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Delicious Meals for Fall

Bratwurst with Sauteed Peppers and Onions

While we don’t get a “true autumn” here in San Diego, my mood always turns to fall-ish things during September and October. Fall foods are such a favorite at our house, we’re all happy to welcome them back.

And since theme nights are working so well for my menu planning, it made sense to coordinate the two. Not only does it make planning easier, but it also gives my kids an opportunity to give input and have a vested interest in meal times. I quizzed my big boys and compiled some of their favorites into theme night dinners for the coming weeks.

Check out these delicious fall dinner ideas.

Soups, Stews, and Chilis

Personally, I could eat soup everyday, especially if it were cheese soup.

But one night a week plus some leftovers for lunch is probably a more realistic expectation from my family.

Some of their favorites include Chihuahua Chili, Chicken Noodle, and Minestrone. But I’ve also had good success in turning leftovers into great tasting soup as well.

Our family loves to have fun bread on the side like homemade focaccia or popovers.

Meat and Potatoes

My kids are carnivores. And while I try to introduce them to new vegetables and regularly offer meatless meals, their preferences lend themselves to meat and potatoes. So, at least one night a week, we’ll try to have meat as the star of the show. Chicken Smothered in Onions, roast chicken, roast beef, or meatballs accompanied by mashed potatoes are sure-fire hits around here.

Many meat and potatoes dishes go well in the crockpot or work well as freezer meals which makes these dishes a huge bonus to my week.

Breakfast for Supper

Who wouldn’t want a short stack for dinner? A pancake supper is an easy and frugal option — and a fun one. But Buckaroo Potatoes are also pretty tasty. And loaded breakfast potatoes? I’m all over that one, too.

FishChick 2 was just diagnosed with an egg-white allergy so that part of breakfast for supper will be challenging, but I’m sure we’ll figure out hoe to get protein for her on breakfast night.

Readers recently shared all sorts of great ideas for freezing breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos, so I think we may be able to make this a very do-able freezer meal as well. And Elizabeth posted a recipe for homemade sausage that I’m eager to try out and maybe add it into this rotation for easy, freezer-friendly suppers.

Casseroles

There’s something so cozy about casseroles. They are comfort food that is easy to make ahead. While casseroles have gotten a bad wrap over the years, there are really some delicious options out there.

One dish meals full of flavor? Yes, please.

Some of our favorites include Poblano Chile Enchiladas, Lasagna, Crockpot Enchiladas, and Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

Pizza Night

Pizza is a year-round affair at our house. It’s a Friday night ritual at our house. And a tasty one at that. Years ago each kiddo got to make his own pizza. I vetoed that part of the plan in exchange for a little more sanity at dinner prep. I’m considering bringing it back. Whaddya think? I’m not sure I have it in me, but we’ll see.

Out to Eat Night

Let’s face it. At least one meal a week my meal plan flies out the window, anyway. So, I listened when FishBoy9 suggested “Out to Eat Night.”

A planned night out or takeout brought home would add a little spice in our life, a little fun food in our tummies, and a break from the kitchen. Count me in!

Football Food

If there’s anything I’ve learned about football, it’s that I can embrace it, especially when food’s involved. I never knew my husband even liked football until our move to Kansas City. I was shocked what a big deal it was to him. But, we finally lived in an NFL market, and this was huge. So, now I know that certain days of the week will be reserved for football. And it’s so much more fun if I plan yummy food like Brats with Peppers, Homemade Onion Dip, or maybe a Cheese Plate.

What about you?

Does your menu change when the seasons do?

Don’t forget to visit I’m an Organizing Junkie every Monday for more menu planning inspiration and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for more tasty ideas.

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Comments

  1. yes, our menu changes with the seasons and it’s almost cool enough here to start incorporating some of our fall favorites. soup or stew will make an appearance once a week. favorites include chili, taco soup, cheeseburger soup and plaza 3 (a kc original!). breakfast is another staple – waffles with sausage, biscuits and gravy and breakfast burritos. i also add casseroles and roasted chicken. once it’s cool enough to turn the oven back on again, these dishes will show up on our table. baked goods are another thing we see more of in the cooler weather; again, it’s about being able to use the oven.

  2. Yup, our menus change with the season since it affects the kind of fresh produce we get here in India. I love all the amazing soups and casseroles you’ve shared and the breakfast for dinner idea is just great for the cool weather that we’ll soon be enjoying here.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Warmly,
    Prerna

  3. I love the fall weather! When you start getting that chill in the air, don’t you love to make a hearty, warm, beefy type-ah-meal? Mmmm…

  4. My menu definitely changes when the seasons do. My family is not big on casseroles (though I am), so I work in more chilis and stews to make some cozier meals.

