If your goal right now is to get dinners on the table that scream peak fall, there’s no one better to get you there than Elizabeth Stark, the creative force behind the oh-so-beautiful blog, Brooklyn Supper. The Virginia-based mom is a total pro at turning seasonal produce into family-friendly meals that are simple, straightforward, and doable for home cooks at all levels (not to mention, downright delicious). I mean, just look at what she’s done with carrots and snap peas and green beans!
Here, she shares a week’s meal plan with us, and tells us how she does it.
5 Fall Dinners That Celebrate Peak-Season Produce
Fall means a host of seasonal ingredients like winter squash, Brussels sprouts, persimmons, and apples are in season. It also marks the return of cool-weather produce like the dark leafy greens and tender lettuces that bolt in the summer heat. Depending on where you live, the hardiest greens will survive, and even sweeten, after a fall frost, while more delicate leaves won’t make it through a quick cold snap. Which is all to say, these mild fall days are the best time to enjoy all kinds of fall greens.
To celebrate the return of leafy greens, and the bounty of fall produce generally, I’m sharing five autumn meals that make the most of the season’s fresh and delicious farmers market produce like delicata and butternut squash, lacinato kale, and turnip greens.
Monday: Couscous and Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
This warm couscous and roasted delicata squash salad is a wonderful Monday meal. The combination of toasted couscous and golden-edged delicata, layered with greens, crunchy pepitas, sweet pomegranate arils, and creamy chevre, mean every bite pops with flavor.
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Parmesan Sauce and Roasted Delicata Squash
This is a quick and satisfying weeknight meal — especially if you’ve already roasted the squash. Pan-fried speck and a quick Parmesan pan sauce are tossed with al dente whole-wheat spaghetti noodles, roasted squash, and a handful of parsley. Enjoy this dinner in a single bowl or serve with a lemony side salad. (If using pre-roasted squash, heat at 350°F for 20 minutes to warm.)
Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Parmesan Sauce and Roasted Delicata Squash
Wednesday: Kale Caesar with Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash
This is an autumnal take on the classic Caesar. Lacinato kale ribbons become supple when tossed with a surprisingly creamy, unsurprisingly garlicky, sunflower seed Caesar dressing. The Parmesan-crusted butternut squash cubes are crisp and nutty right out of the oven — not quite crouton-level crunch, but delicious nonetheless. I like this salad all by itself, but feel free to add an easy protein or grain to round the meal out.
Thursday: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Comforting, creamy, and totally delicious, this vegetable-rich chicken and wild rice soup is just the thing for a crisp fall night. Use leftover cooked chicken or grab a rotisserie chicken for a shortcut. The flavor of the soup improves after cooking, making the leftovers a great option for work-from-home lunches. Speaking of leftovers … last night’s kale Caesar makes a great side dish.
Get the recipe: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Friday: Mac and Cheese with Greens
This mac is a family favorite. To start, the milk is cooked with shallot, nutmeg, and lots of pepper. Once it’s good and hot, the greens are blanched in the milk mixture. Any hardy greens will do here — consider kale, radish or turnip greens, collards, or even spinach. Once the greens have been cooked, that same milk is used for the roux, lending the whole dish the depth of a milky potlikker that contrasts with rich Gruyère beautifully. This mac will reheat nicely for a Saturday supper or lunch, too.
Get the recipe: Mac and Cheese With Greens
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