As the temperatures cool and the leaves start to change, you’re probably thinking of what cozy fall meals you’ll be making this season. There are plenty of ways to incorporate tasty autumn produce like butternut squash, cauliflower, beets, and of course, the star of the season: pumpkin. From creamy soups to chicken-and-veggie sheet pan meals, these healthy fall recipes are not only delicious, they’re packed with nutrients.
In addition to seasonal produce, these meals make the most of healthy grains like quinoa and brown rice. And meat-lovers have plenty to enjoy, like chicken, salmon, and even pork (who knew pork loin could actually be healthy!). But vegetarians can also partake in many of these easy meals, like luscious soups made with pureed vegetables, spicy bean chilis, and fresh, crunchy salads. These healthy fall recipes will please even the pickiest eaters, trust us. Plus, everyone will get a good serving of fiber and protein with most of these meals.
Some of these fall recipes can be made ahead of time, perfect if you’re getting ready to host Thanksgiving or another big meal with family and friends. Or maybe you're looking for new meal prep ideas to shake up your usual menu. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, many of these dishes will keep well in the fridge, thanks to the inclusion of hardier fall vegetables that won’t spoil quickly or get soggy.
This cozy stew features white beans, which are packed with protein and fiber. You can also add a little extra spinach to make it even healthier.
Chicken and veggies get an upgrade thanks to the cozy, warming flavor from the garam masala. This dish also features cauliflower, which is a good source of fiber and several vitamins.
Put your air fryer to use and make this healthy fall soup. It brings together butternut squash, carrots, and flavorful spices. Each serving is just under 300 calories, making it a good choice when you're in the mood for something comforting but not too heavy.
Get the Air Fryer Squash Soup recipe.
This gorgeous dish is packed with protein, thanks to the juicy chicken breasts and toasted chickpeas. Tomatoes and paprika bring the flavor, making this an easy meal everyone will enjoy.
This elegant soup packs in plenty of nutrients, thanks to the cauliflower, leek, celery, and almonds.
Get your lean protein from roasted chicken (or grab a rotisserie version from the store if you're short on time) and dig into a fresh and earthy side salad. Fennel comes packed with folate, a type of B vitamin that helps with muscle and nerve function.
Acorn squash comes loaded with vitamins A and C, and it's the perfect vessel for lean turkey sausage, peppers and onions. Whole grains like brown rice supply even more fiber.
Make sure you grab cans of pure pumpkin — not the pie filling — when you stock up on soup ingredients. A special shiitake mushroom garnish adds the finishing touch.
Get the Savory Pumpkin and Sage Soup recipe.
Just one cup of broccoli florets contains all the vitamin C you need in a day. Grab your immersion blender to puree the veg (and just the right amount of Parmesan) for a creamy, cheesy soup under 400 calories per serving.
You've tried low-carb zoodles — now use squoodles for a lighter version of your favorite pasta dish. Even with creamy half-and-half, shredded Mozzarella, and grated Parmesan, this meal rings in under 400 calories per serving. Plus, the beta-carotene, potassium, and antioxidants in spaghetti squash will help protect your immune system.
Get the Spaghetti Squash Alfredo recipe.
Radicchio's bittersweet flavor profile is at its best in the fall season, when fresh leaves are harvested. Layered on fresh bread, crunchy fennel (another seasonal farmer's market grab!) and plump shrimp make for a delicious seasonal toast.
The best way to use surplus produce this season is to purée; a stockpile of squash, for example, can be turned into a purée that's frozen (or you can simply stock up on frozen squash at the supermarket!). This lasagna uses that silky smooth purée as a base for a better-for-you weeknight comfort dish. Squash contains a higher amount of fiber that'll help you stay full longer (and aid in weight loss naturally over time).
Get the Squash and Spinach Lasagna recipe.
Eating more salmon can benefit your heart, brain and blood pressure — and when it's served with wild mushrooms, sautéed kale and a dollop of Icelandic yogurt, you're only packing in more vitamins and minerals.
If you're gluten-free, here's another option that includes antioxidant-rich berries, Swiss chard, and 100% whole grains. Crumble a little feta on top just before serving for an added flavor boost.
RELATED: How to Cook Acorn Squash
Potatoes, carrots, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms, onion ... Every single veggie gets roasted up in the oven alongside spiced chicken for an easy sheet pan dinner.
Calling all slower cooker fans. Let this bean-filled stew simmer all day and you'll have a hearty dinner waiting for you at night. Topped with creamy avocado and fresh cilantro, it'll beat your Chipotle order by a mile.
Get the Smoky Vegan Black Bean Soup recipe.
This checks off three different boxes: Fresh apples, toasted hazelnuts, and freshly shaved Brussels sprouts, all additions that round out the perfect fall salad. Shallots, lemon juice and pecorino cheese add a bright pop to this robust trio and make this a wonderful addition to any dinner table.
Get the Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe from Country Living.
Yes, you can make fresh country bread part of a healthy dinner. Paired with squash, pomegranate seeds, kale and tahani, this dish still rings in around 400 calories per serving.
Get the Roasted Squash Panzanella recipe.