Easy Fall Side Dishes

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Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clarke

Cheesy Sorghum and Shaved Squash Pilaf

Cheesy Sorghum and Shaved Squash Pilaf
Recipe

Long, slender ribbons of butternut squash make for a beautiful and unusual presentation; just be gentle when stirring so you don’t break all those gorgeous pieces. Try to grab a squash with a long neck–that straight surface works best for ribboning. If you can’t find sorghum, you can use far

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Photographer: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox 

Tangy Potato-Green Bean Salad

Tangy Potato-Green Bean Salad
Recipe

Hold the mayo. Replace the usual creamy potato salad dressing with this lively lemon-dill vinaigrette. f you are taking this to a party, chill the cooked potatoes in the dressing for 30 minutes, and then assemble the salad (with the green beans, radishes, chives, and remaining dressing) on a platter just before serving. Haricots verts are slender green beans. If you can’t find them, feel free to use sugar snap peas or snow peas. Cook them for one minute, along with the potatoes. You can make the lively lemon-dill vinaigrette ahead of time and store it in a Mason jar in the refrigerator. Shake it well before using. Serve this at your next outdoor barbecue or picnic and you won’t even miss the traditional potato salad covered in the mayonnaise dressing. Leftover salad is great served with cold chicken or a ham sandwich.

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Photographer: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lauren Smith Ford; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos 

Bitter Greens Salad with Lemon and Pecorino

Bitter Greens Salad with Lemon and Pecorino
Recipe

Some mixed green salads seem like an afterthought. This one definitely does not. Although it may look unassuming, our Bitter Greens Salad with Lemon and Pecorino is bright, tangy, and assertive and just the right thing to serve alongside a hearty main dish like grilled steak, roasted pork, or a rich, cheesy pasta.

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Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clarke

Shaved Apple and Fennel Salad with Crunchy Spelt

Shaved Apple and Fennel Salad with Crunchy Spelt
Recipe

Simply put, apples and fennel are right together–the flavors are so complementary. I love the way the paper-thin slices intertwine and then get interrupted by bright hits of parsley. Canola oil may seem like an odd choice, but I wanted to keep the flavors clean and straightforward; you can always use olive oil if you’d like the vinaigrette to assert itself.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Orange-Sage Rolls

Bake these light and tender whole-grain rolls ahead and freeze up to 1 month, or make the dough ahead and bake on the day: Punch down the risen dough to form a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours or overnight. Return to a bowl and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours before shaping.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Charred Okra with Tomatoes

Charred Okra with Tomatoes
Recipe

A serrated peeler works like magic to peel plum tomatoes, sparing you the hassle of blanching and shocking in ice water to get the skins off.

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Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Okra and Chickpeas in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Okra, an important member of the canon of Southern foods, can be fried, stewed, sautéed, and roasted. One of the more traditional ways to cook okra is to partner it with onions and fresh tomatoes. This easy and delicious recipe for Okra and Chickpeas in Fresh Tomato Sauce, developed by chef and cookbook author Virginia Willis, is ready for the table in just thirty minutes. Light enough for a main dish on a summer evening, you can also serve it with fish or grilled chicken. For the best results, choose fresh okra pods no longer than 4 inches in length.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Catherine Crowell Steele; Prop Styling: Thom Driver

Cheesy Cauliflower Latkes

Cheesy Cauliflower Latkes
Recipe

No Hanukkah celebration is complete without latkes. Go classic potato for the first night, and then try borscht-inspired beet, cheesy cauliflower and Gruyère, and earthy-sweet carrot and curry variations on the other nights. The trick to crispy cakes with less oil is to start with a very dry grated potato mixture: Drain well, and then squeeze in a clean kitchen towel. The frying oil may get too hot during successive batches; remove pan from heat for a minute or two, and lower the temperature as needed.

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Photographer: Gina DeSimone; Prop stylist: Kashara Johnson; Food Stylist: Briana Riddock 

Poached Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini

Poached Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini
Recipe

These elegant toasts, featuring sweet poached cherries and tangy goat cheese, are the perfect pre-meal nibble for a summer dinner party. While the recipe sounds fancy, it’s super easy to prepare. You’re simply simmering fresh cherries in a poaching liquid made by mixing orange liqueur, water, and a few other ingredients.This enhances the stone fruit with sweet, zesty flavor and creates a stunning crimson-hued sauce, perfect for spooning over rich and tangy goat cheese. A toss with fresh herbs and a light sprinkle of black pepper brings mellow earthiness for full harmony in every bite.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Roasted Butternut Squash with Parmesan-Garlic Breadcrumbs

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Photo: Jennifer Causey

Classic Herb Stuffing

Classic Herb Stuffing
Recipe

A straightforward holiday stuffing calls for great bread; we love the nutty, toasty dimension of a bakery whole-grain loaf. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot mixture until tender but not browned. The added moisture from the veg will help soften the bread and make for a more cohesive stuffing.

