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5 Shockingly Easy Dinners That Give You That Cozy Fall Vibe

October 8, 2023
Photo Credit: Maya Feller

These easy, cozy dinners are as healthful as they are comforting: they’re basically the food equivalent of slipping back into your favorite warm sweater and lined slippers this fall. So often, we associate cozy fall and winter foods with unhealthy ingredients, but the truth is, you can make delicious dinners that taste really rich and hearty while still being packed with lean proteins and vegetables. Here are a few of our favorites.

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1. Easy Butternut Squash Soup

easy cozy dinners

Photo Credit: Love & Lemons

With fresh sage, ginger, rosemary, and extra-virgin olive oil, this soup is packed with healthy ingredients but somehow tastes rich and creamy. This is a lighter-feeling option for lunch and dinner, while still being nourishing. It’s extra delicious served with a side of sourdough bread and grass-fed butter.

Pro tip: To make this recipe even easier, buy pre-chopped or frozen butternut squash. It will save you time and the nerve-wracking experience that is trying to cut a squash (without cutting a finger off in the process).

Try the recipe from Love & Lemons.

2. Scallion Grits with Shrimp

Shrimp with creamy grits in bowls

Photo Credit: Maya Feller

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of warm, savory grits? (If you’re from the south, you definitely know what I’m talking about.) Try this recipe from Maya Feller, R.D. M.S., registered dietitian and author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook. It features nutrient-rich seafood broth and offers the option to sub quinoa for grits for extra protein and fiber.

Pro Tip: If you do use grits, we highly recommend using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free corn grits.

Try the recipe from Maya Feller.

3. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Easy fall dinners

Photo Credit: All The Healthy Things

This sweet potato casserole is just what you’re craving on any given cold, dark evening (or morning, really — can you imagine this for breakfast?). It’s salty, sweet, and filled with antioxidants — and it will also make your home smell amazing. In an hour or less, you can have a rich, decadent-feeling dinner that’s still totally good for you. This would be great served with wilted baby spinach with garlic and lemon juice — the bitterness can chop right through the sweet to create a balance.

Pro tip: To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute ghee or coconut oil; just make sure that it’s semi-solid (not melted) for the streusel topping.

Try the recipe from All The Healthy Things.

4. One Pan Green Thai Curry Rice

cozy dinner on plates with lemon wedges

Photo Credit: In My Bowl

When it comes to saving time, cleanup is just as important as prep. This one-pan recipe, which features a mix of seasonal produce like cauliflower and kale — as well as canned beans and frozen vegetables — succeeds at reducing both. All you need is a blender and a casserole dish, so prep and cleanup are an absolute breeze. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes and you have a flavor-packed dinner with all the cozy vibes.

Pro Tip: This is intended to be a full meal, but you can also add poached eggs or shredded rotisserie chicken on top for more protein.

Try the recipe from In My Bowl.

5. One-Pot Cauliflower Stew with Curry

cauliflower curry made in one pot

Photo Credit: Dietitian Debbie

This cauliflower curry is a flavorful and nutritious dish that is easy to prepare. The curry is made with cauliflower florets, chickpeas, and a blend of spices, creating a delicious and satisfying meal. The recipe also includes coconut milk, which adds a creamy texture and enhances the flavors. With the combination of vegetables, protein-rich chickpeas, and aromatic spices, this cauliflower curry is a wholesome and balanced option for a meal.

Try the recipe from Dietitian Debbie

Read next: Healthy (but Still Tasty!) Versions of 7 Classic Thanksgiving Recipes

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