The weather is getting chillier (somewhat) where I live and it’s dark at 6:30pm, so it’s not surprise that warm, comfort food dinners are all I have on my mind. (Well that, and starting to think through all the fun Halloween treats to whip up this month). So this week I am planning out family dinners featuring a few of our favorite comfort foods.

These recipes aren’t too heavy, but still make you feel warm and cozy from the inside out. Can’t we all use more of that?

At top: Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple from A Head of Thyme and Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup from 40 Aprons

This post contains affiliate links and sales may generate a small commission to support our work at no additional cost to you. 

Colorful fall salads to brighten your Thanksgiving table or really, any table
7 fall pasta salad recipes — they’re not just for summer!
12 savory apple dinner recipes for fall
4 make-ahead stews for the unfussy, unfancy, comfort food dinners we’re all craving
Healthy comfort foods to get you through the winter without an extra 15 pounds

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas 39: Vegetarian Shepards Pie from Pinch of YumPinch of Yum

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


Lodge Dutch Oven

Speaking of dutch ovens, if you are in the market, I highly highly recommend this Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Now 40% off! My parents gave one to me as a gift about 15 years ago and it has held up beautifully. Plus it’s far less expensive than some other brands out there and works just as well–and that sale price!


Weekly Meal Plan Ideas 39: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas from The Girl Who Ate EverythingThe Girl Who Ate Everything

As you may have noticed if you’re a longtime reader, I am also extremely committed to #TacoTuesday, or some variation of it. Next week I am sharing one of my very favorite family 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. It makes an even better lunch the next day, too. My suggestion: to cut those sweet potatoes in very small bite-size pieces so they cook a bit quicker.

Related: 15 minute tacos

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas 39: Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup from 40 Aprons40 Aprons

I am not the only one who gets excited to see so much beautiful butternut squash in the supermarket in the fall right? I love butternut squash soup so much, but it can be a huge undertaking. However 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, making clean-up a little easier too.Serve with warm, crusty bread and good butter–but if your kids need a bit more to hold them over until breakfast, grilled cheese is a perfect accompaniment. Pro tip: If you have leftovers, pour the soup into these souper cubes, and pull them out when you need a quick lunch or rainy day meal.

Related: 10 amazing soups using 5 ingredients or less

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas 39: Braised Pork Ragu from The Original DishThe Original Dish

Last year I tried this recipe for Braised Pork Ragu with Homemade Pasta from The Original Dish and friends…it was the most amazing thing I put in my mouth that entire weekend. This recipe is a must-have for your comfort food dinner repertoire! Really it’s very simple; hands-on time is less than 20 minutes, and it just simmers on your stove for about 3 hours total. I definitely skipped making my own homemade pasta (I’m a busy mom!), and used the box of fusilli in my pantry. It was a huge hit, and I have been making this again and again.

Related: How to cook pasta perfectly, even ahead of time

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas 39: Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple from A Head of ThymeA Head of Thyme

Salad is not just a summer meal. Fall veggies and fruits come together to make incredibly colorful, flavor-filled hearty fall salads. Adding to my list of favorites: This Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple from A Head of Thyme, which gorgeously combines apples, butternut squash and bright pomegranate seeds then brings it all together together with an easy apple cider vinaigrette. I like to serve this while the squash is still warm, and serve some grilled chicken breast or grab a rotisserie chicken if I’m short on time.

Colorful fall salads to brighten your Thanksgiving table or really, any table

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas 39: The Pioneer Woman's Pumpkin SheetcakeThe Pioneer Woman

I shared this recipe for The Pioneer Woman’s Pumpkin Sheet Cake this time a few years back, and it’s in rotation again in my kitchen this year. It is my teen son’s very favorite dessert and he asks for it weekly! It’s been around on Ree’s site since 2014 but if you haven’t tried it yet, you to make this at least once.

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