55 Easy fall dinner ideas to make on those crisp autumn evenings. Plus free printable menu to take the guess work out of meal planning.
Cooler weather means the start of warm comfort food. By the time the crisp air starts to come around, I’ve already been a bit antsy to get started with the next season of meal rotations.
Of course we have our weekly staples but with the changing of the seasons comes the changing of the weekly menu and who doesn’t love a good tater tot casserole or homemade chicken pot pie.
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Of course you could still enjoy that tater tot casserole in the summer but, personally, I’m not very interested in a heavy, hearty, meal while it’s 102 degrees out and so humid even the pool doesn’t sound like fun.
No, we save these comforting meals for fall and winter which just so happens to be my favorite season.
So get the crock pot and oven ready, and perhaps a good book, and enjoy these fall dinner ideas that everyone will love.
55 FALL DINNER IDEAS
Fall Pasta Dishes
Fettuccine Alfredo- With a rich creamy sauce, this dinner can be as simple as you need it to be. Pick up your favorite Alfredo sauce at the store or make your own at home. Add a bit of chicken and you’ll have a meal everyone will love.
Baked Ziti- Made with fresh mozzarella, ground beef and marinara sauce, this dish is similar to lasagna but a bit less time consuming.
Taco Pasta- Taco pasta is a nice change of pace from the regular spaghetti and meatballs. It still calls for beef or ground chicken, but with added spices and cheese this dish comes with a kick. -View Taco Pasta Recipe-
Stuffed Shells- My oldest daughters #1 meal request during cooler weather. However, her request is a bit different since we like to make ours with tofu instead of ricotta cheese, and add spinach. Ricotta or tofu, this dish is the ultimate comfort food.
Ravioli– Pumpkin ravioli, butternut squash ravioli or classic ravioli. Pair it with a side salad and garlic bread and you’re as good as gold.
Macaroni and Cheese- Stick with classic macaroni and cheese or change it up a bit by adding ham, spinach and cherry tomatoes. -View Spinach, Ham and Tomato Mac & Cheese Recipe-
Spaghetti and Meatballs- Make dinner easy with spaghetti and meatballs. Either pick up your favorite frozen meatballs at the store or make your own from scratch.
Tortellini- For easy dinner nights pick up a package of tortellini in the refrigerator section and serve with a garlic butter sauce and fresh parmesan cheese.
American Chop Suey- If you’re from New England then this dish with macaroni, ground beef, and pasta sauce, is known as American chop suey. If you’re from anywhere else you might just know it as American goulash.
Lasagna Roll Ups- Stick with classic lasagna layers or make individual servings with lasagna roll ups. -View Lasagna Roll Ups Recipe-
Baked Spaghetti Pie- Have you tried this one yet? It’s a tad different from your classic spaghetti and made with cottage cheese and topped with mozzarella.
Chicken Fall Dinner Ideas
There are so many chicken dishes that I’ve left space in the free printable menu to write a few of your own. These are just some of our easy family favorites.
Chicken Enchiladas- Shredded chicken, enchilada sauce and melty cheese, topped with a dollop of sour cream. Yum.
Chicken Parmesan- Delicious breaded and fried chicken cutlets topped with tomatoes sauce and your choice of mozzarella, parmesan or provolone cheese. Serve with your favorite pasta.
Chicken Pot Pie- Chicken pot pie is in our weekly meal plan on a regular basis, and for good reason. Use leftover chicken (or turkey) and a few veggies and you can make this delicious comfort food with just a few simple ingredients. -View Homemade Turkey (or chicken) Pot Pie Recipe-
Marry Me Chicken- This dish is new to our family but one bite and the kids were hooked. This chicken and sauce poured over a bed of rice is absolutely amazing.
Chicken Tenders & Fries- Sometimes my energy level just can’t make it past chicken tenders and french fries and that’s ok! Grab the honey mustard and enjoy this simple meal.
Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo- Simple chicken and broccoli Alfredo made with chicken breasts and fettuccini with a creamy Alfredo sauce. Served with steamed broccoli.
Baked Chicken & Acorn Squash- Chicken thighs seasoned with olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and cooked as a sheet pan dinner with sliced acorn squash.
Beef Fall Dinner Ideas
Beef Enchiladas- This Mexican dish comes together easily and is packed with flavor with ground beef, enchilada sauce and spices. All toped with a Mexican cheese blend, a dollop of sour cream, and garnished with cilantro.
