98 Quick Fall Dinners to Warm Up With

Updated: Feb. 14, 2024

What's better than a cozy fall meal to warm you up after coming in from the cold? One you can make in 30 minutes flat!

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Weekday Beef Stew

Beef stew capped with flaky puff pastry adds comfort to the weeknight menu—my family is always glad to see this meal. Make a salad and call your crowd to the table. —Daniel Anderson, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Cider-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This is a super easy recipe full of sweet fall flavor. The maple flavor really shines through. —Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
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Cheese Ravioli with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

When I first made this cheese ravioli everyone thought: Pumpkin on pasta? Ew! But once they tasted it, they couldn't believe how much they liked it! A warm, comforting delicious blend of flavors. —Cheri Neustifter, Sturtevant, Wisconsin
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Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Load butternut squash shells with an Italian turkey sausage and squash mixture for a quick and easy meal. Even better, it's surprisingly low in calories. —Katia Slinger, Columbus, Georgia
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Skillet Shepherd's Pie

This is the best shepherd's pie recipe I've ever tasted. It's very quick to make, and I usually have most—if not all—of the ingredients already on hand. —Tirzah Sandt, San Diego, California
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Country Chicken and Gravy

Here's a lightened-up take on the classic southern comfort-food dish: chicken and gravy. This recipe has been a hit at our house since the first time we tried it! —Ruth Helmuth, Abbeville, South Carolina
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Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

Cheeseburger macaroni is the ultimate simple and fulfilling dinner that uses items I typically have in my cupboard. It's so easy to prepare and cooking all in one skillet makes it a snap for clean up. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Braised Pork Stew

Pork tenderloin becomes amazingly tender in this braised stew. It's a fantastic meal for a cold winter night. —Nella Parker, Hersey, Michigan
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Grandma's Swedish Meatballs

My mother made these hearty meatballs when we were growing up, and now I make them for my kids. They love them just as much as we did. My daughter likes to help toss the meatballs in flour. —Karin Ness, Big Lake, Minnesota
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Ham & Swiss Baked Penne

As a kid I loved to the hot ham and Swiss sandwiches from a local fast-food restaurant. With its melty, gooey goodness, this bake makes me think of them. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa
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One-Pot Saucy Beef Rotini

My husband loves pasta, but I cringe over the messy dishes. Now, on "Spaghetti Day," as he calls it, I make a one-pot saucy rotini that keeps everyone happy. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Quick Golden Squash Soup

This delectable soup feels like fall! Its golden color and rich, satisfying flavor have made it a favorite of mine—which is really amazing because I was convinced I didn't like squash until I tried this recipe. —Becky Ruff, Monona, Iowa
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Maple-Pecan Pork Chops

For a standout holiday dinner, start with this change-of-pace entree. Begin by simmering the chops in apple juice, then drizzle with sweet maple syrup and top with crunchy pecans. —Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

This recipe combines my two favorite foods—pizza and chicken cordon bleu. I've made this for my family and the teachers at my school. Now the teachers ask me to make it for them for lunch! —Justin Rippel, Colgate, Wisconsin
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Tuscan Cauliflower Soup

A classic Tuscan soup has lots of potatoes, but I make mine the low-carb way with cauliflower. Turns out, it has a heartier flavor. —Heather Bewley, Bemidji, Minnesota
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Glazed Rosemary Pork

A honey-rosemary glaze delicately seasons pork tenderloin in this delightful entree. As elegant as it is easy, the main course is ideal for weekend dinner parties and weeknight suppers alike. —Barbara Sistrunk, Fultondale, Alabama
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Tasty Burritos

My cousin is of Mexican heritage, and I’ve watched her make this crunchy beef burrito recipe for years. The very first time I made them for my own family, they instantly became a favorite meal. They’re even better warmed up the next day in the microwave. —Debi Lane, Chattanooga, Tennessee
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Quick Carbonara

Carbonara is a dinnertime classic, but my version cuts down on the time it takes to make. Loaded with ham, bacon, olives, garlic and Parmesan, it certainly doesn't skimp on flavor. —Carole Martin, Tallahassee, Florida
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Seafood Bisque

