Dip, Savor, Celebrate: The Art of a No-Cook Holiday Feast

For many of us, the holidays are synonymous with stacks of dishes, saucepans on the stove, and a sink full of cutlery. Although a testament to joyful gatherings, the quiet aftermath of wine-stained countertops (and overflowing dishwashers!) is a headache for the next day. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: no-cook finger foods for parties, gatherings, or a weeknight when you can’t cook another thing. Okay, minimal-cook. With that in mind, leave the bubbling pots of mashed potatoes for another day. Instead, bring loved ones together over antipasto spreads, artisanal meat boards, and artful displays of dips. ‘Tis the season to work smarter, not harder.

Edie Horstman

Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.

Think Beyond the Oven

Imagine a holiday gathering where you can actually mingle—idyly—with your guests, rather than being tethered to the oven. Sound too good to be true? It’s time to think outside the box. Bid farewell to constantly monitoring cooking times while juggling multiple pots and pans. By embracing a no-cook holiday feast, you’re (mostly) liberated from the kitchen. Hooray! Cured delicacies, charcuterie, and no-fuss appetizers is the stress-free simplicity we all need.

Woman cooking_no-cook finger foods for parties

A Cleaner Kitchen, a Happier Host

One of the primary advantages of emphasizing no-cook finger foods for parties? The blissful absence of a chaotic kitchen. With minimal cooking and virtually no need for elaborate cleanup, you’ll find yourself with more time to enjoy your home’s ambiance (and your loved ones in it). This approach is two-pronged: it reduces stress and also allows you to be a more relaxed host. In turn, everyone can savor the true spirit of the season.

Yes, Your Guests Will Be Satiated

Gone are the days of worrying if you’ve overfed (or underfed) your guests. By serving a no-cook holiday feast, they’re free to graze at their own pace. They’ll be thrilled. Trust. Plus, your friends and family will be totally satisfied—thanks to the variety of dips, charcuterie, and appetizers. Best of all, you’re catering to diverse tastes, leaving your guests impressed with the thoughtfulness of your menu! It’s a win-win.

Holiday no-cook finger foods for parties

Redefining Traditions

Ultimately, this strategy isn’t just about convenience. No-cook finger foods for parties is a bold move toward redefining traditions. You’re embracing a more modern approach to celebration. As you venture beyond the oven and the conventional Christmas dishes, you open the door to a world of culinary possibilities. This holiday season, let innovation be your guide.

The Art of No-Cook: Dips, Charcuterie, and Appetizers

Ready to start planning your feast? Here’s everything you need to know.

Dips: A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

Dips are the unsung heroes of the holiday table. From this smoky eggplant spread to our go-to carrot turmeric hummus, these add a touch of sophistication (and fiber!) to your spread. Arrange an assortment of dippable delights—pita chips, veggies, and crackers—and watch as your guests gather around to savor the communal experience.

Charcuterie: An Elegant Affair

Everyone loves a centerpiece charcuterie board. A carefully-curated selection of cheeses, meats, and olives is a stunning alternative to the predictable main course. Plus, assembling a charcuterie board is a work of art. Showcase your creativity and culinary flair with this beginner’s guide.

Appetizers: Bite-Sized Bliss

Small bites, big impact. That’s the magic of hors d’oeuvres. From our burrata, fig, and pesto appetizer to this addicting ricotta board with pears and honey, there’s no more last-minute kitchen chaos. Instead, revel in the joy of sharing savory and sweet bites with your loved ones.

heirloom tomato and burrata gallete_no-cook finger foods for parties

How to Create a Delightful and Nutritious Spread

Offering satisfying appetizers isn’t rocket science. But it does involve a thoughtful selection of ingredients, balanced flavors, and a variety of textures. Below is our step-by-step guide to help you check all the boxes.

1. Start with fresh and colorful veggies

Include a variety of fresh veggies—jicama, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, and snap peas. Arrange them near your dips and cheeses.

2. Add wholesome dips

Craft healthier dip options, like hummus, tzatziki, or guacamole. These can easily be made homemade! Additionally, incorporating Greek yogurt-based dips add a protein boost.

3. Opt for wholegrain crackers and gluten-free bread

Choose whole grain or multigrain crackers/bread for slower-digesting carbs. And don’t forget gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.

4. Select lean protein

High-quality proteins, like store-bought rotisserie chicken, nitrate-free salami, and smoked salmon are fabulous charcuterie options. Additionally, consider lighter cheeses—goat cheese, cottage cheese, or feta—for unique flavors.

5. Integrate fresh fruit

Fresh fruit slices (figs, apples, and pears) balance the savory elements and add natural sweetness. Berries can also be a delightful addition, providing antioxidants and vibrant colors.

6. Sprinkle on nuts and seeds

Include a mix of nuts and seeds. We gravitate to almonds, walnuts, and pistachios for added crunch and healthy fats. Roast them with a touch of spices for extra flavor.

7. Elevate with herbs

Fresh herbs elevate any spread. Our favorites? Basil, cilantro, and mint.

8. Include pickled and fermented options

Opt for pickles, olives, or pickled vegetables to introduce tangy and probiotic-rich elements.

