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!

Overhead shot of fall ingredients in a pot including butternut squash, carrots, apple, onion, and sage.

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.

From easy slow cooker recipes to last minute dinner ideas I’m all about bringing more ease in the kitchen and in life, so with autumn in mind, here are the best fall weeknight dinners!

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.

Easy Fall Dinner Recipe Ideas + Meal Plan

Click on a fall recipe category below to go directly to that set of recipes!

Fall Dinner Recipes

Vegetarian Recipes

Taco Recipes

Chili Recipes

One-Pan + One-Pot Recipes

Soup Recipes

Fall Sides & Salads for Dinner

Salads & Sides

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.

The magic of a capsule meal plan is that it helps reduce decision fatigue around meals, making it more likely that you’ll stick with the plan.

these recipes are all…

Vegetarian Dinner Recipes for Fall

Top down view of a white bowl filled with easy spiced carrot and lentil soup with fresh herbs on top.
5 stars (2 ratings)

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.

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white bowl filled with slow cooker vegetable curry with a striped blue napkin on the side
5 stars (19 ratings)

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry combines sweet potato, chickpeas, cauliflower, spinach, coconut milk, and curry powder for a hearty vegetarian and vegan meal.

Ingredients: chickpeas, sweet potato, cauliflower, onion, vegetable broth, peas, spinach, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, tomato paste, lime juice, and salt

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Spaghetti pasta covered in an orange pumpkin pasta sauce.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Simple and elegant, Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is easy to make with pantry ingredients. It feels indulgent, yet is packed with veggies and is naturally creamy without a trace of dairy. Perfect for a cool autumn evening or any night of the week.

Ingredients: canned pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, garlic, onion, coconut milk, olive oil, cinnamon, rosemary, sage and salt

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Image of Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
5 stars (9 ratings)

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

A simple drop, stir, cover, and go recipe; Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free) is so easy to prepare, tastes amazing, and packs well for lunch the next day.

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

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4.84 stars (6 ratings)

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are easy to prepare in the slow cooker and make for a filling, festive and delicious meal.

Ingredients: black beans, sweet potatoes, salsa, garlic powder and smoked paprika.

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Image of Veggie Noodle Bowls with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce
5 stars (2 ratings)

Veggie Noodle Bowls with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce

Slurpable noodles and heaps of tender veggies combine with an ultra-simple sauce in Veggie Noodle Bowls with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce. No complicated ingredient list here, these bowls are easy to make and taste amazing.

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.

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Easy Taco Recipes

two slow cooker turkey tacos on a white plate with cilantro and lime wedges
5 stars (2 ratings)

Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos

These easy slow cooker turkey tacos combine ground turkey meat with tomato sauce & a few simple spices for the perfect, easy prep taco filling. Make tonight taco night!

Ingredients: ground turkey, tomato sauce, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, granulated garlic powder, paprika and salt

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shredded meat on corn tortillas and wooden cutting board with toppings on the side
5 stars (4 ratings)

Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef

Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to prepare, Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef is super versatile and makes the best shredded beef tacos!

Ingredients: boneless beef chuck-eye roast, onion, tomato paste, cumin, mild chili powder, smoked paprika, lime juice and salt.

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Top down view of crockpot cilantro lime chicken dinner in a black pot on a white background.
5 stars (5 ratings)

Easy Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

Easy to make and oh-so satisfying, this crockpot cilantro lime chicken is perfect for stuffing into warm tortillas! It’s elevated by the most flavorful homemade cilantro lime sauce and can be made with either chicken breasts or chicken thighs.

Ingredients: chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic cloves, cumin, avocado oil, honey (optional) and salt.

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wooden spoon with ground beef and a black slow cooker
5 stars (8 ratings)

Crock Pot Taco Meat

Crock pot taco meat is an easy dump-and-go recipe made with just a few simple ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights or for feeding a party crowd.

Ingredients: ground beef, salsa, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, mild chili powder, and salt.

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Shredded slow cooker enchilada chicken with tomato sauce in a black crockpot on a white background.
5 stars (26 ratings)

6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken

This easy recipe for shredded chicken for enchiladas is totally simple, completely delicious and the perfect weeknight crockpot recipe. Plus this chicken recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, Paleo and Whole30 compliant too!

Ingredients: chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), onion, garlic powder, cumin, lime juice, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt.

