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Fast, Fall Dinner Recipes

Beat Daylight Savings With These Fast & Easy Fall Dinner Recipes

Daylight savings has us descending into darkness early these days, which means dinner time is pretty dreary. After a long day of work or chasing kids, the lack of daylight makes it’s hard to get motivated to make supper. We get it! But you’ve got to eat. So we’ve rounded up the most delicious, easy-to-make, fast fall dinner recipes for our fellow modern women.

Look, we know you don’t want to spend your evening hours in the kitchen slaving over a stove! We are right there with ya! So scroll down for some easy autumn options and our favorite fall dinner recipes.

fast fall dinner recipe, quesadilla

Fast, Easy to Make Fall Dinner Recipes

Autumn Quesadilla Recipe

This fast fall dinner recipe takes as little as 15-minutes! It will warm you up from the inside out without wearing you down with a whole lot of prep work.

What you’ll need

  • 1 whole-grain flour tortilla
  • ½ cup freshly grated cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or traditional Oaxaca (or a combo)
  • ¼ cup black beans or pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion or green onion
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Top with Salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole or avocado, sour cream, hot sauce.


  1. Heat skillet over medium heat. Place the tortilla in the pan to warm then sprinkle one-half of the tortilla with half of the cheese. Cover the cheese evenly with the remaining fillings.
  2. Top the fillings with the remaining cheese and then fold the empty side of the tortilla over the top. Brush the top of the quesadilla with a light coating of oil, then use a spatula to flip it.
  3. Cook the quesadilla until golden and crispy on the bottom, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the top with a light coating of oil, then flip and cook on the other side.
  4. When done cooking, place the quesadilla on a cutting board and let it cool for a minute to cool. Slice into 3 pieces and serve with toppings.

Fall Mac and Cheese Feast recipe

It’s my most sincere belief that world peace could be achieved through the sharing of a meal made up solely of macaroni and cheese. So it should come as no surprise that a mac and cheese is included in our roundup of fast fall dinners. But don’t make your dinner from a box. Here’s a quick recipe you can feel good about.

What you’ll need:

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sale
  • 2 cups milk warmed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Cook macaroni in a pot of water until ready
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a sauce pan and then stir in flour, and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly to form a roux.
  3. Add salt and pepper then slowly add milk.
  4. Cook and stir until bubbly.
  5. Slowly stir in cheese until fully melted.
  6. Drain macaroni and add to cheese sauce.
  7. Stir to coat and serve.

calzone, fast fall dinner recipe

Quick & Cozy Calzone Recipe

My Italian roots crave Italian food when the cold, dark Pacific Northwest months kick in. Forget pizza. Try this fun Calzone Recipe. It’s a perfect fast fall dinner recipe for your next girls night in. You and your crew can make them together and then binge watch your favorite show.

What you’ll need

  • 1 pound)frozen bread dough, thawed. I like to use Pillsbury™ Pizza Crust
  • 1 cup Three-Meat Sauce or any jarred pizza sauce.
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Other fillings can include pepperoni, olives and mushrooms


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. flour a counter surface and divide the dough into four portions.
  3. Roll each into a 6-in. circle.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup (or as much as you want) sauce over half of each circle.
  5. Top with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese and any other topping you desire.
  6. Fold dough over filling and pinch edges to seal.
  7. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  8. Brush milk over tops; sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

chili, fast fall dinner recipes

Fall Instant Pot Options

There’s no better way to make dinner fast and easy than with an instant pot. The following are fast fall recipe ideas that can be made in your instant pot. If you don’t have one yet, you need to get one super fast!

Instant pot chicken soup recipe

What you need:

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 c. cold water 
  • 8 oz. egg noodles


  1. Turn Instant Pot to Sauté.
  2. Heat oil, then add onion, carrots, and celery.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and thyme and cook approximately 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add broth and water and close lid. Set Instant Pot to Soup setting and set timer for 7 minutes.
  7. When cooking is complete, remove lid and remove chicken breasts onto a cutting board. Shred chicken, then return chicken to pot.
  8. Add egg noodles (remove bay leaves if using). Return Instant Pot to Sauté setting and cook, uncovered, until noodles are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.
  9. Turn off Instant Pot and serve.

Instant Pot Chilli Recipe

What you need:

  • 1tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1lb extra lean (at least 90%) ground beef
  • 1cup chopped onions’
  • 1tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4teaspoon
  • /2teaspoon pepper
  • 2cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1can (19 oz) Progresso™ kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 3/4cup water
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. select Saute on your Insta pot and adjust to normal.
  2. Heat oil in insert.
  3. Add beef, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked.
  4. Select cancel
  5. Stir in garlic, beans, tomatoes and water.
  6. Secure the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing.
  7. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  8. Select cancel and keep valve in sealing position to release pressure naturally.
  9. Top with cheese, green onions and cilantro.

If you need some more ideas. Warm up with these soup recipes! They’ll keep you warm and cozy all fall and winter long.

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Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.
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