9. Remember, presentation matters

Arrange your spread aesthetically, considering different heights and textures. Keep in mind that labeling cheeses is helpful for guests as well!

10. Set up a hydration station

Last but not least, set up a hydration station. Think: infused water, herbal teas, or sparkling water to keep your guests refreshed. Holiday mocktails are the new holiday cocktails.

bruschetta board_no-cook finger foods for parties

5 No-Cook Finger Foods for All Your Parties

Need more inspo? We have you covered.

1. Bruschetta Board

This rustic (but elegant) bruschetta board will wow every guest. Dinner is served.

Raddichio-citrus-prosciutto-salad_no-cook finger foods for parties

2. Radicchio Citrus Prosciutto Salad

A total stunner, this prosciutto salad is sweet, salty, savory, and seasonal.

ricotta board recipe with pears and pistachios on casa zuma gathering board, fruit, winter appetizer_no-cook finger foods for parties

3. Ricotta with Pears and Honeyed Pistachios

Any recipe with ricotta and fresh fruit is bound to be a hit, and nothing is simpler than this delicious board. The flavor and texture are unmatched.

burrata toast with walnuts, figs, and pomegranate seeds_no-cook finger foods for parties

4. Burrata Toasts With Caramelized Walnuts and Mint-Pomegranate Pesto

Consider this appetizer a love letter to burrata. Simply toast your favorite loaf, spread over the burrata, drizzle with pesto, and top with figs, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. The only remaining challenge? Not indulging before your guests arrive.

Smoked salmon flatbread_no-cook finger foods for parties

5. Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Everything Bagel seasoning meets lemony cream cheese, smoked salmon, and flavorful flatbread. It’s essentially salmon lox—in appetizer form. This protein-forward nibble is as mouthwatering as it looks.

It’s Soup Season! Celebrate with 26 Easy Soup Recipes That Use 10 Ingredients or Less

There’s a quote that always comes to mind when I think about soup. And—cringe—I likely read it on an aqua blue, chevron-laden, circa 2014 Pinterest post. “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” But despite its drawbacks, this idea holds stock because a good soup doesn’t require exact measurements per se. Instead, all you need is a big pot, a small collection of ingredients, and a no-recipe recipe that comes from the soul. But, of course, easy soup recipes are welcome in any kitchen.

With the easy soup recipes that follow, a “dash of this here” and a “sprinkle of that there” are encouraged. Going by instinct only means you’re invested in the cause, which makes the entire process that much more rewarding. I’d consider this soup diatribe the perfect introduction to easy soup recipes that make fall cooking just as enjoyable as the season itself.

Featured image by Suruchi Avasthi.

Why Easy Soup Recipes Are Perfect for Fall

Fall is the time for a lot of things. The weather cools down, autumn-hued décor bursts out of hibernation, and the cooking gets cozy. Our favorite comfort food meals make a comeback and the holidays are just around the corner. Fall is full of a lot of joy and enjoyment. So, why not reflect that in the meals we prepare? That’s where easy soup recipes enter the picture.

These soups are made with about ten ingredients or less. Plus, most of them use pantry staples and/or produce drawer lingerers. And though these soups are made with minimal ingredients, they still deliver maximum flavor.

When you’re making these easy soup recipes, you’ll notice that the majority of them utilize the soup trifecta method: sauté, simmer, and savor. (The occasional “blend” makes an appearance as well.) The point is, they couldn’t be easier to make nor easier to enjoy. It’s time to serve yourself a generous dose of goodness. From there, simply sit back and soak in the fall season as it blossoms around you.

25 Easy Soup Recipes To Savor The Fall Season With

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Why We Love It: Strangely—or perhaps not so—I’ve found myself in the middle of many an argument about chili’s place within the soup category. Personally, I rope soups and stews all together in the same breath. If it’s cozy, comforting, and requires a spoon, it merits the moniker. Not only is this lentil chili definitely a soup that’s perfect for fall, but it might just be my favorite chili recipe yet. Meatless, but still hearty and packing just the right amount of spice? I want this in my weekly fall dinner rotation.

Hero Ingredient: Cocoa powder is a must in my pot of chili. It adds an edge of sweetness to round out this dish’s spicier components.

Tortellini Soup

Why We Love It: Pasta and cozy soup—how much better could it get? I love using cheese tortellini to make this soup ultra simple. Sprinkle this hearty bowl with parmesan cheese and you’re on your way to the ultimate bowl of happiness.

Hero Ingredient: Roasted red peppers bring the best flavor to this pasta-soup mashup.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Why We Love It: If you’re a die-hard fan of the Olive Garden version, you’re in luck. This Zuppa Toscana soup is an elevated take that will transport your taste buds to Italy without leaving the kitchen.

Hero Ingredient: Mild or hot Italian sausage—take your pick!

Why We Love It: Hearty meatless mains can be hard to come by, but this stew definitely earns a spot on the list. With carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas, and tomatoes, there’s no shortage of veggie-fueled goodness. Everything is sautéed with a fragrant combination of spices for a one-pot dinner that’s just as delicious as it is easy. Plus, like the other easy soup recipes on this list, this stew fares well in the freezer for a comforting fall dinner at the drop of a hat.

