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Cozy up with these 19 fall dinners that are pure comfort

by Emi Boscamp / / Source: TODAY

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Fall's here. There's no denying it. It's October. All the Halloween stores are in high gear. You may be mourning the beefy tomatoes, juicy peaches, and fresh herbs, but maybe, just maybe, you start to realize that the cool breeze is a relief from the scorching sun and that with it comes produce you've really missed, like apples, squash, and dark, leafy greens. And come on, is there anything better than staying in on a cold, windy night with a glass of red wine and a plateful of warm, hearty, comforting food? Didn't think so.

So, with that said, here are our favorite fall recipes to hunker down with when the weather starts to get a little bit frightful.

Roasted butternut squash pizza

Roasted butternut squash pizza
Alice Choi1 / Hip Foodie Mom / TODAY Food Club

Warm, roasted butternut squash subs in for the tomato sauce in this pizza masterpiece (masterpizza?) cooked with Chardonnay and topped with sausage, cremini mushrooms, Swiss chard and more.

This pork chop dish is perfect for fall entertaining. Not only is it hearty, it's made with easy-to-find ingredients, and can even be prepared in one pot.

Sausage, Spinach, and Apple Strata

Strata is the ultimate breakfast-for-dinner dish. In Giada's version, an unconventional strata ingredient — apple — brings a welcome acidity and sweetness to an otherwise heavy and cheesy dish.

Thai red curry with beef and butternut squash

Thai red curry with beef and butternut squash
Amy Kim / kimchi MOM / TODAY Food Club

Warm up the house by inviting your friends and family over for this easy-to-make but deeply flavorful curry with beef and butternut squash.

This may look like a side dish, and it can be, but the mighty cauliflower is hearty enough to be a main dish too. And combined with a variety of flavors and textures, including cumin, lemon, and pomegranate, it'll be anything but bland.

New Orleans chef Alon Shaya braises tender short ribs with fall vegetables and juicy golden raisins to add a lovely sweetness.

Vegan sweet potato black bean pumpkin chili

Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Pumpkin Chili
Ashley / Fit Mitten Kitchen / TODAY Food Club

Take your favorite fall produce — like sweet potato and pumpkin — and combine it with pantry staples for a vegan chili that comes together in just 4 hours in the slow cooker.

Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney

Ina Garten preps her pork tenderloins by seasoning them with rosemary and thyme and wrapping them with prosciutto. She then roasts them just before dinner. You could go for the traditional apple sauce pairing, but if you want to pack in a little more spice, go for Ina's apple chutney.

Pumpkin Potato Hanukkah Latkes

Pumpkin Potato Hanukkah Latkes

Frances Largeman-Roth, RD

Give your typical potato pancakes a subtly sweet spin with pumpkin and cinnamon.

Short Rib Meatloaf

Short Rib Meatloaf

Jeff IcInnis and Janine Booth

A melt-in-your-mouth meatloaf, silky potatoes, and caramelized onions make for a cozy — dare we say romantic? — night in.

Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans, apples & sausage

Sweet & Savory Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans, Apples, Sweet Potatoes & Sausage
Shannon / Pass Me Some Tasty / TODAY Food Club

These sweet-and-savory Brussels sprouts are definitely not the sprouts you had (hesitantly) as a kid. These are packed with a flavor profile — containing sweet potatoes, shallots, apples, pecans and Italian sausage — that will have you asking for seconds.

Use some of our favorite root vegetables infused with vinegar to accent the richness of center-cut pork chops. The result is a wholesome way to warm up.

Fall-off-the-bone tender smoked turkey gives collard greens an unbelievable flavor. But just a warning: This isn't a quick weeknight meal; this is a soul-satisfying side worthy of a special event.

Four Cheese Wild Mushroom Lasagna

With four — count 'em, four — cheeses, a creamy white sauce, and a mix of roasted wild mushrooms, this vegetarian lasagna is the definition of decadence.

Butternut squash soup with cranberry bread croutons

Butternut squash soup with cranberry bread croutons
The Preppy Hostess / TODAY Food Club

Compared to summer and spring, fall gets a pretty bad rap for not having colorful food. But are you seeing this beautiful bright orange color (achieved with some butternut squash, onions, carrots, celery and green apple)? Looks pretty colorful to us.

The only thing better than burnt broccoli and cheese is burnt broccoli and cheese in strata form.

The combination of salty bacon, golden brown Brussels sprouts, and tangy mustard is so good, you probably don't even need the chicken. (But, then again, crispy chicken skin is pretty amazing in its own right.)

Beet Fettuccine Alfredo

Beet Fettuccine Alfredo

Chloe Coscarelli

Think you need cream to make creamy pasta? Think again. Chloe Coscarelli's vegan beet fettuccine alfredo uses beets, caramelized onion, olive oil, cashews, water, and lemon juice to accomplish that silkiness.

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese

Somehow, the creamy sweet potato in this mac and cheese makes it better than better than any other mac and cheese — even fancy restaurant macaroni and cheese with white truffle or lobster.

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