Here are the buzzy foods and drinks we’re keeping an eye on at EatingWell.

Megan O. Steintrager
September 18, 2020
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It's hard to believe summer is winding down, but here we are—pulling on our sweaters, getting our boots out of storage and pulling the stew pots out of our kitchen cabinets. While those of us at EatingWell are getting a little tired of making every single meal (just like everyone else; cooking fatigue is real!), we still get excited about food and cooking trends. So, to help you—and ourselves—embrace that nip in the air, we put together this list of the top trends we expect to see in the food space this fall.

All Things Cozy and Comforting

Because everyone really needs a big hug right now, cozy comfort food is spiking earlier than ever this year. We’re seeing tons of interest in casseroles, soups and other comfort foods at a time of year when it would normally be all salads and zucchini. The most popular recipe we published last year—Slow-Cooker Mushroom Soup with Sherry—shot back to the top of our traffic charts at the beginning of September, and we expect it to keep garnering interest, along with other comforting dishes like the Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with Rotisserie Chicken pictured above. We also expect casseroles to continue to be hot, both because of the comfort factor and because of the fact that we’re all feeling a bit (or a lot) of cooking fatigue and are looking for dishes that make great leftovers. Not to mention, with casseroles, there are fewer dishes to clean! Baked goods will also continue to be popular throughout the fall. 

Hot Cocktails and Spiked Coffee

Since the spring, we’ve seen a huge spike in interest in cocktails, and with many of us likely spending more time outdoors even through the chillier months, we expect hot toddies, spiked coffee, boozy hot chocolate and other warm drinks to take over cocktail hour. 

Outdoor Cooking and Gatherings

The trend won’t just be for hot drinks, but also for food cooked over hot coals. “As it gets colder and we want to stay safe, we’ll need to have campfires to keep warm and stay outside,” predicts Carolyn Malcoun, EatingWell magazine’s food features editor. In addition to backyard campfires, we expect grilling to continue into the fall, as well as bring-your-own-meal outdoor gatherings and mini-tailgates. We also expect people to be buying more outdoor heaters, fire pits, blankets and throws. 

Immunity Foods

“During a normal cold and flu season, people look for foods and drinks to help bolster their immune system—and, thanks to COVID-19, this isn’t a normal year,” says digital nutrition editor Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D. “I expect foods with garlic, ginger and elderberry to continue to be hot. Feel free to cozy up with a big bowl of chicken soup and aim to eat some extra vitamin C and D, but know that getting lots of sleep, staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet are important to keep you healthy (along with washing hands!).” Get your ginger, garlic and chicken soup all in one dish with this Tinola (Filipino Ginger-Garlic Chicken Soup)

Maple Syrup 

As much of our team is based in Vermont, maple syrup is always on our hot list, but EatingWell magazine senior food editor Devon O’Brien thinks maple will be hotter than ever this year. And based on the fact that this syrup with sparkles sold out almost as soon as it went on sale, she might be onto something. (Or maybe the trend is sparkly food?) Try our new recipe for Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple Butter to get your shot of maple today. 

Dried Beans

While it might not be the sexiest trend, we expect to see more folks cooking soups and other dishes with dried legumes. “We’ve gotta do something with all those dried beans we stocked up on when we panic-shopped last spring,” says Malcoun. Plus, dried beans are economical and when cooked properly not only taste better than canned but can also be healthier since you control how much salt you add. Try these recipes with dried beans for tons of tasty ideas. 

One-Pot Meals

Along with cooking fatigue we all have doing-the-dishes fatigue, and we are noticing even more interest in pastas and other recipes that can be cooked in one pot or pan.

 Luxurious Breakfasts

On the other end of the spectrum from the dried beans and one-pot cooking, with more time at home we’ll be making more special breakfasts, like waffles, pumpkin bread and pancakes, says EatingWell.com editor Jaime Milan. Bring on the sparkly maple syrup!

Got cooking questions? Email them to us at testkitchen@eatingwell.com.