Hero Ingredient: Cumin, turmeric, ginger, and red pepper flakes are the spices in question. They’re the small but mighty heroes of this dish. Warming, comforting, and a little hot, they’re toasted until fragrant to fully extract each one’s flavor profile.

Why We Love It: With only four ingredients, you won’t believe just how flavorful this roasted winter squash soup is. The squash is roasted until caramelized, which brings a depth of flavor to the soup that’s only reinforced by the warming spices shining throughout. Brooklyn Delhi Simmer Sauce is the secret to success. All you have to do is combine it with the pureed squash and coconut milk and simmer away until the flavors are melded. This recipe is also naturally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, letting serve it at a gathering with little to no worry about dietary restrictions.

Hero Ingredient: The toppings here are stellar. Add what you like, but some suggestions are toasted pumpkin/sunflower seeds for a bite of crunch, fresh herbs to keep things lively, and Greek yogurt for a cooling touch of creaminess.

Why We Love It: Fall weather giving you a case of the sniffles? Or a case of the chills? We’ve got a cure for that, and it’s this easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup. It takes eight ingredients and requires minimal hands-on time, so you can enjoy the tried-and-true “throw everything in the pot for a few hours and come back to a complete meal” process. It’s perfect for easy weeknight dinners, leftovers, and even gatherings. Enjoy it solo or gather your troops and ladle up lots of bowls to be savored by all.

Hero Ingredient: The bone-in chicken in this soup literally cooks itself, letting you skip the extra elbow grease. The chicken poaching on the bone flavors the broth in a way you’d normally only get with homemade chicken stock. Can I get a win-win?

Why We Love It: This tortilla soup recipe is the be-all and end-all of tortilla soups. (I don’t say that lightly.) It really is the easiest recipe, using only ten ingredients and 30 minutes of hands-on time to create a whole so much greater than the sum of its parts. If you have leftovers or need a delivery for a sick friend/family member, this recipe is your saving grace. As Camille shares, “this is truly the chicken tortilla soup that keeps on giving.” We couldn’t agree more.

Hero Ingredient: Don’t skimp on the spices. The recipe calls for a chopped jalapeño plus cumin and coriander that round out the flavor profile to perfection. Couple that with sautéed onion, celery, and carrot, and you’ve got a delicious taco in soup form.

Why We Love It: With the arrival of fall cooking comes lots of indulgences. But when you’ve had one too many pumpkin spice cookies, this soup is the reset your body craves. It’s full of anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger. And despite being completely vegan, it’s creamy and rich. Everything you could crave during the colder months.

Hero Ingredient: Since every ingredient is so key, we’ll go with a hero method here. This soup keeps incredibly well, setting you up with cozy, comfort food leftovers. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week, or you can store it in airtight bags for up to two months in the freezer.

Why We Love It: This textured corn soup is absolutely loaded with flavor and heartiness. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes to take this masterpiece from pot to bowl. And while most corn soups are on the sweeter side, the spice in this recipe keeps things balanced and dynamic. Jalapeño, sriracha, and roasted poblanos bring a warmth that’s perfect on a cold fall night.

Hero Ingredient: If you’re a roasted poblano newbie, you’re in for a treat. Their smokiness is magical enough to justify the (small amount of) extra effort. All you have to do is bake them until they’re blistery, place them in a bowl or container, and cover to let them steam for about ten minutes. The steam loosens that exterior skin so that it practically slides off. All that’s left is to (easily) slice the peppers open, remove the seeds, chop them up, and add them to whatever dish you’re preparing. Easy peasy!

Why We Love It: This soup is packed with stick-to-your-ribs protein and a healthy serving of vegetables. It’s full of curry powder-fueled flavor and coconut-y accents. As far as vegetables go, the soup features carrots, tomatoes, and kale, but you can make substitutions based on what you have on hand. If sweet potatoes are more your jam, include them instead of carrots. Or, if you prefer spinach over kale, sprinkle those leaves accordingly!

Hero Ingredient: The red lentils are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that boost the soup’s nutritional value. Just one cup of these babies contains 18 grams of protein, plus a dose of iron, fiber, magnesium, and calcium. Do I hear “superfood?”

Why We Love It: This soup is a cure-all for yourself and those around you. Not only is this soup flavorful and warming but it’s equipped to fight off almost any ailment. The ginger and turmeric keep inflammation at bay, and the garlic brings antibiotic properties to keep you healthy and happy. This is your sign to give yourself the ‘old chicken noodle soup treatment. But of course, with a grown-up and guilt-free spin!

Hero Ingredient: The noodles literally cook themselves and soak up each of the soup’s tasty flavors.

Why We Love It: This is a recipe that encourages you to empty your vegetable drawer. On Sundays, I almost always have a produce drawer full of sad vegetables begging to be used. In times of dire need, this soup is your answer. Asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and fresh ginger are at the forefront, but you can sub in pretty much anything you have on hand. And frozen veggies are fair game, too. There’s nothing standing between you and a soup that’s easy to make and makes you glow from the inside out.

