Kick off the season with apple cider cake and roasted butternut squash.

By Food & Wine Editors
Updated August 31, 2020

With the first hint of cool breeze, we feel it—an itching desire to start making fall recipes.

It doesn’t matter if it’s still 75 degrees outside and summer isn’t quite over yet. Our minds instantly drift to warming spices and hearty, filling meals. Some of our editors plan to take full advantage of apple season, with apple cider cake and spiced brown-butter apples included in this roundup. Others will be turning on their oven for cacio e pepe pasta pie and roasted butternut squash with chorizo-spiced kale.

We’ve rounded up 12 recipes total that you can try over the next few months, whether you’re looking for a baking project (what better time to finally try your hand at homemade croissants?) or a comforting dinner. Read on for those recipes, and all of the other fall dishes we’ll be enjoying this season.

Apple Cider Cake

Credit: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

“Though my favorite fall treat is an apple cider doughnut, making a batch is trickier than I'd like. The perfect substitute is a cake version, and this one hits all the high notes. It works for dessert, snacking, or a sweet breakfast treat.” –Megan Soll, associate digital editor

Get the Recipe: Apple Cider Cake

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Pie

Credit: © Andrew Purcell

“Summer is perhaps best expressed through its pies: fresh fruit numbers filled with ripe peaches, peak-of-season berries, perfectly sour cherries, or even gorgeous tomatoes and cheddar if you’re looking for something savory. But to transition into the cooler weather, I prefer to turn the oven on to make a different kind of pie: one crafted entirely from pasta. This cacio e pepe pasta pie from Justin Chapple hits all the right comfort notes: it features three kinds of cheese, a nice kick from the black pepper, and it emerges from the oven with a perfectly golden crust. It’s best consumed in an oversized sweater on the couch.” –Khushbu Shah, restaurant editor

Get the Recipe: Cacio e Pepe Pasta Pie

Classic Croissants

Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

“I’ve never made croissants. I’ve always been too much of a coward. I’d make excuses like ‘I can just buy them at Mazzola Bakery’ or ‘I don’t have enough counter space’ or ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Well, these days I got all the time in the world. The only thing to do here in New York right now is work, or meet friends for a drink in the park, or read the news on your phone in bleak silence. It’s clearly time to wheel over the moveable counter that I usually just throw my keys, wallet, and mask on when I come back inside, and use it as a work surface to make a batch of these lovely-looking croissants. We have a new dough recipe and this handy step-by-step guide for lamination beginners/cowards like me.” –Ryan Grim, executive digital editor

Get the Recipe: Classic Croissants

Delicata Squash and Sausage Crostata with Ricotta and Honey

Credit: Justin Walker

“I’ve had my eye on this crostata since I started at Food & Wine, and I’m determined to finally make it before fall ends. Creamy whole-milk ricotta, savory Italian sausage, thinly sliced delicata squash, honey—the dish encompasses so many ingredients I love that I could easily see it becoming a new seasonal favorite. As soon as the first cool weekend hits, this recipe will be on the menu, enjoyed with a glass of wine fireside.” –Bridget Hallinan, digital reporter

Spiced Brown-Butter Apples

Credit: Greg Dupree

“I made these butter-roasted apples, basted in brown butter that’s spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and Chinese five-spice powder (a blend of ground Sichuan peppercorn, star anise, fennel, cinnamon, and cloves), for the first time last fall as a last-minute dinner party dessert. They were so delicious, and so easy to make, I cooked them several times more before the season was over—and I’m looking forward to making them again once my favorite apples are back at the farmers’ market. The recipe calls for just a quarter teaspoon of five-spice powder, but I like to use it more liberally—I love the way the spices accentuate the sweet, soft baked fruit.” –Karen Shimizu, executive editor

Get the Recipe: Spiced Brown-Butter Apples

Florentine Butter Chicken

Credit: Greg DuPree

“While I was in college, I studied abroad in Florence, and I can't wait to relive those memories through this epic dish. You can never go wrong with butter, and it never hurts that Rob Lowe called this the 'best chicken in Italy!'" –Caroline Schnapp, audience engagement editor  

Get the Recipe: Florentine Butter Chicken

Banana–Chocolate Chip Snack Cake with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

Credit: Antonis Achilleos

“I’m obsessed with this sweet and salty snack cake, and the only thing that stopped me from making it every day this summer was the desire to avoid the oven. As things cool down outside, I'm going to dive back into baking, and this is at the top of my list.” Maria Yagoda, digital restaurant editor

Pumpkin Lasagna with Ricotta and Swiss Chard

Credit: © Alexandra Rowley

“If you're a lasagna purist, insistent upon tomato-laden layers (or a full-on Bolognese if you've got a Sunday to spare), I'm happy that you've found your bliss. But in your desire to be doctrinaire, are you robbing yourself of additional pleasure? In this economy? Open your mind and mouth to this savory, vegetarian, oh so autumnal meld of noodles, three kinds of cheese, cloves, nutmeg, cayenne, and here's the kicker: pumpkin and chard. If that sounds like a shock to the senses, it's OK, take your time. This lasagna is even better when it's allowed to sit overnight before baking, so build it, slip on your comfiest sweater, go for a walk in the crisp night air, then go to sleep dreaming of the great feast that awaits you.” –Kat Kinsman, senior editor

Roasted Butternut Squash with Chorizo-Spiced Kale

Credit: Photo by David Malosh / Prop Styling by Amy Wilson / Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

“This year more than ever, I'll be looking for comforting food once we officially head from summer into fall. This roasted squash dish hits all the marks, since it's sweetly smoky from the Spanish paprika but actually meatless. Health is wealth!” –Adina Steiman, deputy digital editor

Salted Caramel S’mores

Credit: Johnny Autry

“As soon as there's a nip in the evening air, my mind turns to campfires or, more specifically, campfire s'mores. I've got my eye on these Salted Caramel S'mores not just because of the caramel sauce but also for the homemade graham crackers. I mean, just look at that photo!” –Sarah Crowder, digital photo editor

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel S’mores

Syrah-Braised Lamb Shoulder and Herbed Potato Soufflé

Credit: © Kirsten Strecker

“As autumn hits and the days start to get cooler, I start thinking about braising. Can’t help it. And, being a wine editor, I also love recipes that incorporate wine. Can’t help that either, I guess! Regardless, this slow-braised lamb shoulder from chef Mike Davis turns dark and glossy, and the meat is so tender it almost falls apart under your fork. Use an affordable Syrah to cook it, and splurge a little on a good Syrah from Washington State to pour alongside. (And serve it with Davis’ fluffy, creamy herbed potato soufflé [pictured].)” –Ray Isle, executive wine editor

Get the Recipe: Syrah-Braised Lamb Shoulder

Get the Recipe: Herbed Potato Soufflé