The 30 Best Things to Cook This September

updated Aug 28, 2020
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The thing I love most about cooking in September is that this month treats you to a little bit of everything. I’m hardly ready for summer to end (you, too?). Luckily we still have about three weeks left for a few last hurrahs of firing up the grill for lazy summer dinners. Plus, prized produce like sweet summer corn and juicy tomatoes aren’t going anywhere just yet. So, if there’s something on your summer bucket list you still want to check off, there’s time (for me, it’s gathering a bunch of tomatillos for a tangy shakshuka).

September also marks the beginning of fall, which happens to be the most beloved season to cook and bake for so many people. The heat of summer is giving way to cooler days and sometimes chilly nights, which means not only is it bearable to turn on the oven again, but we’re also happy to do it as much as possible to bake all our favorite fall things, like pumpkin bread, apple crisp, muffins, and more.

If back-to-school season didn’t start for you last month, it’s kicking off in early September. This is always a time that marks a need for easy and practical weeknight dinners, and this year that is more true than ever. Plus, given that a lot of us are home with our families for the near future, adding freezer-friendly, make-ahead lunches and snacks to the roster is definitely a good idea.

From fresh tomato basil soup and grilled pizza to apple crisp and roast chicken, here are 30 of our favorite recipes to inspire your cooking all month long.

1 / 30
BBQ Tofu Salad with Grilled Vegetables
As one last hurrah to grilling season, Deputy Food Director, Grace, can't wait to make this grilled tofu and veggie bowl (it's got a BBQ sauce dressing!). And because the recipe is designed to set you up with leftovers, she gets a built-in BLT-inspired sandwich later in the week, too.
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2 / 30
Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins
Do yourself a favor and make a batch (or two!) of these sandwich-inspired muffins, then stash them in the freezer for effortless weekday lunches. Big and little eaters alike adore them.
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3 / 30
Mixed Mushroom Sheet Pan Gnocchi
Lifestyle Director, Lisa, "loves a sheet pan gnocchi more than words can say". So as soon as cooler temps set in this month, she's cranking up her oven for this three-ingredient dinner.
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4 / 30
Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast
Food Editor Meghan is pulling out her slow cooker, and the first thing she's making is this five-ingredient pot roast. It may or may not have something to do with using a ranch seasoning pack.
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5 / 30
Crash Hot Potatoes
Meghan is also excited about partnering her roast with these unbelievably crispy potatoes, and serving them to her family all fall.
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6 / 30
Tomato Basil Soup
This five-ingredient tomato soup expertly straddles summer and fall. Take advantage of summer farmers market tomatoes (or the ones from your backyard plant) for this family favorite.
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7 / 30
Borscht Crostini
These quick and easy borscht-inspired crostini take all the flavors of the beet-based soup and pile them on toasted bread for a tasty app.
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8 / 30
Easy No-Bake Protein Balls
Managing Editor, Lauren, is focused on make-ahead snacks and wants you to know that "these protein balls are SO easy to throw together!" She finds them to be tastier and more economical than buying protein bars at the grocery store. "They're also the perfect bite to give a jolt of energy while I try to juggle work and running around after my rambunctious baby."
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9 / 30
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Squash, Persimmons & Pecans
Food Editor-at-Large, Christine, is thrilled for the arrival of persimmons this month. While this grain salad is lovely served warm, the refrigerated leftovers are totally delicious and keep for days.
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10 / 30
Slow Cooker Applesauce
Contributing Editor, Patty, says she can't wait for apple everything! And at the top of her list is making this easy applesauce with her kids.
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11 / 30
Juicy & Tender Roasted Pork Loin
Consider following Patty's lead by also making a big pork roast over the weekend and serving it with a few big spoonfuls of applesauce.
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12 / 30
Pesto Tortellini with Roasted Vegetables
It's a good idea to keep this summery five-ingredient dinner in the rotation for as long as you can find ultra-ripe cherry tomatoes and zucchini at the market.
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13 / 30
Sausage Meatball Soup
"September is when I start think about hot soup again," says Studio Food Editor Amelia. "This recipe has sausage and ditalini and is ready in an hour — perfect for back to school."
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14 / 30
Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto
I can tell you from experience that stashing a bunch of these vegetarian lunch wraps in the freezer is one of the best things you can do for yourself. In fact it's worth doubling the recipe. There's a fair amount of upfront prep required, but come lunchtime all you need to do is pop it in the oven.
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15 / 30
Pear and Cinnamon Crumb Cake
Pear season will soon be upon us, and this streusel-topped breakfast cake is one of the best things you'll bake with them. If you love a good coffee cake, this is for you.
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16 / 30
Perfect Chicken
This is the easiest roast chicken recipe I know, and I'm keeping it on standby for the first cool night this month.
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17 / 30
Radicchio Salad with Green Olives & Parmesan
Editor-in-Chief, Faith, plans to keep this salad on repeat all month long, and plans to partner it with roast chicken. It's super simple and packed with big, bold flavors.
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18 / 30
Tomatillo Shakshuka
I'll also be taking advantage of in-season tomatillos, chilies, and herbs with this smoky tomatillo shakshuka.
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19 / 30
Slow Cooker Brisket and Onions
If you're trying to decide what to cook for Rosh Hashanah, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this tried-and-true, crowd-pleasing classic brisket.
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20 / 30
One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
Studio Food Editor Jesse is headed straight for all things pumpkin this month: "Once September rolls around I feel like it's finally socially acceptable to start cooking with pumpkin. (Pumpkin spice-haters, I'm looking at you!) This year I have my eye on this one-pot pumpkin pasta to make first."
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21 / 30
Ricotta Spätzle
It's impossible to think about cool fall nights without considering comfort food. And for Editor-in-Chief, Faith, that means quick and easy dumplings that her whole family will devour.
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22 / 30
Easy Apple Crisp
Do you have a go-to recipe for the first haul of apples you bring home? Mine is apple crisp. This one-bowl version is packed with lightly sweetened, warmly spiced apples and finished with a buttery oat topping.
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23 / 30
Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger
Fall vegetables, like sweet potato, shiitakes, and dark greens, are the star of this skillet meal. It also makes a great make-ahead lunch.
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24 / 30
Ground Beef Taco Casserole
This easy weeknight favorite is everything you love about classic ground beef tacos baked into an easy casserole, then topped with lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheddar.
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25 / 30
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
If you just loaded up on canned pumpkin, you've got to bake a loaf of this pumpkin bread. It's unbelievably moist and tender, and even better than the one from Starbucks.
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26 / 30
Broccolini, Chicken Sausage, and Orzo Skillet
Turn chicken sausage, quick-cooking orzo, and Broccolini into an easy one-skillet pasta dinner with this weeknight-friendly recipe.
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27 / 30
Classic Challah Bread
Challah is as much a pleasure to look at as it is to eat. Just check out that braiding! Consider shaping your loaf into a circle for your holiday meal.
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28 / 30
Bruschetta Pizza
I'm pretty sure this is the most delicious way to use your grill this summer. This easy pizza marries all the flavors of bruschetta.
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29 / 30
Cacio e Pepe
Cozy, cheesy cacio e pepe is at the top of Lifestyle Editor, Lauren's, list of recipes to make this month. She loves this easy, foolproof recipe.
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30 / 30
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
As soon as you feel like you're ready to transition into soup season, here's what to make. This warming soup tastes like you're eating an enchilada with a spoon. Plus it's made in the slow cooker which means it's easy as can be, and it freezes like a dream.
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