25 Cozy Fall Recipes

25 Cozy Fall Recipes

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The arrival of fall in Texas brings a welcome respite from the relentless summer heat. As the scorching temperatures finally start to dip, a crisp coolness enters the air, beckoning people outdoors to soak up the pleasant weather before winter’s chill sets in.

Across the state, a colorful transformation begins to sweep the landscape. Although more subtle than the brilliant autumn displays in other regions, Texas still puts on a lovely show as pecan, oak and cypress trees trade their green hues for dazzling reds, oranges and golden browns. State and national parks become picturesque playgrounds for hiking, camping and soaking up Mother Nature’s kaleidoscope of fall hues.

In cities and towns, the change of season ushers in a flurry of festivities. Annual outdoor food and craft fairs take over downtown plazas and cobblestone streets. Pumpkin patches sprout up alongside roadside markets overflowing with just-picked pecans, apples, gourds and other seasonal bounty. College towns like Austin come alive with homecoming celebrations and tailgating events.

Perhaps no fall tradition is more quintessentially Texan than high school football on Friday nights. As kids return to school, communities rally around their hometown teams, filling stadiums with fans decked out in school colors. The air is filled with the roar of crowds, marching band music and the scent of barbecue wafting from stadiums and parking lots.

Fall in Texas brings a refreshing change of pace, swapping the slow, sweltering summer months for crisp, active days celebrating the season’s unbeatable weather and bountiful harvest. 

1. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Warmly spiced coffee drink with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg

Ingredients; Espresso or strongly brewed coffee, pumpkin puree, milk or milk alternative, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract

  • Brew espresso or coffee and set aside
  • In a saucepan, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla
  • Heat mixture over medium, whisking frequently, until steaming hot but not boiling
  • Pour coffee into a large mug, add pumpkin milk mixture and stir well

Cook time: 10 minutes

2. Texas Butternut Squash Soup

Texas Butternut Squash Soup

Velvety, slightly sweet soup with nutty squash flavor Butternut squash, onion, garlic, vegetable or chicken broth, butter, nutmeg, salt, pepper

  • Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash
  • In a pot, sauté onion and garlic in butter until translucent
  • Add squash and broth, bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until squash is very soft
  • Puree using an immersion blender until smooth
  • Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper

Cook time: 40 minutes

3. Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Warm baked apples with a crunchy, cinnamon-y streusel topping

Ingredients; Apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour, butter, brown sugar, oats

  • Peel, core and slice the apples
  • Toss apples with some sugar and cinnamon in a baking dish
  • In a bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, oats and cut in cold butter until crumbly
  • Spread topping evenly over apples
  • Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly

Cook time: 45 minutes

4. One Pot Beef Stew

One Pot Beef Stew

Hearty, savory stew with tender beef and rich gravy

Ingredients; Beef chuck or stew meat, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, beef broth, red wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper

  • In a dutch oven, brown beef in batches and set aside
  • Sauté onions, carrots and celery until softened
  • Stir in broth, wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire, herbs and seasonings
  • Return beef to pot, cover and simmer for 1.5-2 hours until beef is very tender
  • Add potatoes and continue cooking 30 mins until potatoes are fork tender

Cook time: 2.5-3 hours

5. Baked Brie with Cranberries

Baked Brie with Cranberries

Gooey, melted brie with a tart cranberry sauce

Ingredients; Wheel of brie, cranberries, sugar, orange juice, cinnamon

  • In a saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes until cranberries burst and sauce thickens
  • Place the brie on a baking dish and top with cranberry sauce
  • Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until brie is softened
  • Serve warm with crackers, bread or fruit

Cook time: 30 minutes

6. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet, buttery mashed sweet potatoes with a crunchy pecan topping

Ingredients; Sweet potatoes, butter, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, pecans, flour, cinnamon

  • Bake sweet potatoes until very soft, let cool and scoop out insides
  • Mash or puree sweet potatoes with butter, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs
  • Spread into a baking dish
  • For topping, mix together chopped pecans, flour, cinnamon and melted butter until crumbly
  • Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over sweet potato mixture
  • Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

7. Maple Glazed Salmon

Maple Glazed Salmon

Buttery, flaky salmon with a sweet and sticky maple glaze

Ingredients; Salmon fillets, maple syrup, dijon mustard, soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the maple glaze ingredients
  • Place salmon fillets skin-side down in a baking dish and season with salt/pepper
  • Pour 3/4 of the glaze over the salmon
  • Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes, basting frequently with remaining glaze
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes at the end to caramelize the glaze if desired

Cook time: 20 minutes

8. Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Creamy chicken stew topped with a flaky buttery crust

Ingredients; Chicken, carrots, peas, onion, celery, chicken broth, butter, flour, milk, pie crust

