Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” as Want to Read:
Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  5,170 ratings  ·  217 reviews

For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead?

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her s
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Clarkson Potter
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,170 ratings  ·  217 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Lisa Kay
BTW, if I read a cookbook, I only count it if I've made several recipes. I made Ina's Lemon Poppyseed Cake last night - for tonight's dinner. It turned out delicious (a couple crumbs fell off, so I tasted it). I took a pic, because my BFF bought me a new bundt cake pan from Williams-Sonoma and wanted to see how the design impression turned out.

Darth J
You guys know Ina Garten is my spirit animal, right? I love everything about her; from her Hamptons home to her name that sounds suspiciously like an Iron Butterfly song.

When her show is on, I can very rarely even.

What can I say? This broad is classy and I want to be one of her best friends that she sends to the store to pick up wine or some salmon from Loaves and Fishes while her husband is away (again).

But I'd somehow mess her order up and bring in the wrong ingredient...

LOL JK, I wouldn't, I'
Judith E
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, library
Run! Preheat your oven. Whip up the Tres Leches Cake with Berries. Serve to your guests and bask in their accolades. The cake is even better the 2nd or 3rd day, if there’s any left.

If you don’t have any of Ina’s cookbooks, these are some of her solid and easy recipes, all good to prepare in advance of company’s arrival.
Catharine B
Nov 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Reading through the recipes, there are so many familiarities from her other cookbooks. I'm certain the recipes are top notch, however there is little to no new ground here. Changing up bulgar wheat to quinoa tabbouleh is not a new recipe, but a small change. I could not recommend this cookbook to those who already own her other winners. ...more
Laurie Walker
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Received this as a Christmas gift ... can't wait to try the stuffed zucchini. My kids won't like it, but who cares?
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, 2014, gcac_2015
I read this cookbook because it was a Goodreads Choice Awards winner and I thought it was ok. There weren't too many recipes that I would make, though a few of the desserts looked delicious. I found the few meals that looked interesting to me were too fatty/heavy for me or I already had a similar recipe that I think is better.

There were little make ahead tips, but I didn't think there wasn't anything special about that part either. Maybe the issue here is partly because I've been cooking for a
Trish Goodwin
Dec 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't get me wrong, I am a big Ina fan, however this book was so disappointing! There were quite a few recipes from previous BC cookbooks, just with some footnotes at the end on how to "make it ahead". Then there were some recipes (like a salad, for example) where the make it ahead notes were basically, "prep and wash the salad greens; make the dressing; refrigerate separately and toss together right before serving". Really? Anyone who cooks already knows that. There were also a few recipes that ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I just read this book from cover to cover, and I'm itching to get into the kitchen and make a lot of these recipes. This book delivered more than I had hoped for. The first thing that makes me fall in-love with a cookbook are pictures. This book has them, as in a gorgeous photo of each and every recipe. The reason I'm such a fan of Ina Garten is that she makes fancy looking food, that is actually quite simple. Of course, it's not processed meals, that you microwave. She's cooking from scratch, b ...more
reading is my hustle
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: foodies
I love the kind of week I have if I spend all day Sunday cooking. It just makes everything easier for the week ahead. So it makes sense that I would want to read this cookbook. Plus it is Ina Garten and I love her. I have several of her recipes in my cooking rotation and they are crowd pleasers. And (for the most part) I did like this cookbook but there were a few recipes in it that were featured in her other cookbooks. So that was disappointing. Also, some of the "make it ahead" recipes could o ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it liked it
The first in a series of books I'm checking out from the library in an effort to learn more about make-ahead cooking, aka "meal prep". It's a cooking philosophy that appeals to me, someone who doesn't cook much at the moment, but loves leftovers and would like to have more varied meals at home and to take to work. I have a bit more time in my schedule recently, but still need to take meals to work, sometimes even two meals per day depending on my shift. And I'm getting a little tired of the usua ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
I've made a few of the recipes and they are good, but I find Ina Garten a pretentious host, and that comes through in the writing of this cookbook. Almost every recipe calls for "good" olive oil. Thanks, Ina. I wouldn't want to make a mistake and accidentally put in the bad olive oil I keep on hand for other recipes that don't make that determination. One of her recipes is for salt and pepper biscuits. She borrowed the recipe for the biscuits from a friend and then "added a twist" by adding salt ...more
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys cooking and would like to be with her guests.
Of course, I went right to the desserts' section and found some terrific chocolate ones that can be made ahead! Excellent! The author includes make ahead recipes for lunch, dinner, veggies, breakfast, and as I have already mentioned, desserts! She also offers 'make-ahead menus'. Everything anyone would need to make a meal ahead to allow the hostess time to spend with her guests! Absolutely great!! ...more
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: healthy-eating
When I read about this book in Martha's magazine I got the impression it was just making things ahead for Thanksgiving, but it's for all seasons. I love the menu suggestions at the end, but was annoyed that some recommended were from her other cookbooks. Don't think it will be a go-to cookbook, but will help with Thanksgiving and future parties. ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every single recipe has a mouth-watering, full page, color photo. That is a must-have in a cookbook. I have already made one recipe, and it was delicious. I cannot wait to try the rest. She also includes awesome tips for making things ahead of time, the key to cooking for a crowd and still being able to enjoy yourself at the party!
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Beautiful photos but I wouldn't make any of this stuff. A lot of recipes have kale or something obscure or some weird cheese as ingredients. Also, THREE chickens to make a stock? That's a lot of chickens! Those of us with kids can't get to the grocery store every day, so we do have to use our freezers for more than stock and ice cream and something called "granita" ...more
Kim Ingwersen
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Salivating over the crusted baked potatoe recipe
Mar 08, 2015 rated it liked it
As with the last time I read a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, I found the recipe selection shockingly ordinary. Most of Garten's contributions don't give me any special sense of excitement; they're variations on dishes any experienced cook has made a half a dozen times. I'm also surprised at how often her recipes are an attributed riff of someone else's work, never mind how pretentious the anecdotes and directions can be.

