40+ Fall Dinner Recipes That Showcase the Season's Best Flavors
Crisp autumn days are meant for making some seriously good comfort food, and there are so many ways to make that happen with fall's hearty produce. Pumpkin pastas, butternut squash bakes, cider-infused soups, and other hearty seasonal dishes will warm you up from the inside out all while filling you up on a chilly night.
Find inspiration thanks to fall dinner ideas like Thai peanut chicken pumpkin curry and healthy mushroom alfredo pasta bake, both of which will have you running back for more. Whether you need a quick fall dinner on a busy weeknight, you're in search of a winning recipe for a crowd, or you're just looking to spend more time in the kitchen with your favorite autumn produce, these recipes are just what you're looking for this season. There are vegan, vegetarian, and low-carb options, as well as ones you can make with one pan or in a slow cooker. (Is there anything more fall than a meal made in your slow cooker?)
Whether you're craving cozy, fresh, creamy, savory, or indulgent, keep reading to see the best autumnal recipes and consider this the ultimate guide to fall dinner ideas you'll want to make all season long.
— Additional reporting by Lauren Harano and Lauren Mazzo
Butternut Squash Carbonara With Broccoli Rabe and Sage
There's nothing wrong with classic carbonara, but adding a helping of fall veggies and a dash of sage gives this dish a touch of coziness that's perfect for autumn. Those simple tweaks make this butternut squash carbonara with broccoli rabe and sage one to remember.
Thai Peanut Chicken Pumpkin Curry
Complete with fresh or canned pumpkin, sticky pomegranate rice, cilantro, and toasted naan, this Thai peanut chicken pumpkin curry will be a hit all season long. Sweet pumpkin and hearty peanut chicken work together to bring out all the best flavors of this fall dinner.
Apple Cider Chicken With Caramelized Apples
If apple cider is your favorite part of the season, this fall feast is a must make. This creative recipe for apple cider chicken with caramelized apples can be made in less than 30 minutes and offers a flavor profile that's uniquely fall. Serve it with rice if you're also craving a starch.
Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake
Baked ziti isn't the only pasta bake recipe out there. Try something new with this mushroom alfredo pasta bake recipe, which uses pan-roasted mushrooms, whole-wheat penne pasta, cauliflower, and gruyère cheese. Say hello to a fall dinner that's a treat for your taste buds as well as super nutritious.
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Quesadillas
This is a perfect choice when you have some leftover cooked butternut squash. Give the traditional quesadilla a seasonal twist when you cook up this tasty butternut squash and black bean quesadilla recipe. Don't skip the chipotle lime crema — it really takes this easy fall dinner up a notch.
Butternut Squash Rigatoni With Pancetta, Brown Butter, and Sage
Brown-butter sauce is good any time of year, but there's just something about it that screams "autumn." Rich, indulgent, and so worth it, this butternut squash rigatoni with pancetta, brown butter, and sage is a fall dinner dream come true.
Pumpkin-Seed Pesto Spaghetti-Squash Bowls
Between the pumpkin seeds and spaghetti squash, gourds are the star of the show when you whip up these drool-worthy pumpkin-seed pesto spaghetti-squash bowls. Made with vegan pesto, basil, and arugula, this recipe hinges on using seasonal spaghetti squash instead of pasta to make a super-nutritious fall meal.
Pumpkin Risotto With Goat Cheese and Dried Cranberries
Grab the arborio rice hidden in the back of your pantry. Whether you're making this pumpkin risotto with goat cheese and dried cranberries for a loved one, the whole family, or just yourself, this elegant recipe is sure to impress. Pair with a glass of Barolo or Chardonnay for a truly spectacular fall dinner.
5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Alfredo
This butternut squash alfredo is the comforting fall dinner you've been looking for — and it only takes five ingredients (not including olive oil, salt, and pepper). Make it once, and you'll be craving this every night of the week while butternut squash is in season.
Cheesy Pumpkin Taquitos With Roasted Jalapeño Pepita Crema
This recipe for cheesy pumpkin taquitos with roasted jalapeño pepita crema is the perfect mix of spicy and cheesy, a flavorful combination you're bound to fall in love with. With roasted garlic, caramelized onions, baked pumpkin, and a creamy jalapeño crema, this fall dinner recipe is well worth the time it takes to make.
