The fall season can conjure up fond memories for so many of us, like playing in the leaves as kids, going apple picking — and of course, indulging in some of our favorite comfort foods as the weather gets cooler. Tess Bredesen, Thrive’s Cognitive Nutrition Director, says there’s power in eating our favorite foods, tweaking recipes when needed, and finding joy and mindfulness in sharing a meal we love with our loved ones.

We asked our Thrive community to share with us the different meals they love to make in the Fall. Which of these dishes will you make this year?

Seasonal vegetable soup

“My husband makes the most delicious green ‘fridge tornado’ soup. He takes whichever green vegetables from the fridge that are close to their sell-by date, adds some water and vegetable stock, and boils the whole lot for 20 minutes, then blends it after it’s cooled. We get some sourdough bread from a nearby shop and make a lovely family meal out of it. The children absolutely love it. Iit must be my husband’s special ingredient: lots of love.”

—Bianca Riemer, leadership and team coach, London, UK

Mushroom risotto 

“Autumn always inspires me to slow down a bit in the kitchen and cook recipes that require a little more time and attention. One of my favorites is Risotto. It’s incredibly easy to make and requires just a few ingredients and is perfect as the weather starts to get cooler at night. My go-to risotto recipe uses fresh mushrooms of any kind. They all work beautifully with the creamy texture of the cooked Arborio rice. You can add as little or as much fresh Parmesan cheese as you prefer for a perfect Fall meal. And the leftovers are great for lunch the next day!”

—Dr. Sharon Ufberg, transformational business coach, Hermosa Beach, CA

Vegan chili 

“I’m making a vegan chili. Not only does it warm you up on cool evenings, but it also freezes well. And it is perfect for batch-cooking as well as giving away to my friends.”

—Kristin A. Meekhof, author and book consultant, Royal Oak, MI

Fresh beet slaw

“With the cooler weather, markets are brimming with winter squash, dark leafy greens, mushrooms and of course gorgeous beets. Beets are brilliant because the entire beet from root to greens packs a powerful nutritional punch. This recipe feeds the eye and is one of my favorite comfort foods. All you need is 1-2 medium red beets, 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, one tbsp fresh grated ginger root, 1/4 cup of fresh mint sliced and firmly packed, one tbsp toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds, and salt to taste. Comfort and well-being in one simple and delicious recipe.”

—Kristen Coffield, founder of theculinarycure.com, Alexandria, VA

Warm veggie bowls

“I’m breaking the classic female default to remove foods from our diet and instead am teaching myself and my clients to focus on adding foods that are good for us. This fall, I’ll be doing the same thing I do all year round. Start with a base of greens and then add every blessing of the season from nuts and berries to fruits and veggies. Toss with olive oil, Himalayan salt, and organic lemon juice. Food is fuel, and we deserve to fill our tanks with the best kind.”

—Carolyn Mahboubi, certified master coach, CA

Traditional Ossobuco

“I made Ossobuco last week for my dad’s birthday. It was a perfect fall dish and it’s my dad’s favorite. He’s been busy with work and has been caring for my mom the last few months, so I was happy to try a new recipe to celebrate him.”

—Claire E. Parsons, litigation and employment attorney, Cincinnati, OH

Quinoa bowls

“The dish I love to mix into my kitchen routine is quinoa bowls. I mix the quinoa with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut amino acids, ground flax seeds, turmeric powder, black pepper, and garlic powder. The beans/legumes I add to the bowl differ from week to week. I top the bowl with all sorts of fresh veggies. For fall, I’ll be adding butternut squash, artichoke hearts, and brussels sprouts. These bowls are fairly easy to make and can be topped with any fresh, seasonal veggies all year long.”

—Heather Colleen, writer, Los Angeles, CA 

Pasta-free lasagna 

“My go-to meal for this fall is my ‘pasta free’ lasagna. It’s so easy to make and so delicious. I use layers of eggplant and zucchini then load up on the sauce, spinach, kale and of course cheese. This fulfills all the cravings and lowers the carb intake. Healthy and well balanced comfort food that can be prepared for vegans to meat lovers. It’s a favorite for family and friend dinner parties, saving everyone room for dessert.” 

—Catherine McCourt, transformational and business coach, Vancouver, BC

Chicken soup

“My go-to meal throughout the fall and winter season is chicken soup. I use bone broth as the base. If you don’t have time to roast a chicken or boil the bones, there are many great organic frozen bone broth options on the market. The key is to buy frozen organic bone broth, not in a can or powder form. After I cook the chicken, I add loads of veggies, like chopped onion, green cabbage, carrots and celery. The best part is you can add the vegetables and seasoning you enjoy. I make a big batch and then freeze smaller servings to take out for lunch, dinner and sometimes breakfast too! It’s nourishment and comfort that never gets old.”

—Emily Madill, certified professional Coach (ACC) and author, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Turkey and yams

“It’s been so long since I have been able to get together with friends and family. I am looking forward to cooking a soul food Thanksgiving dinner. The menu is turkey and sausage with sage dressing, yams, mac n cheese, collard greens, green beans, and cornbread. We’ll worry about the calories later. We’ll be focusing on celebrating family, friendship, and food.”

—Gerry Tucker, author and life coach, Austin, TX

Holiday bundt cake

“For almost a decade, our elderly neighbor has made us a white wine bundt cake each holiday season. She said it was a family recipe and would never share the secret ingredients with non-family members. Shortly before her passing, she left the recipe on the cabinet and asked me to carry on the tradition. Her legacy lives on in every bite!”

—Stacy Cassio, CEO, Charlotte, NC

Baked ziti with vegetables

“Without a doubt, my favorite fall dish is my wife’s homemade baked ziti with meat and veggies. This has it all! It’s hearty and filling, and tastes even better the next day.”

—Joshua Miller, master certified executive coach, Austin, TX

Chicken slow-cook casserole

“We love having as a mainstay during the week one big pot of delicious nourishing food which we can brighten up with fresh vegetables. Working days don’t offer much time for creativity in the kitchen. We leave this for our precious weekends when we love trying out new fun dishes. For weekdays, we love a chicken slow cook casserole. It’s my own recipe I’ve honed across the past couple of years. It’s full of nutrient-rich fresh herbs from the garden, and as many home grown veggies as I can find. This one-pot wonder sustains, and creates such a feeling of comfort and restoration.”

—Dassana, chief people person and co-founder, Austraiia

Pumpkin risotto

“I live in Italy and love that moving away from salads and into rice dishes as the cold weather approaches. Risotto sounds fussy, but it’s quite easy and so warming. My favorites are pumpkin risotto or raddicchio and sausage. There’s a mindful meditation in the process of making it and then the coziness of eating it that is so satisfying!”

—Henna Garrison, mindset coach, Sicily, Italy

Traditional Braciole

“I’m second-generation Italian American on both sides of my family. One of my favorite memories was having braciole on Christmas day with homemade ravioli. I remember my mother painstakingly pounding the meat and cooking it, for what seemed like hours, in tomato sauce. Since I transplanted from New Jersey to Texas decades ago, I’ve never seen it on a menu here.  I never got the cooking gene, but lately, I’m experimenting with creating meals for myself. Making braciole is on my to-do list!”

—Jolene Monaco, CPO, certified professional organizer, Dallas, TX

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Author(s)

  • Rebecca Muller

    Senior Editor and Community Manager

    Thrive

    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.