Pot Roast- A classic pot roast dinner made easy in a crock pot with potatoes, carrots and herbs. The perfect set and forget Sunday dinner that lets the crock pot do all the work.
Tater Tot Casserole- One of our all time favorite fall meal recipes has to be tater tot casserole. This hearty dish is made with ground beef and green beans in a creamy sauce. Topped with tater tots and melty cheese.
Meatball Subs- This fall dinner is so great because it can be adjusted to the time you have available. Need an easy dinner? Pick up your favorite meatballs in the frozen food section along with some hoagie rolls. Have a bit more time? Make your own meatballs from scratch in the oven or using a crock pot. Don’t forget the provolone cheese. -View Homemade Meatball Sup Recipe-
Beef and Broccoli- Delicious beef and broccoli stir fry made with tender flank steak. Served over a bed of rice and topped with sesame seeds.
Shepard’s Pie- A savory ground beef and vegetable mixture topped with creamy mashed potatoes. An easy dish for any night of the week.
Onion Braised Beef Brisket- This popular dish is made by searing the brisket and cooking for several hours over caramelized onions. Tomato paste, garlic and carrots are added a bit later and everything is slow cooked to perfection.
Steak and Potatoes- Classic steak seasoned with garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and cooked to a delicious medium rare. Serve with either creamy mashed potatoes or oven baked potatoes.
Meatloaf- The ultimate American comfort food, meatloaf is made with ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, eggs and additional seasonings. Shaped into a loaf and topped with a glaze made of ketchup, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Cooked in the oven and served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Autumn Soup Ideas
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup- In our home, grilled cheese and tomato soup is saved for those nights that are rainy and I really need something quick and easy. But even though it is so simple, every time we have it everyone can’t get enough! Try picking up a higher quality soup from the store and add some other cheeses such as Gouda or Havarti to your sandwich.
Beef Stew- Hearty beef stew slow cooked in the crock pot with carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and spices is what everyone is craving for dinner the second they open the front door and smell this delicious meal.
Chicken/Turkey and Dumplings- Chicken (or turkey) and dumplings. Easier to make than you might think, this delicious dish is made with simple staple ingredients and comes together in no time at all. -Homemade Turkey (or chicken) and Dumplings Recipe-
Butternut Squash Soup- Creamy butternut squash soup made with roasted butternut squash, vegetables and herbs. Serve with a side salad.
Carrot Soup- With two pounds carrots, butter, onion, garlic, chicken broth, ginger and curry, this warm aromatic soup is perfect for the cold winter months. -View Homemade Carrot Soup Recipe–
Broccoli Cheddar Soup- Broccoli cheddar soup is the taste of Panera and a fall must have. This copy cat soup recipe is rich and creamy and every bit of delicious as you remember. The only thing it’s missing is the homemade bread bowl, but we’ll settle for french bread instead. -View Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe-
Clam Chowder- New England clam chowder is the way to go for this indulgent soup. But with our homemade recipe it’s made a bit different by adding a generous amount of corn. It’s the perfect texture and comes together in under 30 minutes. -View New England Clam Chowder Recipe-
Lentil Soup- Try something a bit out of your comfort zone with lentil soup with vegetables and spices. Made with a lot of staple ingredients you may already have on hand.
Turkey Soup- Turkey soup is a perfect way to use leftover turkey or chicken. Or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. This easy dinner has a lot of staple ingredients you may already have on hand, including onions, carrots, rice/potatoes and broth. -View Homemade Turkey Soup Recipe-
Classic Chili- This dinner idea is perfect as a vegetarian dinner made with 3 kinds of beans, tomatoes, spices and more. Or as a hearty soup with ground beef.
White Chicken Chili Soup- Add white chicken chili to your next meal plan with chicken breast and white beans in a spicy delicious broth.
Fall Salad Ideas
Pear Salad- Pears are at the peak of their freshness during the end of summer and fall months. Pick up a few juicy pairs along with mixed greens, walnuts and feta cheese. Don’t forget your favorite dressing such as a light raspberry vinaigrette or a creamy poppyseed.
Pomegranate Salad- Since pomegranates are a seasonal fruit and only found at certain times of the year at most grocery stores, it’s no surprise that pomegranate salad makes the fall dinner list. If you’re new to opening pomegranates, don’t let them intimadate you. You can find an easy How To Open Pomegranates Tutorial here. And the perfect Pomegranate Salad Recipe here.
