Cozy up to fall with 19 comfort-food dinner ideas

Is there anything better than staying in on a cold, windy night with a plateful of warm, hearty, comforting food?
Chili con Carne with coriander and sour cream, spoon, close-up
Whether it's football Sunday or a school night, you can't go wrong with crowd-pleasing bean and beef chili. Westend61 / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Fall's here. There's no denying it. You may be mourning the last of 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.

Siri's Butternut Squash, Leek and Ricotta Toast

Give your favorite tomato bruschetta a fall makeover with creamy roasted butternut squash, ricotta and caramelized leeks. Hit it with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and you've got a perfect sweet and salty app for autumn.

Candied Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

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

Dylan Dreyer's Crispy Bacon Brussels with Walnut-Parm Crunch

These aren't your mama's Brussel sprouts. Dylan Dreyer has elevated the classic combination of bacon and Brussels by adding a satisfying, umami-rich walnut-parmesan crunch. The best part? They look fancy, but only require one mixing bowl to prep them.

One-Pot Beef Stew with Ketchup

Don't be turned off by the ketchup. This flavor-packed stew comes together in one pot, making it a perfect dish for a busy weeknight or a lazy Sunday.

Oven-braised Pork Chops with Red Onion and Pear

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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

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.

Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon, Pomegranate and Parsley

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.

Braised Short Ribs with Vegetables and Golden Raisins

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

Spicy Meaty Chili

Spicy Meaty Chili

When it comes to chili, it's hard to go wrong with the classic. This versatile recipe uses either ground turkey or beef and packs an extra spicy kick that gets smoothed out with avocado or a dollop of sour cream.

Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney

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

Pumpkin Potato Hanukkah Latkes

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN

Who says you have to wait for Hanukkah? Give your typical potato pancakes a subtly sweet spin with pumpkin and cinnamon.

Short Rib Meatloaf

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.

Center-Cut Pork Chops with Beet, Carrot & Hazelnut Salad

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

Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey and Potlikker

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

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.

Charred Broccoli, Mushroom and Egg Strata

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

5-Minute Chicken Breasts with Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

5-Minute Chicken Breasts with Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

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

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

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.