40+ Fall Dinner Ideas & Easy Capsule Meal Plan
This collection of 40+ fall dinner ideas includes simple weeknight dinner recipes, plus an easy capsule meal plan to make planning a breeze this season!
Hello fall! This season? It can be busy!
As an expert on healthy habits, I can tell you that the easy dinner struggle is real.
As someone who wrote the book on simplifying healthy routines, I know how hard it can be to get dinner on the table when you’re short on time and energy.
Note: You’ll find many dump-and-go slow cooker recipes in this collection, as they’re perfect for busy weeknights. If you don’t have a slow cooker, though, no worries. Most recipes include stovetop adaptations.
Types of Fall Dinner Recipes Included in This Meal Plan
This fall meal plan include five easy dinner recipe categories: vegetarian, tacos, chili, one-pan, soups, and soups, plus simple salads & sides.
To find a recipe, simply click on the fall meal categories below, then scroll down for a fall capsule meal plan example week.
What’s a Capsule Meal Plan?
Just as a capsule wardrobe constrains the items of clothing you have, allowing you to decide ahead of time how those pieces go together into outfits, a capsule meal plan constrains the meal types (or categories) you cook, allowing you to decide ahead of time what you’ll cook and eat each day.
these recipes are all…
Example Fall Capsule Meal Plan: Example Week
Vegetarian: Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
Tacos: Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos
Salad: Fall Harvest Salad
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Smoothie
Dessert: Pumpkin Bread
Vegetarian Dinner Recipes for Fall
Easy Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
Ingredients: red lentils, carrots, diced tomatoes, broth, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, olive oil, red chili flakes (optional), apple cider vinegar, maple syrup (optional) and salt.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
Ingredients: chickpeas, sweet potato, cauliflower, onion, vegetable broth, peas, spinach, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, tomato paste, lime juice, and salt
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Ingredients: canned pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, garlic, onion, coconut milk, olive oil, cinnamon, rosemary, sage and salt
Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
Ingredients: quinoa, canned black beans, bell pepper, onion, cumin, garlic powder, mild chili powder, tomato sauce, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, green chilis, lime juice and salt
5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients: black beans, sweet potatoes, salsa, garlic powder and smoked paprika.
Veggie Noodle Bowls with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce
Ingredients: pasta (gluten-free or whole wheat), broccoli, cabbage, carrot, green onions, peanuts, peanut butter, garlic, maple syrup, tamari, rice wine vinegar (or lime juice) and water.
Easy Taco Recipes
Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos
Ingredients: ground turkey, tomato sauce, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, granulated garlic powder, paprika and salt
Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef
Ingredients: boneless beef chuck-eye roast, onion, tomato paste, cumin, mild chili powder, smoked paprika, lime juice and salt.
Easy Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken
Ingredients: chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic cloves, cumin, avocado oil, honey (optional) and salt.
Crock Pot Taco Meat
Ingredients: ground beef, salsa, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, mild chili powder, and salt.
6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken
Ingredients: chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), onion, garlic powder, cumin, lime juice, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt.
Cozy Chili Recipes for Autumn
Easy Crockpot White Chicken Chili
Ingredients: chicken breast, stock, white beans, mild green chilis, salsa verde, onion, garlic powder, cumin, cream cheese (traditional or dairy-free).
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Ingredients: ground turkey, canned beans, bell peppers, onion, sweet potato, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and other spices.
Crockpot Vegetarian Chili
Ingredients: black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, bell peppers, onion, fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and other spices
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Paleo Chili
Ingredients: ground turkey, pumpkin puree, bell pepper, tomato paste, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, lime juice and other spices
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (6-Ingredients!)
Ingredients: chicken, tomato sauce, beans, salsa, cumin, garlic and salt.
Easy One-Pan & One-Pot Dinner Recipes
Easy Italian Chicken Zucchini Skillet
Ingredients: chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), zucchini, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, butter (optional: traditional or dairy-free), fresh basil, red pepper flakes, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil and salt.
Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet
Ingredients: ground beef, sweet potato, canned diced tomatoes, mild chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, water, baby spinach, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.
Turkey Taco Skillet
Ingredients: ground turkey, onion, garlic powder, cumin, canned black beans, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, frozen corn, olive oil and salt.
Skillet Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients: chicken thighs (or chicken breasts), sweet potatoes, avocado oil, honey, butter (traditional or plant-based), chipotle peppers (from canned in adobo sauce), garlic and salt.
Easy Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
Ingredients: ground turkey, sweet potatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, shredded cheese (traditional or dairy-free), baby spinach, chipotle honey vinaigrette and salt.
Warm & Cozy Fall Soup Recipes
Easy Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
Ingredients: sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree, chipotle peppers, vegetable broth, coconut milk or cream, pumpkin pie spice, olive oil, onion, garlic powder, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup and salt.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Ingredients: chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), chicken stock, corn tortillas, avocado oil, onion, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis, garlic powder, mild chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, lime juice and salt.
Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup with Apple
Ingredients: Butternut squash, apples, onion, carrot, turmeric, coconut milk, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and other spices.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup (with Canned Pumpkin!)
Ingredients: canned pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, canned tomato sauce, cream or coconut milk, onion, garlic, cinnamon and salt.
Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup
Ingredients: lean ground beef, onion, carrots, celery, tomato paste, chicken stock (or beef stock), olive oil, potatoes, red & yellow bell peppers, red wine vinegar, water, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt.
Easy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Ingredients: canned black beans, chicken stock, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, lime juice, olive oil and salt.
Simple Fall Salad & Side Recipes for Dinner
Fall Harvest Salad
Ingredients: roasted sweet potatoes & cauliflower, fresh crisp apples, arugula, almonds, avocado, feta and an easy apple cider vinaigrette.
Roasted Butternut Squash Harvest Salad
Ingredients: butternut squash, red onion, sweet apples, baby arugula, maple syrup, cinnamon, pepitas, olive oil and a lemony dressing
Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad
Ingredients: lentils, olive oil, butternut squash, greens, pepitas, and an easy maple Dijon vinaigrette.
Roasted Green Bean & Brussels Sprout Salad
Ingredients: green beans, shallots, brussels sprouts, olive oil, lemon juice, roasted chopped pecans, cranberries and salt
Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad
Ingredients: quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, green apple, red bell peppers, basil, sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, mild curry powder and salt.
Easy Fall Dinner Ideas: Featuring Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 2 cups chopped apple, such as Honeycrisp
- 6 cups chopped butternut squash
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
To Add at the End
- 1 cup canned coconut milk, or heavy cream
Optional Serving Suggestions
- fresh sage
- toasted pumpkin seeds
- Smokey Maple Roasted Chickpeas
- Add the onion, carrot, apple, butternut squash, garlic, salt, turmeric, cinnamon and stock to a 6-quart pressure cooker.
- Secure the lid, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the pressure cooker timer is done, quick release the pressure.
- Uncover and add the coconut milk (or cream, if using). Using an immersion blender, blend until very smooth. Alternatively, working in batches, carefully ladle the soup into a blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve with any toppings you like.
- Follow step 1, but use a large Dutch oven or pot.
- Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 25-35 minutes.
- Proceed with steps 4-5.