25 Easy and Comforting Fall Dinners For the Busiest of Weekdays
Chilly nights call for creamy butternut squash and pumpkin, sweet apples and figs, and crispy autumnal greens like kale and brussels sprouts. Fall produce makes for cozy meals you'll want to curl up with every evening after work. Here are 25 simple recipes that will help you get a hearty, comforting dinner on the table in no time (or with little effort) — just what you want on a busy weeknight.
Butternut Squash Carbonara
Classic spaghetti carbonara gets a Fall makeover with the subtle sweetness of butternut squash, which is roasted and then pureed with salty pasta water to form a creamy sauce. After tasting the wonderful way the squash mingles with salty bacon and nutty parmesan, you'll wonder why it wasn't always a staple carbonara ingredient.
Get the recipe: butternut squash carbonara
Apple Cider Chicken With Caramelized Apples
It's a well known fact that apple cider is a delicious autumnal beverage, but it's lesser known that when combined with Dijon mustard, it makes a fabulous sauce for chicken. With brown-sugary, cinnamon-rich caramelized apples on the side, this dish is like dinner and dessert at the same time.
Get the recipe: apple cider chicken with caramelized apples
Butternut Squash, Apple Cider, and Cheddar Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons
Simple butternut squash soup is mouthwatering when jazzed up with pumpkin ale, apple cider, and sharp white cheddar cheese — though it's a mystery how any soup wouldn't be delicious with a topping like grilled cheese croutons.
Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake
Chicken, bacon, and pasta are already three very enticing words, but it gets better: they're tossed in a creamy, nutmegy pumpkin sauce and baked with mozzarella and parmesan until rich and bubbly.
Get the recipe: chicken bacon pumpkin pasta bake
Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup
Slow-Cooker Honey Mustard Pork Chops With Brussels Sprouts Salad
Cold and crispy brussels sprouts salad perfectly cuts through the richness of tender pork chops, generously coated in mayo, barbecue sauce, honey, and yellow and grainy mustards.
Get the recipe: slow-cooker honey mustard pork chops with brussels sprouts salad
Black Bean Butternut Squash Quesadillas
Looking for a way to use that can of black beans in your pantry? This is it. These crispy quesadillas are filled with butternut squash — which is mashed and mixed with lime juice and taco seasoning — and soft black beans, then drizzled with as much chipotle lime crema as your heart desires.
Get the recipe: black bean butternut squash quesadillas
Sheet-Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
Balsamic glaze isn't just for salads; it's lick-the-pan good on 30-minute roasted chicken and veggies.
Get the recipe: sheet-pan honey balsamic chicken and brussels sprouts
Curried Pumpkin Soup
If the change in seasons has you feeling under the weather, the invigorating spices in this curry soup will bring you back to life. Flavored with aromatic curry powder, cloves, ginger, coriander, and cumin, it'll be almost as good to smell as it is to eat.
Get the recipe: curried pumpkin soup
Baked Pasta With Mushrooms and Radicchio
Another winner from Ina Garten, this easy pasta bake comes together in less than an hour. Radicchio is bitter on its own, but it's perfectly balanced by rich heavy cream and ricotta, nutty parmesan, and earthy gorgonzola, mushrooms, and sage.
Get the recipe: baked pasta with mushrooms and radicchio
Black-Bean-and-Pumpkin Mexican Lasagna
This Mexican "lasagna" is really just a perfect name for "enchiladas for lazy people." Instructions include cooking the filling until the spices make "your kitchen smell legit." Sounds easy enough!
Get the recipe: black-bean-and-pumpkin Mexican lasagna
Brussel Sprouts, Kale, and Lentil Salad
This colorful salad is full of interesting textures and bright flavors like crunchy kale and brussels sprouts, soft lentils, crunchy toasted pecans, sweet cranberries, and juicy clementines. Its sweet and tangy dressing softens the crisp greens and ties each flavor together.
Get the recipe: brussels sprouts, kale, and lentil salad
Slow-Cooker Apple-Stuffed Pork Chops
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Chicken Thighs With Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, and Bacon
This baked meal employs cubed ciabatta bread to soak up tasty bacon drippings and nutmeg to marry the Fall flavors of squash and caramelized onion. A chicken thigh on top creates a complete meal that anyone would love.
Creamy Butternut Squash Rigatoni With Pancetta and Brown Butter Fried Sage
Wide, hollow rigatoni is the perfect bite-size pasta to achieve maximum sauce coating, which is definitely what you want when said sauce includes cream, butternut squash, crispy pancetta, sage fried in browned butter, and a ton of parmesan cheese.
Mexican Quinoa Sweet Potato Casserole
Nothing screams "weeknight dinner" like "one pan," so here's a weekday meal that packs multiple flavors in a single dish. This spicy and savory casserole comes together with just a few basic ingredients, and it's topped with wedges of avocado and a healthy chipotle yogurt sauce.
Get the recipe: Mexican quinoa sweet potato casserole
Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes
Now, it's not cheesy, greasy, or doughy, but that doesn't mean it isn't comfort food. This veggie-rich curry dish, made with homemade coconut rice, cauliflower florets, and ginger and garam masala, is good enough to rival your favorite Indian takeout.
Get the recipe: chickpea coconut curry with sweet potatoes
Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Lentils
Sheet-Pan Sticky Pomegranate Chicken and Honey-Roasted Squash
You could celebrate the return of pomegranate season with loads of juice, or you could sprinkle the seeds onto this easy sheet-pan chicken — sticky and finger-lickin' good when glazed with Thai chili sauce, pomegranate juice, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and served over rice.
Get the recipe: sheet-pan sticky pomegranate chicken and honey-roasted squash