Apple Pecan Salad- Served on a bed of fresh mixed greens, add apples, pecan, cubed cheese and creamy dressing. Make as a side salad or add some rotisserie chicken to make into a full meal.
Mandarin Orange Salad- Mandarin orange salad is a refreshing and light salad made with canned mandarin oranges, toasted almonds and red onions. Serve with a tangy dressing and top with Feta cheese.
Broccoli Salad- Broccoli as the main ingredient may seem odd but I promise you it’s every bit delicious. If you like broccoli that is. Add in half a red onion, yellow pepper, red pepper, freshly grated parmesan cheese and either garbanzo beans or cubed ham, and you have yourself a delicious hearty salad.
Crispy Chicken Salad With Dried Cranberries- This salad can be your entire meal with crispy chicken, dried cranberries and all of your favorite veggies. Our personal favorites include red onions and candied pecans before drizzling with a creamy poppyseed dressing.
Sausage and Ham
Besides bacon and occasionally sausage breakfast patties, pork doesn’t make it into this house very often. Feel free to write in your own favorite pork dishes in the fall dinner menu below.
Kielbasa- Seared kielbasas with sautéed onions and peppers is another quick and easy dish. Don’t forget to top with sour cream and some hot sauce. Bonus points-Turn leftovers into a breakfast burrito wrap by making some scrabbled eggs and wrapping everything into a burrito tortilla.
Sausage Stuffed Peppers- This fall dinner idea is an easy and quick one to make. First, fully cook your sausage. Mix that with cooked rice, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, spices and melted cheese and you have the perfect dinner and delicious leftovers for lunch. -View Sausage Stuffed Peppers Recipe-
Pineapple Ham and Potatoes- Honey glazed pineapple ham with mashed potatoes may feel a bit like a meal made on a holiday, but I promise you, no one will complain eating this delicious and simple dish.
Vegetarian Fall Dinner Ideas
Since I have a lot of vegetarians in my family, I don’t feel I need to add any of the dishes mentioned above. Vegetarians are fully aware that any pasta dish is delicious without the meat and even enchiladas are great with either cheese or refried beans. And the same goes for these vegetarian ideas becoming meat friendly by adding grilled chicken or similar.
Here I’ll list a few extras that were some of my favorite meals growing up in a vegetarian home.
Eggplant Parmesan- Breaded and fried eggplant slices topped with tomato sauce and covered with cheese. Baked in the oven until the cheese is a golden color. Serve with pasta and a side salad.
Loaded Baked Potatoes- Loaded baked potatoes can easily become a meal once you load them up. Add butter, cheese, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper and more! Try some extras like sautéed mushrooms, jalapenos or cheesy broccoli.
Special K Loaf- My #1 favorite meal growing up (and still is) Special K Loaf. Made with Special K cereal, eggs, cottage cheese, onions and spices, this dish is a must try for every vegetarian and meat eater alike. -View Special K Loaf Recipe-
Broccoli and Cheese Casserole- Broccoli cheese casserole is an easy throw in the oven dinner. Made with steamed broccoli, rice, mayonnaise, onions, spices and melty cheese.
Cream Cheese Patties- You won’t find many recipes for cream cheese patties, so I’ll have to make sure to add it to the website soon. These patties are made with crackers, cream cheese, eggs, onions and spices. Fried on the stovetop and finished in the oven with a creamy mushroom sauce on top.
Spaghetti Squash- When cooked, this squash resembles spaghetti noodles and is a great alternative to traditional pasta. This dish works well with Alfredo, pesto or tomato sauce topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Stuffed Acorn Squash- Stuffed acorn squash is delicious made with rice, couscous or quinoa. Add diced onions, bell peppers, zucchini, diced tomatoes and top with cheese.
Pizza- Pizza! Frozen, delivery, homemade. Any night that’s pizza night is a great night. -View Homemade Pizza Recipe-
Fall Vegetables Ideas
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Yellow Squash
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Brussel Sprouts
Favorite Cool Weather Kitchen Must Haves
- 6 Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Digital Timer
- 6 Quart Emerald Green Dutch Oven
- Gorgeous Fall Apron With a Sunflower Design
- Snap and Strain Pot Strainer Kitchen Gadget
FREE FALL DINNER IDEAS PRINTABLE MENU
These fall dinner ideas are only the tip of the iceberg but I hope they help make meal planning a bit easier. Feel free to save the menu above and have your family choose a few of their favorites each week.
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