fall side dishes

From Farm to Fork: Embracing the Season with Delectable Fall Side Dishes

9 min read

As autumn gently sweeps in, it brings with it a breath of crisp, chilly air that prompts us to don cozy sweaters and savor the warmth of steaming mugs. Outside, the world transforms into a symphony of rustling foliage—with trees shedding their summer greens for a vibrant tapestry of reds, yellows, and oranges. But it’s not just the scenery that undergoes a change—it’s also the culinary landscape. Autumn is a time when our kitchens come alive with the earthy hues of seasonal vegetables, the intoxicating aroma of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and the comforting embrace of dishes that warm the heart and soul.  From spooky Halloween gatherings to heartwarming Thanksgiving feasts, Autumn is a time of togetherness and celebration.  Whether you’re setting a table for a grand family gathering or hosting an intimate get-together with friends, these fall side dishes are here to make every moment in this vibrant season extra special.

Delectable Fall Side Dishes Sure to Impress Your Guests

Get ready to dazzle your guests with our lineup of delectable fall side dishes. From roasted root vegetables bursting with rustic flavors to innovative twists on classic favorites, these recipes are designed to elevate your autumn gatherings to a new level of culinary excellence.

Herbed Wild Rice Dressing

What’s so special about this dish, you ask? It’s the genius combination of wild rice, aromatic herbs, crunchy pecans, and sweet dried cranberries that adds a spark to tradition. 

Wild rice—often referred to as “Manoomin” by Indigenous communities—is not actually a type of rice but rather a type of aquatic grass. For this culinary adventure, gather wild rice, chicken broth, butter, onions, celery, red bell pepper, fresh thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, pecans, and dried cranberries. Add roasted veggies and a protein to turn this fall side dish into a full meal.

Reviewers can’t stop raving about it, with many declaring it the superstar of holiday feasts and special gatherings. Trust us—you won’t want to miss out on this flavor fiesta! This mouthwatering recipe is a creation from the culinary maestros at Southern Living

Carrot Ginger Soup from Love & Lemons

One of our favorite side dish recipes is this carrot ginger soup from Love & Lemons. This soup is not only delicious but also quick to make—taking approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. For this vibrant soup, you’ll need ingredients like roasted carrots, ginger, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, coconut milk, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

What sets this recipe apart is the delightful combination of sweet carrots with zesty ginger—creating a unique and flavorful blend that’s both comforting and invigorating. Reviewers praise the soup’s rich taste and the balance of flavors. They particularly appreciate the bright, refreshing kick of ginger in this satisfying, healthy dish. 

You can discover the delightful “Carrot Ginger Soup” recipe from Love & Lemons here.

Crispy Sweet Potato Bites from Half Baked Harvest

Set aside your sweet potato casserole or roasted sweet potatoes, and give this fun dish a try! For those looking for a quick and satisfying snack, these sweet potato bites take about 45 minutes to prepare. To craft these delightful bites, gather ingredients such as sweet potatoes, olive oil, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, and honey for drizzling.

One unique aspect of this recipe is the harmonious blend of sweet and savory flavors—with the smoky paprika and sweet honey creating a delightful contrast. Reviewers have given these sweet potato bites high marks for their crispy texture and the delightful balance of flavors. Many find them to be an irresistible and crowd-pleasing snack or appetizer.

You can access the delectable “Crispy Sweet Potato Bites” recipe by visiting Half Baked Harvest’s website at Sweet Potato Bites Recipe.

Braised White Beans and Greens With Parmesan from The New York Times

White beans and greens are a dynamic duo in the culinary world—not only for their delicious flavors but also for their health benefits. This dish takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare. To create this flavorful dish, you’ll need ingredients such as white beans, olive oil, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, chicken or vegetable broth, greens (like collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard), Parmesan cheese, and lemon zest.

What makes this recipe stand out is the combination of hearty white beans, vibrant greens, and the savory richness of Parmesan cheese. Reviewers often praise this recipe for its comforting, hearty nature and the way it combines simple ingredients into a satisfying and flavorful dish. It’s often appreciated for its balance of textures and flavors.

You can find the recipe for “Braised White Beans and Greens with Parmesan” on The New York Times Cooking website. 

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash from Edible Inland Northwest

Acorn squash—a popular variety of winter squash—is not only a tasty addition to your plate but also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals—particularly vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. 

This recipe is relatively quick to prepare—taking around 35 minutes. To create this flavorful dish, you’ll need ingredients like acorn squash, pure maple syrup, butter, fresh thyme leaves, salt, and pepper.

What sets this recipe apart is the harmonious combination of sweet maple syrup, earthy thyme, and the natural sweetness of acorn squash. You can discover the mouthwatering Maple Roasted Acorn Squash recipe by visiting the Edible Inland Northwest website.

Rutabaga Gratin from Matthew Kline

Rutabagas—often overlooked in favor of more popular vegetables—bring a subtly sweet and peppery flavor to the dish. They’re not only delicious but also nutritious, and rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. The time required to make this dish can vary, but it typically takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare and cook.

To craft this delightful gratin, you’ll need ingredients such as rutabaga, onions, butter, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, milk, and shredded Gruyère cheese. You can find the recipe for “Rutabaga Gratin” featured in Midwest Living. 

