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These light ideas are ideal for any weeknight dinner.
One of the best things about fall is fresh seasonal produce! You’ll find that squash, kale, beets, pumpkin and other tasty options are abundant, and that there are plenty of delicious recipes to help you put them to good use. Since it’s getting cold out, you’re probably on the hunt for some soul-warming ideas — but not all easy fall dinner recipes are particularly healthy. That’s where these tasty combos come in!
The healthy fall recipes on our list are colorful, packed with nutrients and make the best of what fall has to offer. Plus, they’ll warm you right up! Get into a new meal-planning routine by including some healthy fall foods in your diet, or simply add a new weeknight dinner to your family’s rotation. Be sure to check out our best pumpkin and butternut squash recipes too!
Get your lean protein from roasted chicken (or grab a rotisserie version from the store if you’re short on time) and dig into a fresh and earthy side salad. Fennel comes packed with folate, a type of B vitamin that helps with muscle and nerve function.
Get the recipe for Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken With Fennel and Radicchio Salad »
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Acorn squash comes loaded with vitamins A and C, and it’s the perfect vessel for lean turkey sausage, peppers and onions. Whole grains like brown rice supply even more fiber.
Get the recipe for Acorn Squash With Brown Rice and Turkey Sausage »
Make sure you grab cans of pure pumpkin — not the pie filling — when you stock up on soup ingredients. A special shiitake mushroom garnish adds the finishing touch.
Get the recipe for Savory Pumpkin and Sage Soup »
RELATED: 43 Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Recipes to Make This Fall
Just one cup of broccoli florets contains all the vitamin C you need in a day. Grab your immersion blender to puree the veg (and just the right amount of Parmesan) for a creamy, cheesy soup under 400 calories per serving.
Get the recipe for Broccoli-Parmesan Chicken Soup »
You’ve tried low-carb zoodles — now use squoodles for a lighter version of your favorite pasta dish. Even with creamy half-and-half, shredded Mozzarella, and grated Parmesan, this meal rings in under 400 calories per serving. Plus, the beta-carotene, potassium, and antioxidants in spaghetti squash will help protect your immune system.
Get the recipe for Spaghetti Squash Alfredo »
RELATED: The Best Spaghetti Squash Recipes That Taste Better Than Pasta
Radicchio’s bittersweet flavor profile is at its best in the fall season, when fresh leaves are harvested. Layered on fresh bread, crunchy fennel (another seasonal farmer’s market grab!) and plump shrimp make for a delicious seasonal toast.
Get the recipe for Radicchio Salad With Roasted Fennel and Shrimp »
The best way to use surplus produce this season is to purée; a stockpile of squash, for example, can be turned into a purée that’s frozen (or you can simply stock up on frozen squash at the supermarket!). This lasagna uses that silky smooth purée as a base for a better-for-you weeknight comfort dish. Squash contains a higher amount of fiber that’ll help you stay full longer (and aid in weight loss naturally over time).
Get the recipe for Squash and Spinach Lasagna »
Eating more salmon can benefit your heart, brain and blood pressure — and when it’s served with wild mushrooms, sautéed kale and a dollop of Icelandic yogurt, you’re only packing in more vitamins and minerals.
Get the recipe for Salmon With Skyr and Sautéed Kale »
RELATED: 30+ Easy Salmon Recipes to Make for Dinner Tonight
This take on the comfort food classic swaps in part-skim Mozzarella and fresh tomatoes for a dish that won’t leave you in a total food coma afterwards. (Psst: Vegetarians, check out our recipe for Portobello Parmesan instead.)
Get the recipe for Light Chicken Parmesan »
One cup of bulgur contains nearly 75% of the dietary fiber you need for the day, and 25% of the protein you should get, making this stew a total whole-grain powerhouse.
Get the recipe for Lemon-Dill Chicken Meatball Soup »
If you’re gluten-free, here’s another option that includes antioxidant-rich berries, Swiss chard, and 100% whole grains. Crumble a little feta on top just before serving for an added flavor boost.
Get the recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash With Cranberries and Feta »
RELATED: How to Cook Acorn Squash
Potatoes, carrots, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms, onion … Every single veggie gets roasted up in the oven alongside spiced chicken for an easy sheet pan dinner.