We live on the Gulf Coast, where fresh seafood is plentiful. I adapted several recipes to come up with this rich bisque. It's great as a first course or an entree, and it can be made with just shrimp or crabmeat. —Pat Edwards, Dauphin Island, Alabama
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Rosemary Chicken with Spinach & Beans

With two young boys constantly on-the-go, I’m always looking for ways to simplify meals. This recipe uses just one skillet, making it a cinch to prepare dinner for a hungry family in half an hour. —Sara Richardson, Littleton, Colorado
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Saucy Skillet Lasagna

Thanks to no-cook noodles, this skillet lasagna makes a fresh, filling, flavorful and fast entree for any Italian meal. —Meghan Crihfield, Ripley, West Virginia
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Baked Ham and Colby Sandwiches

This yummy ham sliders recipe is a winner with friends and family. Not only are the warm sandwiches a snap to prepare, but they smell so good when baking that no can resist them. They are a staple at our get-togethers. —Sherry Crenshaw, Fort Worth, Texas
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Stuffed Peppers for Four

Truly a meal in one, this quick supper has it all: Veggies, meat, pasta and sauce, packed into tender peppers. It’ll look so pretty on your table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pizza Ring

Mom made a ring with chicken and broccoli one night. I said I’d rather have pizza. That’s how this recipe was born! —Tricia Richardson, Springdale, Arkansas
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Tenderloin Steak Diane

Sometimes, I add more mushrooms to this recipe when my son's eating dinner—he loves them, and they are just fantastic with the steak. — Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada
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Fajita-Style Shrimp and Grits

I combined two of my favorite dishes—fajitas and shrimp with cheesy grits—into this spicy one-dish meal. For more heat, use pepper jack cheese instead of a Mexican cheese blend. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Spicy Chicken Nuggets

We devour these spicy chicken nuggets at least once a week. If you want to tone down the heat, skip the chipotle pepper. —Cheryl Cook, Palmyra, Virginia
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Satisfying Tomato Soup

After craving tomato soup, I decided to make my own. My sister Joan likes it chunky-style, so she doesn't puree. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich. —Marian Brown, Mississauga, Ontario
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Stovetop Beef and Shells

I fix this supper when I'm pressed for time. It's as tasty as it is fast. Team it with salad, bread and fruit for a comforting meal. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas
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Italian Chicken Tenderloins

My friend made this meal for my husband and me after our first child was born. Since chicken tenderloin recipes can be so caloric, I trimmed down the fat and carbs, but we love it just the same. —Beth Ann Stein, Richmond, Indiana
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Sausage and Sauerkraut

I created this tasty, quick and easy sauerkraut and sausage dish so I can throw it together in no time on those extra-busy nights. — Mary Lyon, Spotsylvania, Virginia
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Taco Noodle Dish

I got creative while we were housebound during a snowstorm one winter...and used ingredients I had on hand to come up with this hearty casserole. Later, I modified it so it has less fat and fewer calories. —Judy Munger, Warren, Minnesota
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Ham & Swiss Stromboli

This is an excellent dish to take to someone for dinner. It's also easy to change up the recipe with your favorite meats or cheeses. —Tricia Bibb, Hartselle, AL
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Southwestern Beef Barley Stew

Hearty and easy to fix, this thick stew has a comforting, chili-like flavor. It's my best barley recipe. I'm sure you'll agree that it's a tasty dish. —Lisa Kolenich, Regina, Saskatchewan
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Lemon Chicken and Rice

On our busy ranch, we often need meals we can put on the table in a hurry. This all-in-one chicken dish - with its delicate lemon flavor - fits the bill and it's inexpensive to boot. —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Hearty Sausage Minestrone

As a teacher, I appreciate quick and easy recipes. If I make this for just my husband and me, we have leftovers for lunches. But when there are more people at the table, every bit is eaten. —Tami Stoudt, Evans, Colorado
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Speedy Salmon Stir-Fry

Salmon is a staple where I live, so I tried it in a stir-fry. My recipe has an orange glaze, but I like it with lime, too. —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California
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Golden Gouda Mushroom Soup

Here’s a fantastic first course for guests. Rich, creamy and cheesy, it will warm you from the inside out and stir your appetite for what’s to come. —Charlotte Rogers, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Cilantro Beef Tacos

When I have leftover steak, it’s time to make cilantro tacos. Set out bowls of toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado and salsa. That’s a fiesta. —Patti Rose, Tinley Park, Illinois
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Broiled Cod

This is the easiest and tastiest fish you'll serve. Even finicky eaters who think they don't like fish will love it because it lacks a fishy taste and is beautiful and flakey. —Kim Russell, North Wales, Pennsylvania
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Broccoli Chowder

Sue Call of Beech Grove, Indiana serves this comforting soup on chilly stay-at-home evenings. Nutmeg seasons the light creamy broth that's chock-full of tender broccoli florets and diced potatoes.
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Blue Cheese-Crusted Sirloin Steaks

My wife adores this steak—and me when I fix it for her. She thinks it’s the ideal dish for Friday night after a long workweek. —Michael Rouse, Minot, North Dakota
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Nacho Pie

In place of the ground beef and mozzarella cheese, consider topping this zesty pie with lean ground sausage and cheddar cheese. It tastes just as good.—LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Company Mac and Cheese

This is by far the creamiest, tastiest and most special macaroni and cheese I have ever tried. I'm not usually a fan of the homemade kind, but when a friend served this mac and cheese with cream cheese, I had to have the recipe. Since it's so little fuss and well received, it's a terrific potluck dish. —Catherine Odgen, Middlegrove, New York
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Beef 'n' Biscuit Bake

This recipe is quick, easy and satisfying. With its beef and corn combo, it's cozy cuisine at its best! —Erin Schneider, St. Peters, Missouri
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Pumpkin-Curry Chicken over Cashew Rice

This is truly a dish that combines international flavors with homespun comfort. The sweet curry aroma alone will warm hearts on gray-sky days. For more veggie goodness, add roasted cauliflower. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Braised Pork Loin Chops

An easy herb rub gives sensational taste to boneless braised pork chops that can be cooked on the stovetop in minutes. The meat turns out tender and delicious. —Marilyn Larsen, Port Orange, Florida
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Tuna Crescent Ring

This is really easy to throw together, and I often use it when I am too tired to fix anything else. —Julia Bivens, Martinsburg, West Virginia
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Meat Loaf Muffins

Serve these tangy meat loaf muffins for dinner or slice them up for a take-along sandwich lunch. They're just as flavorful after freezing. —Cheryl Norwood, Canton, Georgia
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Weeknight Taco Soup

This soup turned out delicious on the first try, when I was working without a recipe. You could also add cooked ground beef or cubed stew meat dredged in seasoned flour and browned for a heartier meal. —Amanda Swartz, Goderich, Ontario
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Spicy Veggie Pasta Bake

My dad cooked with cast-iron skillets, so when I do, I remember his amazing culinary skills. I keep the tradition going with my veggie pasta. —Sonya Goergen, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Crispy Orange Chicken

We enjoy these tangy nuggets so many ways—over noodles or rice, in sandwiches, even on top of lettuce and cabbage. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Easy Sloppy Joes

Five ingredients are all you need for these hearty sandwiches, which are great for family gatherings. Onion soup mix and sweet pickle relish add zesty flavor without much effort. —Marge Napalo, Brunswick, Ohio
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Barbecue Chicken Tostadas

Lots of my recipes (just like this one) start out as fun ways to use leftovers. My kids love tostadas, so this day-after-cookout dinner was a big hit. —Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas
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Best Ever Potato Soup

You'll be surprised at the taste of this rich and cheesy easy potato soup. It really is the best potato soup recipe, ever. I came up with it after enjoying baked potato soup at one of our favorite restaurants. I added bacon, and we think that makes it even better. —Coleen Morrissey, Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
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Sausage & Spinach Calzones