Hero Ingredient: Soaked cashews cash in the creamy element of this soup. The vegan alternative is one that’s surprisingly rich and nutritious without any cream in sight.

Why We Love It: If you think “easiest ever” is an exaggeration, think again. This recipe is tailor-made for busy weeknights. It uses only seven ingredients, including onion, garlic, canned black beans (hallelujah), chicken broth, cilantro, lime juice, and a few spices to craft a steaming bowl of deliciousness. Plus, all you have to do is combine everything in a pot, simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, and top as you please. If you favor a more luxurious texture, whip out the immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Hero Ingredient: You don’t even have to drain the black beans. Simply pour them over the sautéed garlic and onion and you’re cooking with heat. Busy weeknights, meet your match.

Why We Love It: Cauliflower can get a bad rap for being bland, but that’s not the case in this smooth soup. With sidekicks like parsnip, apple, celery root, leeks, garlic, onions, and ginger joining the party, this soup is full of amazing flavor. What’s more, it’s also an excellent vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free offering for fall gatherings. Sauté the veggies (and fruit) with thyme, cumin, and s&p until aromatic. From there, add the cauliflower with a little water, simmer until everything is tender, and blend until your soup is silky smooth.

Hero Ingredient: A garnish of fried sage on every bowl is the cherry on top of this soup. They add flavor, texture, and a little aesthetic joy. The leaves are flash-fried in olive oil and sprinkled with flaky salt until crispy. Sneak a bite of a leaf or two before sprinkling them over each bowl—you won’t regret it.

Why We Love It: Butternut squash reigns victorious in the fall, and this soup celebrates the winter squash in an unexpected way. It’s flavored with curry powder, which brings notes of coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, and chili to the mix. Diced onions and apples lend a slight sweetness that reinforces the autumnal feel. For an added dose of comfort, drizzle a spoonful of coconut milk or heavy cream over each bowl.

Hero Ingredient: The curry powder is a little funky in the best way. It brings a depth of flavor that keeps things cozy.

Why We Love It: This tomato soup is perfectly rustic and wholesome for chilly nights. It keeps things simple, fresh, and flavorful with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, shallot, and balsamic vinegar laying the groundwork. You can enjoy this simple soup as-is, or with sausage, zucchini, mozzarella, white beans or poached eggs. It’s made entirely in one skillet and comes together in 15 minutes or less. Serve with lots of fresh or toasted sourdough bread for dipping.

Hero Ingredient: You can’t go wrong with adding poached eggs. If you choose to include them, poach and gently drop them in at the last minute. Then, you can pop them open and enjoy the savory yolk running throughout. Yum.

Why We Love It: The ingredient list is more extensive than the other easy soup recipes on this list, but you’ll likely have most of them on hand. The secret ingredient is Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup, which does most of the hard work for you. You don’t even have to do any sautéeing, and the chicken cooks itself in the soup broth. Less work and more flavor—is there anything else we can ask for?

Hero Ingredient: There’s no wrong way to enjoy this flavorfully complex soup. Over a bed of jasmine rice, rice noodles, or as-is… this soup is your oyster. That said, I’d recommend enjoying your bowl with a few pieces of garlic naan for delicious dunking.

Why We Love It: This recipe makes for a very satisfying plant-based dinner. It’s packed with high-fiber white beans and hearty vegetables. It all starts with roasted garlic, that brings so much flavor and is totally worth the extra step. Then, fennel, onion, and cauliflower are sautéed low and slow for about 30 minutes until the beans and broth enter the equation. The entire mix gets roughly pureed with the roasted garlic before being ladled into bowls. Don’t forget to top with lots of grated parmesan and fresh croutons.

Hero Ingredient: The roasted garlic is the unsung star of the show. When you roast the entire head, it takes on a nutty, caramelized flavor profile that’s simply divine. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to squeeze each clove out in one go. If you have an extra head, might I suggest roasting to spread on your bread? You’ll be glad you did.

Why We Love It: This is another classic soup that you’ll want in your weekly rotation. Since the chicken poaches itself in the broth, the entire soup comes together in 20 minutes or less—score! And what vegetables can we celebrate enjoying here? Leeks, carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, and onion, which keep this recipe nutrient-dense and gut-friendly. The soup is enhanced by fresh thyme, tarragon, and bay leaf, whose flavors perfectly complement the poached chicken and veggies.

Hero Ingredient: A hero aspect of this recipe is that it’s gluten-free and dairy-free without sacrificing any decadence. It’s the perfect cold night companion and freezes well so you can enjoy a warming bowl on demand.

Why We Love It: Another grown-up, chicken noodle-esque soup, this easy recipe is yummy and 100 percent slurp-worthy. With an impressive lineup of veggies like butternut squash, bok choy, okra, and mushrooms, you could comfortably leave out the chicken and enjoy this soup as a vegetarian meal. And speaking of the chicken… you’ll start by browning your drumsticks and build from there. The rich, umami flavor is off the charts.

Hero Ingredient: The mushrooms in this soup are nothing short of award-worthy. They soak up each and every flavor in the broth and bring even more substance to the soup.

Why We Love It: Sweet potatoes are in constant rotation in my fall recipes. In this soup, not only do the tubers provide a festive color palette, but their creamy richness establishes a beautiful foundation for a host of flavors. All you have to do is sauté a little onion, garlic, and shallot, stir in your stock, sweet potato, and spices, and simmer away for about 30 minutes. Then, you’ll blend your soup to silky perfection and serve it with fresh salt and pepper and bread for dipping. Easy, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying.

Hero Ingredient: The spices work behind the scenes to flavor this soup beautifully. Paprika brings a smoky savoriness that’s complemented by earthy, punchy cinnamon that’s totally on-brand for the season.

Why We Love It: This pumpkin soup is layered with curry spices, winter squash, and a lively hint of fresh herbs and citrus to finish it off. Plus, more lentils! The lentils help this soup feel more substantial for dinner and provide that hefty dose of protein. This recipe starts with a high-quality boxed soup that’s enhanced by fresh herbs and a few additions that polish off the soup to perfection. You’ll start by combining the boxed soup with coconut milk, then adding curry powder, lime juice, and s&p to taste. To serve, top your soup with a drizzle of coconut milk and any fresh herbs you have on hand.

Hero Ingredient: If you have any pepitas on hand, I’d suggest sprinkling a handful over each bowl. They bring a nice crunch to each spoonful that contrasts the smooth soup underneath.

Why We Love It: Hailing from Colombia, this authentic Bogotánian Ajiáco is deeply rooted in the region’s culture. It was declared cultural patrimony, or “a set of goods and values that are an expression of the people,” by the mayor’s office in Bogotá about 20 years ago. It’s destined to be special. The ajiáco soup is made with three kinds of potatoes: russet, Criolla (or gold creamer), and Yukon Gold. Each potato takes on a different role in creating the soup’s base (learn more about the technique here). If you have a little time on your hands this weekend, invite a friend over to explore this culinary masterpiece together.

Hero Ingredient: If you can’t find guasca herbs, don’t let it discourage you from making this comforting potato soup. You can leave it out without sacrificing too much of the soup’s authentic flavor.

Why We Love It: It may not be as cozy as some of the other easy soup recipes on this list, but this chilled pea soup is a light and refreshing way to kick your fall gatherings off in style. You can make it entirely in advance, so all that’s left is to serve your soup with a little creme fraiche, microgreens, and red pepper flakes. It makes for a palette-cleansing yet flavorful appetizer that’s the perfect preview for a delicious, thoughtful meal.

Hero Ingredient: Peas aren’t the only lean, green, vegetable machine in this soup. Broccoli and zucchini sneak in the background and boost the veggie content of this gorgeous chilled soup. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even add in a little green bean or asparagus to up the ante.

Why We Love It: Ok, ok… this one is not technically a soup, but it’s creamy, comforting, and soup-ish all the same. And this version skips the overdose of heavy cream and butter while opting for authenticity and spice-driven flavor. It uses seven ingredients and 25 minutes to craft an Indian dish you’ll be hooked on for cold fall nights.

Hero Ingredient: The spice mix in this dish is just divine. Tomato masala, garam masala, chaat masala, and turmeric powder join forces to flavor the base. That said, feel free to use this recipe as a starting point to adjust based on your preferences. Measure with your heart and make it how you like it.

Why We Love It: This stew-like pumpkin curry is loaded with nutrition. Instead of using an agent like heavy cream to cream-ify the base, pumpkin makes it flavorful, nutrient-dense, and decadent. As a proud member of the “superfood” family, pumpkin is packed with vitamin A, carotenoids, fiber, and iron. In this dish, it’s joined by chickpeas that boost the fiber and protein dosages even more. The stew is full of stick-to-your-ribs sustenance and warming spices that will have you coming back for more. Which is good, considering this curry fares well in the fridge or freezer.

Hero Ingredient: Serve this curry over a bed of rice and fresh flatbread to complete your bowl of goodness.

This post was originally published on October 12th, 202, and has since been updated.

A Harvest Gathering to Celebrate Fall’s Abundance

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the cyclical nature of everything. Our daily rhythms and routines, our bodies and hormones, and of course, the shifts of the season that are particularly meaningful right now. And I’m feeling drawn to respond to these rhythms—to lean into these natural cycles and let them inform the way I cook, eat, and even how I invite others to gather. The shorter days and longer nights of Autumn call us to reconnect with our true selves, and deepen our connections with nature and each other.

To celebrate this time of changing colors and cozier vibes, I hosted a fall dinner party with a few brands that share my love for all things natural: Woven, Casa Zuma, SriMu, Martha Stoumen Wines, and Sweet Laurel. Read on for all the details (including the most delish sweet potato gnocchi recipe) and stay tuned for an exciting giveaway we’ll be launching together soon – details to come via email!

Intentional gatherings

One of my goals for the season is to bring intention to the way I bring people together, the products I surround myself with, and the brands I choose to bring into my home. Not only am I looking for a sense of alignment in style and values—I also simply want to buy fewer, better things.

