These Healthy Fall Recipes Are Seasonal Comfort Food Done Light
Vegetable-Turkey Pot Pie
Although we’ll never say no to a slice of pumpkin, apple, or pecan pie, not all of our favorite fall pies are sweet. This savory pie is like a mash-up of shepherd’s pie and pizza, and our families can’t get enough of this healthy fall dinner idea. It’s constructed with all canned or frozen veggies, ground turkey or beef, and refrigerated pizza dough so you could make this low-fuss, just-so-happens-to-be-dairy-free entrée without a special trip to the grocery store.
Pork and Kohlrabi Noodle Bowls
While this looks and eats like a classic noodle bowl, this healthy fall recipe is built on a foundation of spiralized red apples and kohlrabi. The mildly-peppery yet sweet root vegetable plays nicely with the umami pork tenderloin and zippy mustard-spiced cashew cream sauce. Whether you’re following a Paleo eating plan or simply seeking ways to add more produce to your diet, these protein-rich bowls are a brilliant dinner option.
Farro and Beef Stew with Roasted Vegetables
You probably don’t immediately think “superfood” when you envision a big pot of bubbling beef stew. But for this healthy fall meal, we’re giving one of the quintessential comfort foods of the cold weather seasons a produce-packed makeover. To supplement the substantial beef roast and farro, we call for stirring in a caramelized combo of roasted vegetables along with a mix of beef broth and red wine.
Fall Vegetable Fajitas
For fajitas that offer a fiesta of flavor, soak seasonal veggies and steak in a chile-lime hot sauce. Wrap the mix in a warm tortilla and sprinkle with your favorite toppings for a colorful and healthy fall dinner recipe that’s surprisingly low in calories.
Test Kitchen Tip: Try freezing steak for 20 minutes before slicing or just until it is firm but not frozen. This allows for thin slices of steak.
Fettuccine Alfredo Soup
Wait, pasta with Alfredo as part of a healthy fall recipe round-up? Stick with us: This silky soup is equal parts rich and nutritious thanks to a few simple ingredient swaps or additions. Chicken thighs pump up the protein, fresh broccoli adds nutrients and fiber, and reduced-sodium chicken broth keeps the salt content in check. Because we’re all about balance and all things in moderation—oh yes, and flavor!—we call for a generous splash of half-and-half, a reasonable portion of fettuccine noodles, and plenty of shredded Parmesan cheese.
Cheesy Butternut Squash Cavatappi Bake
Our thick and bubbly pasta bake has all the cheesy goodness you love without all the fat and calories. By substituting some of the cheese with seasonal butternut squash, you'll cut back on both, plus gain a healthy helping of fiber and vitamin A in this healthy fall dinner recipe. (Psst ... try it with acorn, delicata, or honeynut squash if you don’t have any butternut handy.)
Pork and Sweets Bowl
This one-pan meal can be assembled in bowls for a hands-off dinner that showcases a rainbow of colors and a mix of savory, sweet, and fresh flavors. The Cuban pork and veggies blend makes for an easy, healthy fall dinner recipe as is, but don’t think of it as a strict rule; you can customize with whatever meat, veggies, and fresh herbs you have nearby.
Sheet-Pan Chicken with Squash and Apples
Delicata squash, apples, and chicken join forces in this filling and low-fuss sheet pan supper that’s full of autumnal flair. Once you’ve mastered the lemon-scented healthy fall meal, switch things up with our variations including mustard and honey, barbecue, and cilantro-lime. You can’t go wrong with any of these high-protein, crowd-pleasing feasts.
Sausage, Beans, and Olives Skillet
Whether you canned your own green beans during summer or stocked up on some at the supermarket for all those holiday casseroles, chances are you have quite the bean bounty in your kitchen as we speak. So put those vitamin-loaded goodies to great use in this healthy fall dinner idea that features briny kalamata olives, buttery cannellini beans, sweet or spicy Italian sausage, and sweet-tart canned plum tomatoes. This one-skillet supper is the perfect way to infuse a dash of summer flavor into your fall menu.
