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My Favorite Go-To Fall Food and Drink Recipes

My Favorite Go-To Fall Food and Drink Recipes

my favorite things to eat and drink in the fall

People who know me will tell you: I love the fall. I come from the heart of apple country in upstate New York (seriously—there’s even a type of apple named after my hometown), I got married on Columbus Day weekend, and brown is my favorite color (yes, I know that’s kinda weird).

Each year as summer draws to a close, I start to crave cooler weather so that I can curl up on my couch with a good book and a glass of red wine. Not that I can’t do that during the other seasons, but fall just feels right.

I also have a list of go-to recipes that I pull out during this season. Here are my favorites.


Here’s my go-to, honed to perfection:

  • 1lb ground beef

  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1  (6 oz) can tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

  • 1 (14 oz) can of corn (you can use beans instead/in addition, I just don’t like them)

  • 2 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp (or more, if you’re me) hot sauce

I like to brown the ground beef along with the onion and garlic. Then I drain the grease and add everything else. Cook uncovered on medium-low heat for 45 minutes or until the green peppers turn soft, whichever’s longer. Stir often.


Pasta and meatballs

I make the pasta sauce from scratch because my Italian husband is a red sauce snob (in the best way):

  • 1 (28 oz) can of tomato sauce

  • 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Basil, fresh or dried

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. When they turn soft, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce plus one can of water for each. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and add the basil to taste. Let it cook uncovered for about two hours or until it’s thickened. Pro tip: put the lid on the pan crooked so that steam can still escape, but if the sauce starts to bubble/pop, most of it will hit the lid instead of your walls.

For the meatballs (credit to my mom’s Betty Crocker cookbook):

  • 1lb ground beef

  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 1 small onion, chopped, aka about 1/4 cup (optional)

Don’t be afraid to get dirty; use your hands to mix everything together. Form 20 1.5-inch meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet or rectangular cake pan (pro tip: cover it with tin foil sprayed with cooking spray). Cook at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.


Apple cider sangria

Y’all. This is what Thanksgiving was made for. All credit for this recipe to

  • 1 bottle (standard size) of pinot grigio

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider

  • 1 cup club soda

  • 1/2 cup ginger brandy (or Fireball Whiskey, my personal fav)

  • 3 honey crisp apples, chopped

  • 3 pears, chopped

Head over to the How Sweet Eats website for instructions and beautiful photos.


Buffalo chicken wing dip

Because who doesn’t love chicken wing dip??? (If your answer is “not me,” you’re obviously not from upstate New York.) All credit for this recipe to

  • 1.5lbs chicken breast, cooked and shredded

  • 1 (12 oz) bottle of hot sauce (or half, depending on your taste)

  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened

  • 3 cups shredded cheese (either all cheddar or a cheddar/monterey jack blend)

  • 1 (16 oz) bottle of bleu cheese or ranch dressing (or half a bottle of each)

  • 2/3 cups chopped celery

Not gonna lie to you, my husband and I are picky eaters, so I usually skip the dressing and the celery and add extra cheese and chicken instead. (YUM.)

Head over to the Genius Kitchen website for the instructions.


Apple cider cupcakes

Yes, you read that correctly. These cupcakes and their frosting have to be made from scratch, which is always an adventure when it comes to baking, but IT’S TOTALLY 100% WORTH IT. I made them once with a good friend and I was almost killed by their deliciousness. All credit for this recipe to


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 3/4 cup fresh apple cider


  • 1 (8 tbsp) stick of unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tbsp apple cider

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • cinnamon and nutmeg for sprinkling

Head over to The Baker Chick’s website for instructions and beautiful photos.

If you have favorite fall recipes, share the wealth, people! Let me know in the comments.


Photo by Fischer Twins on Unsplash

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