One way we can be more intentional with our gatherings is by taking time to consider our purpose. When our goal is to cultivate community and connection, there’s less pressure to make everything perfect, and we can focus on creating an environment that puts people at ease and encourages meaningful conversation among guests (I’m all for skipping the small talk!) So, as we head into the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to focus on hosting in a way that makes guests feel connected and uplifted.

An Autumn Apéro

We kicked things off with a golden hour apéro in my backyard. I created the ultimate plant-based cheeseboard featuring SriMu Artisanal Not Cheese (if you haven’t tried it, prepare to swoon—it satisfies every cheese craving without any dairy in site.)

I paired our cheeseboard with the most beautiful bottle of Venturi Carignan from Martha Stoumen, a Northern Cali natural winemaker that I adore both for their delicious wines and their unique approach to winemaking. I especially love the brand’s recommendation for when to drink this wine:

The clock stands still, your phone is off for the evening, and you’re lavishing in time outside of time.

A Plant-Based Cheeseboard

In tune with our celebration of autumn’s abundance, it felt fitting to create a plant-based cheeseboard featuring SriMu’s beautiful NOT cheeses. The brand’s vision is to nourish your body, honor animals, and transform Mother Earth, and each of the varieties are sooo delicious. Here’s how my board came together:

1. Start With A Standout Cheese That Makes The Board Feel Special

For this board, I chose a combination of cheeses for a variety of flavor and texture: SriMu Gold Alchemy (which is inspired by smoked gouda), and SriMu Dolce Vita (inspired by gorgonzola.)

2. Use A Board That’s Big Enough To Make It Abundant

Our Casa Zuma Large Vintage Wood Board is a personal favorite when constructing a large cheese board. It creates a stunning scene on your table and can hold an abundance of ingredients.

3. Include Something Sweet And Something Savory

The addition of fruit like pears, figs, and grapes is one way I love to make a board feel seasonal. To complement the cheeses, a jam or honey is also a sweet addition to any board. As for the savory element, salted nuts, olives, and marinated artichokes can help fill in the gaps and make your cheese board feel abundant.

4. Elevate the Aesthetic With Herbs

Adding edible flowers or fresh herbs is a unique touch to any cheese board. Not only do these toppings add woodsy flavor and scent, they also elevate the visual composition of the board.

6. Offer Options for Bread and Crackers

I usually do sliced, toasted baguettes and a gluten-free seeded cracker to give people options. However, feel free to lay out whatever bread variety or crackers you desire to pull your board together and give people a vessel for their cheeses.

The Harvest Table

As most of you know, we launched our Casa Zuma x Woven collection of furniture last week, and our harvest gathering was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the collaboration between our brands—quite literally, since we gathered around the Kelmscott Farmhouse Dining Table and sat in the Hacienda Dining Chairs, both favorite pieces from the collection.

Our partnership with Woven has been a dream collaboration for me—it’s a brand whose products I love and have in my home, and we couldn’t be more aligned in our vision for what home should be. As they say so beautifully on their site, “Home is somewhere between a place and a feeling. Woven exists for our journeys towards home—crafting spaces that feel warm, natural, and uniquely you.”

The coziest fall dinner recipe

For dinner, I made this Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Brown Butter, and Sage.  It really doesn’t get cozier than this for a simple weeknight at home or a special occasion with friends. In the post, I share how to make this recipe using store-bought sweet potato gnocchi—and I’m also sharing how to make gnocchi from scratch so you can choose your own adventure based on how much time you have.

Our time around the table was the perfect way to usher in this seasonal shift. Fall is a season of gratitude and abundance, and these small gathering rituals feel especially nourishing right now.

Simple, nourishing sweets

‘Tis the season for pies, and no one does wholesome desserts with feel-good ingredients quite like my friends at Sweet Laurel Bakery (don’t miss our interview with Laurel here.) For our gathering, we served Apple Crumb Pie and Pecan Pie, and none of us could choose a favorite. One thing I’ve noticed when I eat Sweet Laurel’s treats is I never feel that sugar hangover afterwards. I actually feel good, thanks to their clean ingredients that are completely gluten-free, vegan, and paleo. Lucky for me, they ship nationwide.

20 Essential Fall Pasta Recipes to Celebrate Comfort Food Season

Fall is arguably the best time of the year for food (and clothes, and organizing, and redecorating). The oh-so-beautiful produce is brimming with autumnal hues and comfort is a key flavor alongside dishes that are equal parts mouth-watering and sumptuous. And whether it’s the ease of preparation or its endless versatility (or a bit of the two), pasta is always a wonderful way to invite in the colder temps. For a little inspiration and to get your culinary wheels turning, we’ve rounded up our favorite fall pasta recipes to keep you warm, cozy, and satisfied all season long.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

20 Fall Pasta Recipes That Define Autumnal Comfort

In addition to fall soups and comfort baking, fall pasta recipes give shape to the season we spend all year looking forward to celebrating. Among the apple picking and cozying up our homes, the ritual of weeknight fall pasta recipes that double as dinner party staples is one we’d gladly give up the sunny days of summer for.

Ready for the deliciousness? Prepare for the silky, soothing pleasure of pasta. With the dishes below, we’re ready to celebrate cold weather eating at its most undeniably delicious. Now, let’s dive into the best fall pasta recipes, fork-first.

Ratatouille-Style Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Why We Love It: This take on the classic French dish is the perfect recipe for when you’re craving fall coziness, but the summer temps haven’t yet tipped. (Hello, all of September.) It makes the most of late-summer veggies like eggplant and zucchini while also leaning into the coziness of parmesan-spiked pasta. Plus, it’s a sheet pan meal, streamlining the kitchen-to-table transition.

Hero Ingredient: Rigatoni holds up to the chunky cuts of veggies perfectly.

Winter Vegetable Lasagna

Why We Love It: If you’ve been too intimidated to make your own pasta, this is the recipe to help build your confidence. Turns out, making your own lasagna is wayyy easier than it seems. And of course, it’s the perfect vehicle for a buttery sauce and a hearty vegetable filling.

Hero Ingredient: Nutmeg warms up the rich, creamy béchamel.

Pappardelle with Shiitakes, Kale, & Jammy Leeks

Why We Love It: This veggie-packed pasta is loaded with an irresistibly smoky flavor and complemented by umami-rich mushrooms. Finish things off with a pungent bite of garlic for good measure. Seconds? Thirds? Yes, please.

Hero Ingredient: I have two words: jammy leeks.

Gemelli with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli

Why We Love It: Turkey sausage, broccoli, and tomatoes’ richness make this simpler-than-it-seems dinner an always-impressive choice. Drizzling olive oil over top just before serving only improves the final fruity result.

Hero Ingredient: Chopped broccoli provides visual interest while balancing out the turkey’s hearty bite.

Miso Tomato Pasta

Why We Love It: I know, I know: while baby tomatoes are at their best in July, I still crave the juicy bursts of flavor they offer any dish, year-round. To handle tomatoes post-summer, I opt for recipes that cook them down until they’re caramelized and sweet. In this hearty, but simple pasta, slow-roasting the tomatoes with olive oil and garlic is key to making them taste their best.

Hero Ingredient: While I just waxed poetic on tomatoes, the prize goes to miso. It’s a secret-weapon ingredient that gives this five-ingredient pasta tons of flavor.

Creamy Vegan Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil

Why We Love It: Creamy and vegan? Don’t worry, I was skeptical, too. That is until I spun my fork around and lifted the silky spool of bucatini into my mouth. Plant-based perfection. The key is making a creamy walnut sauce that combines soaked nuts with a few key players that fill it with tons of flavor. It all comes together in 20 minutes—and tastes like you’ve been cooking all day.

Hero Ingredient: Hollow strands of bucatini soak up the creamy sauce perfectly. The result is a burst of flavor in every bite.

Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts & Kale Pesto

Why We Love It: We’re quick to share our love of Brussels sprouts with the masses, and we’d be remiss not to include the veg in our roundup of fall pasta recipes. Sautéed with a splash of EVOO and elevated by red chili flakes and rosemary, the sprouts shine in this deceptively easy dish.

Hero Ingredient: A tablespoon of nutritional yeast fills your pesto with plant-based cheesiness. It’s hard not to dive in before it gets stirred into your pasta.

Butternut Squash, Spinach, & Goat Cheese Pasta

Why We Love It: When the temperatures drop and all your cravings point to a hearty, mind-blowing meatless main dish, this butternut squash pasta is your answer. A mix of fresh and colorful veggies blends beautifully with a brown butter sauce that’s divine. Plus, the mix of easy-to-prep ingredients (if you buy your butternut squash peeled and chopped) aligns with anyone wanting to build their confidence in the kitchen.

Hero Ingredient: The goat cheese crumbles bring a tangy-salty bite that’s pronounced while still letting the other ingredients shine.

Vegetarian Pasta Bolognese

Why We Love It: Convinced that bolognese should be reserved only for open-ended weekend culinary pursuits? This recipe is swooping in to say otherwise. A vegetarian twist on the classic meat sauce, this version leans on small-diced onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to mimic the traditional texture.

Hero Ingredient: Mushrooms = MVP. They give bite and body to the sauce, and when simmered with tomatoes and just a few seasonings, the result is an impressively filling, plant-based alternative.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon & Crispy Sage

Why We Love It: Bold statement, but I’ll be craving this dish every night from now until spring. Using just a handful of ingredients, this pasta perfectly encapsulates fall flavors. (And it’s ready in under an hour!) Oh, and if you can think of something better than sinking your fork into a spiralized plate of butternut squash pasta deliciousness, let us know.

Hero Ingredient: Roasting the butternut squash creates a complex, nutty flavor—sealing the deal on this autumn-inspired dish.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Pasta with Fried Sage & Manchego

Why We Love It: Loaded with honey-sweetened cubes of roasted pumpkin, this comforting pasta makes the most of the fall staple. It’s satiating while still feeling light, bringing all the flavors of fall together in one delightful dish.

Hero Ingredient: Manchego’s sweet, caramelized flavor is a cheese-lover’s dream.

Green Sauce Pasta

Why We Love It: If you haven’t tried serving long locks of linguine with a verdant and fresh sauce, now’s the time to get started. While this recipe might not immediately scream fall, I find that a few weeks into the season, I’m ready to mix things up with a light and bright recipe. This pasta packs in all the vitamins and nutrients I need.

