Hearty Vegetable Stew with Duck Confit and Cabbage (Garbure Gasconne)

From summer grilling to the peas and ramps of spring, each season of the year has culinary markers that define it. In the fall, what’s more perfect than warming up on a cool night with a hearty, comforting meal? We’re talking casseroles, pies, and of course, the best fall soups. And don’t forget to hit the markets for autumnal produce like sweet potatoes and butternut squash to make some of the best fall salads. Whether you’re searching for a simple twist on mac and cheese or the best pumpkin pie recipe, we’ve got the best classic fall recipes to try today.

Hearty Vegetable Stew with Duck Confit and Cabbage (Garbure Gasconne)

Traveling through the lower reaches of Gascony, you will be offered a steaming bowl of garbure to begin almost every lunch and dinner. Warming, hearty, and satisfying with large chunks of sweet winter roots, cabbages, and onion, garbure is the way the French balance the heavier meat and starch courses inevitably to follow. Locals here typically enrich the broth by stirring it with a leg of duck confit, then adding the shredded meat at the end, or with the addition of a few chunks of ham. Or both: I loved a version I was served in a cafe in Salies-de-Béarn with a crispy garnish of thinly sliced Jambon de Bayonne on top.

Layered Pumpkin and Cheese Gratin Squares (Boureki)

In Crete, boureki is a rich, layered dish typically consisting of potatoes and squash, often topped with a generous amount of cheese before baking. Boureki may be eaten at room temperature, but it is especially irresistible when the cheese is still warm.

Squash Soup (Soupe de Courge)

Lulu Peyraud explains that this Provençal squash soup has “just enough potato to give a little body to the soup, lots of celery to season the squash–no other herbs except for the parsley at the last minute… But I forgot to say that, instead of parsley, this soup is wonderful finished with chopped fresh mint.”

Ossetian Beet Top and Cheese Pies

From Olia Hercules’ book Kaukasis: I grew up with Ossetian pies. Our friend Svetlana is married to an Ossetian and she was taught how to make them by her husband’s mother in the mountains, then brought them to Ukraine and wowed us. A pile of them, some with meat, some with cheese, were exotic and familiar at the same time. In Ossetia they are traditionally served three at a time, sometimes round, sometimes triangular, each with a different filling and meant to represent fire, water, and earth—most definitely an ancient tradition, originating in paganism. Pagan pies, connecting us with the elements and the universe—I’m in.

Butternut Squash and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza

Antonio Starita, the owner of Pizzeria Starita in Naples, served this butternut squash-topped pizza to Pope John Paul II. This recipe first appeared in our May 2013 issue with Keith Pandolfi’s article The Gold of Naples.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble

This sweet potato casserole with marshmallows is an especially festive, over-the-top take on the Thanksgiving classic casserole, topped with a crisp pecan crumble and dotted with pillowy marshmallows. This sweet potato recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Lesley Porcelli’s story How Sweet It Is.

Pear and Cheese Ravioli (Cacio e Pere)

At the Manhattan restaurant Felidia, chef-owner Lidia Bastianich mixes tender, sweet Bartlett pears with sharp pecorino and creamy mascarpone to make the filling for this rich ravioli, which first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2014 SAVEUR 100 issue with the article Cacio e Pere.

Roasted Pumpkin Pie

To make the puree for this recipe, you could peel the pumpkin or squash (see Pumpkin Picking for the best types to use), cut into 1″ cubes, roast at 400° until tender, about 30 minutes, then mash. This recipe first appeared in our November 2012 issue along with Sandra L. Oliver’s story Home Slice.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Adapted from a recipe from Brooklyn, New York’s Four & Twenty Blackbirds, this deep-dish pie is packed with apples and a thick salted caramel sauce. Choose both sweet and tart apples to balance the caramel’s richness.

Apple & Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Fresh apples plus hard cider give this easy mac and cheese a double dose of fall flavors.

Cabbage Dolmas

In Armenian and nearby Middle Eastern cuisines, dolma refers to a family of stuffed vegetable dishes, most often wrapped in grape or cabbage leaves. You can use this same meat-and-rice filling—and a similar steaming technique—to hollow out and stuff zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, or peppers. Dolmas taste best warm, and leftovers can be resteamed one or more times as desired.

The Ultimate Crab Dip

Known as chupe de centolla, this Chilean crab gratin borders on a cheesy crab dip. While similar South American chupe are always prepared with milk-soaked bread and any combination of shrimp, scallops, shellfish, meats, and cheeses, Patagonia’s version relies solely on the massive local king crabs, the hallmark of fishermen’s kitchens along Chile’s southernmost coast.

Giant Apple Pancake With Dulce de Leche

Soft apples with a hint of tartness balance a bittersweet caramelized crust, spurred on by rich dulce de leche.

Rice Porridge with Chicken and Ginger (Arroz Caldo)

The dish may be from China and have a Spanish name, but to Filipinos, few things taste more like home than arroz caldo. Based on Chinese congee, this rice porridge relies on an easy, flavorful stock that is melded with rice until creamy and rich.

Honey Glazed Roast Pork with Apples

Normans use apples and cider in many savory preparations, such as this classic roast pork disk.

Grits and Brussel Sprouts

For his take on grain bowls, Chef Aaron London of Al’s Place in San Francisco tops creamy corn grits with whatever toppings he has on hand. Here, earthy roasted brussels sprouts and chanterelle mushrooms mingle with aromatic poached quince and homemade cheese curds.

Roasted Chicken, Corn, and Saffron Soup

Lancaster County local Justin Hulshizer likes to add a hefty dose of saffron to perfume this chicken noodle soup, sweetened lightly with corn. You can start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more as you wish. Saffron is widely cultivated in Spain and Iran, but some chefs prefer the domestic variety because they can receive it closer to the harvest, when its signature flavor and color are at their most vibrant. Check pageneralstore.com, which sources and ships Lancaster County saffron when available.

Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh

Inspired by the yams he ate at Miznon restaurant in Tel Aviv, Michael Solomonov of Zahav developed this recipe for sweet potatoes, rubbed with lots of salt and dill seed, slowly roasted until soft, and topped with a sharp, garlicky labneh to cut the potatoes’ sweetness. Resist the urge to raise the heat and roast the sweet potatoes faster; their slow bake renders them incredibly sweet and tender, the hallmark of this simple dish.

Pelmeni Dumplings in Chicken Broth

These traditional Siberian half-moon dumplings, called pelmeni, are packed with garlic and ground pork and were the favorite food of Olia Hercules’ Russian grandmother. Here they are the stars of this soup, served in a simple chicken broth flavored with carrots and whole black peppercorns. Shred and stir the cooked chicken into the soup, if you like, or save it for another use and enjoy the pelmeni and broth on their own.

Honey-and-Butter Baked Pears with Cold Cream

These sticky caramelized pears get served warm with a glug of fresh chilled cream for dessert at Henne Kirkeby Kro chef Paul Cunningham’s holiday feast. He uses “double cream,” a dairy product not available in the U.S. You can use chilled crème fraîche on its own, or thin it slightly with chilled heavy cream to approximate the texture. If you can find organic heavy cream where the fat separates and floats to the top, skim off this fat and use it.

Fried Brussels Sprouts

Salty fried Brussels sprouts get a dose of sweetness from honey, balsamic, and a smattering of fried onions.