Easy Fall Capsule Meal Plan & Recipes - Real Food Whole Life

Easy Fall Capsule Meal Plan & Recipes

October 21, 2020 (Updated on September 11, 2021)

collage of four fall recipes with pink background and navy text

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy Fall Capsule Meal Plan, you’re in the right place!

We all know what it’s like to need to get dinner on the table on busy weeknights, so here’s an easy meal plan template and collection of fresh fall recipes to help you make it happen.

collage of four fall recipes with pink background and navy text

This easy Fall Meal Plan is designed to help you have fewer decisions and more ease in your week.

This is how I feel good effect meal planning and streamline meal prep for our family. 

Below you’ll find 4 weeks of recipes for 5 weeknights worth of meal categories, plus a seasonal treat each week as well.

The recipes feature seasonal favorites including pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, warming spices, apple and more!

With plenty of cozy fall ingredients and flavors to help you make the most of the season.

what is a capsule meal plan?

If you’re new to the idea of a capsule meal plan and what it can do for you, I recorded a whole podcast episode for you about it.

Similar to the concept of a capsule wardrobe, this capsule meal plan reduces my daily decision fatigue while still leaving plenty of room for flexibility.

Instead of trying to do it all perfectly, I simply pick a meal type for each day of the week – something I know I enjoy like Taco Tuesday or Grill Night.

And then choose from a short list of simple, delicious recipes. Ones that are quick to throw together with very minimal prep.

All made with feel-good, real food ingredients!

This fall meal plan template lets me keep the categories the same, but switch up the recipes week to week if I want. Giving me and my family fun variety, without the fuss.

fall meal plan template

For this fall capsule meal plan, we’re doing the following meal categories – click on each one to go straight to that section:

these recipes are all…

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If you try any recipes from this Fall Capsule Meal Plan, I’d love to see!

Tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see, and leave a star rating so we know you want to see more of these seasonal meal plans in the future.

crockpot chicken night

Bright, tangy, and crazy simple to make, Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Pulled Chicken is a no-fuss weeknight dinner everyone will love.

Ingredients: chicken, lemon juice, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic

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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce is a crave-worthy dinner that can be prepped in minutes!

Ingredients: chicken, broccoli, bell peppers, peanut butter, garlic, maple syrup, vinegar and other spices

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5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken is simple to prepare and yields super tender chicken in a sweet and savory sauce that everyone in the family will love.

Ingredients: chicken, apples, apple cider, onion, garlic powder and salt

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Instant Pot Chicken, Apples & Cabbage is a super simple one-pot meal that’s packed with flavor, but with little prep or fuss. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe. Also includes slow cooker and stovetop instructions!

Ingredients: chicken, onion, apples, cabbage, garlic powder, apple cider, apple cider vinegar and other seasonings

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taco tuesday

The perfect recipe for when you’re short on time but still want a delicious, real food dinner, 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Fajita Salsa Chicken is a snap to prep and requires just a handful of ingredients.

Ingredients: chicken, onion, bell pepper, salsa, lime juice and salt

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These Easy Instant Pot Turkey Tacos combine ground turkey meat with tomato sauce and simple spices for an easy prep taco filling. Make tonight taco night!

Ingredients: ground turkey, chicken stock, tomato paste, olive oil, mild chili powder and other spices

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The secret to perfect, juicy pork carnitas is to broil the shredded pork for 10-15 minutes after it has been tenderized in the slow cooker for several hours. Serve the carnitas warm as a filling for tacos, burritos or in bowls for an easy weeknight dinner win!

Ingredients: pork loin roast (or pork shoulder), orange juice, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and other seasonings

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20-Minute Turkey Tacos with Apple Salsa is the perfect, fresh recipe to ease your way from summer into fall. Topped with sweet, crisp Apple Salsa, they are simple to prepare on busy weeknights.

Ingredients: ground turkey, onion, garlic, apples, cilantro, green onion, lime juice and other seasonings

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chili night

5-Ingredient Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili is simple to prepare, totally nourishing, and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, black beans, salsa, vegetable stock, cumin, smoked paprika and salt

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This 3-bean crockpot turkey chili is an easy, one-pot meal made with ground turkey, hearty beans, simple spices, and plenty of vegetables. Perfect for busy weeknights!

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

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Sweet, spicy, and easy to throw together, Slow Cooker Paleo Turkey Apple Chili is perfect for fall or anytime of year. With a 30-Minute stovetop option you can make this one anytime.

