilted romaine lettuce.

Click here for the recipe: Fusilli with Italian Sausage, Parmesan and Wilted Romaine

Quick Breakfast Taco

A smaller cousin of the breakfast burrito, the breakfast taco made with reduced-fat Cheddar and egg substitute, is a satisfying breakfast option.

Click here for the recipe: Quick Breakfast Taco

Quick Fresh Onion Soup

Bring the allium family — onions, leeks, garlic — together in this simpler and heartier version of French onion soup.

Click here for the recipe: Quick Fresh Onion Soup

Quick Pastrami Hash & Eggs

When we’re in a hurry, we love to have breakfast for dinner. Precooked diced potatoes help make this pastrami hash ultra-fast.

Click here for the recipe: Quick Pastrami Hash & Eggs

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story