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Your Quick Dinner Plan for November

Need meals on the table fast this month? These quick dinner ideas use fall's best ingredients, like squash, cranberries, turkey and citrus.

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Day 1: Sausage and Squash Penne

I love using frozen cooked winter squash because the hard work—peeling, chopping and cooking—is all done for me. — Jennifer Roberts, South Burlington, Vermont
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Day 2: Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets are a fun mashup using a waffle iron. Try adding your favorite toppings or even a few breakfast fillings, such as ham and eggs. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Day 3: Crescent Turkey Casserole

How do you make a dinner of turkey and vegetables really appealing to kids? You turn it into a pie, of course! My version tastes classic, but won’t take much time at all. —Daniela Essman, Perham, Minnesota
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Day 4: 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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Day 5: Easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

One time when making sloppy joes, I wanted mine spicy, so I doused it in hot sauce. After that, my mind went wild and I made it Buffalo chicken-style with ground chicken, diced celery and blue cheese crumbles. I've been making it this way ever since. —Jennifer Nielson, Spanish Fork, Utah
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Day 6: Glazed Smoked Chops with Pears

My husband would eat pork chops every day if he could. Luckily, they're good prepared in all sorts of ways, including with pears. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Day 7: Spaghetti Squash Lo Mein

My colorful Lo Mein is a lighter version of the classic Chinese dish that everyone at our table loves. Try it with a squirt of Sriracha. —Loanne Chiu, Fort Worth, Texas
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Day 8: Spinach & Gouda-Stuffed Pork Cutlets

This started as a restaurant copycat dish at home. Cheese just oozes out of the center, and mustard lends a lot of flavor. —Joan Oakland, Troy, Montanta
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Day 9: Creamy Paprika Pork

When I was little, I would often ask my mom to make "favorite meat." She knew I was requesting this homey pork recipe. It's been in my family for more than 30 years and it's still a favorite! —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
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Day 10: Chimichangas

Though still debated, Tucson is generally credited as the original home of the chimichanga (fried "burro", as we call them, stuffed with meat, onions and chiles). I've combined several recipes into this one, and it's fairly authentic. —Laura Towns, Glendale, Arizona
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Day 11: 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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Day 12: Turkey Curry with Rice

When I have leftover turkey and a hankering for non-holiday food, I make turkey curry with carrots, cauliflower and mango chutney to spoon over rice. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Day 13: 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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Day 14: Ravioli with Creamy Squash Sauce

Store-bought ravioli speeds assembly of this cozy, restaurant-quality dish that tastes so good, your family won't notice it's meatless. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Day 15: Southern Pork & Rice

At our house, we're big on healthy eating. These ultra tender chops with colorful rice and black-eyed peas are a meal fancy enough for a dinner party. —Annie Holmes, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Day 16: Dutch Oven Pizza

We created this Dutch oven pizza to get more use out of our favorite piece of cookware. We couldn't believe how well it turned out! If you're not a mushroom fan, feel free to substitute different toppings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Day 17: Quick Sesame Chicken Noodles

I love playing around with different ingredients and spices in my stir-fry recipes. As my children get older, I have more evenings when I need to whip up dinner quickly, and this dish with chicken strips and ramen noodles fits the bill deliciously. —Heather Chambers, Largo, Florida
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Day 18: Buffalo Chicken Alfredo

My family loves this quick Buffalo chicken Alfredo! It became an instant favorite. I like to use Frank's cayenne pepper sauce, but if you like things on the milder side, just use a little less. —Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas
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Day 19: Steak & Mushroom Stroganoff

This homey recipe of steak and egg noodles in a creamy sauce is just like what we had at my gran's house when we visited. It's one of my favorite "memory meals," as I call them. —Janelle Shank, Omaha, Nebraska
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Day 20: Beef & Pepper Skillet

I love Mexican-inspired food. I also enjoy experimenting with recipes like this one and making them healthier—and downright good! —Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia
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Day 21: Yankee Rancheros

After my in-laws began affectionately referring to me as a Yankee, I decided I had to learn to make some Mexican dishes. These are super easy and make my Tex-Mex-loving family happy—even if they do come from a Northerner!. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
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Day 22: Mushroom Pasta Carbonara

I absolutely love this creamy and cheesy mushroom carbonara. I serve it with a side salad and rolls to make a complete meal. —Cindi Bauer, Marshfield, Wisconsin
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Day 23: Southwest Smothered Chicken

There's a party in every bite of this fiesta chicken dish. Let it spice up dinner tonight! If you're worried about the heat, simply reduce the amount of jalapenos. —Debbie Schaefer, Durand, Michigan
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Day 24: Potato Kielbasa Skillet

No need to hunt through kielbasa and potato recipes, this smoky take steals the show as a hearty home-style, all-in-one meal. It's especially perfect on those cold late fall and early winter nights. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Day 25: Quick Shrimp Curry

I like to serve optional toppings, such as limes, coconut and green onions, in bowls on the table. That way everyone can take what they enjoy. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida
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Day 26: Cranberry Maple Chicken

Cranberries and a hint of maple syrup make a sweet sauce for these easy chicken breast halves. They’re a quick but lovely main course for weeknights and other occasions. –Kim Pettipas of Oromocto, New Brunswick
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Day 27: Taco Mac

This zesty taco mac and cheese is just as yummy the next day. Simply warm it up and garnish with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and cheese. —JoLynn Fribley, Nokomis, Illinois
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Day 28: Pork Chops with Cranberry Pan Sauce

Moist and tender pork chops are treated to a sweet, light cranberry glaze in this weeknight-friendly entree. It's one of my husband's favorite recipes, and it's quite suitable for company, too. —Stephanie Homme, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Day 29: Southern Okra Bean Stew

When this spicy stew's simmering on the stove, my family has a hard time waiting for dinner. It's much like a thick tomato-based soup with a hearty mix of okra, brown rice and beans. Everyone leaves the table feeling satisfied—and eager to have it again soon. —Beverly McDowell, Athens, Georgia
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Day 30: Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Perfect for chilly winter nights, this main course is speedy, low in fat and a delicious one-dish meal. —Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls, Kansas

Christine Rukavena
Christine loves to read, curate, sample and develop new recipes as a book editor at Taste of Home. A CIA alumna with honors, she creates cookbooks and food-related content. A favorite part of the job is taste-testing dishes. Previous positions include pastry chef at a AAA Five Diamond property. Christine moonlights at a boutique wine shop, where she edits marketing pieces and samples wine far higher than her pay grade.

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