100 of the Best Fall Dinners, Sides, Desserts and More

Updated: Feb. 23, 2024

Make the most of the season's hearty produce and spicy flavors with our fall dinners, appetizers, desserts and much more.

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Sausage & Rice Stuffed Pumpkins

My children often request this dish. It also adds a great "wow" factor to a festive buffet table.—Andria Peckham, Lowell, Michigan
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Grampa's German-Style Pot Roast

Grampa was of German heritage and loved the old-world recipes his mother gave him. I made a few changes so I could prepare this dish in a slow cooker and give it a slightly updated flavor. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Hearty Butternut Squash Soup

The comforting combination of squash, meat, beans and veggies makes this my go-to soup in fall. It's full of freshness. —Jaye Beeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Brown Rice and Vegetables

This filling rice dish, full of big chunks of butternut squash and sweet potatoes, is a standout combination of sweet and savory flavors. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

My kids start begging me for these cakelike sandwich cookies as soon as autumn arrives. I haven't met a person yet who doesn't like these fun treats. —Deb Stuber, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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Turkey Dumpling Stew

My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Chunky Applesauce

There's just something extra special about a homemade applesauce recipe like this one. This simple dish is tart and not too sweet. It makes the perfect side, especially with pork chops or a pork roast. —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan
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Pork Chops & Acorn Squash

My husband and I are crazy for the squash we grow in our garden. For a sweet and tangy dish, we slow-cook it with pork chops and orange juice. —Mary Johnson, Coloma, Wisconsin
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Cheeseburger Soup

A local restaurant serves a similar cheeseburger soup but wouldn't share its recipe with me. I developed my own, modifying a recipe I already had for potato soup. I was really pleased with the way this all-American dish turned out. —Joanie Shawhan, Madison, Wisconsin
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Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

We bought loads of apples and needed to use them. To help the flavors come alive, I roasted the apples and tossed them with a sweet dressing. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Chocolate Chai Mini Loaves

This bread is irresistible! A friend gets mad when I make it because I give her a loaf and she can't help but eat the whole thing! —Lisa Christensen, Poplar Grove, Illinois
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Mom's Sweet Potato Bake

Mom loved sweet potatoes and fixed them often in this creamy, comforting baked sweet potato casserole. With its nutty topping, this side dish could almost be served as a dessert. It's a yummy treat! —Sandi Pichon, Memphis, Tennessee
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Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Relish

I like how grilled pork and fruit bring out the best in each other. If you have leftover relish, break out the tortilla chips! —Cindy Esposito, Bloomfield, New Jersey
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"Everything" Stuffing

My family goes crazy for this stuffing that I make in the slow cooker. It freezes well so we can enjoy it long after Thanksgiving has passed. —Bette Votral, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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Pumpkin Lasagna

I especially like this comforting fall dish because it's vegetarian. Even friends who aren't big fans of pumpkin are surprised by this delectable lasagna. Canned pumpkin and no-cook noodles make it a cinch to prepare. —Tamara Huron, New Market, Alabama
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Maple Pork Ribs

A luscious maple-mustard sauce will take your next plate of ribs to a new level. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread

My family loves quick breads. This one is moist and spicy. If you don't have mini loaf pans it works just as well in regular size pans. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Cream of Potato & Cheddar Soup

The Yukon Gold potatoes my daughter shares from her garden make this soup incredible. Add some cheddar cheese and crisp croutons, and it’s just heavenly. It's total comfort with the simplicity of good ingredients! —Cindi Bauer, Marshfield, Wisconsin
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Apple Cider Chicken Quinoa Skillet

Since I’m especially busy with three active teenagers, I don’t have much time to get dinner on the table in the evening. Instead, I rely on quick options, like this one-skillet dish that boasts essential proteins, veggies and good carbohydrates. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

I will always remember the way my grandmother’s house smelled when she made these balsamic chicken thighs every Sunday. Ever since she gave me the recipe, the heartwarming flavors always take me back to my childhood. —Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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Potato Pumpkin Mash

