20+ cozy and comforting fall recipes
The leaves are changing colors, there’s a chill in the air, and it’s the season of cozy and comforting fall recipes to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! I’ve rounded up more than 20 recipes that are not only perfect for this time of year, they’re also delicious. From biscuits to donuts, mac and cheese to pull-apart bread, you can bet on any of these fall-forward recipes to bring all the coziness and comfort into your kitchen.
Cozy and Comforting Fall Recipes
Guys and gals, I am THISEXCITED for fall baking (and cooking) season. It’s my favorite time of year. All the flavors (pumpkin! maple! apple! spice!), the smells of sweet goodness wafting from the oven or the anticipation of a cozy meal cooking on the stove… ugh. I love it all. And because I love it so much, I’ve rounded up more than 20 of my top recipes on GVD that bring out the best of fall in the kitchen. If you’re looking for a fun baking project or a new dinner recipe to make for the fam, take a look at this list and give one (or all) a try!
Sweet potato biscuits are great, but sweet potato biscuits with marshmallow topping?? 1000x better. Make these for a special breakfast or side bread to a cozy fall meal.
Ya girl loves a good donut, and these maple donuts with crumb topping do not disappoint. Baked to golden-brown goodness and topped with a generous streusel and icing drizzle, you just can’t say no to these. I dare you to try.
You know those recipes that are just always a good idea? Chocolate chip pumpkin bread is one of them. You will never regret popping a loaf of this quick bread into the oven and enjoying its smells as much as how it tastes. Breakfast, snack, dessert? This bread is poised for all of it.
If you’re looking for a fun and tasty baking project this fall, I highly recommend these stuffed, sugar-coated donuts. And anyone who enjoys them with you will be so glad you took on the task of making homemade donuts. You’re a true hero.
Pumpkin spice in breakfast cereal? YOU BETCHA. This easy baked puff rice cereal features all the good stuff about fall without loading you down on butter and sugar. Prepare to eat spoonful after spoonful of this delightful food.
If you, like me, get extra nostalgic feels when fall season arrives, this fresh take on classic oatmeal cookies is for you. Baked with pumpkin pie spice and topped with a spiced icing, these cookies are chewy, soft, flavorful and don’t require any chill time. Don’t you just love it when that happens?
I was far too old when I first heard of maple cream cookies, but now that I know not only do they exist, but they’re easy to make at home and they’re insanely delicious, I am older AND wiser. If you love the idea of a buttery, maple-flavored sandwich cookie filled with a sweet frosting, you need to make these cookies.
Apple pie, the darling of Fall Baking Season (henceforth known as “FBS”), gets an upgrade in this Dutch caramel apple pie. Dutch apple pie = apple pie baked with a thick, buttery streusel topping, and when you add drizzles of caramel in? Well, just don’t be surprised if you singlehandedly eat the whole thing.
Another staple of FBS? Pumpkin cookies! These soft, cakey and sweet cookies get a little extra love from cinnamon-sugar. The bonus of these cookies is that they will make your kitchen smell like a pumpkin candle, except that you get to smell that AND eat fresh-baked cookies.
For the unfussy bakers we are, we don’t want to mess around with long prep times, fancy ingredients or bougie appliances. And yet, we still deserve to treat ourselves. This easy French apple tart makes it happen. (P.S. serve this with vanilla bean ice cream if you want to live your best life now.)
I married into a family of Swedes and was almost immediately gifted with the introduction of Swedish meatballs, and now I know that I never don’t want Swedish meatballs in my life ever again. IKEA is great and all, but the crockpot makes these homemade meatballs with gravy just as easy and just as delicious.
Date night in? Cozy pasta dinner? Need some comfort in a bowl? This creamy rigatoni number is my go-to for all of the above. Made with Italian sausage, fennel seeds, celery and an indulgent tomato cream sauce, I probably crave this pasta no fewer than 4,398 times a year — especially come fall.
Apple spice simple syrup + vodka + ginger liqueur + apple cider = this Harvest Apple Ginger Smash, aka the cocktail mascot of autumn. Put one of these in my hand on a chilly evening by the bonfire and I am basically in heaven.
My youngest daughter’s favorite food is mac and cheese, and she never ever gets sick of it. (Ever.) But, the rest of us do — and that’s where this homemade stovetop version comes in handy. It’s a little detour from the boxed variety but still maintains all the creamy, cheesy coziness of the classic. Pro tip: Throw in some pancetta and spinach for the grownups.
This pretty little vegan soup is comfort in a bowl. It’s creamy, carrot-y, ginger-y, coconutty and 100% tasty. Do yourself a favor and serve it with roasted chickpeas for crunch. It’s soooo good.
This soup throws us a curveball: It’s tomato soup, but it’s MADE for grilled cheese. Something about the fire-roasted tomatoes, the sauteed onions, the heavy cream, etc. just all comes together into a soup that’s begging to be dunked into by a melted cheese sandwich. If you need me, I’ll be drooling over this pic and craving grilled cheese + tomato soup all day, every day this season.
Olive Garden lovers, unite! This homemade version of Zuppa Toscana is made in the slow cooker (mind = blown) but still yields all the creamy, potato-y, sausage-y richness of the original. You have to serve this soup with bread for dunking (maybe even garlic butter breadsticks?) for the full cozy/comfort experience.
Pumpkin, meet chai. Chai, meet donut. Donut, meet muffin. Everyone is invited to this party, and they all work together to make one really delicious, really on-brand treat for fall times.
If you live in Minnesota and every day is either 60 degrees or 80 degrees in the fall, this pumpkin zucchini bread is the perfect bridge between summer and fall (we call it “Fake Fall” here; it’s the counterpart to Minnesota spring’s “Spring of Deception”). Or, if you live elsewhere and just really like pumpkin bread and zucchini bread, this bread is for you.
True story: I have had nearly a dozen pumpkin spice lattes so far this season, but caramel macchiatos are my OG jam. And when you put the flavors of caramel, vanilla and coffee into a doughnut-like muffin, there is no comparison. (I mean, are you looking at that caramel drip?) 10/10 would trade all my PSLs for these muffins, they’re that good.
I might as well call these THEE Biscuits of GVD, because they are a perennial favorite on the blog. And, I get it — they’re perfectly flaky, fluffy, buttery and EASY. If you follow the steps as written (including two special tips that make these biscuits as flaky and fluffy as possible), you’ll be well on your way to Biscuitown (which is adjacent to Flavortown).
I love to serve these pumpkin brioche rolls at Thanksgiving, but they’re also too good to serve just once a year, so let’s take this moment to consider baking these rolls any time this fall. Here are a few incentives: soft, pillowy, pumpkin-flavored, very dunkable, easy to slather in butter and dust with cinnamon-sugar. Need I go on?
If you’ve never made homemade challah before, give this pumpkin version a try! It’s honestly perfect as the bread for a grilled cheese with apples and bacon, or when turned into French toast. I’m drooling; are you?
If a pull-apart loaf and apple pie had a baby, it would be this bread. Each layer is filled with fresh apples, cinnamon and butter, and then the whole loaf is topped with a sweet, nutty, oat streusel before baking. Can I get an amen? A-MEN.