The weather is getting chillier where I live and it’s dark at 6:30pm, so it’s not surprise that warm, comforting dinners are all I have on my mind (well that, and finishing Kristen’s recommendation to watch MAID on Netflix). So next week I am planning out a few of our favorite comfort foods that aren’t too heavy, but still make you feel warm and cozy from the inside out.
So grab your pen, paper or open the AnyList app and and let’s plan out the dinners for next week, and then grab a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice) and watch that next episode of MAID.
At top: Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple from A Head of Thyme and Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup from 40 Aprons
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I’ve committed to #MeatlessMonday this year, and it has been a really great journey for my family. I don’t tell them that the meal is meatless, and 9 times out of 10, no one notices. This Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie from Pinch of Yum is wonderfully comforting and delicious and filling. The mushrooms give it enough umph that you don’t even realize there’s no meat in the bowl. I especially love that it all cooks in one dutch oven, so it’s easy from oven to table to clean up.
Related: 5 vegetarian meals beyond salad that the whole family will love
Speaking of dutch ovens, if you are in the market, I highly highly recommend this Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. My parents gave this to me as a gift about 15 years ago and it has held up beautifully. It’s much less expensive than some other brands out there and works just as well. It’s currently on sale over at Amazon.
As you may have noticed, I am also extremely committed to #TacoTuesday, or some variation of it. Next week I am pulling out one of my very favorite recipes that also happens to be a vegetarian meal: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas from The Girl Who Ate Everything. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you cook the sweet potatoes in the bottom of that dutch oven in a little bit of olive oil, and then just stir all of the other filling ingredients in. My suggestion is to cut those sweet potatoes in very small bite size pieces so they cook a bit quicker. These make an even better lunch the next day.
Related: Our favorite Mexican Food Blogs
I am not the only one who gets a bit excited to see so many butternut squash in the supermarket in the fall right? I love butternut squash soup so much, but it is often a huge undertaking to make. But thanks to my Instant Pot, you can make this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup from 40 Aprons in less than 30 minutes. I prefer to use my immersion blender rather than a regular blender. I enjoy this soup with a warm, crusty bread and butter, but if your kids need a bit more to hold them over until breakfast, grilled cheese is a perfect accompaniment. If you have leftovers, pour them into these souper cubes, and pull them out for a quick lunch or rainy day meal.
Related: 10 amazing soups with 5 ingredients or less
Last weekend, I tried this recipe for Braised Pork Ragu with Homemade Pasta from The Original Dish and people, it was the most amazing thing I put in my mouth all weekend. This recipe is a must make. It may seem like a lot, but really it’s very simple, and just simmers on your stove for about 3 hours total. Hands-on time is less than 20 minutes. I skipped making my own pasta, and used a box of fusilli that I had in my pantry and it was perfect. It was a huge hit and I will definitely be making this again and again.
Salad is not just a summer meal. Fall veggies and fruits come together to make incredibly colorful, flavor filled hearty salads. This Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple from A Head of Thyme gorgeously combines apples, butternut squash and bright pomegranate seeds and brings it all together together with an apple cider vinaigrette. I like to serve this with the squash still warm and some chicken breast (either grilled or rotisserie).
Related: Savory Apple dinner recipes
I shared this recipe for The Pioneer Woman’s Pumpkin Sheet Cake this time last year, and it’s back in rotation here in my kitchen again. It is my 17 year-old son’s very favorite dessert and he asks for it weekly. It’s been around since 2014 but if you haven’t tried it yet, you to make this at least once. And also hooray for sheetcaking.
Follow our Weekly Meal Plan Ideas for Families board on Pinterest @CoolMomEats for even more ideas!
I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind. If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook. – Lisa