No more plain white mashed potatoes for us! I swirl fresh pumpkin into potatoes for a little extra holiday color. —Michelle Medley, Dallas, Texas
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Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie

My husband and I are not big fans of traditional pumpkin pie, but my mother and others are, so we must have pumpkin pie as one of the desserts at Thanksgiving. I decided to meet everyone halfway with this pumpkin pecan pie recipe and it was a hit. Now I bring it to Thanksgiving every year. My mother doesn't even feel the need to bake her own pumpkin pie! —Emily Reese, Glade Hill, Virginia

Praline pumpkin pie is just one of the easy fall baking recipes you won’t want to miss.

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Creamy Braised Chicken

A smooth, delicate cream sauce gives a special taste to these tender chicken breasts accompanied by pearl onions and sauteed mushrooms. This dish is so rich-tasting, you'll want to serve it to company. —Margaret Haugh Heilman, Houston, Texas
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Sausage & Swiss Chard Lasagna

Rustic and comforting, I found this rich and cheesy lasagna to be a great way to get kids to eat healthy greens—it's such a tasty casserole they'll never know the Swiss chard is there! —Candace Morehouse, Show Low, Arizona
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Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Apple and winter squash are fantastic together. They are the perfect pair for this cozy, vegan butternut squash soup. For a slightly different flavor that still features classic fall produce, substitute a ripe pear for the apple. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is one of the fall soup recipes that will keep you warm this fall.

30 / 100

Caramel Pear Pudding

Don't expect this old-fashioned dessert to last long. The delicate pears and irresistible caramel topping make it a winner whenever I serve it. It's nice to have a tempting fall cake that puts the season's best pears to excellent use. —Sharon Mensing, Greenfield, Iowa
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Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Because I work full time, this slow cooker pot roast is my go-to when I want a hearty, home cooked meal. It’s a comfort to walk in and smell this roast simmering. —Gina Jackson, Ogdensburg, New York

This is just one of the warm and cozy fall dinner recipes you need to try.

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Mushroom and Brown Rice Hash with Poached Eggs

I made my mother's famous roast beef hash healthier by using cremini mushrooms instead of beef, and brown rice instead of potatoes. It's ideal for a light main dish. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Apple Dumpling Bake

I received this recipe for baked apple dumplings with Mountain Dew from a friend of mine, then tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. The soda is definitely the secret ingredient in this rich apple dessert. —Chris Shields, Monrovia, Indiana
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Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I'm originally from Minnesota, where wild rice grows in abundance and is very popular in recipes. This creamy chicken wild rice soup has been part of our Christmas Eve menu for years. To save time, I cook the chicken and wild rice and cut up the vegetables the day before. —Virginia Montmarquet, Riverside, California
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Tortellini Carbonara

Bacon, cream and Parmesan cheese make a classic pasta sauce that's absolutely heavenly. It's a delightful option for company! —Cathy Croyle, Davidsville, Pennsylvania
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Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

Herbs, garlic and butter give this hearty meal in one a classic flavor. It's a lot like pot roast, except it uses chicken instead of beef. —Isabel Zienkosky, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Pretty Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

I make sticky buns and cinnamon rolls quite often because my husband loves them. One day I had some fresh pumpkin on hand and decided to try pumpkin cinnamon buns. We loved the results! —Glenda Joseph, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Wild Rice, Quinoa & Cranberry Salad

This fragrant salad is a vitamin and protein powerhouse. Toss in leftover cooked turkey to make it a meal the next day. —Jerilyn Korver, Bellflower, California
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Chicken Sausage & Gnocchi Skillet

I had a bunch of fresh veggies and combined them with sausage, gnocchi and goat cheese when I needed a quick dinner. Mix and match your own ingredients for unique results. —Dahlia Abrams, Detroit, Michigan
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Pumpkin Doughnut Drops

I always have a few special treats handy when the grandchildren visit. These cake doughnuts are one of their favorite snacks. —Beva Staum, Muscoda, Wisconsin
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Turkey Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Finding healthy recipes the family will eat is a challenge. This elegant squash is one we love, and it works with pork or chicken sausage, too. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard Noodles

A fast, creamy skillet sauce dresses up everyday pork chops and noodles. Chicken also works well with this recipe and the zesty mix of mustards.—Margaret Bracher, Robertsdale, Alabama
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Orange-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potatoes

When it's chilly outside, I like to roast pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes, apples and an orange. The sweetness and spices make any evening cozy. —Danielle Boyles, Sparta, Wisconsin
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Pear Harvest Salad

We came up with this delicious salad trying to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. We think you'll love it, too! —Nancy Prewitt, Beaverton, Oregon
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Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter

We often think of sweet potatoes in a supporting role as a side dish, mashed, baked whole, cubed and roasted. Here's another thought—why not give them a starring role for breakfast when made into biscuits? Served with cinnamon-honey butter, they're all kinds of awesome. —Cathy Bell, Joplin, Missouri
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Northwoods Wild Rice Salad

This is my Minnesota version of a vintage German slaw that’s popular at church suppers. The wild rice has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with tangy sauerkraut. —Jeanne Holt, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Maple-Roasted Chicken & Acorn Squash

When I became a new mother, my mom helped me find comforting and simple recipes to have on hand. This terrific roast chicken is a happy discovery. —Sara Eilers, Surprise, Arizona
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White Turkey Chili

Here's proof that chili doesn't have to be red. I combined several recipes and changed flavors until the recipe was just right. Trust me, this one is a keeper. —Tina Barrett, Houston, Texas
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The Best Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a Thanksgiving tradition in my house, and I was on a quest to create the ultimate version. This might be it!—James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Baked Spiral Ham

This is my favorite spiral ham recipe. It will feed a crowd, or use what’s remaining in two recipes. No one groans about ham leftovers when these items are on the menu. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
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Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York
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Cauliflower Soup

This cheesy recipe is way tastier than any other cauliflower soup I've tried! We like it with hot pepper sauce for a little extra kick. —Debbie Ohlhausen, Chilliwack, British Columbia
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Skillet Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Treat your sweet-salty tooth! Sweet potatoes dressed with buttery, herby, garlicky goodness make for a stunning, delicious side dish. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Orange-Chip Cranberry Bread

Tart berries, crunchy nuts and sweet chocolate are simply scrumptious when mixed together in this easy quick bread. Sometimes I'll top it off with an orange-flavored glaze. —Donna Smith, Fairport, New York
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Sage Pork Chops with Cider Pan Gravy

A creamy sauce flavored with apple cider and sage makes for a quick and tasty weeknight dinner. If you'd like, serve these lightly seasoned chops with couscous, rice or noodles. —Erica Wilson, Beverly, Massachusetts
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Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal

My family loves cranberries but we can get them fresh only during the holiday season. This recipe lets us enjoy the tartness of cranberry with the comfort of oatmeal all year long. —Teena Petrus, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker German Bratwurst

I created this old-world favorite based on a dish I had during my travels. The flavorful entree is perfect for weeknights or special occasions. I like to serve this slow-cooker bratwurst with pasta. —Gerald Hetrick, Erie, Pennsylvania
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Mashed Potatoes with Garlic-Olive Oil

Garlic mashed potatoes are high on our love list. To intensify the flavor, I combine garlic and olive oil in the food processor and drizzle it on top of the potatoes. — Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
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Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili

My family is crazy about this slow cooker chili because it uses ingredients you don't usually find in chili. Believe it or not, I discovered that pumpkin is what makes the dish so special. Cook up a big batch and freeze some for later; it tastes even better reheated. —Deborah Vliet, Holland, Michigan
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Chicken & Garlic with Fresh Herbs

