Ina Garten and Julia Child Both Suggest Store-Bought Snacks For Thanksgiving Guests

Ina Garten and Julia Child may be TV chefs and cookbook authors from different generations. But, they do have quite a few things in common. Both have incredible recipes for Thanksgiving turkeys. And, both Ina and Julie suggest store-bought snacks for guests.

Ina Garten raises a glass of wine in her Hamptons home
‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten recommends store-bought snacks as hors d’oeuvres

If you can put food into a bowl, you can pull off an Ina Garten Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre. The Food Network star known as the Barefoot Contessa once told her 3.8 million Instagram followers that most of the time, she likes “to find delicious little appetizers that need no cooking at all.”

“When I have friends for dinner, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time making fussy hors d’oeuvres. So I choose simple, no-cook things that I can serve with drinks,” she explained.

Ina’s recommendations included a bag of potato chips because “store-bought is just fine,” salted cashews with extra sea salt, and heirloom cherry tomatoes. 

“I present them in a really pretty silver bowl so they look special,” Ina said. “Choose delicious things that you can serve as is, present them in really pretty silver bowls, and everyone is going to have a really good time, including you.”

Julia Child always served Goldfish crackers on Thanksgiving

According to The Kitchn, Julia always made a point to share one of her favorite store-bought snacks with her Thanksgiving dinner guests. She loved Goldfish crackers, and she wasn’t afraid to show it. Child reportedly served the crackers as an appetizer at all of her dinner parties, including her Thanksgiving feast.

Child was so well-known for her love of Goldfish that when experts at Harvard hosted a Julia Child symposium in 2012, they served their guests Goldfish crackers. The same thing happened at the Smithsonian. 

“A meal doesn’t have to be like a painting by Raphael, but it should be a serious and beautiful thing, no matter how simple,” Julia said in 1982. “What nicer way for a family to get together and communicate? Which is what life is all about, really.”

Ina Garten has more store-bought ideas for Thanksgiving dinner

Ina was recently challenged by The New York Times to create a holiday menu using store-bought ingredients. Of course, Ina came prepared to make Thanksgiving dinner as easy as possible to save her fans time and stress.

“I think just for Thanksgiving, all bets are off,” Ina told the outlet. “Whatever you need to do to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table is OK.”

For easy side dishes, the Barefoot Contessa put together some store-bought Parmesan Mashed Potatoes to save time. After testing many varieties of prepared mashed potatoes, she declared Bob Evans refrigerated potatoes to be the best.

“Mashed potatoes are an essential Thanksgiving side dish but can be time-consuming. Instead of starting with raw potatoes, then peeling, cutting, and boiling them, start with these prepared potatoes and no one will know you didn’t make the dish from scratch,” Ina wrote.

For Chunky Cranberry Sauce, Ina says that if you want the texture of fresh cranberries you should start with whole-berry sauce “instead of the canned thing with the rings on it.”

Ina also shared a dessert recipe from her new cookbook Go-To Dinners — Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. On Instagram, Ina told her followers that her pie is “decadent and delicious and the best part is that it’s actually BETTER made with store-bought pie crust!”

The Barefoot Contessa airs on the Food Network. 

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