15 Colorful Recipes for Your Fall Menu
Autumn is prime time for cooking delicious, healthy meals. The days are cooler and shorter, so we’re inside more than in the summer. Plus, we’re glad for the hot stove and oven that bring extra warmth to our homes. Fall offers us lots of tasty and fresh ingredients to work with. To inspire your autumn menu, we gathered this collection of some of our favorite healthy fall food recipes and seasonal dishes for you to try. They’re easy to make—no advanced cooking skills needed to prepare them—and they’re as colorful on the plate as they are tempting to eat. Best of all, these dishes are so loaded with flavor that the whole family will enjoy them, yet they fit perfectly into your weight loss plan.
Here are 15 colorful recipes for your autumn menu:
Calories per Serving: 199
On Nutrisystem, Count As: ½ SmartCarb and 3 Extras
Crostini are like crispy little bites of toast topped with a few complementary ingredients that treat your taste buds to a variety of flavors and textures. For our healthy version, we substituted slices of nutrient-dense sweet potato for bread and crisped them in the air fryer, so they’re just as crunchy as toast. Then we added sweet crème fraiche, dried cranberries, almonds and figs on top to make little open-faced pies that you can enjoy for a snack anytime.
Calories per Serving: 161
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras
This variation on the crostini could not be simpler to make or more satisfying to eat, making it one of our favorite healthy fall recipes. After “toasting” the thin slices of sweet potato, we top them with creamy mozzarella, cherry tomato halves and basil leaves. You can eat four of these crostini for a snack (just 161 calories!) or double them up for a complete Flex Meal.
Calories per Serving: 156
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable
You can enjoy mac and cheese and stay on track with your weight loss when you prepare it with zucchini noodles and low-fat cheese. (Zoodles are easy to make with a spiralizer and fresh zucchini or you can buy them already made in the produce or frozen food section of the grocery store.) We tossed in a medley of colorful roasted fall vegetables, including broccoli, onions and sweet potato cubes. They add flavor and texture—and a serving of non-starchy vegetables—so this dish is a level up from plain old mac and cheese.
Calories per Serving: 253
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Extras and ½ Vegetable
When the air begins to turn chilly, the aroma of a chicken roasting in the oven seems to warm up the whole house. We seasoned this version with fresh lemon, rosemary, thyme, garlic and black pepper to give the chicken more flavor but no extra calories. Just add colorful carrots and red potatoes to the pan and you have a complete meal that will satisfy the whole family. Even better, clean-up is easy with just one pan to wash.
Calories per Serving: 289
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Extras and 1½ Vegetables
For a hearty lunch filled with a mix of great flavors and textures, try this simple, colorful meal in a bowl. It features filling high-fiber ingredients such as lentils, edamame and kale, plus crunchy carrots and pumpkin seeds, all flavored with a quick-and-easy maple vinaigrette. Want more protein? Add two ounces of cooked chicken or turkey breast.
Calories per Serving: 288
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 3 Extras and 1 Vegetable
Once it’s baked, spaghetti squash can be scooped out in long, thin strands that make a healthy and filling substitute for pasta. Cubes of sautéed sweet potato add brilliant color and potent nutrients, along with a lightly sweet flavor, enhanced by a bit of honey and cinnamon. The tangy goat cheese gives this complete meal in a bowl a pleasantly creamy texture.
Calories per Serving: 67
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 Extras
Dipping makes snack time a fun and easy way to enjoy one of your daily servings of non-starchy vegetables. Our version of the classic hummus is smooth and creamy yet low in calories and fats. It’s simple to make in minutes and it comes with turmeric, a zesty spice that also provides a boost to your immune system. Serve with a variety of colorful chopped veggies for the ultimate midday snack.
Calories per Serving: 241 (283 if using cream cheese)
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable (add 1 Extra if using cream cheese)
Chili is the perfect way to warm yourself on the inside when the weather outside starts turning colder. We make it with chicken and white beans, so it’s low in fat and loaded with fiber. Pumpkin adds a tangy fall flavor to the sauce, which you can spice up to your family’s taste with jalapenos and other hot peppers. This colorful dish virtually makes itself, thanks to the handy slow cooker that gradually heats it up and blends the flavors.
Calories per Serving: 267
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra
With risotto, high-fiber brown rice is transformed into a filling and savory meal that’s perfect for fall days. The sauce on this risotto has the zingy taste of Parmesan cheese plus the creamy texture of pumpkin puree. With the Instant Pot, the rice is easy to make and done in no time.
Calories per Serving: 242
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 2 Extras
Power bowls bring together a mix of satisfying flavors and textures into one dish. We started with super-nutritious sweet potatoes (a fall favorite) and added peppers and onions, just like the classic breakfast hash. Top with a fried egg and sliced avocado for protein and healthy fats, and you have a meal that will keep you energized all morning long.
Calories per Serving: 214
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras
Tired of the same old side dishes? Bring the flavors and colors of autumn to your dinner table with this combination of tasty fall vegetables and whole wheat pasta. It features cubes of tender sweet potato, firm broccoli, chewy dried cranberries and zesty red onion, along with satisfying bites of roasted chicken breast and bits of cheese.
Calories per Serving: 272
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
If you love a creamy pasta dish but would rather do without the lactose or extra fats in dairy foods, try making this simple cashew cream sauce. It’s smooth, rich and blends perfectly with whole wheat pasta, spinach and cherry tomatoes. It’s so good that it just might make you forget about fat-laden Alfredo sauce.
Calories per Serving: 377
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Extras and 2 Vegetables
Turnips are a lot like potatoes, only with a spicy edge that makes them more flavorful than bland spuds. When roasted, turnips become tender and lightly sweet, a tasty foundation for this grain-based salad. Add goat cheese, fresh spinach and arugula and you have a dish that’s filling enough to be a meal.
Calories per Serving: 152
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 3 Extras, 1 Vegetable
Slow cooking beets, carrots and parsnips brings out their natural sweetness and fills your home with the scents of the season. The maple syrup glaze enhances those flavors and almost makes you forget you’re eating vegetables.
Calories per Serving: 299
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 3 Extras and 1 Vegetable
Here’s everything delicious about autumn in one tasty dish. You get sweet-and-tangy acorn squash, earthy Brussels sprouts, smoky bacon and maple syrup complementing and balancing each other’s flavors and textures. It’s a vegetable dish that’s perfect for holiday meals or family dinners in fall.