Get the recipe for Rustic Smoky Glazed Chicken and Veggie Bake »
Calling all slower cooker fans. Let this bean-filled stew simmer all day and you’ll have a hearty dinner waiting for you at night. Topped with creamy avocado and fresh cilantro, it’ll beat your Chipotle order by a mile.
Get the recipe for Smoky Vegan Black Bean Soup »
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Orange zest adds just the right amount of citrus to these fish cakes. The quinoa base also sneaks in extra protein and B vitamins.
Get the recipe for Wild-Salmon Cakes With Quinoa Salad »
This checks off three different boxes: Fresh apples, toasted hazelnuts, and freshly shaved Brussels sprouts, all additions that round out the perfect fall salad. Shallots, lemon juice and pecorino cheese add a bright pop to this robust trio and make this a wonderful addition to any dinner table.
Get the recipe from Country Living »
If you end up with leftover salmon, use the fillets in a farro and arugula salad. That’s two healthy dinners, done and done.
Get the recipe for “BBQ” Salmon and Brussels Bake »
Eating more mushrooms can help protect your brain, skin, and bones as you age. This salad combines Portobellos plus heart-healthy avocados and nutrient-dense beets, plus crumbled matzo for a little extra crunch.
Get the recipe for Beet, Mushroom and Avocado Salad »
New kinds of noodles made with beans help you load up on fiber and protein versus your typical spaghetti. This recipe also makes extra pesto so you can spread it on your sandwich tomorrow.
Get the recipe for Soybean Pasta With Kale Pesto and Squash »
RELATED: How Healthy Is Chickpea Pasta?
If you need a refresher on how to peel butternut squash, here’s a quick tutorial straight from our test kitchen. (You’ll save so much money skipping the pre-cut kind!)
Get the recipe for Butternut Mole Enchiladas »
This one’s not for the faint of heart. Charred poblanos and jalapeños give this soup a serious kick of smoky flavor.
Get the recipe for Fiery Black Bean Soup »
RELATED: 30+ Easy Fall Recipes for Busy Weeknights
Yes, you can make fresh country bread part of a healthy dinner. Paired with squash, pomegranate seeds, kale and tahani, this dish still rings in around 400 calories per serving.
Get the recipe for Roasted Squash Panzanella »
Sweet potatoes contain loads of filling fiber, plus essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium. Did we mention this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare?
Get the recipe for Loaded Sweet Potatoes »
RELATED: 35 Best Sweet Potato Recipes You’ll Ever Try
If you’re carving pumpkins this fall, save the seeds. You can roast your own and then sprinkle ’em on top of salads, grain bowls and more.
Get the recipe for Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seed Mole Bowls »
Fire up the Instant Pot for a hearty soup. Lentils provide plant-based fiber and protein, while the heaping cups of spinach add in extra heart-healthy benefits.
Get the recipe for Winter Squash and Lentil Stew »
RELATED: 12 Instant Pot Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners
You already knew that kale ranked high on nutritionists’ lists, but one serving of the leafy green can actually supply 10% of your daily value for calcium. Combine it with apple and squash in this recipe for all of your fall favorites on one plate.
Get the recipe for Arugula-Kale Harvest Salad »
The Barefoot Contessa herself came up with this salty-sweet salad. (Trust Ina Garten to produce the perfect Thanksgiving spread.)
Get the recipe for Cape Cod Chopped Salad »
You already knew to choose lean chicken and turkey, but pork loin is also surprisingly low in saturated fat and high in protein. Pair it with red cabbage and sliced apple for an easy side.
Get the recipe for Pork Chops With Balsamic-Braised Cabbage and Apples »
A couscous with pistachios, apricots and cilantro goes on top of the chickpea- and bean-based dish, so you know this vegetarian dinner will fill you right up.
Get the recipe for Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup »
RELATED: 50+ Vegan Recipes That Your Whole Family Will Love
The supergreens in this comforting one-pot soup include celery, shallots, broccoli and spinach — plus a little basil pesto for added flavor.
Get the recipe for Supergreen Mushroom and Orzo Soup »
After making berry salads all summer, sub in roasted pears for a hit of sweetness alongside the salty crumbled goat cheese.
Get the recipe for Autumn Squash Salad »
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