In this guide to healthy fall recipes, we’re showcasing ten of the most popular seasonal ingredients for fall: pumpkin, kale, squash, cauliflower, apples, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions + shallots, and celery. You’ll learn about the health benefits of seasonal produce AND we’ve rounded up 100 delicious Autumn recipes that will inspire you to get to your local farmer’s market!
Fall, which officially starts September 22nd and ends on December 21st, oh how I love thee.
With pumpkin spice latte aromas lingering in the air, Georgia football in full force, the weather cooling down to the perfect crisp and cool temperature, the vibrant colors of the leaves and trees warming your heart, and the plethora of cute boots and sweaters, has there ever been a better season than Fall?
That’s before you even consider what an abundant season Fall is for fruits and vegetables. We’re lucky enough to still be reaping the tail end of summer’s bountiful produce like tomatoes, corn, berries and peaches, while at the same time moving into the peak harvests of popular Autumn vegetables like kale and cauliflower before the harsh winter hits.
There’s nothing like getting fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market or CSA to inspire clean, healthy eating. Read on to discover some recipes that are bound to become some of your favorites this fall!
Seasonal Fall Produce: Pumpkin
Pumpkins have become an iconic symbol for the fall season–these days, the festive gourd shows up not just in desserts, but in pastas, baked goods, snacks and even in our beer and lattes!
The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin are key for heart health, plus pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color and is converted to vitamin A in the body.
Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration. (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: PUMPKIN
- No Bake Energy Bites: Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls (Gluten-Free)
- Easy Pumpkin Bolognese Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms (Gluten-Free)
- Superfood Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie (Vegan)
- Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
- Pumpkin Pie Ketogenic Fat Bombs (Paleo)
- Pumpkin Spice Granola from Gimme Some Oven
- Pumpkin Risotto with Sage from Happy Healthy Life
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Vegan) from Beaming Baker
- Creamy Paleo Pumpkin Bacon Soup from Fed + Fit
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (Paleo, Vegan + Gluten Free) from Bakerita
Seasonal Fall Produce: Kale
While we can find kale throughout the year, its peak season is mid-summer through December. It grows sweeter after the first frost, so getting fresh kale at its peak in October and throughout the fall may even convert kale-haters to love this once trendy vegetable that now seems to have a permanent place at our dinner tables.
Kale – high in omega-3s, omega-6s and vitamin K – is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that is rich in antioxidants (which counteract free radicals, reducing our risk of cancer), and is a natural detoxifier. Kale also supports brain development in infants due to its high folate levels, and can even improve eyesight. (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: KALE
- Citrus Kale Salad with Maple Granola and Pancetta Vinaigrette
- Zucchini Fettuccine with Kale from Foolproof Living
- Creamy Kale Caesar Salad from 100 Days of Real Food
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Black Beans, Kale and Buckwheat from Happy Kitchen Rocks
- Kale & Artichoke Dip from Clean Cuisine
- Steel-Cut Oat “Risotto” with Butternut Squash + Kale from Cookie & Kate
- Chopped Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing from Ambitious Kitchen
- Tilapia and Kale Slaw Tacos from Life Made Sweeter
- 5 Minute Kale Avocado Pesto from Paleo Gluten Free Eats
- Cauliflower Quinoa Tabouli Bowls from Running on Real Food
Seasonal Fall Produce: Yellow Squash & Zucchini
Don’t be fooled by the name–summer squashes, like zucchini and yellow squash, may start their harvest in June, but the season lasts through October – so you can still enjoy this bountiful summer vegetable even as the temperatures start to drop.
From spiralized noodle recipes to sneaking into cakes and muffins, zucchini and squash are versatile vegetables that are handy to keep stoked in your fridge.
Zucchini helps to promote eye health, and prevents all the diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising. It helps to cure asthma and has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. (source)
Like pumpkins, yellow squash is also high beta carotene, as well as vitamin C (great for our immune systems) and iron (important to prevent anemia). (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: Yellow Squash & Zucchini
- Easy Roasted Squash with Pesto
- Grilled Quinoa Pizza Zucchini Boats from Vitamin-Sunshine
- Blueberry + Bacon Zucchini Muffins (Gluten-Free)
- Paleo Spaghetti & Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
- Healthy Zucchini Cake from Show Me the Yummy
- Thai Kabocha Squash Curry with Kale + Cauliflower from Oh My Veggies
- Vegan Squash + Corn Chowder from Delish Knowledge
- Paleo Baked Zucchini Fritters from Food Faith Fitness
- Raw Super Sprouts Pad Thai with Spicy Peanut Sauce from Veganosity
- Grilled Summer Vegetable Ratatouille from Sarah Gold RD
Seasonal Fall Produce: Cauliflower
Move over, kale! Cauliflower may have just replaced you as the trendiest vegetable!
