Chicken and Wild Rice

Photo: Keiko Oikawa

A No-Fail Classic with a Pleasantly Sweet Surprise

This uncomplicated chicken-and-rice dish would be as welcome on a Wednesday night as it is on a casual dinner-party night. The no-fuss recipe has you cook onion, garlic, some spices and chicken pieces in an ovenproof pot, then add rice, broth and dried cranberries (which technically don't have a season, but their tart flavor seems to signal fall). You slip it into the oven for an hour, or so, and that's it. The finished dish is warm and satisfying, and has a wonderful burst of flavor from the berries.

Get the recipe: Chicken and Wild Rice
Pumpkin Vegetarian Chili

Photo: ThinkStock

Chili Starring Fall's "It" Veggie

Whether you're watching a game or just watching the leaves change, chili is a go-to comfort meal. Veggie versions usually feature beans and tomatoes prominently; maybe corn and carrots as well. Turns out, though, that pumpkin is a lovely addition. Its gentle sweetness is a great match for the chili powder, cumin and cinnamon.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Vegetarian Chili

Photo: Rick Grant/iStock/Thinkstock

Proof That Pork and Applesauce Are Still a Perfect Match

Pork and apples are a classic pairing; the sweet-tart fruit nicely complements the mild-tasting meat. This no-brainer recipe uses the slow cooker to cook pork tenderloin and sliced apples, though you could also toss them into a roasting pan and roast in the oven (425° for about 25 minutes). As the fruit stews, it softens into a slumpy, chunky sauce that would be great on its own, but is even better with the juicy pork.

Get the recipe: Apple and Onion Pork-Loin
Southwest Spaghetti Squash

Photo: Courtesy of Time Inc. Books/Jennifer Causey

The Vegetarian Bake for When You're Craving Burritos

This savory casserole has all the elements of a rich, hearty Southwestern meal but tastes and feels much lighter thanks to its spaghetti squash base. The recipe has a smart trick too, wherein you roast the squash in a baking dish and, when it's tender, shred it and mix it with tomatoes, beans, scallions, seasonings and cheese—right in the very same dish (hello, easy cleanup). Slide it into the oven until the top is bubbly and the cheese is melted, and serve with sour cream for a meal that tastes way more indulgent than it really is.

Get the recipe: Southwest Spaghetti Squash
Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby

Photo: Emily Kate Roemer

The Seasonal, Savory Pancake

Fun to say, easy to make and delicious to eat: meet the Dutch baby. It's a large, fluffy pancake that works for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. Best of all, you can top it with anything your heart desires: bacon and kale; smoked salmon and crème fraîche; or, in this lovely autumnal rendition, slices of red apple and shredded sharp cheddar.

Get the recipe: Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby