Fall Meal Plan & Recipe Roundup Feat. Image

Fall Meal Plan & Recipe Roundup

Fall Meal Plan & Recipe Roundup + 14-Day Meal Plan & Shopping List!

With Autumn peeping around the corner, I thought I’d sit down and share with you some of our favorite tried-and-true recipes as well as some new meal ideas we’ve rounded up into a 14-day meal plan. Comforting soups, richly nourishing broths, hearty whole grains, root veggies, and harvest-ready fruits are the stars of this meal plan. Mmm… I’m getting hungry just writing this!

The theme of this meal plan is to lean on seasonal, simple, nourishing, and versatile ingredients. I’m repeating many of the same ingredients (and meals!) because I can source them economically and they’re easily incorporated into many different dishes. This reduces my need for trips to the grocery store, minimizes food waste, and stretches our budget even further.

Choosing Seasonal Foods in Our Fall Meal Plan

One of the most affordable, sustainable, and healthy ways to eat is with a nod to the seasons. Seasonal eating allows you to source food more locally, which means it’s not only more fresh but is also less costly since transportation isn’t as expensive. 

Another advantage of seasonal eating is that you’re more appreciative of a food when you have it. For example, we only eat asparagus in the spring when it’s in season and we mainly enjoy grapes in the fall. Purchasing them in season makes them affordable and we get to enjoy that just-picked freshness.  When produce is in season, we enjoy alot of it, and get our fill.  

If you consider that modern food systems have just recently allowed us to have perfect red strawberries in the middle of January, you begin to realize that seasonal eating, which is coming back as a sustainable “trend”, was the way our ancestors (and even our Grandmas!) have eaten for most of history.

Fall Meal Plan & Recipe Roundup
Choose Preppable Ingredients and Dishes

Choose Preppable Ingredients and Dishes

The seasons of the year aren’t the only seasons we are talking about. Different seasons of life allow us to do different things and tend to influence how much time and money we have to allocate to food. 

In this season, we have a newborn little girl, my husband and I are building our little house, and I’m working while also running a blog, online store, and podcast startup. It can feel overwhelming to try to also be making meals from scratch, so planning well and preparing ahead of time are essential. 

Since we have so many demands on our time, our meal plans are looking simpler and more intentional. We’re repeating meals that are easy and non-fussy while still prioritizing nourishing our health and balancing our budget.

A key component of my meal plan is planning my meals around being able to use leftovers. For example, this week, I made the salmon with quinoa and then used the extra quinoa in stuffed peppers the next day to cut 20 minutes off of my prep time. A few extra minutes of careful planning can truly save hours of prep time. 

Choose Economical Whole-Food Ingredients

With inflation sky high right now, many of us are finding that our grocery dollars just don’t go as far as they used to. In order to stay within budget, we’re looking for the most nutrient-dense foods that are also affordable. Choosing single ingredient, unprocessed foods are the way to go here.  

There are a few foods that are starring in our fall menu plan and you’ll see keep coming back into our plates. These are economical and healthy, and can be made into a variety of different preppable meals. Deeply nourishing your family doesn’t have to be intensively time consuming or unreachably expensive.

Staples of our Fall Meal Plan

Homemade Bone Broth – A high-quality broth or stock is rich in collagen and minerals and makes an excellent base for soups, liquid for cooking rice and grains, and base for gravies and sauces. Making it yourself is a great way to enjoy fresh and very affordable nutrient-dense broths. I’ve started making my own with two “secret” ingredients: trace mineral drops and nettle herb. 

Apples – Most people associate fall with apples, and here in western NC, we have an abundance of local orchards. Apples are abundantly rich in fiber and nutrients and are extremely versatile. 

Root veggies – Root veggies are extremely economical and can be made into endless different recipes, making them perfect for our simple and versatile theme for our fall meal plan this month. I ordered bulk potatoes, onions, and carrots from Azure Standard this month. (If you make a qualifying order with Azure I may get a credit to my account at no extra cost to you. Thank you for blessing our family!)

Whole chicken – Learning to cook and utilize a whole chicken is a skill that seems uncommon in an era of pre-bagged chicken tenders, but it’s a skill that is easily learned. It can be intimidating at first, but it really is still the most economical way to provide your family with a high-quality protein and get the most from your budget and the animal. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started. I add fresh rosemary, lime slices, and poultry seasoning when I have them on hand. Then, use the leftover carcass and veggies to make broth. 

Cabbage – I’ve been enjoying making my own sauerkraut and cabbage is a wonderfully nourishing cruciferous vegetable with a high nutrient density for a really low cost. When possible, choose organic red or purple cabbage. Richly colorful veggies are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants and adds a pop of color to any meal.

