51 Cheap and Easy Fall Recipes


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woman in kitchen preparing food during autumn
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Between apples, pumpkin, squash, and cranberries, autumn brings not only crisp days but countless options for thrifty and delicious dishes that capitalize on seasonal fare. Whether you're gathering the family for Sunday dinner or headed off to an autumn potluck, these easy recipes will satisfy the palate — and the pocketbook.

Sausage Rolls
Photo credit: Foodio/shutterstock

Switch up the tailgate-favorite pigs in a blanket with this recipe that features breakfast sausage, frozen puff pastry, and a few spices. Forego the fresh spices for dried to make it even easier. 

Recipe: MyRecipes

Hot Beer Cheese Dip
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Summer crudités pale in comparison to the creamy richness of this dip that's as easy as it is crowd-pleasing. Pass the crusty bread.

Recipe: COOKtheSTORY

Original Brat Quesadillas
Photo credit: Slawomir Fajer/shutterstock

Quick and easy, this taste treat uses a package of bratwurst and just a few simple ingredients such as German-style mustard, Muenster cheese, and pickles to offer a singular twist on the traditional all-ages fave. Slice up to serve a crowd. 

Recipe: Johnsonville

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
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Warm finger foods rich with hearty flavors are a sure-fire way to kick off a dinner party. Pillsbury's take on stuffed mushrooms had one reviewer commenting, "Why have I never thought of this before?!" 

Recipe: Pillsbury

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Yes, bacon is a year-round favorite, but the flavors of this recipe take things up another level. Bagged nuts are often on sale this time of year, and while the creator suggests you mix and match, we're loving the suggested blue cheese, Brazil nut, and cashew option. 

Recipe: The Healthy Foodie

Hot Bean Dip
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Refried beans, taco seasoning, green onions, and two cheeses combine for a flavorful south-of-the-border kick. Don't expect leftovers.

Recipe: Allrecipes

The Perfect Fall Cheese Ball
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A cheese ball seems to be the never-fail dish to bring to ... well, most any event where you have to bring a dish. This version is not only flavorful but catches the eye with its pumpkin-themed presentation. 

Recipe: Family Fresh Meals

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
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Recreate a bistro experience in your own kitchen with this comforting dish from Simply Recipes founder Elise Bauer that gets a little kick from a tart apple. Shop for pre-cut veggies on sale — or do the work yourself. It's worth the effort. 

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup
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A few kernels of the last of summer's fresh sweet corn add a crunch to this soup that's a breeze thanks to cost-effective ingredients including canned chicken broth, juice, and diced tomatoes. 

Recipe: Allrecipes

Classic Easy Pumpkin Soup
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This fall classic pleases palates around the world — we're loving the recipe from Australian food blogger Nagi who graciously provides options for fresh or canned pumpkin as well as vegan substitutions. 

Recipe: RecipeTin Eats

Quick and Easy Turkey Noodle Soup
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Save this one for a post-Thanksgiving, tummy-warming treat. In a pinch, substitute store-bought stock for homemade. 

Recipe: Farm Flavor

Cream of Zucchini Soup
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We can't say enough about the powers of a steaming bowl of soup. At just 60 calories per serving, this virtuous spin gets its richness from reduced-fat sour cream. So clever! 

Recipe: Skinnytaste

Waffle Fry Pot Pie
Photo credit: Africa Studio/shutterstock

Fall and comfort food just go together, and this twist on the classic pot pie turns basic chicken breasts (buy in bulk and freeze the rest, as you will make it again) into a hearty dish thanks to canned veggies, canned soup, frozen pie crust, and the signature waffle fries. 

Recipe: Delish

Basic Chili
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Entertaining a crowd or heading to a potluck? This recipe for chili is a stick-to-the-ribs dish that will leave your diners happy and your wallet unhurt. 

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Apple Cider Sangria
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Transition from summer to fall with an autumnal take on sangria. This one from Jessica Merchant of How Sweet It Is comes to life with apple cider, apples, and pears. Stick with bargain white wine — and no one will be the wiser. 

Recipe: How Sweet It Is

Fall Chicken Salad with Apples, Cranberries & Pecans
Photo credit: Marie C Fields/shutterstock

The name of this recipe pretty much says it all. We love the autumnal spin on this lunchtime favorite, and we're not opposed to using the meat from an on-sale rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own cutlets. 

Recipe: Tastes Lovely!