Smoky Pumpkin Bisque
Go beyond basic pumpkin soup, and give this smoky pumpkin bisque a try. It's the ideal fall dinner recipe for chilly nights. It's topped with bacon, chives, and crispy grilled-cheese croutons, and everyone is going to ask for more.
Zesty Mexican Mushroom Baked Spaghetti Squash
Vegan, gluten-free, and low-carb, this zesty Mexican mushroom baked spaghetti squash is a fan favorite for a reason. It allows you to take a break from the typical rich, sweet fall tastes (looking at you, PSL) to lean into a fresher flavor profile, with mushroom salsa, red onions, lime, and cilantro.
Spicy Thai-Style Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Ramen
If you're looking to shake up your typical fall dinner menu, this spicy Thai-style butternut squash and pumpkin ramen is calling your name. It's spicy and zesty, and it puts fall produce to good use while pairing it with rich coconut milk, fresh ginger, and savory shiitake mushrooms.
Pumpkin Gnocchi With Sage Butter Sauce
If you're drooling just looking at this pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter sauce, you're not alone. These homemade gnocchi are fluffy and flavorful thanks to both pumpkin and sweet potato — and surprisingly easy to make. Making the pasta and the rich butter sauce takes only 35 minutes, start to finish, which means you can find time for this fall dinner recipe even on busy weeknights.
Indulge in the ultimate fall comfort food with this five-cheese bake — which is a lot like mac 'n' cheese, just leveled up. It is stuffed with mozzarella, swiss, parmesan, provolone, and cream cheese; gets a flavor punch thanks to Italian seasoning; and then is baked until it forms a crispy crust.
Creamy Sausage Kale Pasta
Even those with an aversion to kale will come around when they try this creamy sausage and kale pasta. Using dark-green Tuscan kale adds plenty of nutrients to this dish, while zesty Italian sausage (sweet or hot) and a creamy lemon parmesan sauce make it taste like an absolute treat.
Chicken Pot Pie
This easy chicken pot pie recipe features a buttery crust, tender chicken, and hearty veggies with a creamy sauce but doesn't take hours upon hours to make. Serve it as a fall dinner on a night when you're craving true comfort food.
Pumpkin Soup With Grilled-Cheese Croutons
Made with pumpkin puree, broth, and a dash of heavy cream, this seasonal pumpkin soup with grilled-cheese croutons will become a fall favorite fast. Whatever you do, don't skip the grilled-cheese croutons — they very well may just be the best part. All this, and it only takes 30 minutes to make.
Italian Pumpkin and Kale Chicken Noodle Soup
It's time to forget about canned chicken soup and make your own. Besides tasting better, it's also easier to do than you'd think. With a variety of herbs cooked low and slow in chicken broth, this Italian pumpkin and kale chicken noodle soup is undeniably delicious. You're going to wonder why you didn't make it sooner.
Thai Pumpkin Soup
Craving a hearty but healthy soup with depth and complex flavor? Whip up this easy Thai pumpkin soup. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and is both vegan and gluten-free. Top it off with your favorite seeds, a drizzle of oil, and a few sprigs of cilantro.
Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti With Garlic Kale
If you want to elevate your fall dinner game, whip up this creamy pumpkin spaghetti with garlic kale. It's colorful, tasty, and rich, and it will give you the savory pumpkin fix you were looking for.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
Turn a beloved summertime dish into a new fall dinner favorite with this warming slow-cooker chicken taco soup. Using a slow cooker means you can prep this ahead of time and let it simmer all day long, and you can come home to a delicious fall meal that's ready to eat.
Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Beef Chili
Warm and filling, chili is a classic fall dinner — but adding pumpkin to it will make it that much better. This easy pumpkin beef chili is made in the slow cooker, so it doesn't require time standing over the stove, and you can prep hours ahead.
Barbecue-Chicken-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Barbecue may feel more like a summer food, but when you pair it with fall produce like spaghetti squash, it feels perfectly autumnal. These barbecue-chicken-stuffed spaghetti squash are healthy, hearty, and full of flavor and the ideal fall dinner on a warmer-than-usual fall day.
30-Minute Butternut Squash and Cider Soup
Nothing says autumn like a warm butternut squash soup. Whether you eat it as a fall dinner or lunch, this 30-minute butternut squash and cider soup recipe pairs well with crispy bread. Luckily, this recipe also includes tips for making a sage and rosemary olive oil flatbread that, frankly, looks incredible.