Ingredients: ground turkey, onion, garlic, cumin, chipotle peppers, apples, tomato sauce, lime juice, and other seasonings

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6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili is an insanely simple and totally tasty recipe to throw together any night of the week.

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

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pasta night

5-Ingredient Free Meatballs (egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free) are free of all the major allergens, but still taste amazing and are easy to make with a short list of simple ingredients. Make a double batch during meal prep and you’re good to go!

Ingredients: ground turkey (or ground beef), onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond flour (or oat flour)

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This bright, fresh pesto is easy to make and is nut-free and dairy-free. Serve it over zoodles, pasta, or with grilled veggies, fish, or chicken for the perfect summer dinner.

Ingredients: basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, zucchini, and tomatoes

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Simple pantry ingredients come together in this creamy, dreamy 20-Minute Tomato Cream Sauce. Gluten-free, dairy-free, crazy easy, and completely divine!

Ingredients: crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, olive oil, coconut milk and salt

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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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soup night

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Apple & Turmeric Soup is a simple chop and drop recipe that yields creamy, nourishing results. It’s a hit with the entire family, plus is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo and Whole30 friendly!

Ingredients: sweet potato, apple, potatoes, stock, coconut milk, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and other seasonings

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Instant Pot Creamy Pumpkin Tuscan Soup is insanely easy and totally delectable. This warming, nourishing fall recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe.

Ingredients: canned pumpkin puree, sweet potato, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, vegetable stock (or chicken stock), cinnamon, coconut milk

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Instant Pot Golden Glow Butternut Squash Soup is a super simple, easy fall recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, paleo and whole30 friendly.

Ingredients: butternut squash, stock, coconut milk, onion, carrot, apple, garlic, turmeric and other spices

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This nourishing Slow Cooker Autumn Minestrone Soup is a satisfying twist on a classic. Perfectly satisfying for lunch or dinner, it freezes well and is naturally vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Ingredients: chickpeas, white beans, butternut squash, diced tomatoes, swiss chard (or spinach), stock, onion, garlic and other spices

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fall treats

One-Bowl Triple Apple Cider Spiced Muffins are a super tender, totally healthy, and packed with all the flavors of fall. A gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free recipe.

Ingredients: applesauce, apples, apple cider, eggs, almond flour (or oat flour), coconut oil, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder

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Enjoy the warming, cozy taste of the season with One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins! Naturally grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and naturally-sweetened, these muffins are simple to make and taste amazing.

Ingredients: pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond flour, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt

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One-Bowl Flourless Sweet Potato Pie Muffins are nourishing, packed with flavor, and the perfect naturally-sweetened treat anytime. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo recipe.

Ingredients: sweet potato puree, vanilla, pecans, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, almond flour (or oat flour), eggs, coconut oil, baking soda, baking powder and salt

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Drizzled with a dreamy caramel sauce (that just happens to be refined sugar-free + dairy-free), Salted Caramel Paleo Apple Crisp is simple to prepare and perfect for your holiday table or dessert, any time!

Ingredients: apples, lemon juice, coconut sugar, cinnamon, coconut oil, almond flour, vanilla extract, coconut milk

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collage of four fall recipes with pink background and navy text
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Easy Fall Capsule Meal Plan: Butternut Squash Soup

Yield 4 -6
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Instant Pot Golden Glow Butternut Squash Soup is a super simple, easy fall dinner recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners. Plus 30+ more cozy, healthy recipes 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
  • 1 cup coconut milk from a can
  • For serving: fresh sage toasted pumpkin seeds, freshly ground pepper, Smokey Maple Roasted Chickpeas (optional)

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. 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 disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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4 comments to " Easy Fall Capsule Meal Plan & Recipes "

  • Megan Baltz

    This capsule meal plan was a GAME CHANGER. It streamlined meal plan and took the thinking out of weeknight meals. Guess what. My family was totally okay with having tacos every week. Could you do this for summer time too?

    • Robyn Downs

      Megan, yay, so happy to hear the capsule meal plan is working for you! Yes, we have plans to do another for spring/summer so stay tuned. 🙂

  • Emily B

    Found your blog from pinterest, and I’m so glad I did! This is so helpful! Would love to see a capsule meal plan for each season!

    • Robyn Downs

      Emily, so happy you found Real Food Whole Life, we’re so glad you’re here! And you’re in luck–we have a summer capsule post coming soon! You can jump on our weekly email list to be first to know when it’s published! Cheers!

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