The key to this savory chicken is the combination of garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes or crusty Italian bread. —Jan Valdez, Lombard, Illinois
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Cranberry Appetizer Meatballs

For a memorable meatball party snack with a tangy non-traditional sauce, I suggest this recipe. The meatballs are mouthwatering.—Jim Ulberg, Elk Rapids, Michigan
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Badger State Stuffing

Your family will love the contrasting sweet, savory and slightly tart flavors in this spin on a Thanksgiving classic. Feel free to use your favorite beer or dried fruit to make the dish your own. —Andrea Fetting, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Maple-Glazed Apple Pie

Even though we've lived in Florida for three years, I still feel like a Vermonter. My parents send us a bushel of Vermont apples each fall, and we try to visit in the spring to do some sugaring. —Patricia Putnam, Lakeland, Florida
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Slow-Cooked Chunky Chili

Pork sausage, ground beef and plenty of beans make this chili a marvelous meal. I keep serving-size containers of it in my freezer at all times so I can quickly warm up bowls on busy days. —Margie Shaw, Greenbrier, Arkansas
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Ninja Foodi Apple Crisp

When the temperature drops and winter rolls in, it's the perfect time for this warm and satisfying Ninja Foodi apple crisp recipe. —Awynne Thurstenson, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
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Easy Meatball Stroganoff

This recipe has fed not only my own family, but many neighborhood kids! They come running when I make this supper. It's one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because you know it works. —Julie May, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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New England Bean & Bog Cassoulet

When I moved to New England, I embraced the local cuisine. My cassoulet with baked beans pays tribute to a French classic and to New England in one hearty, heartwarming dish. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Squash Custard Pie

Acorn squash has been a favorite of mine since I was little and my mother baked it with sugar and cinnamon. This particular pie was something I improvised. We love pumpkin pie, but had fresh squash in excess. So I came up with this new variation! —Mary Kelly, Hopland, California
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Turkey Salisbury Steaks

My mother always made Salisbury steak. When I married, I developed my own, and it just may be the recipe my husband asks for the most. —Leann Doyle, Patchogue, New York
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Slow-Cooker Chai Tea

A wonderful sweet and spicy aroma wafts from the slow cooker as this fragrant and flavorful chai tea cooks. —Crystal Jo Burns, Iliff, Colorado
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Enchilada Stuffed Shells

I served this entree to my husband, my sister and my brother-in-law, who is a hard-to-please eater. He said he liked it and even took leftovers for lunch the next day—I was thrilled! —Rebecca Stout, Conroe, Texas
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Roasted Squash, Carrots & Walnuts

After the turkey’s done, I dial up the oven temp and roast carrots and squash for this yummy side. That frees me up to start the gravy. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Artichoke Florentine Pasta

Pasta loaded with artichokes and creamy cheese is everything a Sunday dinner should be: rich, tasty and memorable. Add cooked chicken, shrimp or crab if you like. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana
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Roasted Vegetables with Sage

When I can't decide what vegetable to serve at dinner, I turn to this oven-roasted medley that features brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots and butternut squash. It pleases everyone around the table.—Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Parmesan-Bacon Bubble Bread

When I needed to put some leftover bread dough to good use, I started with a recipe I often use for bubble bread and substituted savory ingredients for the sweet. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Mini Pumpkin Cakes

I saw these cute cakes at a local grocery store and decided to make my own version at home. They’re a hit at any fall gathering. —Jennifer Dorff, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Thanksgiving Stuffed Shells

Leftover turkey, dressing and sweet potatoes make terrific stuffing for jumbo pasta shells. We add cheese and use turkey gravy as the sauce for this crowd-pleaser. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Cheesy Ham Chowder

My five children all agree that this soothing recipe is wonderful. The soup is full of potatoes, carrots and ham. The best part is that I can get it on the table in only a half hour of hands-on time. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska
81 / 100

