Fall is a time of transition and transformation, of schedules, of colors, of clothing, and, of course, of flavor palates. Here at Spectrum, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite fall recipes, just in time for you to fill your stomachs in preparation for hibernation in the upcoming months. These recipes require only the most basic kitchen equipment and are perfectly tailored toward the college student!
Instead of picking up a can of pumpkin puree the next time you’re at Morton Williams, why not buy an actual pumpkin instead? Making pumpkin puree is super easy and only calls for one ingredient: the pumpkin (and salt, which is totally optional).
Before you get started with the cooking, preheat your oven to 400°F and wash your pumpkin to get rid of any dirt. Then, cut the pumpkin in half (being careful with your fingers), scoop out the seeds, and season the inside with salt to your liking. With the cut sides down, bake the pumpkin halves until they’re soft, for around 45 minutes to an hour. Once they cool down, scrape the pumpkin flesh into a food processor, blend until smooth, and you’re done!
If this recipe yields too much puree for your liking, store the excess in your fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for the entire fall. Use it throughout the season in pies, pancakes, or smoothies, or even as a spread.
On a money and time crunch? Instead of spending that $4.95 and those ten minutes in line at Starbucks, make your own pumpkin spice latte in the comfort of your own kitchen! This quick and easy recipe is perfect for those who want the classic taste of fall in a healthy, natural, and more transparent package.
If you’ve already made your homemade pumpkin puree, it’s time to put that to good use! All you need in addition are milk, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, coffee (of course!), and some optional whipped cream.
Still too hot to preheat your oven? Try out this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake to stay cool! Pick up some graham crackers, butter, sugar, cream cheese, canned pumpkin, whipped cream, and spices on your stroll past the dozens of markets on Broadway, and after mixing your cream cheese concoction together, refrigerate your mixture for three hours until firm; then add whipped cream and toppings, and you’re done!
If you’re not a pumpkin fanatic, try these amazing apple cider cookies with a surprise caramel filling. All you need are your basic cookie-making ingredients (flour, eggs, butter, sugar, etc.) with apple cider instant mix and some caramel candies. This recipe is super quick and only requires a quarter of an hour in the oven for a week-long supply of delicious, fall-themed cookies. Share with your floormates and friends (or keep them all to yourself—we don’t judge).
Ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls are the quintessential fall treat. Combine some flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl, mix in some milk, apple cider, butter, and eggs, and knead your mixture into a stretchy dough. While you let your dough rest for about ten minutes, combine some chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts to create the filling. Roll out your dough, butter it up, and add your sugar-and-spice fruit concoction on top of it. Roll the dough back up, slice it into however many slices you’d like, and let the slices rise for half an hour in a warm pan. Finally, bake at 325°F until your rolls are beautifully golden brown.
Still have extra cream cheese from your ovenless pumpkin cheesecake endeavors? Make an apple cider cream cheese frosting to complement your cinnamon rolls by combining cream cheese with some reduced apple cider, butter, confectioners’ sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Dip your cinnamon rolls into the frosting, and voilà, you have yourself the perfect late autumn night dessert!
A classic Thanksgiving dish, sweet potato casserole is pleasantly simple to create. All you need are some eggs, milk, brown sugar, salt, butter, flour, pecans, and sweet potatoes (surprise!). In less than an hour, you’ll have yourself a beautiful concoction of creaminess and crunchiness in one delectable baking dish. Impress your family members who haven’t seen you since school started with your newfound talent for cooking with this user-friendly recipe.
Last, but not least, let’s get down to something a little more savory: the must-have mushroom meatloaf, an aromatic spinoff of a traditional fall meatloaf. This recipe calls for uncooked meatloaf, shiitake mushrooms, seasoning, various herbs, flour, and heavy cream. Despite its many ingredients and relatively involved preparation, the amazing smell it’ll leave in your kitchen is totally worth it. If you can’t make it home for the holidays, this dish would serve as the perfect, simple-yet-sophisticated alternative to a large feast.
Hopefully, our guide on DIY fall-feast recipes helps to satiate your hunger for sugar, spice, and everything nice. With the forthcoming seasonal shifts, we here at Spectrum want to make sure you remember to take care of yourself: Be well-fed, and don’t forget to have some fun in your cooking endeavors on the way.