Quick & Easy Beef Stew
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That first cold day will have you wanting to stay indoors and cook up this classic family favorite, which is a thrifty spin thanks to pre-mixed spice packets — and a package of frozen vegetables

Recipe: McCormick

Catalina-Cranberry Chicken
Photo credit: Catalina-Cranberry Chicken by yochance (None)

Chicken is one of those dishes that can be routine — or with a little imagination become something memorable. This recipe falls into the latter category thanks to simple, thrifty ingredients that include canned cranberry sauce and bottled salad dressing. 

Recipe: Kraft Recipes

Slow Cooker Roast Beef
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Billed as costing "less than 72 cents per person," this dish relies on staples such as chuck roast, potatoes, carrots, onion, and spices with the slow cooker doing its magic. 

Recipe: Grocery Budget 101

Dusky Rusky
Photo credit: Alex Flint/shutterstock

Real Simple has a list of "8 Celebration-Worthy Cinnamon Cocktails" that all start with a simple cinnamon-infused syrup — basically sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks. Our favorite offering features vodka and Kahlua. Yum! 

Recipe: Real Simple

Shepherd's Pie
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Just a Pinch Recipes makes no bones about its thrifty approach. And that's found in this twist on the dish that has been keeping stomachs warm and happy for ages — one that features instant mashed potatoes, canned soup, and mixed vegetables. 

Recipe: Just a Pinch Recipes

Easy Lentil Stew
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Pantry staples form the heart of this dish, which can easily become a vegetarian entrée by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth. This recipe comes together in an hour. 

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Sparkling Apple Tea
Photo credit: Stolyevych Yuliya/shutterstock

For those who want their autumn sips without alcohol, this recipe amps up store-bought sparkling apple cider — often a steal in the grocery store — and adds just lemon juice, black tea and cinnamon for a memorable seasonal sip. 

Recipe: Serious Eats

Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Rice Casserole
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

Brussels sprouts have that rich, savory appeal — add ground turkey and pantry staples for a dish that looks elegant and will leave your guests asking for the recipe. 

Recipe: Delish

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
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Canned beans, canned diced tomatoes, and elbow macaroni — we all know these are budget-stretching ingredients. This dish takes those basic ingredients and whips up a tasty meal in 30 minutes. 

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Maple Bourbon Old-Fashioned
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A well-stocked bar will need only to add a wonderfully seasonal ingredient — maple syrup — to create this twist on a cocktail stalwart. 

Recipe: Delish

Extra-Easy Lasagna
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No one wants to dig into a bubbling tray of lasagna when the temperature's topping 90. Come October, it's quite a different story. This Southern Living recipe offers the easiest of approaches to this all-time Italian favorite. 

Recipe: Southern Living

Pork Chops and Apples
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For a no-fuss take on a classic taste pairing, this Betty Crocker recipe offers an easy — four-ingredient — interpretation that is done in less than an hour. 

Recipe: Betty Crocker

The Best Sloppy Joes
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

What's not to love? Easy on the wallet, a classic retro taste, and a simple recipe from a blog dedicated to spotlighting "modern home cooking with a Midwestern heart." It tastes even better if it's made the night before and heated up the next day. 

Recipe: Culinary Hill

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
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You want to give your family a satisfying hot dinner on a weeknight, but gourmet fare's not your style. This five-ingredient recipe doctors up prepared pasta sauce and keeps things simple — and satisfying. 

Recipe: Ready Set Eat

Fall Vegetable Egg Casserole
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Breakfast for dinner doesn't have to mean a whole pancake, bacon, and egg production. This recipe from Oats & Sesame features Brussels sprouts and butternut squash with additional — and optional — seasonings. Easy and elegant. 

Recipe: Oat & Sesame

Squash Casserole
Photo credit: MSPhotographic/shutterstock

Claire Robinson's recipe relies on just five ingredients — yes, she's the one behind "Five Ingredient Fix" — with yellow squash taking center stage. Joined by a bit of cheese and a cracker topping, this is one side dish that won't get pushed to the side. 

Recipe: Food Network

Warm Spaghetti-Squash Salad
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/shutterstock

This dish ups the profile of spaghetti squash with an easy recipe that puts the nutrient-rich vegetable front and center — with zippy accents including almonds, olives and feta cheese. 