  • In a pot, poach chicken then remove from broth and shred
  • In a saucepan, make a roux with butter and flour, whisk in broth and milk
  • Add shredded chicken, cooked veggies and simmer until thickened
  • Pour chicken mixture into a pie plate or baking dish
  • Top with pie crust, crimp edges and cut vents in top
  • Brush crust with egg wash
  • Bake at 425°F for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown

Cook time: 1 hour

9. Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Roasted acorn squash filled with a savory mixture of sausage, apples, cranberries and herbs 

Ingredients; Acorn squash, Italian sausage, onion, celery, apples, dried cranberries, bread crumbs, parsley, sage, thyme, butter, salt, pepper

  • Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds and score the insides with a knife
  • Brush with butter or oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Roast cut-side down at 400°F for 30 minutes
  • In a skillet, cook sausage, breaking it up as it browns
  • Add onions, celery, apples, cranberries and herbs and sauté
  • Mix in bread crumbs and remove from heat
  • Stuff squash cavities with sausage mixture
  • Return to oven for 15 more minutes until heated through

Cook time: 1 hour

10. Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Warmly spiced, ultra moist quick bread with notes of pumpkin and brown sugar

Ingredients; Pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt

  • In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil and brown sugar
  • In another bowl, whisk dry ingredients
  • Gently fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until just combined
  • Pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan
  • Bake at 350°F for 60-75 mins until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

11. Chili


Hearty, smoky beef and bean stew with a kick of spice

Ingredients; Ground beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, kidney beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream

  • In a pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef with onions and garlic
  • Drain excess fat and add spices, sauté for 1 minute
  • Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth and beans
  • Simmer for 30-45 minutes, allowing flavors to meld
  • Adjust seasoning as needed, adding salt/pepper to taste
  • Serve warm topped with shredded cheddar and dollop of sour cream

Cook time: 1 hour

12. Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Sticky, gooey pecan pie with a crisp, flaky crust

Ingredients; Unbaked pie crust, pecans, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt

  • Par-bake the pie crust at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F
  • In a bowl, whisk together corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla and salt
  • Stir in pecan halves until completely coated
  • Pour pecan mixture into par-baked pie crust
  • Bake at 350°F for 30-40 mins until center is just barely jiggly
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing

Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes

13. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Crispy, caramelized brussels sprouts with a slightly nutty flavor

Ingredients; Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Trim ends off brussels sprouts and remove any loose outer leaves
  • Cut larger sprouts in half through the stem
  • Toss sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet
  • Roast at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, shaking pan halfway
  • They’re done when sprouts are crispy outside and tender inside
  • Optional: Toss roasted sprouts with grated parmesan

Cook time: 30 minutes

14. Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin

Thinly sliced, layered potatoes baked in a rich, creamy sauce

Ingredients; Yukon gold potatoes, heavy cream, garlic, thyme, gruyere cheese, salt, pepper

  • Peel and slice the potatoes very thinly, about 1/8 inch thick
  • In a saucepan, heat cream with crushed garlic and thyme until simmering
  • Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in a buttered baking dish, season with salt & pepper
  • Pour 1/3 of cream mixture over top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese
  • Repeat layering two more times, ending with cheese on top
  • Bake at 375°F for 60-75 mins until potatoes are tender
  • Let rest 10 mins before serving

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

15. Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Dense, velvety pumpkin-flavored cheesecake with a graham cracker crust

Ingredients; Cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, graham crackers, butter

  • For crust, crush graham crackers and mix with melted butter
  • Press into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan
  • Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, then mix in sugar
  • Add in pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and spices and beat until just combined
  • Pour cheesecake batter over prepared crust
  • Bake at 325°F for 55-70 mins until center is nearly set
  • Turn oven off and let cheesecake rest in oven for 1 hour
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before chilling 4+ hours

Cook time: 2.5 hours + chilling

16. Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

Creamy, savory risotto with earthy mushroom flavor

Ingredients; Arborio rice, mushrooms, onion, garlic, chicken or veggie broth, white wine, parmesan, butter, thyme

  • In a pot, heat broth and keep warm
  • In a skillet, sauté mushrooms and set aside
  • In same skillet, cook onions and garlic until translucent
  • Add rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to toast
  • Add wine and cook while stirring until absorbed
  • Begin adding hot broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently
  • Add more broth as rice absorbs liquid, cook for 18-20 mins
  • Stir in mushrooms, parmesan, butter and thyme at the end
  • Remove from heat, cover and let rest 5 mins before serving

Cook time: 45-60 minutes

17. Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie

Creamy, savory filling with turkey, veggies and herbs under a flaky crust

Ingredients; Cooked turkey meat, frozen veggie mix, butter, flour, chicken broth, milk, pie crust

