Fall can sneak up as a busy time for families with back-to-school and an increase in extracurricular activities. Shorter windows of daylight may tempt you to run through the drive-thru so you do not miss any of the outdoor activities to enjoy quality time cozying up on the couch.
Stay on track this fall season and fill the kitchen with the aromas and flavors of these nutritious, fall dinner recipes everyone will love.
14 Fall Dinner Recipes the Whole Family Will Love
Cooler temperatures often call for warm comfort foods at the dinner tables. Instead of serving up heavy, calorie-dense meals, satisfy the whole family with these fall dinner ideas.
1. Farmer's Market Cobb Salad
Hitting the farmer's market this fall can be a valuable way to obtain those fall-inspired veggies and support local vendors. The flavors in this salad highlights sweet potatoes along with an abundance of other veggies, healthy fat, and protein. Tweak ingredients to encompass your family's favorite farmer's market finds!
2. Pulled BBQ Pork Crepes
This bistroMD original recipe takes a healthful spin on traditional BBQ pork. Ditching the heavy sandwich bread, the light crepes reduce carb content while offering protein and healthy fat. Really, the recipe is a win-win for serving the family a delicious, yet nutritious fall dinner.
3. Stuffed Acorn Squash
This acorn squash recipe is stuffed with nutrients. Loaded with quinoa, pumpkin seeds, naturally sweetened fruits, and herbs and spices, fall is served right into nature's plates (the skin of the squash)!
4. Roasted Turkey Breast with Cranberry Chutney
Fall and Thanksgiving flavors without feelings of guilt? This roasted turkey breast recipe accomplishes just that! Paired with roasted butternut squash and a wild rice blend, nutrients will be at a high peak.
5. Healthy Pot Pies
Pot pies are a comforting fall dinner, but they can be high in calories thanks to the heavy pie crust surrounding the filling. Lighten up chicken pot pie by utilizing wonton wrappers, as shown in this recipe!
Kids will love being able to hold these pot pies in their hands making it an easy, healthy, and filling meal on the go when needed. These healthy pot pies are made in muffin tins which also cuts down on the cooking time.
6. 30-Minute Turkey Chili
Come cooler autumn evenings, coming home to a warm bowl of healthy turkey chili becomes an inescapable desire. Fall into the temptation with this easy 1 pot fall recipe that can easily be adapted to your family's tastes and preferences. It can be made with different (or no) types of beans, ground beef instead of turkey, or no meat at all.
The turkey chili can also be made in a slow cooker for dinner ready as soon as you arrive home from a busy day. Other healthy slow cooker ideas include chicken fajitas, stuffed peppers, and a unique stew bursting with flavors of traditional pot roast and mashed potatoes.
7. Baked Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
This pastaless, baked Italian dish with in-season eggplant will be a favorite fall dinner recipe. Baked eggplant parmesan casserole is ideal for busy fall nights that usually run you out of the kitchen and to a drive-thru, as it can be prepped and/or baked ahead.
8. Pumpkin Pasta Bake
Pumpkin and pasta collide in this decadent, fall dinner idea! The creaminess is copious with the help of pumpkin puree and warm cheeses while kale adds a nutritional punch. And topped with breadcrumbs, there is a bonus depth of textures! Find the complete recipe here.
9. Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Though enchiladas do not tend to scream "autumn", these butternut squash and black bean enchiladas sure do complement the fall season. They are also a vegetarian-friendly fall recipe!
10. Chicken Cacciatore
This high protein, high fiber fall dinner idea can leave the whole family feeling nourished long after eating. This chicken cacciatore is also ideal for busy fall nights, as it takes only 30 minutes to prep and cook or can be made in a slow cooker.
11. Pumpkin Curry
Snug up with this fall with this warm, pumpkin curry with shrimp! Packed with nutrients and protein, a bowl of pumpkin curry will leave you feeling satisfied without an abundance of calories. This unlikely duo of pumpkin and Thai flavors can be a family fall favorite and even be a fun, unique option at the Thanksgiving table.
12. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Traditional tuna noodle casserole often relies on cream of mushroom soup, French fried onion, and other ingredients rich in sodium and fat. However, this healthy version is lighter in calories, fat and will be loved by the whole family. Make it ahead of time for a quick but nourishing meal for a busy weeknight during the fall season.
13. Healing Chicken and Rice Soup
This chicken and rice soup is full of antioxidants to help boost immune function during the busy fall season, as it contains garlic, ginger turmeric, and spinach. The fall dinner ideas also provide a familiar and comforting meal the whole family will love during the shift to cooler, darker nights.
14. King Ranch Mac and Cheese
On the hunt for a protein-packed, kid-friendly dinner recipe? The search is over with this King Ranch Chicken mac and cheese the whole family is sure to swoon over!
The protein-packed mac and cheese is simple and quick, taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish. It can also be seasoned to liking and bulked/sided with favorite veggies, including in-season brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, and zucchini.
In Summary on Family Fall Dinner Recipes
The shift from summer to fall usually means a shift to a busier schedule and cooler weather. The increased business of the fall season can lead to an increased tendency to turn to drive-thrus or hectic meal planning for dinner.
However, it can be possible to make nutritious dinners this fall that will please the whole family. These 14 fall dinner recipes fuel the whole family, satisfy taste buds, and highlight fall seasonal produce. They are meals that are quick to put together and/or can be made ahead of time for busy weeknights.