These comforting calzones are perfect for quick meals—or even midnight snacks. My nurse co-workers always ask me to make them when it's my turn to bring in lunch. —Kourtney Williams, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice

I like the challenge of inventing recipes with ingredients I have on hand. This easy-peasy meal fits the bill. —Colleen Doucette, Truro, Nova Scotia
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Meatball Submarine Casserole

We were hosting a bunch of friends, and after a comedy of errors, I had to come up with a plan B for dinner. I realized that much-loved meatball subs are even better as a hearty casserole—so delicious! —Rick Friedman, Palm Springs, California
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Contest-Winning Stuffed Pepper Soup

This is an excellent example of how convenience foods can be combined for a tasty entree. Ready in minutes when I get home from work, this soup becomes part of a balanced meal with a tossed salad, rolls or fruit. For a variation, try chicken, turkey or even venison instead of ground beef. –Tracy Thompson, Cranesville, Pennsylvania
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Penne alla Vodka

This easy and impressive pasta is always on the menu when my husband and I invite first-time guests over for dinner. Many friends have asked me to make the recipe again years after they first tried it. —Cara Langer, Overland Park, Kansas
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Buttery Parmesan Chicken

A rich, cheesy breading locks in this chicken's natural juices, making it moist and tempting every time. Because it can be made in advance, I rely on it often during the week and when entertaining. —Kathie Landmann, Lexington Park, Maryland
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Mozzarella Beef Roll-Ups

The kids will love these pepperoni and beef wraps. They're easy to assemble because each tortilla is simply wrapped around a portion of hearty meat filling with a piece of string cheese. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hash Brown-Topped Steak

My husband and I enjoy cooking together. One night we were craving grilled steak and cheese-stuffed baked potatoes but were feeling a little impatient. Here's the quicker meal-in-one idea we invented. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
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Spicy Shrimp & Penne Pasta

I created this creamy pasta dish when I needed to use up some marinara. Red pepper flakes give it a little heat, which my family loves. It's super versatile, so try it with chicken, or simply stir in some fresh basil, too. —Lorri Stout, Gaithersburg, Maryland
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Chicken and Dumplings

Perfect for fall nights, my simple version of comforting chicken and dumplings is speedy, low in fat and a delicious one-dish meal. —Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls, Kansas
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Ham & Veggie Casserole

I’ve paired ham with broccoli and cauliflower for years. To complete this casserole dinner, I pass around some dinner rolls. —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Cumin Chicken

This zesty chicken dish comes together in a flash, so it's perfect for those busy weeknights. But it's so saucy and delicious, it's certainly good enough for company! —Margaret Allen, Abingdon, Virginia
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Cheesy Hamburger Supper

I have good memories of eating this all-in-one meal often while growing up. We all loved the flavor and seldom had leftovers. Instead of sprinkling it with cheddar, I sometimes create a cheese sauce using American cheese and milk. It makes it so cheesy! —Andrea Brandt, Newton, Kansas
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Italian Joes on Texas Toast

This is toasty-good for a weeknight on the go. If you double the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, meat and wine, you'll have enough sauce to freeze. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia
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Taco Stew

The ingredients are simple, but together they make this awesome stew. If you want to a little added crunch, crush a few tortilla chips on top of each bowl. —Suzanne Francis, Marysville, Washington
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Chicken Pizza

My fun twist on typical pizza is an excellent way to use up leftover pesto. And since it’s loaded with protein-rich chicken and black beans, it’s hearty enough to satisfy everyone! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Beef & Bacon Gnocchi Skillet

This gnocchi dish tastes like a bacon cheeseburger. Go ahead and top it as you would a burger—with ketchup, mustard and pickles. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Peachy Pork with Rice

Peach preserves sweeten the spicy salsa in this delicious dish that’s nice enough for company. Adjust the heat level to taste by using mild or spicy salsa and seasoning. —Melissa Molaison, Hawkinsville, Georgia
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Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Fresh flavor with a flair describes this quick and easy recipe. Fajitas are just right for hot summer evenings when you want to serve something fun and tasty, yet keep cooking to a minimum. Try topping them with sour cream, guacamole or both. —Lindsay St. John, Plainfield, Indiana
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Grilled Sausage-Basil Pizzas