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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Braised Cabbage with Apple and Bacon

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate and Tahini

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Roasted Butternut Squash with Coconut and Chile

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Photo: Mary Britton Senseney/Wonderful Machine; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Butter-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Butter-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
As a shortcut to sweet potato casserole, simply bake sweet potatoes in the microwave, mash them, and top with chopped pecans. This 5-ingredient recipe also includes three additional flavor variations using maple syrup, chipotle chili, or parmesan cheese and sage.

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Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia Pursell

Roasted Carrots and Fennel

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Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Browned-Butter Farro

Browned-Butter Farro
Recipe

Farro is an ancient form of wheat that has seen a resurgence in recent years. Here we toast cooked farro in a bit of browned butter for a surprisingly delicious side.

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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Orange-Ginger-Chile-Glazed Carrots

Orange-Ginger-Chile-Glazed Carrots
Recipe

Roasting whole carrots in a hot oven and then giving them a final toss in a sweet glaze yields an unforgettable side dish. Look for multicolored carrots for a stunning presentation. If you can’t find them at the supermarket, try a local farmers’ market. We use a little chile pepper to add just a whiff of heat. Feel free to increase the pepper or omit it, if you prefer. Also, you can sub chopped fresh thyme or mild flat-leaf parsley for the rosemary.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

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Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Claire Spollen

Glazed Parsnips

Glazed Parsnips
Recipe

This side dish comes together in minutes, making it an ideal match for a more labor-intensive entrée.

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Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia Pursell

Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cherries and Parsley

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Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Claire Spollen

Parsnip Ribbons with Miso Vinaigrette

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Time Inc. Video Studio

Greek Butternut Squash Salad

Greek Butternut Squash Salad
Recipe

Salty feta cheese and olives are the perfect flavor balance to sweet, caramelized butternut squash in this simple, satisfying side dish. Bulk the salad up with rotisserie chicken and serve over bulgur, rice, or couscous for a hearty fall entree.

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Photo: Erin Kunkel; Styling: Christine Wolheim

Roasted Kabocha Squash with Farro and Mustard Greens

Roasted Kabocha Squash with Farro and Mustard Greens
Recipe

We love the play of savory-sweet flavors and big textures in this hearty winter salad from Rocky Maselli of A16 Rockridge in Oakland–and also his foolproof technique for cooking farro.

Wine Pairing: A California Chardonnay that balances butteriness with brightness, like Rodney Strong 2013 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay (Sonoma County; $22). Winter squash is a natural partner for the apple and pear flavors in Chard; the wine’s texture matches the chewy farro. –S.S.

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Caitlin Bensel

Maple-Butternut Puree

Maple-Butternut Puree
Recipe

Instead of sweet potatoes, try equally starchy, carotene-rich butternut squash for your next mash. A food processor will get the mixture silky smooth. You can also change the profile by swapping maple syrup and fresh ginger for a little ground cinnamon and curry powder or minced fresh sage and grated Parmesan cheese.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
Recipe

A mix of colorful root vegetables may be your star side. Peeled, prechopped butternut squash saves time, but pieces tend to be irregular and small–we prefer peeling and cubing it yourself.

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Orange-Tarragon Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Lemon-Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

Lemon-Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
Recipe

A mix of colorful root vegetables may be your star side. Peeled, prechopped butternut squash saves time, but pieces tend to be irregular and small–we prefer peeling and cubing it yourself.

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Photo: Iain Bagwell

Sumac Hummus with Kale Ribbons and Roasted Delicata Squash

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Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Mushroom and Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

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Photo: Iain Bagwell

Roasted Winter Squash with Honey, Tahini, and Lime

Roasted Winter Squash with Honey, Tahini, and Lime
Recipe

Almost any kind of winter squash can be cooked this way, including red kuri, which has a nutty flavor and a potato-like texture (red kabocha is similar but not as starchy) and mild, sweet delicata. All three varieties have tasty, edible peels, so there’s no need to cut them off. They’re good in stews, as a side for roasted meat, and in salads.

This recipe goes with: Sumac Hummus with Kale Ribbons and Roasted Delicata Squash.

