The leaves are changing color, the air is getting crisper and cans of pumpkin purée abound at the supermarket. Needless to say, we have all the fall feels right now, meaning we’re craving hearty meals that warm us up—and are just the thing for cozying up next to a roaring fire. Read on for 31 October dinner ideas that are satisfying, nourishing and sweater-season appropriate (think butternut squash risotto, sweet potato cheese fries and more).
31 October Dinner Ideas That Are Perfect for Sweater Weather
October 2: Creamy Gochujang Zoodles
October 3: 30-Minute Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Orecchiette
Salty, savory, tangy, cheesy—this autumn pasta hits all the right notes. The nine-ingredient delight gets its briny kick from apple cider vinegar.
October 4: Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash
This year, we’re heading into butternut squash season with open minds and empty stomachs.
October 5: Polenta and Meatballs
October 6: Chicken and Snap Pea Stir Fry
When you’d rather be watching spooky movies than standing around in the kitchen, this 20-minute stir fry is exactly what you should make for dinner.
October 7: Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
October 8: Butternut Squash Carbonara
It’s creamy and dreamy without any butter or cream (though it is loaded with grated Parm). Squash is transformative like that.
October 9: Pork Milanese with Cucumber Yogurt
All these impossibly crisp fried chops need before you inhale them is a spritz of lemon. Use every bit of the fresh dill, chives and spring onions in the yogurt dip—herb stems are loaded with flavor.
October 10: Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: soup season. Celebrate with this bowl of coziness, starring store-bought, cheese-filled pasta and alllll the Parmesan cheese.
October 11: Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board
Our favorite part about this charcuterie masterpiece? It's served on a chic cutting board, so all the toppings are easily accessible instead of trapped at the bottom of a bowl.
October 12: Tandoori-Inspired Roast Cauliflower Bowls with Tahini
A slew of warm spices (ginger! turmeric! cumin!) make this vegetarian dish a worthy alternative to traditional tandoori chicken. And the tahini sauce? You'll want to drizzle it on every salad you make this fall, trust.
October 13: Classic Stuffed Peppers
Only 40 minutes stand between you and this beefy dinner staple. Feel free to use pesto, vodka sauce or cream sauce instead of marinara in the stuffed pepper filling.
October 14: Mushroom Carnitas
October 15: Bacon-Wrapped Black Cod with Spinach and Capers
October 16: Sausage, Corn and Poblano Chowder
It’s spicy, sweet, hearty and just so happens to keep really well in the freezer. Need we say more?
October 17: Warm Ginger-Scallion Pork & Kale Salad
Cold weather calls for warm salads. Raw kale can be tough to chew on, but sautéing it in a zingy honey-ginger dressing for a couple minutes will soften it just right.
October 18: Antoni Porowski’s Strip Steak with Harissa Butter and Parsley Salad
Whether you're cooking for an intimate date night or an elegant dinner party, you can never go wrong with seared steak. (BTW, the parsley salad will change how you see the underrated herb forever.)
October 19: Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Leeks
This risotto sounds and looks complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Butternut squash purée is stirred in with chicken broth, and the results are *chef’s kiss.*
October 21: Garlic Shrimp Mafaldine
October 22: Alison Roman’s Roasted Squash with Yogurt and Spiced Buttered Pistachios
Give us the chance to eat sweet, creamy squash as a main course and we’ll take it. The combination of lemony yogurt sauce and brown butter is—dare we say—divine.
October 23: Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Barley Risotto
Who needs bowls when you can lean on big, juicy mushrooms instead? This meal tastes decadent, but it’s actually pretty healthy.
October 24: One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Carrots
You can’t go wrong with this pairing. We love the way the carrots soak up some of the chicken's flavorful juices as they cook.
October 25: Fall Cobb Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries and a to-die-for maple dressing put this salad firmly in fall territory. Drive the theme home by adding winter squash or broccoli to boot.
October 26: Roasted Squash and Tofu with Soy, Honey, Chili and Ginger
The key to crispy tofu is to press all the liquid out before cooking it, so don’t skip that step. Serve the squash with rice on the side to create a filling main course.
October 27: Salmon with Pesto and Blistered Tomatoes
October 28: Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
Typically, you’d spend at least an hour caramelizing onions on your stovetop for this soup. Our recipe relies on the trusty slow cooker instead to keep it low-maintenance.
October 29: Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Apple Salad
Salad for dinner isn’t just a summer thing. This one has roast cauliflower and crisp apples, so it’s satisfying, seasonal and light at the same time.
October 30: Sweet Potato Cheese Fries
Mischief night calls for a scary delicious—and devilishly nostalgic—dinner. Pepitas, sweet spuds and dried cranberries are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.
October 31: Pumpkin Soup In Mini Pumpkin Bowls
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.
Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.
Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.