Whipped Feta Roasted Potatoes from Delish

While roasted potatoes are already a beloved comfort food, the addition of whipped feta cheese takes them to a whole new level of indulgence. Feta cheese—with its tangy and salty flavor—pairs exceptionally well with the crispy texture of roasted potatoes. Whipping the feta transforms it into a creamy, decadent topping that adds a rich and savory contrast to the tender potatoes.

This delightful dish takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare—including both prep and cooking time. To create these flavorful potatoes, you’ll need ingredients such as baby potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, feta cheese, cream cheese, fresh lemon juice, and fresh herbs like dill and parsley.

What makes this recipe unique is the creamy whipped feta topping that adds a rich and tangy dimension to classic roasted potatoes. You can find the enticing “Whipped Feta Roasted Potatoes” recipe on Delish’s website.  

Persian Rice Stuffed Onions from The New York Times

Persian rice—also known as “Chelo” or “Chelow”—is a fundamental component of Persian cuisine and is celebrated for its unique cooking method and delicious taste. Notably, this recipe can be made vegan— offering a plant-based option for those with dietary preferences. Preparation time for this dish may vary, but it generally takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

To prepare these flavorful stuffed onions, you’ll need ingredients such as large white onions, vegetable oil, rice, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, salt, black pepper, sugar, lemon juice, and water.

One unique aspect of this recipe is the delicate process of hollowing out the onions and filling them with the fragrant rice mixture. This results in a visually stunning and delicious dish. You can access the recipe for “Persian Rice Stuffed Onions” on The New York Times Cooking website. 

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes from Taste of Home

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes are a delicious twist on the classic mashed potatoes recipe. They typically involve incorporating cream cheese into the mashed potatoes—which adds a rich and creamy texture. This recipe variation is often appreciated for its indulgent taste and velvety consistency. If you prefer a dish richer in vitamins and minerals, simply swap the Yukon golds for mashed sweet potatoes.

You can find variations of this dish on various cooking websites, and it’s a popular side dish—especially during holiday meals. Find the recipe on Taste of Home’s Instagram post for Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Brussels Sprouts with Oranges and Bacon from Martha Stewart

Now, we’re not suggesting you retire the classic green bean casserole, but these Brussels sprouts are a serious contender. This delightful dish combines flavors and textures in a unique way. It blends the sweet, tangy essence of oranges with the smoky richness of bacon to transform the often polarizing Brussels sprouts into a crowd-pleaser.

The use of oranges not only adds a burst of citrusy brightness but also provides a dose of vitamin C—which complements the nutritional profile of Brussels sprouts. These small green vegetables are packed with essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins K and C, and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice.

To make this flavorful side dish, you’ll need ingredients like Brussels sprouts, bacon, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. This dish takes approximately 35 minutes to prepare. You can find the “Brussels Sprouts with Oranges and Bacon” recipe on the Martha Stewart website.

Easy Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins from Baker by Nature

These delicious muffins are relatively quick to make—taking about 30 minutes including prep and baking time. The recipe is created by Ashley Manila—the chef and blogger behind Baker by Nature. To prepare these flavorful muffins, you’ll need ingredients such as cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, whole milk, unsalted butter, honey, eggs, and diced jalapeños. 

One unique aspect of this recipe is the combination of sweet honey and spicy jalapeños, which creates a delightful balance of flavors in each muffin. These muffins are a little bit spicy and slightly sweet—absolutely delicious! You can find the recipe for “Easy Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins” on the Baker by Nature website.

Hot and Tangy Pear Salad from Bon Appétit

This salad recipe combines the sweetness of pears with spicy and tangy elements to create a unique and flavorful salad. It’s a versatile dish, and it’s recommended to use whichever pears are currently in season near you for the best flavor and freshness.

It’s a creative fusion of flavors and temperatures—showcasing the versatility of pears in both sweet and savory contexts. It’s a salad that tantalizes the taste buds with every bite. Reviewers often appreciate the balance of sweet and spicy flavors in such salads—making them a refreshing and intriguing addition to a meal. Add tangy goat cheese to balance out the flavors.

To get the specific recipe for Hot and Tangy Pear Salad, visit the Bon Appétit Instagram post. 

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Brown Butter Béchamel from Good Housekeeping or Kendall Andronico

Butternut squash—a star ingredient in this recipe—is a symbol of the fall and winter seasons. Its sweet, nutty flavor and vibrant orange hue bring a touch of seasonal elegance to the traditional lasagna. While lasagna is often associated with indulgence, using butternut squash as a filling not only adds a unique flavor but also brings in added nutrients like vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants.

The preparation time for this lasagna can vary but generally takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes—including baking. To craft this flavorful lasagna, you’ll need ingredients such as butternut squash, lasagna noodles, butter, flour, milk, nutmeg, grated Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

What sets this recipe apart is the use of roasted butternut squash and a rich brown butter béchamel sauce—which adds a unique depth of flavor and creaminess to the traditional lasagna. You can find the “Butternut Squash Lasagna with Brown Butter Béchamel” recipe on the Good Housekeeping website.

Which Fall Dishes Will You Try?

Fall is a time when nature’s bounty provides an exquisite canvas for culinary creativity. Each dish celebrates the rich and earthy tones of fall—conjuring images of rustling leaves and the cozy aroma of spices in the air.

From the savory goodness of “Braised White Beans and Greens” to the sweet and spicy “Hot and Tangy Pear Salad,” there’s something for every palate to enjoy. Have you tried these recipes, or do you have your own fall favorites to share? We’d love to hear from you! Comment your favorite fall recipes below. 

By Armela E.