There is just something magical about fall: the weather, the change of seasons, that feeling that Halloween is almost here, and for some, crisp leaves, sweaters and bonfires.
And I think we can all agree: No matter what climate you live in, fall goes hand in hand with comfort food, doesn’t it?
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I have put together the following recipes that our family will definitely be making this fall. Most of them are tried and true, because we have cooked them before and we will do it again and again.
Without delay …
1. These Swedish meatballs
I found this recipe probably about a year ago, just by typing in Google “the best Swedish meatballs”. This was one of the first results listed, and WOW, the dish never impressed. I made them for a dinner with friends, and not only did everyone like them, they came together really quickly. I wanted to choose a recipe that I wouldn’t get stuck in the kitchen for a long time, and these were perfect. The only change I made involved using half beef, half ground pork, rather than all beef that the original recipe called for. We served our meatballs over egg noodles with a salad on the side, and it was just the comfort food we needed.
2. This chili
You can’t even think of fall food without thinking of chili. It’s the quintessential fall meal, but the problem is, there are so many variations. (In related news, this is also what makes chili such an amazing dish to serve if you have a lot of people. Once, for a family celebration, I made a chili bar, with three different types – beef, chicken and beans, if I remember correctly – and all the toppings you can think of. Cheese, sour cream, avocado, green onions, tater tots … like I said you name the filling and we l ‘offered). But anyway, sometimes I just want a traditional chili. Not a buffalo chicken chili, not a lentil chili, just Chili in a way that feels traditional, at least in my life. Regional differences could manifest themselves, I realize. It’s all been a long way to say that John Legend’s chili is so perfectly basic in the most delicious way. It’s balanced, it’s not too spicy (meaning kids can eat it!), It’s easy to make; my husband and I come back again and again for this recipe, even though we can’t put our finger on what makes it so magical. BTW I’m not sure where this first printed but found it online here.
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3. This fall-inspired salad
How Sweet Eats is one of my all-time favorite food blogs (and her cookbooks are amazing too), but it wasn’t until recently that I came across this salad recipe that blogger Jessica posted in 2017. I’m not sure how I missed it the first time around, but tell me these things don’t look amazing: bunches of smoked honey nuggets? Sweet and spicy roasted pecans? Cinnamon-shallot vinaigrette? With Honeycrisp apples? I wasn’t used to being the fruit type in your salad, but I’ve since evolved. I swap the cheese and do this – hopefully, THIS weekend. My mouth watering just talking about it.
4. This salmon recipe
So, you’ve heard of Beef Wellington, haven’t you?
It’s Wellington salmon. And it’s ridiculously simple. You just heat up a bit of the spinach-breadcrumbs-Parmesan mixture (I used some leftover pesto in a pinch, although I realize this turns out to be different – everything is delicious nonetheless), spread it over your fish. , fold the salmon into some puff pastry, put it in the oven and you will be ready to eat in about 20-25 minutes. It’s one of those dishes that looks awesome, like in, your friends will all be, “you did WHAT?” But believe me when I say, it’s even easier than it looks to prepare. Do not thank me. Thank whoever makes this frozen puff pastry.
This dinner looks like a hug on a plate.
5. A classic spaghetti
Here’s another tried and true favorite: EatLiveRun’s Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. Oh my god, does that ever take the old boring meat sauce to new heights. I’m not sure if it’s the wine, the garlic salt, again, the ground beef-pork combo, the cheese baked in gravy, or what – but it’s so tangy and decadent and excellent. I probably cook it once every 4-6 months (makes a HUGE batch; be prepared to freeze half, or just half of the recipe from the start), but the people in my life are just as crazy about it. . Don’t be shy when you add the wine, everything cooks and gives the best flavor. And don’t let the mushrooms put you off either. Yes, there are quite a few, but I put mine in the food processor, and they almost have a meaty quality. The sauce doesn’t have too much of a mushroom taste, so give it a try! Serve with plenty of garlic bread for dipping and a good Caesar.
6. This cozy curry
I realize that I haven’t strayed much from the classics, and I haven’t included much so far for vegans and vegetarians in the crowd. (Sorry guys!)
But this one’s for you: it’s a basil chickpea curry, and it has a ton of flavor. My husband and I loved it when we did it last fall. Even the author of the recipe herself writes online, “It’s heartwarming, heartwarming, so ridiculously easy, super tasty, and comes together really quickly. We love to hear it.
Serve it with naan and rice, use any leftover basil from your garden and you’ll be glad you did.
7. My all time favorite pasta
As we think outside the box, let’s stick around for a minute and chat about Chrissy Teigen’s spicy miso pasta. I couldn’t talk more about it if I tried – I recommend it to friends, family, strangers; anyone who wants to listen. It’s similar to carbonara, but with a Thai twist. Yes, it’s a bit of a cheat / special occasion meal, at least calorically speaking I’m sure, but one time I was grumpy at lunchtime and it occurred to me to mind that I had all the ingredients on hand, and could probably have it ready in under half an hour. So it is not a difficult meal. You really can’t spoil this one, as long as you don’t scramble your eggs when adding them to the hot noodles. It’s so creamy and dreamy and spicy and crunchy and CELESTIAL. One of my best quarantine finds.
8. An incredible chicken noodle soup
We follow this New York Times recipe quite closely, with one exception: we never have, or bother with, crème fraîche.
And I realize you can buy the canned stuff, or the canned stuff, or maybe there’s a frozen version as well. BLA bla. You don’t want that. You’re reading this, purportedly because you’re looking for “cozy sounding fall recipes * you need in your life *”. This homemade chicken noodle soup does the trick, every time.
9. While we’re at it, these cookies.
I have already written about them. I was invited to my colleague’s podcast to discuss them. These are the best of the best, and you can throw all the other chocolate chip cookie recipes out the window once you’ve tried them. Is it the cornstarch, which helps keep them chewy on the inside, but still nice and crisp around the edges? Does it cool the dough, or does it use room temperature eggs, or brown the butter? (I added this step myself). We may never know. But this is the recipe that started it all for me, and I just can’t get enough of it.
ten. These short ribs
These are on my list for the coming weeks, and I really trust The Pioneer Woman when it comes to this recipe. The images are impressive. The meat looks tender without bones. I can’t think of anything I would rather pair with mashed potatoes, another fall classic. And the short ribs are divine. Let’s do this.
11. These chicken and meatballs
OK, my third and final How Sweet Eats recipe: these are so tasty, and I didn’t know it’s that easy to make your own dumplings. All you need to do is whisk the flour mixture, drop your dough on top of the Dutch oven simmered mixture, and somehow the culinary gods put it all together for you. My only pro tip is to follow Jessica’s advice and use chicken thighs. I had some leftover chicken breast that I improvised with once, but it wasn’t as tasty or rich.
OK, now that we’re all hungry, tell me in the comments: what do you do first?
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