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Cozy Chili Recipes for Autumn

white bowl of crockpot white chicken chili with jalapenos and tortilla chips on top
5 stars (48 ratings)

Easy Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Crockpot white chicken chili is an easy prep, dump and go recipe, made with healthy ingredients and deliciously creamy without any dairy. Also includes Instant Pot and Stovetop instructions!

Ingredients: chicken breast, stock, white beans, mild green chilis, salsa verde, onion, garlic powder, cumin, cream cheese (traditional or dairy-free).

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closeup view of turkey chili in a white bowl with chips and lime slices
5 stars (17 ratings)

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This easy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is a simple, healthy chili that's super easy to prep! So delicious and crowd-pleasing, it's a sure hit as a weeknight dinner, game day spread, or cozy meal for a weekend in.

Ingredients: ground turkey, canned beans, bell peppers, onion, sweet potato, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and other spices.

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close up of crockpot vegetarian chili in a white bowl with toppings
5 stars (72 ratings)

Crockpot Vegetarian Chili

This easy crockpot vegetarian chili recipe tastes delicious and is easy to make with basic pantry ingredients, three beans, vegetables, and spices. Gluten free and vegan!

Ingredients: black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, bell peppers, onion, fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and other spices

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Image of Slow Cooker Pumpkin Paleo Chili
4.67 stars (3 ratings)

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Paleo Chili

Hearty, warming, and simple to prepare, Slow Cooker Pumpkin Paleo Chili is a new fall classic that you’ll want to make all year round!

Ingredients: ground turkey, pumpkin puree, bell pepper, tomato paste, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, lime juice and other spices

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Brown bowl on a blue background filled with chicken and bean chili, topped with cheese, cilantro, and avocado.
4.91 stars (21 ratings)

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (6-Ingredients!)

Ingredients: chicken, tomato sauce, beans, salsa, cumin, garlic and salt.

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Easy One-Pan & One-Pot Dinner Recipes

close up of chicken skillet with fresh herbs on top
5 stars (12 ratings)

Easy Italian Chicken Zucchini Skillet

This Easy Italian Chicken Zucchini Skillet combines chicken, zucchini, tomatoes and classic Italian flavors for an easy, one-pot dinner you can make any night of the week. I love that it's naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 friendly and ready in under 30 minutes!

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.

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southwest beef and sweet potato skillet surrounded by herbs and limes on white background
5 stars (15 ratings)

Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

This easy Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet is a super simple and flavorful weeknight meal that everyone will love.

Ingredients: ground beef, sweet potato, canned diced tomatoes, mild chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, water, baby spinach, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.

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top down view of a turkey taco skillet in a blue pan on a blue background
5 stars (3 ratings)

Turkey Taco Skillet

Solve weeknight dinner tonight with this quick turkey taco skillet! Made with simple pantry ingredients like ground turkey, it’s a lighter meal on its own or can be used as a delicious taco or burrito filling or delectable nacho topping.

Ingredients: ground turkey, onion, garlic powder, cumin, canned black beans, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, frozen corn, olive oil and salt.

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skillet chicken and sweet potatoes on a white background with fresh herbs on top and a striped blue napkin on the handle
5 stars (1 rating)

Skillet Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

This easy chicken and sweet potatoes skillet can be made quickly on the stovetop and then baked in the oven. Plus it includes a delicious honey butter & chipotle pan sauce everyone will love!

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.

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Top down view of a ground turkey sweet potato skillet in a blue and black pan with fresh herbs on a white background.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Easy Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

This healthy ground turkey sweet potato skillet is a fast, easy last minute dinner idea that’s so tasty you’ll want to put into your regular weeknight rotation. It’s ready in under 30 minutes, so keep this one in your backpocket for busy weeks!

Ingredients: ground turkey, sweet potatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, shredded cheese (traditional or dairy-free), baby spinach, chipotle honey vinaigrette and salt.

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Warm & Cozy Fall Soup Recipes

Overhead shot of a white bowl with pumpkin and sweet potato soup
5 stars (5 ratings)

Easy Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy and warming, pumpkin and sweet potato soup is an easy, healthy, vegan soup that can be made with canned pumpkin on the stovetop or in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.

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.

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Ladle scooping some crockpot tortilla soup topped with fresh herbs, out of a black slow cooker.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This easy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup is simple to make with basic ingredients and is a quick-prep dump-and-go slow cooker recipe you'll love!

