Easy, Crowd-Pleasing, and Seasonal: 5 Side Dish Recipes for Fall

September brings with it a host of fresh produce: grapes, apples, leeks, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, and so much more! There are tons of delicious, in-season fruits and veggies ripe for whipping up mouth-watering side dishes. If you’re wondering how you’ll incorporate seasonal produce into your fall meals, here are a few of the best recipes for your seasonal sides!

Sauteed Carrots and Leeks

This five-star recipe is lightly sweet and brings in rave reviews from everyone who’s made it—veggie lovers or not. Chop your leeks and carrots and combine with chicken broth, butter, sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes in a skillet, or more for a softer texture, then let the veggies brown an additional 2-3 minutes. Take this side dish to show off at your next potluck, or whip it up as a side for your average Tuesday night chicken dinner. The kids might ask what a leek is, but they’ll be stuffing more of them in their mouths before you can answer!

Creamy Vanilla Grape & Apple Salad

Fall fruits get a heavenly sweet dressing in this side-dish recipe. It combines the bright fall flavours of red and green grapes, apple, and cranberry with the buttery flavour of pecans and an almost frosting-like dressing. In fact, you could swap this side dish for dessert! For that creamy dressing, combine cream cheese, sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla extract and blend with an electric mixer until smooth. Chop the pecans and dice up your apples, then mix all the ingredients together and serve chilled.

Garlic Butter Roasted Parsnips

Who doesn’t love garlic and butter and…parsnips? Trust us, your whole family will be popping these roasted root vegetables like french fries. Parsnips have an earthy and mildly sweet flavour that’s enhanced by the butter and rosemary, and given a savoury touch with salt and garlic. Cut the parsnips into little fry-like batons, removing any of the woody centers. Then create your own homemade garlic butter by melting butter and stirring in four cloves of pressed garlic. Fresh rosemary adds the finishing touch to the buttery mixture, which you pour over your parsnips, season with salt and pepper, and bake for just 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Easy and delicious!

Photo: carlosgaw via gettyimages.com

Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Cauliflower and brussels sprouts are the perfect match in this roasted side dish, and you get all the benefits of these good-for-you veggies with all the added tastiness of bacon! Simply toss your brussels sprouts and cauliflower florets in olive oil and roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Just before serving, add crumbled, cooked bacon, drizzle the mixture with balsamic vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Serve to accolades.

Baked Parmesan Mushrooms

Another easy side dish that will compliment any fall meal, these baked parmesan mushrooms are a simple classic flavoured with thyme and lemon. To make them, thinly slice 1 1/2 pounds of cremini mushrooms as your base and line a baking sheet with a single layer. Add olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, thyme, and grated parmesan. Toss to coat and bake for 12-15 minutes until browned. The mushroom juices and the slightly salty flavour of parmesan are accented by the zest of the lemon and the warmth of the garlic, making it a satisfying side for a chilly day.

From savoury to sweet, these are just a few of the sides you can make to feature in-season fruits and vegetables in your weekly meals. They’re great for a quick weeknight side or a dish to share at a big gathering. Use these as a starting point to develop your own favourite ways to serve up September harvests, or come back to these recipes again and again!

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