The cruciferous gem that’s available all year round, really has its peak in the fall. This anti-inflammatory fall food has creatively found its way into recipes like cauliflower pizza crusts, pasta sauces, smoothies, cauliflower rice and even cauliflower desserts!
With a special combination of phytochemicals, cauliflower consumption can help prevent TONS of diseases, including various forms of cancer (most commonly breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach), cardiovascular disease, brain disease and neurodegenerative disorders.
Glucosinolate, a compound found in cauliflower, can also help protect the vulnerable lining of the stomach, in turn improving digestion, aiding detoxification and reducing the chances of developing leaky gut or other digestive disorders. (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: CAULIFLOWER
- Easy, Creamy Cauliflower Soup (Paleo)
- Lemongrass Cauliflower Shrimp Fried ‘Rice’ (Paleo) from Eat Drink Paleo
- Roasted Cauliflower Chimichurri
- Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat (Vegan) from Pinch of Yum
- Easy Cauliflower Potato Salad (Paleo +Low-Carb)
- Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Chicken Casserole from Isabel Eats
- 3-Ingredient Roasted Orange Cauliflower from Omnivore’s Dilemma
- Cauliflower Rice Paleo Fritters (Baked in Minutes!) from Delightful Mom Food
- Easy Healthy Cauliflower Nachos with Ground Turkey Taco Meat from Wholesome Yum
- Vegan Healthy Birthday Cake Smoothie from Eating By Elaine
Seasonal Fall Produce: Apples
What would autumn be without apples? While we can get apples year round, we all know that apples out of season just don’t taste nearly as good as the vibrant, crisp seasonal apples we get in the fall that lend themselves well to both sweet and savory recipes alike.
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” just very well may be true. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the skin, so be sure not to peel for maximum health benefits! (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: APPLES
- Easy Slow Cooker Apple Crisp (Gluten Free)
- Vegan Apple Pie Green Protein Smoothie (GF)
- Apple Cinnamon Hazelnut Breakfast Bake from LL Balanced
- Apple Risotto with Toasted Pecans from How Sweet Eats
- Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Burrata Pizza from Half Baked Harvest
- Shredded Cruciferous Salad with Grilled Chicken, Apple + Avocado (Paleo) from Perchance to Cook
- Healthy Apple Muffins (Refined Sugar Free) from Delicious Meets Healthy
- Curry Tofu Salad with Apples from Feasting At Home
- Lamb Leg Steaks with Caramelized Apples from That Girl Cooks Healthy
- Instant Pot Applesauce (Sugar Free) from Amazing Paleo
Seasonal Fall Produce: Potatoes
Roasted potatoes, french fries, potatoes au gratin, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes… there are just so many reasons to love this starchy, tuberous spud.
Filled with Vitamin C, B6 and potassium (even more potassium than bananas), potatoes are the world’s fourth largest food crop and grows in 36 states in the USA. (source) They’re also gluten free, making a great starchy option for the increasing amounts of people looking for gluten free alternatives.
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: POTATOES
- Chimichurri Steak Bowls with Roasted Potatoes
- Instant Pot Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Dairy Free)
- Easy Cauliflower Potato Salad (Paleo + Low-Carb)
- Garlic Basil Smashed Potatoes from Tasha’s Artisan Foods
- Vegan Cheesy Baked Potatoes with Fennel, Lime, Mint + Cucumber Salsa from George Eats
- Roast Halibut with Red Potatoes, Corn + Andouille from Zestful Kitchen
- Spiralized Potato Chive Waffles with Avocado Mash + Fried Egg from Inspiralized
- Chicken Potato Soup from Craving Home Cooked
- Parmesan Potato Stacks from Cooktoria
- Sheet Pan Roasted Greek Chicken with Garlic Potatoes from Chew Out Loud
Seasonal Fall Produce: Carrots
Another versatile root vegetable, carrots add so much flavor to any dish with their unique, sweet flavor profile. Obviously great in soups, oven roasted and sauteed, carrots these days also make noteworthy appearances in breakfast (morning glory muffins or carrot turmeric oatmeal, anyone?) and dessert (hello, decadent carrot cake!).
Carrots are most well known for being rich in beta-carotene, fiber and antioxidants, which are important to support a healthy heart, eyes, lower blood pressure and increase immunity. (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: CARROTS
- Keto Beef Stew in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
- Healthy Turkish Breakfast Bowls with Herbed Yogurt
- Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tonic
- Carrot Ginger Soup from Skinnytaste
- Thai Carrot Salad with Curried Cashews from Minimalist Baker
- Peanut Butter Cauliflower Bowl with Roasted Carrots from Vegan Richa
- Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce from Cardamom and Tea
- Raw Carrot Coconut Truffles from Dani’s Cookings
- Carrot Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce from Veggie Jam
- Thai Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup from Damn Delicious
Seasonal Fall Produce: Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a truly magical fungi. Everyday, more is being discovered about their miraculous health properties.