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.

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white bowl of crockpot butternut squash soup with apple
5 stars (4 ratings)

Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup with Apple

Made with butternut squash, apple, carrots, cinnamon, turmeric, and coconut milk, this recipe for crockpot butternut squash soup with apple is easy to prepare, and full of healthy, nourishing flavor!

Ingredients: Butternut squash, apples, onion, carrot, turmeric, coconut milk, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and other spices.

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Pumpkin soup in a black slow cooker with fresh herbs on white background.
5 stars (18 ratings)

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup (with Canned Pumpkin!)

This easy slow cooker pumpkin soup recipe is so easy to prepare with canned pumpkin! It's a simple dump-and-go slow cooker meal that's perfectly rich, creamy and oh-so cozy.

Ingredients: canned pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, canned tomato sauce, cream or coconut milk, onion, garlic, cinnamon and salt.

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closeup of a white bowl filled with soup on a blue background with blue striped napkin
4.93 stars (14 ratings)

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

Simple and hearty, slow cooker hamburger soup is loaded with vegetables and ground beef, and can be simmered all day in the slow cooker or made in 35 minutes on the stovetop.

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.

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Top down view of a white bowl filled with crockpot black bean soup on top of a striped blue napkin.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Easy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Super easy and incredibly delicious, this easy slow cooker black bean soup leans on pantry ingredients like canned black beans for a simple, craveable, go-to dinner recipe. It’s a family favorite that you’ll wanna make again & again!

Ingredients: canned black beans, chicken stock, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, lime juice, olive oil and salt.

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Simple Fall Salad & Side Recipes for Dinner

top down view of fall harvest salad with apples on top
5 stars (3 ratings)

Fall Harvest Salad

This Fall Harvest Salad combines fresh greens, roasted cauliflower & sweet potato with crisp apple for the perfect autumn salad or side dish!

Ingredients: roasted sweet potatoes & cauliflower, fresh crisp apples, arugula, almonds, avocado, feta and an easy apple cider vinaigrette.

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5 stars (1 rating)

Roasted Butternut Squash Harvest Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Harvest Salad is bursting with fresh fall flavors and perfect for your autumn, holiday table or any night of the week. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe.

Ingredients: butternut squash, red onion, sweet apples, baby arugula, maple syrup, cinnamon, pepitas, olive oil and a lemony dressing

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5 stars (1 rating)

Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad

Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad is packed with nutrition and full of beautiful fall flavors. Perfect to prep-ahead and take for lunch, or enjoy as a side dish anytime. A gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan recipe.

Ingredients: lentils, olive oil, butternut squash, greens, pepitas, and an easy maple Dijon vinaigrette.

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5 stars (1 rating)

Roasted Green Bean & Brussels Sprout Salad

A simple, warming, autumn salad, Roasted Green Bean & Brussels Sprout Salad is hearty, nourishing, and packed with flavor. The perfect side for Thanksgiving dinner or any night of the week!

Ingredients: green beans, shallots, brussels sprouts, olive oil, lemon juice, roasted chopped pecans, cranberries and salt

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Overhead shot of blue and white bowl on a white background filled with quinoa, chopped veggies, chickpeas, and basil.
5 stars (5 ratings)

Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad

This Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad makes a perfect lunch, dinner side, or vibrant addition to any brunch table.

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.

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5 stars (1 rating)

Easy Fall Dinner Ideas: Featuring Butternut Squash Soup

This cozy Butternut Squash Soup is a super simple, easy fall dinner recipe that’s perfect to make on busy weeknights or autumn weekends. Plus 40+ more easy dinner ideas you can use for your Fall Meal Plan this season!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Stovetop Variation:

  • 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.

Notes

Prefer to make this recipe in the slow cooker? This post for Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup with Apple has all the details you need.
Soup not enough to fill up your family? Top with cooked sausage (we like apple chicken) or Smokey Maple Roasted Chickpeas to bump up the protein, and add some bread or a quesadilla on the side for dipping.
This soup freezes beautiful. Here are my simplified tips for freezing.
Have fun with the toppings for this one. I’ve provided some options in the recipe, but feel free to use your taste and what you have on hand as a guide.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Sodium: 636mg, Potassium: 793mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 22369IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 95mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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