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Photography: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Anna Hampton; Prop Styling: Thom Driver.

Roasted Butternut with Sage and Thyme

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Tart with Olive Oil Crust

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Sara Tane

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apples, and Figs with Sage Brown Butter

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Photo: Victor Protasio

Acorn Squash with Sage-Cranberry Rice Stuffing

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Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps

Chili-Roasted Acorn Squash

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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Kale Tabbouleh

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Jennifer Davick

Sweet Potato Pockets

Sweet Potato Pockets Recipe
Tired of sweet potato casserole and looking for a fresh way to serve this fall favorite? Simply stuff won ton wrappers with canned mashed sweet potatoes, boil, and sauté in oil until golden brown.

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Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargrett

Grilled Sweet Potato-Poblano Salad

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Mediterranean Green Beans

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Green Beans with Chanterelles and Cipollini

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Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Bacon-Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts

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Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

Roasted Parsnips

Roasted Parsnips Recipe
Though mildly sweet like their carrot cousins, parsnips are starchy, like potatoes. Subbing them for spuds, as in this recipe, is a good way to expand your winter repertoire.

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Photo: Jan Smith

Pecan White and Brown Rice Pilaf

Pecan White and Brown Rice Pilaf Recipe
Dress up a simple rice pilaf with dried cranberries and toasted pecans for full autumn flavor. Mixing brown rice with white rice makes this dish great for transitioning to whole grains.

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Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Dan Becker

Raw Spiced Applesauce

Raw Spiced Applesauce Recipe
In this easy homemade applesauce recipe, you don’t have to peel the apples, or even cook them. The whole thing is made in a food processor.

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Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
Roasting root vegetables (such as parsnips, carrots, and potatoes) in olive oil, salt and pepper creates a rich, caramelized flavor and transforms these simple veggies into a memorable side dish for pork or beef.

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Photo: Whitney Ott, Randy Mayor; Styling: Claire Spollen 

Sautéed Chard Agrodolce

Sautéed Chard Agrodolce
Recipe

Agrodolce is Italian for sour-sweet flavors typically created with vinegar and sugar. It’s a perfect counterpoint to sautéed greens in this quick and simple side dish.

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Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

Cider-Glazed Carrots

Cider-Glazed Carrots Recipe
Infuse julienne-cut carrots with the flavor of apple cider by glazing with a sauce made from brown sugar, butter, cider vinegar, and seasonings. This side is easy enough to serve on busy weeknights, yet pretty enough to include on holiday dinner menus.

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Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker

Butternut Squash with Green Chile and Mustard Seeds

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Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

Pumpkin-Sage Polenta

Pumpkin-Sage Polenta Recipe
Pair this richly flavored polenta with ham steaks or pork tenderloin for a satisfying supper. Aromatic sage perfectly complements the light pumpkin flavor.

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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Cane Syrup-Glazed Acorn Squash

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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller 

Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach

Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach
Recipe

“Creamy spinach casserole has always been a favorite in my family, so it’s a sure-fire hit for any gathering. The pimiento cheese flavors give it a uniquely Southern twist.” –Perre Coleman Magness, author of Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook

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William Dickey; Lisa Powell Bailey

Sautéed Green Beans and Pears

Sautéed Green Beans and Pears Recipe
This side takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook. Simply sauté sliced pears with butter, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar and combine with green beans steamed in the microwave.

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Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Cauliflower with Anchovy Breadcrumbs

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Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Cauliflower with Coconut Curry Sauce

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Photo: Chris Court; Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart 

Cardamom-Glazed Carrots

Cardamom-Glazed Carrots
Recipe

Turn up the volume on classic glazed carrots with exotic cardamom and fragrant fresh ginger. If you can find multicolored carrots, use them for a lovely presentation. The parchment paper lid slows moisture loss just enough to form a beautiful glaze.

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Photo: Chris Court; Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart 

Farro Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Red Onion, and Almonds

Farro Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Red Onion, and Almonds
Recipe

Earthy flavors and starchy comfort come from whole-grain farro, not bread, in this nontraditional stuffing. You can assemble up to 2 days ahead. Take out of the fridge, let stand at room temperature 45 minutes, then bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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Photo: Chris Court; Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart 

Roasted Fennel with Rosemary Breadcrumbs

Roasted Fennel with Rosemary Breadcrumbs
Recipe

Instead of roasted root vegetables or Brussels sprouts, try roasted fennel. Fennel has licorice notes that mellow in the oven, becoming slightly sweet. A splash of cider vinegar at the end brightens the dish.

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