Pork Stir-Fry with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
In our opinion, the best brisk evening dinners are warm and comforting—and this one delivers on both of those promises. Bonus points because the healthy fall meal calls for canned pumpkin for a quick and easy boost in vitamin A (and flavor). This 30-minute pork stir-fry recipe delivers a hearty, protein-packed meal that will make you forget all about takeout.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs
Trade traditional spaghetti noodles for warm strands of spaghetti squash. It will cut some carbs and calories, plus spaghetti squash is rich in antioxidants. A chunky roasted tomato sauce and bulgur-enhanced beefy meatballs top this healthy fall dinner recipe.
Pasta Dinner Makeover: Typical restaurant spaghetti and meatballs have nearly 1,000 calories and 36 grams of fat per serving. This copycat recipe has just 280 calories and 8 grams of fat.
Italian Barley and Sausage Casserole
With turkey sausage, button mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and fresh tomatoes, the Italian ingredients in these personal casseroles team up to make one supremely comforting and healthy fall recipe. As if those tasty elements weren't enough, chewy barley—a high-fiber whole grain— guarantees to keep you full. Oh yes, and there’s a bit of part-skim mozzarella for good gooey measure.
Tomato Pizza Rolls
Yes, your late-night pizza craving can now be nutritious and satisfying all at once. Enter these mouthwatering pizza rolls that will help use up the last of your summer tomatoes. Homemade pizza dough surrounds a rich Parmesan-tomato sauce, savory prosciutto, and basil leaves for a healthy fall dinner recipe so tasty you won't believe it's not from a restaurant.
Related: 16 Healthy-ish Pizza Recipes
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Red Pepper Pesto
Herb-Crusted Cod with Cauliflower Mash
For a lighter twist on cheesy potatoes, mash cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots with a semisoft garlic-herb cheese. Then pair your spiffed-up spuds with a golden dill-crusted cod fillet; the flaky fish is high in protein and low in fat, resulting in one must-make healthy fall dinner idea.
Test Kitchen Tip: When whipping up mashed potatoes or cauliflower, reserve some of the cooking water from the vegetables. Add it to the mash as needed for desired consistency.
Turkey Meatball Shepherd’s Pie
Sweet potato slices crown this cozy casserole that is quite possibly the definition of comfort food on a blustery evening. The healthy fall dinner idea tastes rich due to the light Alfredo. But dive deeper and you’ll realize it’s actually quite well-balanced with high-protein lean ground turkey and a generous handful of green peas.
Vegan diet devotees, we haven’t forgotten about you. This healthy fall meal is completely plant-based, with hearty, meat-like mushrooms as the base for a schmear of hummus and mountain of veggie-spiked farro. Finish with a sprinkle of green onions and a drizzle of olive oil to elevate the hearty autumnal flavors.
Pan-Fried Garlic Steak
You’re just one skillet and 30 minutes away from a steakhouse-quality dinner at home. Tender beef ribeye steak is high in protein and savory goodness. Garnish with garlic and parsley and you’ve entered gourmet territory. Pair that red meat with buttery cannellini beans for a complete, gluten-free, low-carb, and healthy fall recipe. This dish checks all the boxes.
Golden Squash Bisque
For a cream-based soup that’s as healthy as it is hearty, try this beautiful fall bisque. It can be yours in just 20 minutes and is surprisingly low-cal thanks to 0% fat Greek yogurt, which also lends a luscious texture and amps up the protein. A dash of curry powder adds a touch of heat to this healthy fall recipe that is a lovely option for dinner or a super-satisfying lunch.
Pork Loin with Parsnips and Pears
We've marinated tender pork loin in zesty Pickapeppa sauce, a Jamaican condiment similar to Worcestershire sauce. The result: a spicy, protein-packed healthy fall dinner recipe. Parsnips, a cool-weather root vegetable, and juicy pears replace typical white potatoes to make this dish even more nutritious.
Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze
Scallops are not only rich in protein, but also a cinch to prepare. (Trust us; they’re not just for restaurant menus.) Just sear each side until caramelized, then serve on a bed of wilted spinach. A drizzle of our cinnamon- and coriander-pomegranate glaze completes this healthy, easy fall dinner recipe.
Beef with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions in Red Wine Reduction
Enjoy all the sophistication of a fancy steak dinner for half the calories and price in the comfort of your home thanks to this healthy fall dinner recipe. Combine seasoned beef sirloin with garlic, mushrooms, and pearl onions in a skillet. Once the meat has reached your desired doneness (here’s how to tell), plate with a warm red wine reduction and devour.
Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken with Glazed Date Sauce
Pancetta is the less-smoky yet equally savory Italian cousin of bacon. Wrap the salt-cured meat around a cheese-topped chicken breast, then coat with a warm date vinaigrette for a healthy fall recipe exploding with sweet and savory goodness. To round out the meal, serve this entrée along with steamed green beans, roasted vegetables, or fluffy quinoa.
Chicken Meatball Noodle Bowl
Nutritionally-balanced meals need not be boring, and this chicken noodle bowl is proof. Rice noodles, shredded salad, and ginger-chicken meatballs join a coconut-lime chile pan sauce for one delicious and healthy fall dinner recipe. Use vitamin-loaded fresh carrots to give this bowl a burst of color and freshness.
Beef Bourguignon Pot Pie
Our twist on traditional French beef bourguignon features an array of flavorful veggies and cooked beef tips in warm, bubbly Burgundy gravy. Low-sodium stock keeps the salt content in check, while piles of mushrooms stretch each ounce of beef. Golden croissant cubes crown this healthy fall meal with a pleasant hint of crunch.
Shrimp and Winter Greens with Pasta
Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients, and we've paired it with diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and garlicky shrimp in a pasta dish that goes from prep to plate in less than 30 minutes. This is one healthy fall recipe you'll be craving all year long. (Psst ... this would work great with chicken breasts, too, if you’re not a fan of seafood.)
Turkey Steaks with Spinach, Pears, and Blue Cheese
Don’t reserve turkey for Thanksgiving or brown bag lunch sandwiches alone. For a white meat take on steak, try these sage-rubbed turkey tenderloins. With wilted spinach, juicy seasonal pears, and a blue cheese topping, this tasty and healthy fall dinner recipe is hard to resist.
Pork and Poblano Stew
Cinnamon, the quintessential spice of fall, and orange juice balance the mild heat of poblano peppers and fire-roasted tomatoes in this flavorful, full-bodied stew. Each serving of this surprisingly speedy and healthy fall recipe packs in 32 grams of protein thanks to savory pieces of pork tenderloin. It’s on our agenda each and every autumn, and is a favorite of one BH&G home cook too, who says, “It was awesome; very flavorful without being too spicy. A great, simple recipe that I will do again.”
Pear and Potato Salad with Pickled Mustard Seeds and Sausage
Anjou pears are in-season September through spring. Pair those juicy fresh pears with chicken-and-apple sausage and potatoes for a satisfying and healthy fall dinner idea. Pickled mustard seeds add a burst of flavor and texture.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you happen to have rock-hard pears, roast them before tossing the fruit into the salad to enhance their natural sweetness.
Lemon-Braised Chicken Tenders and Cauliflower
Ditch the bag of frozen chicken nuggets for our delicious lemon-braised chicken tenderloins. Do so and you’ll score all of the succulence for about half of the calories. Cauliflower, wilted spinach, and a vibrant combo of green olives, dates, and pistachios complete the healthy, easy fall dinner recipe. Since it all comes together in one Dutch oven, cleaning up will be as easy as falling in love with this recipe.