No matter how social we may be in the warmer months, there's something about crisper weather that shamelessly brings out our inner homebody. Since the weather has cooled off and the night arrives a little faster now, it seems like the best way to welcome the new season is to stay in and snuggle up with a good book or movie. However, before we can pile on the blankets and plant ourselves on the sofa, we'll take a seat at the table for a home-cooked soul-warming meal.
We found 12 easy fall dinner ideas that will definitely end up on your favorites list. From a chicken noodle casserole to mushroom ravioli, to a roasted cauliflower spaghetti, all of these dinners are made for colder weather. Plus, many of these options include seasonal ingredients like butternut squash and sage to really make your surroundings smell like fall.
So go ahead and get cozy with these delicious and easy recipes.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Casserole
The Recipe: Chicken Noodle Casserole
The Hero Ingredient: Kettle brand potato chips are the perfect crunchy topping for this casserole.
Why We Love It: Chicken noodle dishes are synonymous with homespun comfort, and so are casseroles. So when Half Baked Harvest combines the two dishes with thyme, parsley, carrots, and whole-grain bread in this namesake recipe, it tastes like the perfect cold-weather dinner. “Best part? I can make it ahead of time and then just bake before dinner, and this recipe works perfectly to freeze and bake later as well,” recipe creator Tieghan Gerard says.
Tomato Artichoke Lentil Stew
The Recipe: Tuscan Lentil Stew
The Hero Ingredient: Tangy, fire-roasted tomatoes are key when it comes to flavor.
Why We Love It: It’s no surprise that stew is a picture-perfect meal for a fall day, and this recipe from A Couple Cooks is no exception. It comes together with fire-roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Tuscan kale, dried herbs, and red lentils, and then is topped with parmesan.
Roasted Cauliflower Spaghetti
The Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Spaghetti
The Hero Ingredient: Browned cauliflower gives this pasta a nutty flavor.
Use pasta water as the base for this dish's sauce because it really elevates the overall flavor.
Why We Love It: Once you taste how delicious this recipe from Add1Tbsp is, you’re going to want to eat it every day: It's a perfect medley of fall flavors. The dish is made with cauliflower that’s been tossed with paprika, nutmeg, chorizo, and chopped parsley, then combined with garlic breadcrumbs over a bed of spaghetti.
Perfect Roast Chicken With Lemon Herb Pan Sauce
The Recipe: Perfect Roast Chicken With Lemon Herb Pan Sauce
The Hero Ingredient: Butter makes this chicken extremely rich and flavorful.
Why We Love It: Roast chicken is a mouthwatering recipe for any time of year, but we'd argue that it's especially enticing in the cooler evenings of fall. Take The Modern Proper's recipe for it, which pairs a whole chicken with a lemon herb pan sauce.
The dish is made with minced parsley, garlic cloves, thyme, and dry white wine—doesn't that sound great for an early night in? "Deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure you lift all the flavorful bits off the bottom," The Modern Proper founder Holly Erickson advises. "Simmer the aromatics like the herbs and garlic, then turn off your heat and add the cold butter."
Easy Spinach and Tuscan Chicken Chopped Salad Pizza
The Hero Ingredient: Gorgonzola crumbles add an unexpected kick.
Why We Love It: Looking for a Friday night meal that mixes pizza with salad? You’ve found it with this The Butter Half recipe, which combines ready-made gluten-free pizza with mixed greens, black olives, balsamic vinegar, and gorgonzola cheese. “Honestly, this is a fantastic way to dress up a frozen pizza, and give the old salad and pizza meal a fun twist,” recipe founder Abbey Rodriguez admits.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar and Zucchini Soup
The Recipe: Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar and Zucchini Soup
The Hero Ingredient: Zucchini that's pureed into this soup, adding a low-key health creaminess.
Why We Love It: The beloved combination of cheddar and broccoli is the winning factor in this Half Baked Harvest recipe, which features chopped onions, carrots, and zucchini. Gerard throws everything in an Instant Pot and lets it cook for 30 minutes.
Savory Vegan Pot Pie With Sage Crust
The Recipe: Savory Vegan Pot Pie with Sage Crust
The Hero Ingredient: Using coconut oil instead of butter in this flaky pie crust keeps the dish vegan.
Add dried sage into your pie crust for an unexpected savory flavor.
Why We Love It: What’s more appealing than a pot pie on a cold day? Not much. The married couple behind A Couple Cooks makes this one with shallots, sweet and gold potatoes, yellow onion, mushrooms, and herbs that they combine in vegetable broth and all-purpose flour. “The earthy potatoes and onions are slathered in a savory, creamy sauce, along with fried shallots and white beans,” writer Sonja Overhiser says.
One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus
The Recipe: One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus
The Hero Ingredient: Everyone loves garlic, right?
Why We Love It: Seeing as this recipe from Creme de la Crumb advocates for cooking garlic herb chicken and fresh asparagus in one pan, you’ll likely be making this flavorful meal during those fall nights when you want an easy but delicious dinner. Blogger Tiffany Azure trims the asparagus ends, arranges the chicken thighs, and tops them with minced garlic, dried basil, and onion powder for a dish that comes together in 25 minutes.
Turkey Stuffed Peppers
The Recipe: Turkey Stuffed Peppers
The Hero Ingredient: Jalapeños add some spice to these peppers.
Why We Love It: This recipe from The Modern Proper leans more modern than traditional thanks to bell peppers that have been stuffed with ground turkey, quinoa, garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, and black beans. When the bubbly peppers come out of the oven, they’ll look like the colorful leaves of fall.
Spaghetti con Zucchine Fritte
The Recipe: Spaghetti con Zucchine Fritte
The Hero Ingredient: Zucchini that's first marinated in vinegar and then fried adds an unexpected tang.
Why We Love It: This second spaghetti recipe from Add1Tbsp should also be on your radar because it wraps al dente noodles around the likes of marinated zucchini, fava beans, capers, lemon zest, and fresh parsley. And because the fava beans might take some time to prepare, it’s the perfect dish for a Sunday night feast.
Herby Buttered Balsamic Mushroom Ravioli
The Recipe: Herby Buttered Balsamic Mushroom Ravioli
The Hero Ingredient: Caramelized shallots give this sauce a little something special.
Why We Love It: This recipe for mushroom ravioli from Half Baked Harvest is exactly the type of meal you’d want to eat after a cool fall day spent outside. It’s made with thinly sliced shallots, mixed mushrooms, chopped sage, and fresh thyme leaves layered over cheese ravioli. “If you are using store-bought ravioli, or have homemade, frozen ravioli on hand, this entire meal will come together in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for any night of the week,” Gerard notes.
Za’atar-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
The Recipe: Za’atar-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
The Hero Ingredient: Za’atar (a thyme and sesame seed seasoning) offers this simple soup recipe a unique taste.
Why We Love It: Make the most of the season’s butternut squash by cooking up this recipe for a titular soup from A Couple Cooks. Peeled and diced butternut squash is combined with carrots, sweet potatoes, za’atar, vegetable broth, and ground cumin.