  5. My menu does change with the seasons. What tastes good and comforting in winter is heavy in summer. What is light and yummy in summer can seem to “not stick to your ribs” in fall:-)

  6. My 9 year old has an allergy to eggs and dairy. Makes life interesting to say the least. There are ways to bake and cook without eggs, but it took me a long time to figure out. Good luck!

  7. Our eldest son and our baby are both allergic to egg so this what we’ve learned. Often if the rest of us are just having eggs alone (with peppers, etc, not quiche), our older son will get yogurt, but special yogurt–fruit and other tasty things mixed in and good dose of probiotics. Our daughter doesn’t like yogurt. Sometimes I just make sure I have leftover meat for him. I had bad luck with ener-g egg replacer but am doing better with milled flax seed as a replacer. I found with my older son that egg baked longer than 45 minutes and at least 350 degrees and as long as I just give carefully cut end pieces that the egg was safe then. This was in things such as meatloaf or pumpkin bread. Our allergist says that the egg protein seems to unravel at that point. Just a thought. Of course, you know your little chicky. Best wishes in going egg-free for her.

  8. Ooh, sorry about the egg allergy. My 4yo just outgrew hers (we hope). It was a long three years with very little baking. We had pretty good luck with the Ener-G egg replacement powder in pancakes (from scratch) and some cookies, but it didn’t do very well in muffins or cakes. Good luck!

  9. Completely-I totally agree! We trade a Wednesday night of grilling with soup/stew night!

  10. Here is the recipe I use for egg free pancakes. The batter looks thin and runny at first, but don’t let that deter you. They turn out delicious. My husband says that these are his favorite pancakes. Enjoy!
    I found this somewhere on the internet but don’t remember where.
    Egg Free Pancakes
    1 cup Plain Flour (If you have cake flour on hand you can substitute 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons for the plain flour. It makes an even fluffier pancake)
    1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
    2 teaspoons Baking Powder
    1/4 teaspoon Salt
    2 Tablespoons Sugar
    1 cup Milk or soy milk (or water will do)
    1.5 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
    1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    Method:
    Sift flour and baking soda/powder and salt.
    Add sugar. (Whisk these together is you don’t have a sifter.)
    Add Vanilla and Oil and half the milk. Whisk together.
    Gradually add the rest of the milk until thick pouring consistency.
    Heat Frying pan – needs to be reasonably hot. I used vegetable oil – but you could use spray. Oil/spray for each pancake – they do stick otherwise. I found with this recipe the pancakes worked best if they were on the small side. If the were too big they were difficult to turn.

  11. The menu changes with the seasons, especially with the types of vegetables I prepare. We don’t see much asparagus in the fall and winter and we tend not to by summer fruits off-season.

  12. Hey Jessica! Would love to read more about your pancake dinners, but the link doesn’t work. Suggestions? Thanks so much!

  13. Our menu has already started to change. I get in the mood for the soups and casseroles too! Already a soup and a casserole last week. 2 more soups on the menu for this week!

    I am inspired by this theme idea. May have to work on this to make planning a little easier.

    Your blog has quickly become a favorite. You and I are very different in some ways but it seems that you have “hit a nerve” with me on all the things that really matter. Thanks!

  14. Yes, our menu changes in September and May. September ushers in the cooler weather and comfort foods. May brings warm weather and cooking out on the grill. By the time each season comes I am ready for the change. Just this week I am making 3 of my “comfort” foods: Portuguese Soup (also known as Kale Soup), chicken pot pie and apple crisp. I am hungry just thinking about it : )

  15. Our menus definitely change with the seasons – depending on what is growing in the garden and on sale at the store. Just as soon as the weather starts to change – I start craving foods for the next season.

  16. I definitely change my menu with the seasons. I love that fall is here and I can start cooking in the oven again. I love to make comfort foods like casseroles in the cold months. Summer is salad and barbeque season.
    I love your idea of having theme nights. That would simplify menu planning :-)

  17. Trader Joe’s sell the yummiest pumpkin pancake mix this time of year. I stock because we all love them and I can easily get away with breakfast for dinner once a week with these. I bake turkey bacon and add some fruit with it and we’re good to go.

  18. What a great roundup! Thanks!!

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