We love basil recipes, and these easy little pizzas are a wonderful change of pace from the classic cookout menu. Let everybody go crazy with the toppings. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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Hearty Vegetable Beef Ragu

This recipe is healthy yet satisfying, quick yet delicious. It's on the table in less than 30 minutes, and it's something that my children will gobble up! If you are not fond of kale, stir in baby spinach or chopped broccoli instead. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey
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Easy White Chicken Chili

Chili is one of our best cold-weather strategies. We use chicken and white beans for a twist on the regular bowl of red. It’s soothing comfort food. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Skillet Beef Tamales

I found something similar to this years ago and have recently added my own spin. Here’s the outcome: an easy, cheesy meal your family can't get enough of. We don't have to tell them it's healthy. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Blushing Penne Pasta

I reworked this recipe from an original that called for vodka and heavy whipping cream. My friends and family had a hard time believing a sauce this rich, flavorful and creamy could be light. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
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Country Ham and Potatoes

Browned potatoes are a simple but perfect side for country ham. Not only do the potatoes pick up the flavor of the ham, but they look beautiful! Just add veggies or a salad and dinner’s done. —Helen Bridges, Washington, Virginia
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Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

I like to make this smooth, creamy soup when company comes to visit. Its zippy flavor is full of southwestern flair. My family enjoys dipping slices of homemade bread in this chowder to soak up every bite! —Susan Garoutte, Georgetown, Texas
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Fire-Roasted Ziti with Sausage

We punch up our pasta with smoked sausage and fire-roasted tomato sauce. It's an easy recipe to switch up—use whatever noodles and spaghetti sauce are in your pantry. —Jean Komlos, Plymouth, Michigan
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Creamy Sweet Potato and Veggie Soup

I tasted a delicious soup in a restaurant but couldn't persuade the chef to share the recipe, so I began to experiment on my own. Finally, I came up with this blend, which is very close to what I tasted—maybe even better! —Audrey Nemeth, Mount Vernon, Maine
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Pork & Potato Supper

If you're looking for a down-home one dish dinner that can be easily made on a weeknight, then this recipe is for you. My husband made sure that I added it to the list of Allen family favorites. —Macey Allen, Green Forest, Arkansas
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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, I learned from my grandmother how to make these chicken-fried steaks. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are older, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Beef Skillet Supper

Sometimes I'll make extra of this comforting, noodle-y supper to guarantee leftovers. It's a great take-along dish for work or school. Trim calories from the entree by substituting ground turkey for the beef and low-fat cheese for the full-fat cheddar. —Tabitha Allen, Cypress, Texas
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Spicy Rice Casserole

Stirring up pork sausage, wild rice and jalapeno to taste makes this a terrific side. Or serve it with cornbread to turn it into a main dish. It’s easy to make ahead and reheat for a potluck meal. —Debbie Jones, California, Maryland
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Speedy Weeknight Chili

Super-easy and great-tasting, this chili makes a big batch of great party fare. I use my food processor to chop up the veggies and cut down on prep time. It’s also very tasty and lower in fat when made with ground turkey breast. —Cynthia Hudson, Greenville, South Carolina.
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Chicken Cheese Strata

The spices in this simple strata with chicken, broccoli and cheese offer an extra special taste. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri
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Steak Fajitas

Zesty salsa and tender strips of steak make these traditional fajitas extra special. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Sausage Pizza Pasta

It's pizza in a bowl! Here's a terrific (and tasty) way to make sure your kids get the whole grains and vegetables they need to grow up big and strong. —Danna Holt, Shoals, Indiana
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Penne with Tomatoes & White Beans

I learned how to make this dish from friends in Genoa, Italy, where they're known for creating tasty combinations of veggies, pasta and beans. You can sub feta cheese to give this a Greek twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho