The Best 30-Day Meal Plan for Fall
Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan
This one-pan pasta that combines lean chicken breast and sautéed spinach for a one-bowl meal is garlicky, lemony and best served with a little Parm on top. I call it "Mom's Skillet Pasta" and she called it "Devon's Favorite Pasta." Either way it's a quick and easy weeknight dinner we created together and scribbled on a little recipe card more than a decade ago, and it remains in my weekly dinner rotation to this day. It's a simple dinner the whole family will love.
Slow-Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Skip the roasting in this butternut squash soup recipe and let your slow cooker do the work instead. Just load up all the ingredients into the crock pot, set it and forget it for an easy, healthy dinner or packable lunches.
Ginger Roasted Salmon & Broccoli
This quick Asian salmon recipe uses the sauce for both glazing the salmon and tossing with the broccoli. Serve over rice noodles or brown rice tossed with sesame oil and scallions.
Vegan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Green Sauce
In a vegan riff on green goddess dressing, cashews provide a creamy base with tons of flavor from herbs and apple-cider vinegar. Drizzle it all over this bowl of quinoa and roasted vegetables to make a satisfying vegan dinner or easy packable lunch that is ready in just 30 minutes.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Taco Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Revamp traditional shepherd's pie with this Tex-Mex take on the classic comfort food with taco seasoning, black beans and a little jalapeño. The flavor- and veggie-packed filling gets topped with cilantro-lime sweet potatoes for a satisfying and healthy dinner recipe.
Instant Pot Potato Soup
Russet potatoes turn tender and soft in minutes in a pressure cooker, so you can make this comforting soup quickly on busy weeknights. Garnish with the classic potato soup fixings--bacon, scallions and melted Cheddar cheese.
Maple-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Wedges and Brussels Sprouts
This easy sheet-pan recipe brings together many fall favorites into a hearty dinner.
Cauliflower Rice-Stuffed Peppers
Slash the calories and carbs of traditional stuffed peppers by swapping white rice for cauliflower "rice." The riced cauliflower is hearty and won't turn to mush during baking. Use an assortment of red, yellow, orange and green peppers to make an appealing presentation.
Classic Beef Stroganoff
A twist on a classic! This beef stroganoff is cooked in a slow cooker and served over zucchini noodles with onions and mushrooms in a mouthwatering gravy.
Beet & Shrimp Winter Salad
This healthy dinner salad recipe gets its staying power from protein-packed shrimp and fiber-rich barley. With a simple red-wine vinaigrette, this quick salad makes just one serving but is easy to double or triple. Look for precooked beets with other prepared vegetables in the produce department.
Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
Simmer eggs in a rich tomatoey cream sauce studded with chickpeas and silky spinach for a super-fast vegetarian dinner. Serve with a piece of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Be sure to use heavy cream; a lower-fat option might curdle when mixed with acidic tomatoes.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
This easy slow-cooker chicken noodle soup is chock-full of vegetables and noodles, and gets extra creaminess from a little light cream cheese.
Sweet Potato Pad Thai
Sweet potato "noodles" (spiralized sweet potatoes) are a nutritious, gluten-free alternative to starchy rice or wheat noodles. Look for them in the produce department of your supermarket. If you have a spiralizer, you can certainly make your own "swoodles" (start with 2 medium sweet potatoes).
Roasted Salmon & Butternut Squash Salad
The natural sweetness of the squash is amplified by a maple syrup-spiked dressing in this hearty salmon salad. Serve with crusty garlic bread and a glass of Beaujolais wine.
Instant Pot Beef Pot Roast
Enjoy the comfort of perfectly cooked pot roast without the hours of roasting with this recipe that makes use of a multicooker, like the Instant Pot. Just 45 minutes in the pressure cooker is all it takes to make tender pot roast with potatoes and carrots alongside.
Roasted zucchini slices stand in beautifully for wheat pasta in this no-noodle lasagna. The simple swap reduces calories and eliminates gluten. It's also a great way to use up extra zucchini if your plants are prolific.
Roasted Autumn Vegetables & Chicken Sausage
Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, garlic and sausage all roast on one sheet pan in this super-easy dinner. We're partial to the flavor of chicken-apple sausage, but you can pick whatever variety of chicken sausage you prefer. Serve with crusty bread and a dollop of whole-grain mustard.
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Skip the dipping and add crispy grilled cheese croutons right into your soup instead. Don't have a panini press? Make the grilled cheese for the croutons in a skillet or in a waffle maker instead. Opt for San Marzano tomatoes if you can. They have a much richer flavor and they tend to be lower in sodium.
Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts
In this healthy chicken recipe, paprika-rubbed chicken thighs are nestled into Brussels sprouts and shallots and roasted on a sheet pan in the oven for an easy, healthy dinner. As the chicken thighs roast, the garlicky drippings flavor the Brussels sprouts and shallots. Delicious one-pan cooking! Smoked paprika adds a touch of smoky flavor--look for it at well-stocked supermarkets or in the bulk-spice section at natural-foods markets. Regular paprika can be used in its place, but doesn't add the hint of smoke.
Quick Shrimp Puttanesca
Because refrigerated fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, this Italian pasta dish will be on the table lickety-split! Puttanesca, traditionally made with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and garlic, gets a makeover with shrimp for extra protein and artichoke hearts to boost the vegetable servings (and the fiber!). If you can't find frozen artichoke hearts, sub in drained canned artichoke hearts.
Pressure-Cooker Beef Stew
Using a pressure cooker is a great way to slash time from dishes that typically take hours. The beef in this rich and flavorful stew is melt-in-your-mouth tender in only 30 minutes.
Pureed chickpeas, seasoned with the characteristic flavors of falafel, make excellent veggie burgers. We use a two-stage method for cooking the patties, first browning them in a skillet and then finishing them in the oven. Garnish the burgers with tzatziki or tahini sauce (see associated recipes), pickled red onions, lettuce and tomatoes.
This creamy soup is packed with savory flavor from Italian sausage and bacon. But don't worry, we tucked in healthy ingredients too, like kale and white beans, for added nutrition and fiber to round out a healthy dinner or packable lunch.
Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac
You'll barely notice the cauliflower in this comforting skillet pasta--it's pureed and mixed into the creamy cheese sauce.
Green Chicken Curry
If you're looking for a basic green Thai chicken curry recipe, start here. Green is the hottest type of curry paste; to take this chicken recipe down a notch, try red Thai curry paste (considered “medium” heat) or mild yellow curry paste. If you have a shellfish allergy, compare curry paste ingredient lists--some brands contain shrimp and some don't.
Smoked Gouda-Broccoli Soup
Smoked paprika and smoked Gouda give this broccoli-and-cheese soup recipe a double hit of smoky flavor. If you can't find smoked Gouda, smoked Cheddar gives delicious results as well.
Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
Enjoy classic chicken Marsala on a weeknight with this recipe that comes together fast thanks to the help of a multicooker, like the Instant Pot. Serve over cooked brown rice to sop up any of the extra sauce.
Zoodles with Tomato Sauce and Sausage
Using zucchini to make noodles instead of pasta, makes this dish diabetic-friendly.
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.