Kids are back to school, mornings are crisp and cool, and we’re in the mood to jump head-first into fall. Summer is always amazing, but we’re not crying that the last of the peaches are at grocery stores and farmers markets. We’ve had our share of frozen treats, and are moving straight on to flavors for the next season. Cooler weather has us dreaming of hiking and apple picking, and the comfort food that helps fuel those outdoor adventures.
Stuffed Shells Bolognese (pictured above)
Comfort food is king for fall and winter, but that doesn’t mean your meals have to weigh you down. This Italian-style skillet meal clocks in at less than 500 calories per serving and stretches half a pound of ground beef to make four servings.
Chicken Tortilla Casserole
It’s casserole season and this one hits all the creamy, cheesy, comforting flavors we’re craving. Save time on prep work with store-bought chicken stock to make the gravy and a rotisserie chicken for the filling.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Fall is the time for everything butternut squash, and although soup is the first thing that comes to mind, we like to switch it up a little bit to prevent that point mid-season when you never want to see another bowl of the stuff again. This meatless risotto combines the earthy flavors we love about fall, like browned butter and sage, in a satisfying full meal.
Filet Mignon Chili
Chili is the undeniable favorite throughout the cooler months and Trisha Yearwood incorporates lean, flavorful filet mignon for an upscale take on the classic. The cheese crisps are a fun touch and so easy to make: melt some shredded cheese in a pan until crispy and then flip!
This simple single-skillet meal is about to become a weeknight favorite. Crispy roasted chicken is the star of the dish, but serve it with fresh bread to soak up the delicious pan sauce. Don’t toss the garlic cloves when you’re done cooking—squeeze the garlic out of the skins to spread on the chicken and bread.
Mac and Cheese
Although there’s no inappropriate time for mac and cheese, cool days require hearty meals. Alton’s stove-top version is way better than the boxed stuff, and takes only 35 minutes to put together. Opt for whole blocks of cheddar for melting – pre-shredded cheese often contains cellulose, which prevents clumping in the bag, but creates a grainy texture when melted into sauce and gravy.