  • In a saucepan, make a roux by cooking flour in melted butter
  • Slowly whisk in broth and milk and simmer until thickened
  • Stir in cooked turkey meat and frozen veggie mix until heated through
  • Season with salt, pepper, thyme or poultry seasoning
  • Pour filling into a pie plate or baking dish
  • Top with pie crust, crimp edges and cut vents
  • Brush crust with an egg wash
  • Bake at 400°F for 30-40 mins until crust is golden brown

Cook time: 1 hour

18. Butternut Squash Ravioli

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Tender pasta pillows filled with sweet, creamy squash

Ingredients; Wonton wrappers, butternut squash puree, ricotta, parmesan, egg, nutmeg

  • Cook and mash butternut squash until smooth puree
  • Mix squash with ricotta, parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper
  • Place a spoonful of filling in center of each wonton wrapper
  • Brush edges with water and fold over creating a triangle
  • Press edges firmly to seal and form ravioli
  • Boil ravioli for 3-5 minutes until they float
  • Serve with browned butter sauce and crispy sage

Cook time: 1 hour

19. Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread

Sweet quick bread with a vibrant orange flavor and tart cranberries

Ingredients; Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, orange juice, eggs, oil, cranberries

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
  • In another bowl, whisk together orange zest, juice, eggs and oil
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined, don’t over mix
  • Gently fold in cranberries, reserving some for topping
  • Pour batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan
  • Top with remaining cranberries and sprinkle with sugar
  • Bake at 350°F for 55-65 mins until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Allow loaf to cool before slicing

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

20. Rich French Onion Soup

Rich French Onion Soup

Rich, deeply savory broth with caramelized onions and a crusty cheese topping

Ingredients; Yellow onions, beef broth, dry white wine, thyme, bay leaf, gruyere/swiss cheese, baguette

  • Slice onions thinly and cook slowly in butter/oil for 45-60 mins until deeply browned
  • Add broth, wine, thyme and bay leaf, simmer for 30 mins
  • Toast or grill baguette slices
  • Ladle soup into oven-safe bowls, top with baguette slice and shredded cheese
  • Broil for 2-3 mins until cheese is melted and bubbly

Cook time: 2 hours

21. Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Ultra moist, warmly spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients; Flour, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar

  • In one bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
  • In another, whisk pumpkin, oil, eggs until smooth
  • Fold pumpkin mixture into dry until just combined
  • Pour into greased cake pans and bake at 350°F for 25-30 mins
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter, then mix in powdered sugar
  • Frost cooled cake and optionally garnish with pecans

 Cook time: 1 hour

22. Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Crispy florets with a rich, nutty, almost buttery flavor

Ingredients; Cauliflower, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, lemon

  • Cut cauliflower into small florets
  • Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika and salt & pepper
  • Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet
  • Roast at 425°F for 25-30 mins, tossing halfway
  • Florets should be crispy and deeply browned when done
  • Squeeze lemon juice over top before serving

Cook time: 35 minutes

23. Maple Pecan Crusted Salmon

Maple Pecan Crusted Salmon

Tender, flaky salmon with a sweet/savory maple pecan crust

Ingredients; Salmon fillets, pecans, panko bread crumbs, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt, pepper

  • Finely chop pecans and mix with panko, maple syrup, mustard, salt & pepper
  • Press the pecan crust mixture firmly onto the top of each salmon fillet
  • Bake at 400°F for 12-15 mins until salmon is just cooked through
  • Broil for 2-3 mins at the end to get the crust extra crispy if desired

Cook time: 20 minutes

24. Acorn Squash Soup

Acorn Squash Soup

Silky, subtly sweet puree with the nutty flavor of roasted acorn squash

Ingredients; Acorn squash, onion, garlic, vegetable or chicken broth, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper

  • Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and roast cut-side down for 45 mins
  • When cool, scoop out flesh and puree or mash very well
  • In a pot, sauté onions and garlic until soft
  • Add broth and squash puree, simmer for 15-20 mins
  • Remove from heat and stir in cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

25. Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings

Warm baked apples enveloped in a flaky, cinnamon pastry

Ingredients; Apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pie crust or biscuit dough

  • Peel, core and slice apples into 8 wedges each
  • Roll out dough into 8 squares large enough to wrap around apples
  • Place apple wedges on dough at an angle, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar
  • Fold dough up around apples and pinch to seal into a dumpling
  • Arrange in a baking dish and dot with butter and more cinnamon-sugar
  • Bake at 375°F for 40-50 mins until pastry is golden brown
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Whether taking in the natural beauty at a state park, indulging in seasonal treats at a local fair, or cheering on the hometown team under the Friday night lights, fall in Texas offers a kaleidoscope of wonderful ways to experience this cherished season.

As the heat fades and those first cool breezes blow in, Texans make the most of autumn’s sun-kissed days and crisp, invigorating nights.

While the window of enjoyable fall weather may be narrow, the memories created during this picture-perfect time of year will warm souls long after winter’s chill takes hold.

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