Penne Pasta Quattro Formaggi with Butternut Squash and Sage

Photo: Paige Green

The Mac 'n' Cheese with Some Genius Tweaks
A four-cheese mac 'n' cheese sounds delicious enough—but add cubes of roasted butternut squash and woodsy sage, and you've entered the realm of outrageously good dinner. While the squash cooks, you can grate the cheeses: a perfect combination of mild and slightly sweet fontina, sharp and salty blue cheese, tangy Pecorino Romano and almost fruity Parmesan.

Get the recipe: Penne Pasta Quattro Formaggi with Butternut Squash and Sage
Spaghetti Squash Tuna Casserole

Photo: Michelle Smith

A Brave (and Brilliant) Take on Tuna-Noodle
With all the spaghetti squash harvested in early fall, now's the time to make this healthy reinvention of a classic. The recipe is innovative and wildly delicious, swapping in the delicious squash for the pasta, and a creamy cashew sauce for the cheese. It also has you add cremini mushrooms for a bit more heft (in addition to the tuna), and crushed pork rinds on top for a salty, crispy crust.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash Tuna Casserole
Butternut Squash, Kale and Quinoa Bake

Photo: Dana Shultz

A Meatless Meal You'll Feel Great About Eating
This simple quinoa bake is packed with vibrant fall produce yet delivers a warm, comfort-food vibe. You cook quinoa in vegetable broth to give the seeds rich flavor, and the dish gets a subtly sweet, earthy taste from roasted butternut squash and mushrooms. Dark green kale brings even more nutrition and a burst of color.

Get the recipe: Butternut Squash, Kale and Quinoa Bake
pumpkin lasagna

Photo: Elegant Affairs Caterers

A Veggie Lasagna That Will Change the Way You Think About Lasagna
Too often, meatless lasagna includes a jumble of lumpy, bland-tasting vegetables. Not this bright dish, though. The wonder ingredient is pumpkin—which tastes rich and melds seamlessly with the pasta and cheese. You just mix canned pumpkin puree with flavorings that are both familiar (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove) and unexpected (sautéed garlic); and then, spread the mixture into a dish with the noodles, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Lasagna
Chicken, Sweet Potato and Bacon Casserole

Photo: Susie Cushner

The Casserole for Sweet Potato Lovers
When supermarket display bins are overflowing with copper-fleshed sweet potatoes, turn to this easy, make-ahead recipe. It combines the versatile tuber (which adds a gorgeous hue) with sautéed chicken breasts seasoned with sage and thyme, onion and bacon, plus a creamy white sauce. (And if you can find sweet potatoes that are actually labeled "yams," use them; they have the darker skin and richer-colored flesh that are perfect for this meal.)

Get the recipe: Chicken, Sweet Potato and Bacon Casserole
pot pie

Photo: Andrew Purcell

A Revised Rendition of the Savory Pie Everyone Loves
These potpies, made with a hearty mix of mushrooms, barley and white beans, are just as delicious as the traditional chicken version—but won't leave guests in a food coma. You top each one with phyllo dough; it's a quicker, flakier and lighter alternative to the usual butter-heavy dough. And while most mushrooms are available year-round, many are at their peak in fall and winter.

Get the recipe: Vegetable-Barley Potpies
butternut squash risotto

Photo: Susie Cushner

The Indulgent Dinner for When Your Mojo Is Low
Lazy cooks, rejoice: Baking risotto in the oven instead of cooking it on the stovetop is totally doable, as this simple recipe, from Sunday Casseroles, shows. It ends up more tender and less al dente, but no less delicious. With roasted butternut squash, grated Parmigiano cheese and fresh sage, it's a wonderful one-dish meal you can make without the need for constant stirring and monitoring.

Get the recipe: Baked "Risotto" with Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmigiano
brussels sprouts

Photo: Alison Gootee

An Alternative Way to Eat a Beloved Veggie
We love shaved Brussels sprouts salad as much as anyone, but on a chilly night, a salad has nothing on a casserole. Enter this brown-rice bake, which incorporates cooked onion and Brussels sprouts with white wine, chicken stock, apples and thyme, as well as a smattering of cheddar and slivered almonds. It has the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Get the recipe: Cheddar and Brussels Sprouts Rice Bake
mac and cheese

Photo: Paige Green

The Italian-Accented Mac 'n' Cheese
This take on crowd-pleasing baked ziti (which actually calls for penne) is plenty cheesy, thanks to a mixture of Fontina, blue cheese, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan. But instead of a tomato-based sauce, the dish relies on two surprise ingredients: roasted butternut squash and sage. They lend depth you don't usually find with acidic (read tomato-y) sauces.

Get the recipe: Penne Pasta Quattro Formaggi with Butternut Squash and Sage