That being said, the book is full of pictures, which I love. The production qu
Karin Katherine
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and after going through the book I have flagged MANY recipes to try, which is what you want when buying a cookbook.

I like that there are great photos for every recipe and the instructions and ingredients are not overly complicated.

The name is a little bit deceiving however. This is a cookbook of recipes with a tip on how you could make it ahead. About one line in the corner of recipe page. This isn't a cookbook on how to stock up your freezer or
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This cookbook is typical Barefoot Contessa, with reasonably simple recipes and beautiful photos.

This is not a make-ahead cookbook for family casseroles, as I had anticipated. It is more for a cook who wants to entertain on a small scale (10 adults, or less), and plans to prep/cook elements of the meal beforehand.

Each recipe has a handy MAKE IT AHEAD description in the margin, so you can quickly understand how it fits in planning/prep plan. That is an excellent feature of the cookbook.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Reading cookbooks and trying the recipes is one of my favorite pleasures. (I realize I am a nerd)

I borrowed this from my local library, but have now added it to my "gotta have it" list.

I love a cookbook with beautiful fresh, healthy ingredients, vivid photos and good instructions. This one fits the bill. A couple of recipes have already been made in my kitchen and they were a big success and will remain part of my repetoire.

Many people have noted that this is a repeat of recipes from other books
marissa  sammy
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people living in West Egg
I'll be honest, Ina Garten's show aggravates me no end: the never-ending mentions of the Hamptons! The fawning over Geoffrey! That self-conscious mom laugh! The whiff of new money that she's clearly embarrassed about!

But hot damn, the recipes I've made of hers have always turned out beautifully, and the cookbooks are a treat to read. Not as dense and opulent as Nigella's to be sure, but then I probably wouldn't try to cook any Nigella recipes. Ina might be that aunt you always roll your eyes at
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like Ina's sytle and cooking methods. This book along with superb recipes is infused with helpful tips that remove stress from cooking for a group and adds fun and enjoyment back into the recipe. For example, have you ever thought of serving your thanksgiving turkey pre-sliced and over a bed of hot gravy to keep the turkey warm and moist?

I pinned several recipes from this book on Pinterest along with some others of Ina's.

Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
I've been complaining about recipes that end with "serve immediately" for years, so I love that cookbook authors are finally realizing that most cooks don't cook right up until the last minute. I love all her tips and ideas packed into this book. My only complaint is that I don't love enough of these recipes to want to try them. I would love for her to go back and update her older cookbooks (which I love) to show how they can be made and stored. ...more
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Ina book. I was really looking forward to a fabulous collection of recipes that could be made in advance, but sadly, I was disappointed. The starters were things I would pick up at the deli, way too many meat dishes for my liking. Parties! is still one of my all-time favorites, but this didn't come close. ...more
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Ina Garten and her cookbooks bring her personality and her philosophy of cooking to life. Her recipes are quality cooking without the fuss. This particular cookbook I put up there with one of her best. Thanks Ina.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
While the book had tips on how you can make it ahead, these recipes are still a little too complicated for my style. I don’t even have time to make it ahead right now so simplicity is a must. The dessert part had a few that look yummy to try.
Kate Harris
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
A few keepers but overall not the kinds of meals I'd actually like to make ahead. Mostly the kind of meals where you think, "oh, Ina." ...more
Rachel Rogers
CAn't say why but none of the recipes in this book jumped out at me. ...more
I'm hard on cookbooks. If I don't think I'll cook from them with reasonable regularity or don't learn something new from them, they pretty much get the two-star "It's OK." That applies here. It's OK. It's just very basic, so I didn't learn anything new, and it didn't have any recipes that made me want to get up and cook. Most of the recipes are so simple that you don't really need a recipe for them. Marinated feta cheese is delicious, but I don't need step-by-step instructions to do it. Ditto ba ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was around 3.5 stars for me.

I love Ina Garten and this is a pretty standard Barefoot Contessa book. But I do appreciate that there are tips in the beginning about cooking or baking in advance and things to keep in mind when you're hosting and trying to prep things ahead of time. Though some of the tips are common sense I'll admit I hadn't thought of some.

The recipes themselves look decent and seem doable and each has information on how far in advance you can prep and how you should store th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Choice ...: Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook - June 2015 12 42 Jul 21, 2015 12:43PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper!
  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives
  • The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor
  • The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook
  • Giada's Family Dinners
  • Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook
  • The Cake Bible
  • The Bread Bible
  • The French Laundry Cookbook
  • Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share
  • Giada's Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets
  • The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike
  • Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals
  • The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
  • Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains
  • Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration
  • The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
See similar books…
Ina Garten is a New York Times bestselling author and the host of Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, for which she has won four Emmy Awards and a James Beard Award. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Jeffrey.

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
32 likes · 6 comments