Sheet-Pan Chicken and Vegetables

This sheet-pan chicken and veggies meal tastes as if it took hours of hands-on time to put together, but the simple ingredients can be prepped in mere minutes. The rosemary gives it a rich flavor, and the meat juices cook the veggies to perfection. It’s unbelievably easy! —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Caramel Apple Strudel

My father, who was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, would tell us stories about how his mother covered all the kitchen counters with dough whenever she made apple strudel. This recipe is a modern, delicious way to carry on part of my family's heritage. —Sarah Haengel, Bowie, Maryland
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Pumpkin Bisque with Smoked Gouda

I love the smell of this rich, cheesy soup as it bubbles on the stove. The Gouda cheese adds a delightful smokiness that just says autumn to me.—Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, Florida
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Mom's Meat Loaf

Mom made the best meat loaf, and now I do too. When I first met my husband, he wasn't a meat loaf guy, but this recipe won him over. —Michelle Beran, Claflin, Kansas
86 / 100

Carrot Fruitcake

Even those who don't care for fruitcake love this special holiday dessert. It's a fun way to dress up that old favorite, carrot cake. Try it—your friends and family will agree. —Ann Parden, Chunchula, Alabama
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Cheese & Pumpkin-Filled Manicotti

Our family adores autumn and anything to do with pumpkins! This warm, comforting recipe is so easy to put together on a cool fall weeknight. When I have time, I make homemade ravioli and tortellini using this same filling. It also works well in stuffed shells. —Mandy Howison, Renfrew, Pennsylvania
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Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprouts

I love creating dishes with few ingredients and easy steps, like squash with Brussels sprouts. Maple syrup adds a slight sweetness, and pecans give it a toasty crunch. —Angela LeMoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Savory Pork Roast

I love this herbed roast so much that I make it as often as I can. It's wonderful for special occasions, particularly when served with sweet potatoes and corn muffins. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Baked Parmesan Breaded Squash

Baked yellow squash is beautifully crispy. You don’t have to turn the pieces, but do keep an eye on them. — Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas
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Chicken Broccoli Shells

This cheesy entree is a make-ahead dream. Just assemble it ahead of time and put it in the oven when company arrives. I round out the meal with a tossed salad and warm bread. —Karen Jagger, Columbia City, Indiana
92 / 100

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

My hearty soup uses herbs and vegetables from the garden along with convenient pantry items, so it’s easy, fast and mostly fresh. Your family will devour it. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
93 / 100

Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna

This flavorful weeknight vegetarian skillet lasagna is sure to please any meat lover at your dinner table. Serve with a mixed green salad to complement the meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake

I clipped this easy peanut butter cake recipe from a newspaper years ago. The house smells fantastic while it's slow cooking. My husband and son enjoy the cake with ice cream and nuts on top. —Bonnie Evans, Norcross, Georgia
95 / 100

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This convenient sweet potato casserole with pecan topping calls for canned sweet potatoes, so preparation time is minimal. The nutty brown sugar topping adds a bit of crunch. —Anita Briner, Etters, Pennsylvania
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Best Ever Mac & Cheese

To make this amazing mac, I make a sauce loaded with three different cheeses to toss with the noodles. When baked, it's gooey goodness with a crunchy topping that...don't get me started! —Beth Jacobson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
98 / 100

Apple Crisp Pizza

While visiting the bakery at a Wisconsin apple orchard, I tried this tempting treat. At home, I put together this recipe. As it bakes, the enticing aroma fills my kitchen, and friends and family linger waiting for a sample. —Nancy Preussner, Delhi, Iowa
99 / 100

Cornish Pasties

My Great-Aunt Gladys was from a small mining town in England where pasties were popular. I loved to watch her craft each Cornish pasty, as she made them in different sizes depending on who was eating. Serve with a green salad to make a wonderful meal. —Verna Hainer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Acorn Treats

You only need three ingredients to make these super simple acorn cookies! —Jane Stasik, Greendale, Wisconsin