26 Warm and Cozy Fall Dinner ideas

Comfort Food for a Crowd

Chicken Pie With Cheese and Green Onion Biscuits
Diana Rattray

Cozy fall flavors and seasonal produce are highlighted in this all-star collection of fall dinner ideas. Easy to make—and even easier to enjoy—you'll come back to this list again and again when you're looking for family dinner ideas or main dishes to serve to company at autumn celebrations.

  • 01 of 26
    Steak Salad

    Katie Workman/themom100.com


    Here's a hearty entree salad that won't leave anyone at the table hungry. It only takes 15 minutes to make and is a smart budget-friendly way to stretch one eight-ounce steak into a full meal for two.

  • 02 of 26
    Chicken Noodle Soup

    Lilli Day/Stockbyte/Getty Images


    When you think about comforting fall foods, chicken noodle soup is sure to come to mind. Whether poured out of a thermos for your office lunch or enjoyed as a light dinner with crusty bread, this essential recipe is wonderfully warming, filling, and delicious. Making it from scratch certainly takes longer, but the results are absolutely worth it.

  • 03 of 26
    Ritzy Chicken Casserole

    The Spruce


    This rich and creamy chicken casserole requires only six ingredients, most of them probably already in your pantry. Condensed soup and sour cream are the secrets to the magical tasting sauce and the entire thing is topped with a buttery Ritz cracker crust.

  • 04 of 26
    Spaghetti Carbonara

    The Spruce


    When you're craving a rich and decadent pasta dinner, look no further than this creamy spaghetti carbonara. What's not to love about spaghetti tossed with eggs, bacon, a bit of heavy cream, and lots grated Pecorino-Romano cheese? It's a stick-to-your-ribs dinner that's ideal for fall.

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  • 05 of 26
    Creamy Corn and Seafood Chowder

    Diana Rattray


    Corn, shrimp, and scallops team up in this hearty seafood chowder. No fresh seafood on hand? You can use whatever you have in the freezer to make the creamy bowl, including frozen fish fillets or imitation crab.

  • 06 of 26
    Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

    Diana Rattray


    This cozy macaroni and cheese is a wonderfully warming recipe that's ready in 20 minutes for a fall weeknight meal. It cooks on the stovetop using just one pan for an easy preparation and clean-up—and the kids won't even mind the chunks of broccoli when they're smothered in such a tasty sauce!

  • 07 of 26
    Hearty Sausage and Tortellini Soup

    Diana Rattray


    This satisfying, and budget-friendly sausage and tortellini soup is loaded with meat, pasta, vegetables, and lots of flavor. Serve with an autumn salad and crusty bread to round out your meal.

  • 08 of 26
    Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Bartosz Luczak/Getty Images

    This baked spaghetti and meatballs is a five-ingredient casserole that is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. The combination of tender pasta, succulent meatballs, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese is always welcome, especially on cooler fall days. Busy home cooks should definitely save this recipe because it's a one dish meal that calls for little clean up.


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  • 09 of 26
    Chicken Pot Pie With Cheese Biscuit Topping

    Diana Rattray


    This fabulous chicken pot pie is topped with savory cheese biscuits, instead of the usual pastry crust for a presentation that'll truly stun. The pie is finished with an egg wash for a nice golden-brown top, and you can add chopped fresh parsley or sesame seeds, too.

  • 10 of 26
    French Onion Soup

    Alexandra Grablewski/Photodisc/Getty Images


    French onion soup is an elegant recipe that is wonderfully warming. This easy recipe is really a meal in itself, though you could serve it with a green salad on the side. Caramelized onions are combined with beef broth, butter, olive oil, and a few seasonings to create a filling crock of soup. Topped with melted cheese and a toasted slice of crusty bread, everything about this traditional specialty is indulgent and comforting.

  • 11 of 26
    Stuffed Pasta Shells with Pumpkin Bacon Sauce

    QVC Inc.


    Pumpkin is an essential fall ingredient and this recipe for stuffed pasta shells with bacon sauce makes the most of its nutty, sweet flavor. There are two timesavers in this recipe: it calls for using frozen stuffed shells and a sauce made from canned pumpkin puree.

  • 12 of 26
    Slow Cooker Chili With Beef

    Alexandra Grablewski/Digital Vision/Getty Images


    Beef chili is a popular and welcome recipe at game day gatherings or as a warming,weeknight dinner on cooler fall days. This ground beef version is a snap to prepare with canned beans and tomatoes and using a crockpot means you can set it and forget it.

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  • 13 of 26
    Roasted Salmon With Lemon Dill Sauce

    Jupiter Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images


    This elegant dinner features the classic pairing of dill sauce and salmon. It's a great dish for company or weekend suppers and one that's remarkably easy to whip up. Lemon juice adds zing and zest to the oven-roasted salmon. Serve with rice and lemon wedges for squeezing.

  • 14 of 26
    Fish Stew

    Diana Miller/Cultura/Getty Images


    crockpot fish and vegetable stew in a hearty tomato and white wine broth is exactly what you need to warm up on colder days. Use catfish, haddock, or flounder fillets to make this seafood dish. Garnish with parsley and serve with a simple tossed salad and crusty bread on the side for a satisfying family meal.

  • 15 of 26
    Easy Shrimp With Spinach and Alfredo Sauce

    Diana Rattray


    This creamy shrimp and spinach dish is unbelievably easy to prepare and cook. Thanks to the combination of frozen shrimp, jarred alfredo sauce, and chopped spinach, it's almost as foolproof as it is quick to make. Enjoy the shrimp on its own or as a topping for pasta.

  • 16 of 26
    Perfect Spinach Lasagna

    Diana Rattray


    Lasagna is always a favorite with busy cooks because it can be made ahead and this veggie-packed version is no exception. Your family is sure to ask for seconds of this delicious meatless lasagna, which is surprisingly simple to prepare. Just layer together ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, jarred marinara sauce, lasagna noodles, and spinach.

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  • 17 of 26

    Lemon Roasted Chicken

    Lemon Roast Chicken

    GMVozd/Getty Images

    Roasted chicken is an easy dinner dish that always feels a little bit special. Try this lemon roast chicken recipe for Sunday dinner this fall. This method of roasting means the chicken remains moist and succulent, accented with soft flavors of lemon and garlic. Butter and wine combine with the chicken juices to create a delicious gravy.


  • 18 of 26
    Vegan Ginger Carrot Soup

    Westend61/Getty Images


    Colorful and fragrant, this vegetarian and vegan carrot and ginger soup makes a wonderful light dinner with a salad and crackers on the side. A little bit sweet and just a touch spicy, this fall soup recipe is also nutritious and low in fat.

  • 19 of 26
    Flank Steak with Mushrooms

    Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ Inc.


    This genius recipe is a perfect way to turn a sometimes tough cut of meat into tender, juicy morsels. The flank steak is marinated a delicious mix of balsamic and soy and served with sautéed mushrooms for lots of umami flavor.


  • 20 of 26
    Slow Cooker Pork Chops With Apples

    wsmahar/Getty Images


    Pork chops and apples complement each other beautifully and this fall dinner idea adds raisins and a tasty tangy brown sugar sauce to the mix. Dried cranberries also make this dish a great choice for serving at holiday meals. It's also a very easy recipe, with only six ingredients if you don't count the salt.

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  • 21 of 26
    Pork Barbecue Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

    Diana Rattray


    Your family will start demanding sandwiches for dinner once they've tried this awesome sloppy Joe. An easy, tangy homemade barbecue sauce flavors the meat, making them taste a whole lot like pulled pork (minus the long cooking time). This is a great weekend dinner in the fall, when you're coming in hungry from a day spent in the great outdoors.

  • 22 of 26
    Slow Cooker Chicken Stew With Potatoes

    Devin Hart/Photodisc/Getty Image


    Fall means soups and stews and this simple chicken variety is not just a crowd-pleaser—it's incredibly easy to prepare in a crockpot. Meaty chicken legs or thighs are slow cooked with potatoes, corn, onion soup mix, and tomato sauce to form a winning chicken dinner that's packed with flavor and healthy nutrients.

  • 23 of 26
    Beef Tenderloin With Mushroom Gravy

    Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images


    Easy to make, but complex in flavor, this recipe for beef tenderloin is sure to become a family favorite. It's elegant enough for guests, too, but doesn't take an entire day. You can whip one up in 45 minutes—hearty mushroom gravy, included.

  • 24 of 26
    Creamy Bourbon Chicken With Mushrooms

    Diana Rattray


    Bourbon adds a downhome Kentucky flavor to this fabulous chicken and mushrooms dish. The liquor is used to baste the chicken as it's being sauteed. Mushrooms and cream are added to the skillet, making a simple sauce that's surprisingly rich in flavor.

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  • 25 of 26
    Sausage and Cabbage Stew

    Diana Rattray


    Here's a delicious, savory and sweet winter stew that is chock full of good-for-your ingredients. Easy on your budget and super filling, it's a wonderful kid-friendly recipe to add to your dinner rotation this fall.

  • 26 of 26
    Vegetarian Porcini Mushroom Risotto

    Getty Images


    Mushroom risotto delivers indulgent flavors that make it a tasty, fancy-feeling vegetarian entree. Earthy porcini mushrooms are used to impart a pungent, rich flavor that's truly occasion-worthy.