10 Comforting Meals for Busy Fall Weeknights

10 Comforting Meals for Busy Fall Weeknights

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Kelli Foster
Oct 2, 2017
(Image credit: Jean Schwarzwalder)

Every year, like clockwork, as soon as that cool chill hits the air in early fall I instantly look forward to a meal plan filled with as many warming, cozy recipes as possible. These are 10 of my weeknight favorites. They're quick and easy enough for busy nights. With hits like skillet pot pie, slow cooker chicken chili, taco soup, and sheet pan gnocchi, it doesn't get much cozier.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

1. Easy Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Yes, you can have the comfort of a creamy, homemade pot pie on a busy weeknight — flaky crust and all. This version comes together quickly in a skillet and relies on a few store-bought conveniences, like frozen vegetables, broth, and pie crust for easy prep.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi and Veggies

Talk about a dinnertime game-changer! turns out you don't actually have to boil the gnocchi in order to make it for dinner. Toss them directly from the package onto a sheet pan with a slew of veggies, roast them for 20 minutes, scoop into bowls, and dig in. Pasta night doesn't get much better than that!

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

3. Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Pull out your slow cooker first thing in the morning, and when you get home from work this light and flavorful chili will be waiting for you.

4. Fast and Fancy Spinach-Artichoke Mac and Cheese

If comfort food and coziness are at the top of your dinner wish list, you'll want to make this mac-and-cheese-meets-spinach-artichoke-dip mash-up asap. Tender pasta is mixed with four cheeses and a double dose of veggies, plus the whole meal comes together in a single pot.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

5. Broccolini, Chicken Sausage, and Orzo Skillet

One-skillet meals are a savior on busy weeknights, and this hearty combo does not disappoint. Tender Broccolini, spicy chicken sausage, and orzo pasta come together for a creamy, satisfying dinner that only requires a bowl and a fork.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

6. Chicken Taco Soup

Clocking in at just 30 minutes to make (yes, really!), this weeknight-friendly soup is loaded with juicy shreds of chicken, hearty black beans, and sweet corn, all swimming in a smoky, spiced broth.

(Image credit: Chungah Rhee)

7. Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes and Sage

This perfect-for-fall dinner comes together on a single sheet pan and rewards you with a plate of crispy chicken thighs and herbed-flecked, tender potatoes.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

8. Brown Butter Parmesan Pasta

Warm strands of spaghetti tossed with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of Parmesan just might be the ultimate comfort food. This version ups the ante with nutty brown butter and golden, toasted panko.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

9. One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

If you're looking for a comforting one-pot meal that will please the whole family, look no further than this creamy chicken and rice stovetop casserole.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

10. Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work and then, with a few pantry ingredients, turn it into an ultra-fragrant Thai-inspired chicken noodle soup that comes together in a flash.

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