These 3 easy fall dinner recipes are quick and healthy, too! The first is a slow cooker chicken stew recipe, one is a simple turkey sausage skillet meal, and the third recipe is a healthy version of fall vegetable gratin.
I did it again! I gave a complete stranger unsolicited cooking advice in public and I am not ashamed to say it! Several days ago I stopped by my favorite place to buy Fall squash, Melody Acres in Bargersville. I needed to get my supplies ready for some live cooking segments I was doing for Fox59 WXIN with host Sherman Burdette. I was perusing the squash, when I heard a woman in the phone with her daughter asking how she should prepare spaghetti squash. Her daughter must not have known because she hung up and started to look it up on her smartphone. Seeing an opportunity to “help”, I approached the woman and shared with her a quick and easy way to make it and exactly how easy it was to prepare.
It occurred to me then that many people seem to eat the same thing week after week, rarely branching out, because they are unsure how to prepare new foods. Case in point: spaghetti squash. By far, it is my favorite in the squash family, next to zucchini. Spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta in many dishes. I defy anyone to try buttered spaghetti squash covered in my garlic marinara sauce and not like it.
Right now, everywhere you look there are many types of squash available. If you go to a market where they are well labeled, like Melody Acres or Taylor Farm Market, you can even get a little info on how to prepare them and how long they will keep, etc. I found my new go-to pumpkin variety that I now use for pie from reading the information displayed with each variety. The Cinderella is not only pretty to look at but also a really good pie pumpkin!
But finding a squash that your family will eat takes a bit of trial and error. I add a bit of mashed butternut squash to thicken up certain soups and stews and a few slices of Cream of the Crop make a nice pairing in the pan when roasting chicken or pork. But I had to try a few first to see what I liked. Fortunately, most squash have a low price point this time of year, and they have a long shelf life when kept at room temperature.
To help you out with your Fall cooking, I am sharing 3 easy fall dinner recipes that I made this week on Fox59.
I used a few of my favorite kitchen standbys; a slow cooker, a casserole dish, and a skillet.
I have said it before and I am saying it again, the slow cooker is your friend. Put aside the judgy commentary in today’s most popular food publications. Chances are, those people have never had to get a meal on the table for their family on a busy weeknight after working all day. There are just some days when you want to come home and have an easy fall dinner ready and waiting for you. When you use a slow cooker, you can do just that.
Slow Cooker Chicken Sweet Potato Stew
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick spears
- 8 oz of fresh,sliced mushrooms
- 6 large shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 C of dry white wine
- 2 tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 TB white wine vinegar
- Place chicken and mushrooms in the crock of a slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except the sweet potatoes.
- Pour over the chicken.
- Place the sweet potato spears on top.
- Close the lid and cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve over steamed brown rice.
Another quick fix, easy fall dinner is a one skillet meal.
One skillet meals are great for busy evenings. Try the recipe I have included today with chicken or turkey sausage for a flavorful combination of butternut squash and apples. If you like, toss in a handful of dried cranberries for added sweetness. Maybe even drizzle a bit of pure maple syrup on top!
Turkey Sausage, Apple, Butternut Squash Skillet
- 1 package of 12-16 oz turkey or chicken sausage, sliced (I used Johnsonville Chicken Sausage with Apples)
- 1 medium butternut squash, prepared (see below)
- 2 medium apples, cored and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 medium onion cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the squash:
- Using the tines of a fork, poke several holes in the squash
- Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Remove from microwave and peel or cut away skin.
- Slice in half, scoop away the seeds.
- Dice into 1″ chunks.
To Prepare Skillet Dinner:
- Toss all ingredients into a large skillet.
- Cook on medium-low heat until apples are softened, and ingredients are caramelizing and fragrant.
In my final easy fall dinner recipe, the ever traditional vegetable gratin casserole gets a skinny face lift!
Substituting low-fat plain yogurt for mayonnaise or other soft cheese binders to hold it all together keeps this dish lower in fat and calories. Warm, hearty and nutritious, this fall vegetable casserole is a wonderful way to use your autumn garden or CSA harvest! Use whatever fall veggies you like and have on hand. This is even great with shrimp, ham, chicken, or leftover turkey thrown in!
Which of these easy fall dinner recipes do you think you’ll make first??