Simple Fall Dinners

Our 20 Best Simple Fall Dinners to Up Your Weeknight Dinner Game

Fall for these quick and easy meals

What's better than a hassle-free dinner that's satisfying and delicious? No, we're not talking about ordering out: these easy homemade recipes are better than anything that comes in a takeout box, and they're packed with seasonal ingredients ingredients like butternut squash, apples and mushrooms. Maybe you're in the mood for lighter fare, like a fall salad, or perhaps you're craving your favorite comfort food dish? From butternut squash and mozzarella pizza to creamy pasta smothered in pesto sauce, add our best simple fall dinner recipes to your repertoire of weeknight meals.

Squash Soup (Soupe de Courge)

Squash Soup (Soupe de Courge)

Adapted from Richard Olney’s book Lulu’s Provençal Table (Grub Street Cookery, 2013) and used with permission from the publisher. Get the recipe for Squash Soup (Soupe de Courge) »

Kat Craddock

Basque Potato and Pepper Tortilla with Ham and Cheese

Tortilla with Ham and Cheese

In Basque country, this egg-based tortilla is sometimes sliced through the middle like a sandwich roll and layered with cured ham and sheep's milk cheese. If cutting horizontally through the thin, delicate tortilla seems too troublesome, the ham and cheese are just as delicious served on the side. Get the recipe for Basque Potato and Pepper Tortilla with Ham and Cheese »

Beth Galton

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile

These floral, buttery noodles from chef Antonia Klugmann at L’Argine a Vencò can be infused using either fresh or dried flowers. Steep the flowers in the butter and pasta cooking water in advance if desired, and reheat when ready to use. Any tubular pasta like bucatini or spaghetti, cooked al dente, will work. Get the recipe for Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile »

Beth Galton

Basque Braised Chicken With Peppers (Chicken Basquaise)

Chicken Basquaise

This braised chicken recipe, adapted from chef Sébastien Gravé, is emblematic of the Basque region's affection for colorful, peppery stews. Though paprika can work in a pinch, it's the flakier, lightly spicy, more enigmatic Espelette pepper that's characteristic of the region. Get the recipe for Basque Braised Chicken With Peppers (Chicken Basquaise) »

Beth Galton

Cheesy Mushroom and Pancetta Bread Pudding

Harvest Supper Bread Pudding

Caramelized onions and mushrooms, a pinch of cayenne, and tangy crème fraiche turn this pillowy white bread pudding savory. It makes a delightful brunch, lunch, or dinner with a lightly dressed green salad on the side. For best results, use this homemade white bread. Get the recipe for Cheesy Mushroom and Pancetta Bread Pudding »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Bread Bowl Chicken Pot Pie (Coffin Bread)

Chicken Blanquette Coffin Bread

A night market specialty of Tainan and Taipei since the 1940s, coffin bread consists of a thick slab of white bread that’s hollowed out and toasted or fried to make a crunchy little box. Inside the “coffin” goes a creamy stew of chicken, seafood, tripe, or mushroom, which is then topped with a lid of more toasty bread. To the Western palate, it recalls both pot pie and the chowder-filled bread bowls of Fisherman’s Wharf and (gasp) Panera Bread. And it happens to beat them all, especially when made with homemade white bread. Get the recipe for Bread Bowl Chicken Pot Pie (Coffin Bread) »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Minute Steak (Adapted from Cooking in 10 Minutes)

minute steak

“Beef is excellently suited to Express-cookery, since it is delicious when it is served underdone,” de Pomiane advises. Use a steak sliced no thicker than 1 inch to achieve a crispy crust and warm, pink center in a short cooking time. Get the recipe for Minute Steak (Adapted from Cooking in 10 Minutes) »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Turkey Tetrazzini

Simple Week Night Meal Tetrazzini

This version of the American classic has a smattering of colorful vegetables and a sauce enriched by sherry and parmesan. Get the recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Butternut Squash Pepe Soup

Senegalese Thanksgiving, Butternut Squash Pepe Soup

Chef Pierre Thiam's take on this classic autumn soup uses Scotch bonnet chiles for spice and nutmeg for warmth. In Senegal, a similar soup is said to prevent hangovers, so you'll find hawkers selling it outside the bars late at night. Use your favorite type of pumpkin or other fall squashes to substitute for the butternut in this recipe, if you like. For a vegan soup, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock. Get the recipe for Butternut Squash Pepe Soup »

Ryan Liebe

Shredded Collard Green Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Collard Green Salad, Senegalese Thanksgiving

The flavor of raw collard greens combines perfectly with tender roasted sweet potatoes and tangy, rich goat cheese in this hearty starter. Get the recipe for Shredded Collard Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cashews »

Ryan Liebe

Fonio Pilaf with Dates, Carrots, and Peanuts

Fonio Pilaf

This gluten-free grain, a type of millet, provides a wonderfully nutty backbone to a salad of sweet dates and carrots, and crunchy roasted peanuts. Get the recipe for Fonio Pilaf with Dates, Carrots, and Peanuts »

Ryan Liebe

Apple & Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese with Sausage and Apple Casserole

Fresh apples plus hard cider give this easy mac and cheese a double dose of fall flavor. Get the recipe for Apple & Sausage Macaroni and Cheese »

Farideh Sadeghin

Tagliatelle with Black Truffle Cream Sauce

Tagliatelle with Black Truffle Cream Sauce

For this luxurious dish, chef Robin Jackson, of Knight Inlet Lodge in British Columbia, lavishes pasta in a truffle-infused cream sauce and crowns it with chanterelles, lavender, pecorino, and shavings of truffle, which release their seductive aroma in the steam. Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Black Truffle Cream Sauce »

Ingalls Photography

Matambre a la Pizza (Pizza-Style Flank Steak)

Pizza-Style Flank Steak

Flank steak is tenderized in milk and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and melted mozzarella in an Italian-influenced Argentine dish. Get the recipe for Matambre a la Pizza (Pizza-Style Flank Steak) »

Landon Nordeman

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Traditional Roman spaghetti carbonara contains pasta, whole eggs, pancetta or guanciale (cured pork jowl), and pecorino romano cheese—never cream. Get the recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara »

Todd Coleman

Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto

Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto

In this rendition of traditional Genoese pesto, sweet and nutty cavolo nero (also known as Tuscan kale or Lacinato kale) is used in place of basil and pine nuts. Get the recipe for Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto »

Laura Sant

German Barley Soup (Graupensuppe)

German Barley Soup (Graupensuppe)

Classic German barley soup makes a hearty, substantial meal; to make it vegetarian, simply omit the sausage and bacon. Get the recipe for German Barley Soup (Graupensuppe) »

Todd Coleman

Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Baby Kale

Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Baby Kale

Toasted walnuts, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, and a rich brown butter sauce combine over broad pappardelle noodles for a dish that perfectly captures fall's best flavors. Get the recipe for Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Baby Kale »

Helen Rosner

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