Hero Ingredient: We’re calling it now: green pasta is the new green smoothie. A little grated parmesan keeps it from tasting too virtuous.

One Pot Garlicky Mushroom Pasta with Sausage & Arugula

Why We Love It: The simplicity-to-wow-factor ratio of this recipe is unmatched. Bonus: This dish works just as well given a vegetarian spin. Simply swap out the sausage for any hearty veg. Camille suggests strips of roasted red pepper, green olives, or drained and chopped artichoke hearts. You’re welcome to experiment with any ingredient your heart (and appetite) desires.

Hero Ingredient: While arugula’s strong, spicy flavor may turn otherwise adventurous diners off, here, the leafy green is tossed in all of this pasta’s cheesy, garlicky goodness. It’s a show-stopper that everyone will enjoy.

Tikka Masala Pasta

Why We Love It: This recipe is representative of our food editor, Suruchi’s quest to establish a universal Pasta Sunday. I don’t know about you, but I’m fully on board—and this recipe was the perfect pasta to convince me. I’m here for Indian fusion dishes, and as Suruchi says, “It’s magic when two culinary worlds come together to create something entirely new and wonderful.” One bite, and you’ll know exactly what she’s talking about.

Hero Ingredient: The list of fragrant and flavorful spices is lengthy, but it’s their complexity that gives this pasta a wonderful, mesmerizing depth.

Spicy Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka

Why We Love It: Like clockwork, the first fall chill sends signals to the body that it’s time to swap our summer salads for creamy, soul-satisfying dishes, and this recipe does a beautiful job of filling in the gaps. A crowd favorite, this is a must-make if you’re cooking for family or inviting friends over for an impromptu mid-week meal. Creamy and comforting, it all comes together in only 35 minutes.

Hero Ingredient: The sauce requires a heavy pour of cream, and with vodka and parm added to the mix, this comes dangerously close to being a nap-inducing dish. But the basil pesto cuts the richness of the cream, and the final result is beautifully balanced while still feeling incredibly indulgent.

Pumpkin Cheese Stuffed Pasta Bolognese Bake from Half Baked Harvest

Why We Love It: This recipe had us at “pumpkin-stuffed.” While the total alone could have you thinking this will be a labor-intensive dish, it requires only 20 minutes of prep time. And because it’s a bake, most of the hard work gets done in the oven.

Hero Ingredient: Be warned: this recipe is not for the faint of heart. It combines chicken, fontina, blue cheese, and provolone for an unbelievably rich sauce. But the two tablespoons of chopped sage lend an earthy, eucalyptus-spiked freshness that ties it all together. Consider this recipe the equivalent of sliding into your softest, coziest fall sweater.

Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Minimalist Baker

Why We Love It: As far as fall pasta recipes are concerned, mac and cheese plus pumpkin is a match made in heaven. While some versions can lean too sweet, this one is perfectly savory with just a hint of fall flavor. 100% plant-based, it’s the ideal indulgence for anyone who doesn’t handle dairy.

Hero Ingredient: I lean conservative when it comes to my pumpkin pie spice usage. The quarter-teaspoon sprinkled into this sauce is a study of perfectly balanced restraint.

Pumpkin Cauliflower Gnocchi with Nutty Browned Butter and Whipped Ricotta from Half Baked Harvest

Why We Love It: Classic gnocchi > cauliflower gnocchi. I’ll stand by my hot take for every recipe—with the exception of this one. The cauliflower version of everyone’s favorite dumpling-like pasta provides a lighter base for this incredibly indulgent sauce. Browned butter, whipped ricotta, and pumpkin to tie it all together? Trust, you’ll want some respite in the form of this cauliflower sub.

Hero Ingredient: Butter in any form is a beautiful thing. But left in the pan on low long enough for it to develop a complex, caramelized sweetness? Elite.

Miso Carbonara from The Kitchn

Why We Love It: A dish that can impress any dinner date with minimal effort? This recipe checks both boxes. Carbonara is a weeknight staple at many a dinner table, but this take on the dish adds an impressive burst of flavor with the unexpected additions of miso and sriracha. It’s a must-make whenever you’re trying to impress your fellow diners. (Or, of course, if you’re piling up a heaping bowl of pasta to enjoy all to yourself.)

Hero Ingredient: The miso’s earthy, salty savoriness beautifully balances the egg yolks’ rich flavor, making this recipe hearty without feeling heavy.

Turkey Tetrazzini from Adventures in Cooking

Why We Love It: This is not the mysterious turkey tetrazzini served in many an early-aughts school cafeteria. With a stunning medley of fresh and vibrant veg (shallots, mushrooms, and a handful of peppery parsley), this dish imparts both brightness and heat.

Hero Ingredient: While surprisingly polarizing in terms of taste, the health benefits of mushrooms can’t be denied. And when they’ve taken a spin in a sauté pan with a good glug of olive oil, you might even be able to make the most mushroom-averse diner change their tune.

This post was originally published on October 22, 2021, and has since been updated.