12 Best Fall Dinner Recipes

Looking for the best meals of the season? Don’t miss out on the very best fall dinner recipes, from cozy pot pie to hearty chili.

Fall dinner recipes

Once fall starts, it’s all Alex and I can do to hold back on our fall food traditions. There’s the first chili of the season. Then pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread. And of course, all the squash: risotto, soup, stuffed squash, you name it! Here we’ve compiled a list of all the best cozy fall dinner recipes that embody the coziness and produce of the season. You won’t want to let fall go by without making every single one of these tasty (and healthy) fall dinner recipes.

What foods are seasonal in the autumn? Some of the seasonal fall ingredients you’ll see in recipes this time of year (click to see recipes for each):

Since this list of recipes is only dinner recipes, you’ll have to head to our Fall Drinks, Must-Make Fall Recipes and Fall Desserts to accessorize with these meals. (Or celebrate with Fall Sangria!) Ready to get started?

And now, our top fall dinner recipes!

The number 1 must make in our fall dinner recipes: pot pie! This vegan pot pie is a stunner. Earthy carrots, potatoes and onions are slathered in a savory, creamy gravy, along with fried shallots and white beans. And on top, a flaky pastry crust that you won't be able to stop sneaking.

Eat vegan? Try our Vegan Pot Pie with Sage Crust.

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What's a fall without wild rice soup? This cozy soup has perfectly tender while rice, surrounded by aromatic veggies in the creamiest sauce possible. It's impossibly creamy yet 100% plant based! This one always gets rave reviews: last time we served it, it was deemed "the best wild rice soup ever".

Try either: Best Wild Rice Soup or Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup.

Take it over the top: Serve with Beet Salad & Fall Sangria!

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Here's a classic fall dinner recipe: and the smell alone of this butternut squash risotto bubbling away is reason to make it! The tender, caramelized roasted squash makes sweet pockets in the creamy Parmesan rice dotted with sage. And that smell of shallots sauteing in butter, with a splash of white wine? DIVINE.

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Once it's squash season, you've got to take the chance to make this spaghetti squash spaghetti! Instead of noodles, this fall dinner recipe uses everyone's favorite squash, which when roasted can be scraped out into "noodles". Top with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parm) and you've got an incredibly flavorful meal! Serve with goat cheese crumbles, meatballs, or beet salad to make it a meal.

Also try: Best Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

To cook the squash: Roasted Spaghetti Squash or Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

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People who make this swear it has meat in it, but surprise! It's full of rice, nuts, herbs, and cheese that all together work to make the flavor and texture of meat. You've got to taste it to believe it! It's one of our most popular fall dinner recipes for good reason: it's 100% cozy. Serve with roasted Parmesan Potato Wedges or Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

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Of course, you've got to have chili as part of your fall dinner recipe repertoire! This vegetarian chili is all things cozy, starring beans, corn, bulgur wheat for a little texture, mild green chilis, and a lot of chili powder. Together with our Easy Vegan Cornbread makes for the perfect fall meal (or see any of our 10 Best Sides to Go with Chili).

Other great chilis: 3-Bean Healthy Chili Recipe or Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

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It's not fall if you haven't make pumpkin pasta sauce! Pumpkin puree turns into a creamy, savory sauce when mixed with garlic, spices, and a bit of Greek yogurt. This fall dinner recipe pairs it with doughy gnocchi pillows and gooey goat cheese. It’s probably one of the coziest comfort foods we’ve baked up, and it consistently gets rave reviews! Every time we serve it, it very quickly disappears.

Also try: Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Penne and Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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This oblong delicata squash is one of our favorite varieties for fall recipes. A farmer at our farmer’s market convinced us to try it by assuring us it tasted sweet, almost like a sweet potato. Turned out he was right! Here it's turned into filling main dish: it's stuffed with rice, salsa, and black beans, and painted with a chipotle glaze. Yes, you’re going to want to try this ASAP.

Also fun: Roasted Delicata Squash Fries

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Ready for the best ever soup? Yes, we’re pulling out the expletives because this one is so delicious, you won’t even remember that you’re doing your body and the planet good. You’ll just feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy hug. Did we mention it’s a totally plant based dinner recipe, too? This vegan lentil soup is ready to amaze you.

Got an Instant Pot? Here's a pressure cooker version: Instant Pot Lentil Soup

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Here's the fall-est of the fall dinner recipes: stuffed acorn squash! The squash is roasted until tender, then draped in a toasted pecan rice stuffing that makes your kitchen smell like a fall paradise! You know that scent of onions, celery and leeks cooking in butter? Well, this recipe delivers it in spades. Everyone we’ve served it to becomes a believer…and then immediately asks for the recipe.

Got an Instant Pot? Try Instant Pot Acorn Squash

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Why not add cozy mac and cheese into the hall of fame of fall dinner recipes? This seriously pesto havarti mac and cheese is just as gooey as it looks, and adding a swirl of bright green basil pesto takes it to genius status. This is one of our best pasta recipes because everyone who tastes it becomes a believer. The way that the Havarti cheese melts in makes the creamiest sauce. Try it with a fancy pasta noodle to mix it up.

Try either: Pesto Mac and Cheese, Gouda Mac and Cheese, White Cheddar Mac and Cheese or Mac and Cheese with Greek Yogurt

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And last up in our fall dinner recipes: ready for the coziest, most comforting soup? This curried butternut squash soup tastes like a bowl of sunshine. It’s chock full of beautiful, colorful healthy ingredients, and because it's pureed with chickpeas, it's heartier than most butternut squash soups. The Thai flavors of coconut, ginger and curry are the perfect match to this lightly sweet orange squash! Pair with grilled cheese or fancy quesadilla to make it a meal.

Also try: Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup, Butternut Squash Lentil Soup, or Easy Pumpkin Soup!

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More fall dinner recipes!

In case you’re in need of more inspiration, here are more favorites:

A few sweets

OK, we couldn’t resist adding a few fall desserts to accessorize with your meal:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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