12 Fall Vegetables Our Editors Love to Cook

updated Oct 4, 2023
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

It’s always sad to see ripe summer vegetables fade out, but there is excitement that comes in with the even more interesting and complex vegetables of fall. While there is a plethora of produce available once September rolls around, it’s helpful to have a guide to all the fall vegetables at the store.

Luckily, we’ve rounded up 12 fall vegetables you should be on the lookout for this season. Whether you’re a fan of all things squash and pumpkin or prefer perfectly roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes, there’s a way to prepare and enjoy every fall vegetable to its full potential.

Fall Vegetables Guide

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

1. Pumpkin

Pumpkin isn’t actually a vegetable. It’s a very large berry! But like tomatoes and other fruity vegetables, it gets the savory treatment enough to be a vegetable by association. If you’re cooking pumpkin, especially for pie, make sure to buy a pie pumpkin — little guys like the one pictured above. (The big carving pumpkins tend to be too watery and not very flavorful.)

Once you have a pie pumpkin you can make pumpkin puree to use in homemade pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are hard to split open, so bake them to soften them a little before slicing. If you want to stay savory, roast the pumpkin and eat it like butternut squash, or make Pumpkin Chili or this Roasted Red Kuri Pumpkin & Coconut Soup.

Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

2. Cabbage

Cabbage is one of those vegetables that seems to be in season all year round, but if you’re spying it out at the farmers market, it’s probably now. Cruciferous vegetables ripen at the end of the summer and also get a little sweeter as the weather gets colder. Here are a few tips on picking out a good cabbage.

Cabbage is a staple in my kitchen. I shred it for big slaws like this Apple Cabbage Salad with Cider Vinaigrette. Slaws last well in the fridge so they’re a great way to make a salad and eat it all week. You can also roast cabbage — in big wedges with bacon, or for a warm slaw with hazelnuts. And don’t forget about pickling it!

Credit: Kelli Foster

3. Carrots

Carrots may seem like a spring vegetable, but they tolerate light frost, and many farmers plant them near the end of the summer to extend the harvest. Look for small, sweet fall carrots this time of year. (Maybe even some rainbow colors!)

If there’s one way to prepare carrots in a reliable way, it’s by roasting. Carrots come out great in the oven because they start to caramelize and develop a subtle sweetness. You can also use them to make soup, too. Check out our tips on cutting carrots neatly, too: How To Cut, Slice & Dice Carrots.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

4. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have been the

sexy little thing

blitz them in the oven (don’t forget to eat the
crispy little leaves that fall off, too). But try them
Thai-style, or hashed into a
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

5. Butternut Squash

This funny-shaped vegetable is so creamy and rich inside; it can practically stand in for cheese or cream once it’s roasted. Make sure you know how to peel and cut up a butternut squash (stay safe!). Roast or steam and eat plain or with Parmesan cheese, or pan-fry with pasta and sage. It’s also wonderful in grain salads and in curries.

6. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is like the single-serving wonder of the squash world. Cut in half, roast until creamy (add garlic cloves into the middle!). Stuff with other vegetables or meat and bake for a complete supper, or slice into rings and bake.

Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

7. Potatoes

Yes, potatoes are available year-round, and yes, they tend to be more associated with starches than proper veggies. But potatoes, especially when eaten plain and simply, are good sources of nutrients and vitamin C, and they are great fall meal basics. Bake them one of these three ways; top with other nutritious toppings, or have some fun and make Hasselback potatoes!

8. Sweet Potatoes & Yams

First, know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? It’s a little confusing, but good to know! These sweet orange delights can be a meal all by themselves in the fall! Roast in the oven and eat plain, or with yogurt for breakfast, any of these other ways for dinner.

9. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is at its best and freshest in the fall, since cauliflower doesn’t really produce heads in hot weather, and it’s frost tolerant once mature. Like all these other vegetables, it’s wonderful roasted, but it can do so much more. Make soup, grate into cauliflower couscous or rice, or make “steaks” out of it.

10. Kohlrabi

This Sputnik-esque vegetable shows up in CSA boxes and at farmers markets and we love its fresh flavor. Here’s a guide to peeling and cutting it. Slice and stir-fry, or shred into slaw.

Credit: Tara Holland
Roasted Turnips

11. Turnips

Turnips have an intense flavor, so look for the smallest baby turnips you can find in the fall; they are sweeter and more mild. They’re wonderful roasted (of course!) and their mild bitterness means that they take well to sweet glazes. Make soup or roast them with a simple butter and maple syrup glaze. They’re also gorgeous on a savory tart or galette like this one.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

12. Kale

Yes, kale is a fall staple, and it’s at its best this time of year! After the first frost or even snow kale gets so mild and sweet — it’s the perfect time to put it in slaws and salads. Toss with pasta; cook slowly and braise; make a big salad and eat for lunch all week. Since kale is so hearty it’s also very good in longer-cooked dishes like this kale and potato gratin.