Recipe: Delish

Mashed Potato Casserole
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Potatoes, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon are featured in this dish. It's a cool-weather offering that will have you wanting to just sneak away with the whole dish and a big spoon. 

Recipe: House of Yumm

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Gratin
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Warm, gooey cheese ... an ingredient that's got us loving so many of these cool-weather dishes, and this one's no exception. Here, zucchini and onion team up with cheese and heavy whipping cream for a low-carb, gluten-free dish. 

Recipe: I Breathe, I'm Hungry

Sweet Potatoes Roasted in Coconut Oil
Photo credit: Tatiana Bralnina/shutterstock

Signature flavor and easy prep are key to this offering. Sometimes, it's good to go simple. This dish also cooks up in less an hour. 

Recipe: Food52

Impressionist Waldorf Salad
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TV chef Robert Irvine served this up during a "Dinner: Impossible" segment — apples, celery, walnuts, and red onion with a quick-in-a-blender dressing that's on the table in 15 minutes. 

Recipe: Food Network

Green Beans with Cranberries
Photo credit: Green beans with almonds and cranberries by Michelle (None)

This is a dish as elegant as can be — and an easy way to mix up tired old green beans with some seasonal flair. 

Recipe: Natasha's Kitchen

Curried Cauliflower, Apples, and Chickpeas
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/shutterstock

Take three standard — and yes, perhaps boring — ingredients but follow this recipe for an exotic taste treat that may just become your signature side. 

Recipe: Midwest Living

Easy Apple Crisp
Photo credit: Denise Torres/shutterstock

A half dozen apples, white cake mix (go store-brand) plus brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. This recipe is easy to remember — with a taste that's hard to forget, a winning spin on a classic dish. 

Recipe: Allrecipes

Lemon-Sugar Grilled Pineapple
Photo credit: Larisa Blinova/shutterstock

A warm fruit dessert always hits the spot. Take advantage of fall grilling and whip up this three-ingredient tropical treat in moments. 

Recipe: MyRecipes

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie
Photo credit: Pumpkin Mousse Pie by Robyn Lee (None)

Canned pumpkin puree and a gingersnap cookie-crust add up to ease of production in this heart-healthy, low-sodium and vegetarian option. 

Recipe: Eating Well

Easiest Ever Baked Stuffed Apples
Photo credit: Yulia Davidovich/shutterstock

Leave it to Rachael Ray to offer up a quick, inexpensive and delicious spin on one of fall's most beloved apple-themed desserts. 

Recipe: Food Network

Cranberry Lemonade
Photo credit: Liliya Kandrashevich/shutterstock

Another way to transition from summer to fall is with this tart little drink that's as easy as it is tasty. Ideal for parties as you can make a few batches and chill in advance. 

Recipe: Ocean Spray

Pumpkin-Apple Breakfast Smoothie
Photo credit: Teri Virbickis/shutterstock

Everyone seems to have some pumpkin pie spice around this time of year. It adds a real zip to this recipe, which uses everyday fall staples such as canned pumpkin, an apple, and a few oats for a hearty fall-themed start to your day. 

Recipe: Kristine's Kitchen

Pumpkin Muffins
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pure pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice — plus optional orange juice — create a moist muffin ideal for breakfast, lunch or dinner dessert. 

Recipe: Very Best Baking

Cranberry Magic Bars
Photo credit: MShev/shutterstock

Those bags of fresh cranberries seem to go on sale once fall is in full swing — and they're not just for cranberry sauce. These bars, jam-packed with good-for-you ingredients, are destined to become a family favorite. 

Recipe: Health

Molasses Spice Cookies
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Anyone who bakes likely has all the ingredients on hand for these fragrant cookies. Elise Bauer's interpretation is chewy — and memorable. 

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Photo credit: NoirChocolate/shutterstock

You have to smile when you think of this quick-bread recipe. It's dessert, it's chocolate ... but it's also made with pumpkin. And that adds moistness — and, we think, an air of health. Sneaky, right? 

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pumpkin and chocolate team up again in this warming sip that's billed as a "great treat for a fall day, quiet evening or to share with friends and family." 

Recipe: Allrecipes

Cranberry St. Germain Cocktail
Photo credit: Evgeny Starkov/shutterstock

St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur, has become the ubiquitous ingredient in many a cocktail. If you've not yet invested, start with a small bottle — but one sip of this bright cocktail will likely convert you. 

Recipe: Well Plated by Erin

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