When the temps cool off and you're finally ready to start using your oven again, it's the perfect time to give this reuben-stuffed chicken a try. The chicken is quite literally packed with all the flavors of a classic reuben sandwich, including sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, corned beef or pastrami, and swiss cheese. Paired with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies, it's a complete meal that will leave everyone at the table satisfied.
Vegetarian Pumpkin and 3-Bean Chili
Looking for a vegetarian chili for meatless Mondays or to lean into a more plant-based diet? This vegetarian pumpkin and three-bean chili recipe was made for you. Toss together beans, veggies, and spices to make this hearty fall dinner dish in no time. Make a big batch, freeze the extras, and you'll have a future dinner on the table in a flash.
Fall Harvest Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad
Step up your salad game with the help of this zesty recipe for fall harvest roasted butternut squash and pomegranate salad. You can expect to taste sweet butternut squash, roasted pumpkin seeds, shredded brussels sprouts, and tangy pomegranates when you bite into this elevated dish.
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Craving chili but trying to keep up with your vegan lifestyle? Then this vegan pumpkin chili recipe is for you. This chili is still as tasty as chili made with meat, but it instead features filling, fiber-rich beans and nutrient-rich pumpkin. Add dairy-free cheese or top with avocado and crunchy tortilla chips to really bring it home.
Mushroom-and-Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Fill your stomach with pure bliss when you whip up these mushroom-and-quinoa-stuffed acorn squashes. Each half of the squash is stuffed with a quinoa and mushroom mixture, topped with cheese, then baked to perfection. It's a great fall dinner option when you're cooking for a big group or your whole family.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
If you thought regular lasagna was good, you haven't seen anything yet. This butternut squash lasagna recipe is a perfect fall dinner idea for a cozy night in. Just add apple cider!
Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup
Step up your dinner game with this spicy Southwest pumpkin soup recipe. It's vegan and gluten-free, and not to mention, it's super hearty. Feel free to kick up the spice level if you can handle the heat.
Spicy Kale and Chipotle Chickpea and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Give salad a whole new meaning when you try this kale-based dish. With chipotle roasted chickpeas and butternut squash chunks, you'll be satisfied for hours after eating this spicy kale and chipotle chickpea and roasted butternut squash salad. Top if off with pumpkin seeds, and lunch or dinner is served.
Seafood Pumpkin Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Don't leave seafood in summertime — it turns out, pumpkins and scallops are a great match. Made with spaghetti squash, this healthy and low-carb seafood pumpkin spaghetti squash pasta recipe has a distinct flavor flair that'll make fall dinners interesting again.
Skillet Lasagna With Basil, Italian Sausage, and Butternut Squash
Make lasagna even better by pairing it with sausage, squash, and fresh herbs. This skillet lasagna with basil, Italian sausage, and butternut squash recipe can be made in one skillet, meaning cleanup is easy! Pair this meal with a side of warm garlic bread for best results.
Lemon Brown Butter Pasta With Zucchini
Meet the pasta of your dreams. This lemon brown butter pasta with zucchini is made up of garlic and parmesan and tossed with sautéed asparagus and zucchini. It's also topped with chunks of burrata, so you'll be in heaven.
Put a healthier spin on stroganoff with this recipe that your taste buds will be requesting all season long. The best part is, this entire chicken stroganoff recipe cooks in a single pan (including the pasta!) and can be ready in 25 minutes flat.
Red Pepper Fettuccine With Shrimp
Shrimp fettuccine may feel like a classic summer dish, but adding red pepper makes it feel distinctly fall. Spicy, creamy, and cozy, try this red pepper fettuccine with shrimp next time you're in the mood for seafood or to get out of a predictable dinner rut.
Sweet Sesame Basil Chicken Noodles
Warm noodle dishes are good any time of year, but they're a great choice for a fall dinner. Cooking this sweet sesame basil chicken noodle recipe is so much more satisfying than takeout, and the best part is, it only takes 20 minutes to make!
Cheesy Southern Squash Casserole
Creamy, hearty, and comforting are just a few ways to describe this cheesy Southern squash casserole. It's topped with crispy cornbread crumbs, so you'll be scraping the bottom of your bowl for more.
Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Lentil Curry
You've had butternut squash and you've had curry before, but have you had them together? This slow-cooker butternut squash lentil curry recipe gives you the best of both worlds by combining rich spices with warm butternut squash, coconut milk, and lime juice. You'd never realize it, but it's also totally vegan.