8 Fall Recipes for Busy People
Thirty minutes or less—and brimming with autumn flavor.
Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D
A Surprise Use for the Fruits of Your Apple-Picking Labor
Put aside the applesauce and apple-pie recipes for a moment, and consider using at least one of those Granny Smiths in this quick weeknight dinner. The fruit and a creamy, sour cream-based sauce work wonders, keeping potentially dry chicken breasts moist. You cut the meat into bite-size pieces, so there's more surface area to soak up the flavorful juices created by cooking the apple slices in chicken stock. A bit of thyme and Dijon mustard give the dish even more depth and counterbalance the tart fruit nicely.
Get the recipe: Chicken with Apples and Carrots
A Butternut Squash Dinner That's Hard to Resist
There's a lot to love about a pasta supper that includes tender butternut squash, savory sausage, fresh sage and a touch of heavy cream. If that isn't enough to entice you, though, there's also fresh arugula, which wilts into the hot pasta at the very end of cooking, and a smattering of grated Parmesan, which provides a just-sharp-enough counterpoint to the rich sausage and cream, and the sweet winter squash.
Get the recipe: Penne with Sausage and Butternut Squash
An Unexpected Use for a Greenmarket Staple
We know zucchini can stand in for spaghetti, but we were surprised to learn that shredded cabbage can work in certain dishes, too. In this smart recipe, green cabbage, which you'll see all over farmer's markets in late fall, is the substitute for the typical rice noodles and forms the basis of a healthier pad Thai. The hardy vegetable adds fiber to the finished dish, and you still get that signature salty-sweet flavor, thanks to soy sauce and a small amount of sugar.
Get the recipe: Lightened-Up Pad Thai
A Reason to Stock Up on a Bite-Size Autumn Fruit
Breakfast for dinner usually includes eggs, but this intriguing twist on toast with jam takes a different tack. It's essentially an open-face sandwich starring a fall fruit that doesn't get as much play as apples and pears: grapes. While they are in grocery stores all the time, you may find them at your farmer's market now (especially the concord variety), and pan-roasting them concentrates their flavor and gives them a depth they lack when raw. With creamy mascarpone cheese they make a fantastic topping for crisp slices of toasted baguette.
Get the recipe: Pan-Roasted Grape and Mascarpone Toast
The Grain-Free Way to Eat Rice
We're already on board with cauliflower as a delicious addition to mashed potatoes
and a nutritious way to thicken mac 'n' cheese
. Turns out the cool-weather veg can also transform into "rice" when you shred it with a grater; you'll wind up with grain-like bits, which you can then sauté or steam. The bits cook more quickly than their carb-y counterpart and their mild flavor goes with almost anything you'd serve with rice. This simple recipe pairs the cauliflower with fresh herbs, lemon, apricots and walnuts.
Get the recipe: Cauliflower "Rice" Salad with Herbs and Dried Fruit
Tender, Juicy Chops with Their Best Friends for Life
Tart apples, sweet onions and juicy pork chops come together brilliantly in this one-skillet winner. It's easy to make: Just brown the chops in olive oil for a couple of minutes, pour in a bit of wine (or beer) and some chopped shallot and remove the meat from the pan. In go sliced apples and onion and a good glug of stock; once the liquid is bubbling, you return the pork to the skillet and continue cooking until the meat is done and the apples and onions have turned into a soft and chunky sauce.
Get the recipe: Skillet Pork Chops with Apples
The Salad for Brussels-Sprouts Skeptics
If you're on the fence about the "mini cabbages" known as Brussels sprouts (they can taste bitter if overcooked), try this raw version, which has you use a food processor fitted with a grater attachment to shred the sprouts into thin ribbons. Tossed with a Dijon-garlic-carawa-seed dressing, the Brussels taste crisp yet tender. Plus, apples, grapes and almonds add sweet crunch.
Get the recipe: Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Grapes Recipe
Not Your Average Stir-Fry
While this one-pan Asian pork-and-veggie dish does include soy sauce, it’s hardly the same old. Two fun additions veer it in a new direction: the zest of a fresh lime gives the meal a tropical and sweet undertone, while a smattering of crushed peanuts add salty crunch. And although the recipe calls for a package of coleslaw, you could also use shredded, fresh cabbage, which is available year-round but at its sweetest in the fall.
Get the recipe: Stir-Fried Pork with Cabbage, Peanuts and Lime