Whole grains –  Grains like quinoa, rice, and barley are comforting and filling foods that can stretch your dollar till it squeaks while still providing a lot of nutrient density in the form of complex carbohydrates which provide sustained energy, fiber, and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels

Walnuts –  Pound for pound, walnuts are usually the most affordable nuts and are also among the healthiest. They’re rich in minerals like magnesium and selenium, both critical for brain and nerve health, and are also ra good source of omega 3s.

Beans – Before you dismiss beans as boring and wind-producing, let me convince you. If prepared correctly by soaking properly, beans are much more easily digested and are an excellent and affordable source of fiber and protein, as well as energy rich carbohydrates. Also, when you aren’t used to eating legumes regularly, your microbiome doesn’t have the right bacteria to digest them easily. Slowly working more legumes into your diet will encourage the growth of these digestion-helping bacteria. Beans can be mixed into delicious foods like burrito bowls, stuffed peppers and autumn inspired chili, they are as versatile as they are nutritious.

Note: Some of these recipes are our own, and some are ones were sharing from other cooks’ kitchens. The ones we are sharing will be linked back to the original site.

Note 2: Instead of planning which day I’m going to eat any given meal on, I instead prefer to make a list of meals that I will have all of the ingredients for and choose my meal for the day the night before. Factors like how much time I have to cook as well as which ingredients are starting to go off will determine which meal I plan for the day. 

Note 3: We don’t plan additional lunches, we make extra of the meal we’re eating and will eat leftovers the next day for lunch. 

Our Meal List

Get our Fall menu and full shopping list sent to your email:

  1. Chicken Bruschetta – Make good use of the last of your garden’s summer tomatoes with this delicious and super easy to prep baked chicken. I serve with rice and a vegetable like zuchini. Basic Chicken Bruschetta – basted top of chicken breasts with sour cream, top with chopped tomatoes tossed with lemon, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil. Top with parmesan and bake at 350 degrees until done. 
  2. Lentil stew – nothing tastes quite like fall like a steaming bowl of lentil stew with some rustic homemade bread. I omit the fennel and use regular diced tomatoes and chicken broth. . 
  3. Beef Stew – a hearty, filling meal that can be stretched with veggies sides. I use the spices I have on hand and used beef broth instead of red wine.
  4. Chicken Italian Cream Cheese Slow Cooker Meal – super simple chicken, broth, italian dressing mix, cream of chicken soup, (make a double batch and use it in the chicken pot pie) and cream cheese served over rice or whole grain pasta. Two chicken breasts, cream of chicken soup, 1 package cream cheese, mushrooms, and pkg of italian seasoning. Cook in crockpot on medium until done, reserving cream cheese for just before serving. 
  5. Chicken burrito bowls. These are so versatile. I use rice, chicken, black beans, corn, greens, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream and salsa. 
  6. Italian Stuffed Peppers. I used chicken sausage and parmesan.
  7. Roast Chicken with Roasted Root Veggies. Use the veggies you have on hand. (potatoes, onions, carrots, and zuchini work nicely.)
  8. Hearty Potato Soup. Super simple. Saute Celery, Onion, Garlic, Carrots. Add 4 cups homemade chicken broth and chopped potatoes. Add chicken if desired. Pull off heat when cooked and stire in 1/2 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of parmesan. 
  9. Turkey Veggie Chili and cornbread  I omitted the tomato paste and swapped kidney beans for white beans
  10. Pinto Beans and Rice. I omit the bacon and use chicken stock to cook the beans. 
  11. Salmon and Lemony Italian Quinoa. I bake wild caught salmon with olive oil, italian herbs, lemon juice and parmesan. 
  12. Chicken pot pie – This can be made any way you like it. We use homemade cream of chicken soup, mixed veggies, chopped chicken, seasoning to taste, and diced cooked potatoes. Get creative here!
  13. Cabbage Patch Soup
  14. Chicken quinoa mushroom bake. I use Italian seasoning in place of the rosemary.
  15. Lacto-fermented sauerkraut. Not a meal, but I do try to incorporate homemade  to eat daily during the fall. Here’s my favorite recipe

Desserts: I usually make one to two desserts for us to enjoy throughout the week. Fresh fruit is always an option, too!

  1. Apple crisp
  2. Peach Cobbler
  3. Apple Walnut Streusel Bread with freshly milled whole wheat. Use the Basic Quick Bread Recipe, fold in 1 cup parboiled apple chunks and 1 tsp cinnamon, top with the streusel recipe and bake according to instructions. 

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