For example, scientists just learned that mushrooms could suppress the growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer cells in cell cultures and in animals in small clinical trials. (source)
Some of their most well-known properties include B-Vitamins, which help break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates; riboflavin, which helps with hormone production and also plays an important role in the nervous system; and niacin, which helps maintain healthy red blood cells.
A lot of people are also now drinking adaptogenic mushrooms blends like chaga, reishi and ashwaganda in place of coffee for a natural energy boost without all the jitters. Check out Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffees and elixirs to learn more, and you can even get 15% off your order when you shop through my link!
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: MUSHROOMS
- Easy Pumpkin Bolognese Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms (Gluten-Free)
- Steak Cut Portobello Mushroom Fries from Inspector Gorgeous
- Plant-Based Potato Crostini, Sauteed Mushrooms + White Bean Arugula Cream from Rise Shine Cook
- Extra Creamy Mushroom Linguine (Dairy-Free) from Well + Yum
- Portobello Mushroom Burger with Roasted Wasabi Sprouts from My Goodness Kitchen
- Mushroom Quinoa Risotto from Not Enough Cinnamon
- Mushroom Veggie Burgers (Vegan + Gluten Free) from From My Bowl
- Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach + Gorgonzola from Culinary Hill
- Vegan Meatballs with Lentils + Mushrooms from Lazy Cat Kitchen
- Mushroom Masala and Fenugreek from Cook Republic
Seasonal Fall Produce: Onions & Shallots
While not so good for your breath, these sweet, pungent, flavor enhancing veggies are known to have strong anti-cancer properties and immune-enhancing effects. (source)
In fact, onions and shallots have been used to heal numerous bodily conditions for thousands of years, both internally and externally. In Ayurveda, they’re believed to have a natural “cooling” effect on the body, which makes them beneficial for lowering inflammation, muscle aches, swelling, and water-retention.
Shallots are thought to contain more flavonoid and phenol antioxidants than most other members of the onion family, making them one of the best anti-inflammatory foods for reducing free radical damage and fighting various chronic diseases. (source)
Totally worth shedding a few tears in the chopping process, don’t you agree?
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: ONIONS & SHALLOTS
- Easy + Healthy Vegetable Soup with Turmeric (Vegan + Gluten Free)
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Polenta and Root Vegetables
- Easy Shrimp Pasta with Arugula Pesto
- Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Suace) with Swiss Chard Pesto
- Thai-Style Sauteed Greens with Coconut Milk
- Bacon Shallot Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups from Lauren in Balance
- Avocado Quinoa Salad with Spiced Chickpeas & Shallot + Mustard Vinaigrette from The Last Food Blog
- No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora (Gluten-Free Indian Fritters) from Spice Cravings
- Brussels Sprouts with Harissa & Pickled Shallots from The Leek & The Carrot
- Gluten-Free Baked Onion Rings from Garden in the Kitchen
Seasonal Fall Produce: Celery
Nothing else is quite like celery; it’s great cooked in soups, key in making traditional stocks, awesome raw with hummus or slathered with peanut butter, and adds a delightful crunch in staples like chicken salad.
Celery has been used to fight hypertension in folk medicine for centuries, while modern-day research continues to prove that there are many cardiovascular benefits. In pharmacological studies, celery shows both antioxidant nutrients and anti-inflammatory activities that help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as prevent heart disease.
Dehydrated? Celery to the rescue! It’s high percentage of water and electrolytes can prevent dehydration, and special compounds help celery act as a diuretic and reduce bloating. (source)
HEALTHY FALL RECIPES: CELERY
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Paleo + Whole30 Approved)
- Easy Paleo Apple Chicken Salad from Spirited and Then Some
- Vegan Creamy Celery Soup with Parsley Pistou (Paleo) from Rally Pure
- Spring Detox Green Juice from A Food Centric Life
- Gameday Buffalo Chicken Chili (Gluten-Free)
- Apple Chicken Sausage, Sweet Potato + Celery Skewers from A Love A Fare
- Pork and Celery Stir Fry from Spice Paw
- Cast Iron Gluten Free Stuffing from The Movement Menu
- Tuna, Celery and Egg Spiralized Pasta Salad from Inspiralized
- Easy + Healthy Meatball Soup with Orzo from Rachel Cooks
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare these fall foods? Any healthy Fall recipes that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!