10 Quick and Easy Fall Side Dishes for Busy Weeknights

When the kids are back in school and your weeknights are full of activities and chores, quick and easy dinners are the only way to go. To make your meals complete, we've hand-picked fast and easy fall side dishes that celebrate the best seasonal produce. All your favorite fall foods are here: Mediterranean-style kale, sweet potato fries with curry ketchup, zucchini tots, Parmesan Brussels sprouts, and more!

01 of 11

Roasted Sweets

roasted sweet potatoes in a blue dish
Erica Brown

Ready in 30 minutes. Peeled and cubed sweet potatoes are tossed with onions, apples (or pears), garlic, cinnamon, and ground chipotle for a mildly spicy side dish. You could also toss in a handful of walnuts and fresh sage, if you wish. Allrecipes home cook thumper5316 says, "This is an absolutely delicious combination of flavors. Both my husband and I loved it. I will definitely be adding this to my dinner rotation list."

Tip: To slash prep time, go ahead and use bagged sweet potato cubes. Otherwise, it really doesn't take much time to do it yourself.

02 of 11

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash on a sheet pan
Allrecipes Magazine

Ready in 35 minutes. Allrecipes home cook poshlynne cuts down the cooking time by using thinner slices of squash in this Parmesan-coated acorn squash side dish. Just keep an eye on your squash slices and poke with a fork to test: When they're nice and soft, pull them out of the oven. Muriel Puce assures her fellow home cooks that "You can eat these slices skin and all. Once you scrape out the seeds, you eat everything that goes into the oven."

03 of 11

Mediterranean Kale

Mediterranean Kale

Ready in 25 minutes. Here's a fast and healthy side dish you can throw together with just a few simple ingredients. "The kale tasted perfect after steaming for 7 minutes. A tasty, healthy side dish when short on time," says Allrecipes home cook flamingo1012.

04 of 11

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

top-down view of roasted Brussels sprouts topped with shaved Parmesan in a white ceramic serving dish

Ready in 25 minutes. After the first frost hits, the Brussels are prime, as they get sweeter after the first cold snap. Take advantage of it with this fast fall side dish that's on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Prefer your Brussels slightly on the crispy side? Allrecipes home cook Toronto Worm Company adds a crunchy texture by plucking a few leaves: "While washing the Brussels sprouts you can take off some of the leaves, which adds a great crunch to the dish. I usually take 2-3 off each Brussel. Add during the cooking process."

05 of 11

Roasted Delicata Squash

roasted delicata squash
Photo by Chef John.

Ready in 27 minutes. Delicata is another winter squash you can eat peels and all. And did you know you can roast the seeds just like you would with pumpkin seeds? That's two ways to eat one squash! Home cook shawnr raves, "This is an incredible, and incredibly simple, recipe. I made this for family dinner and everyone loved it, from the toddlers to the seniors."

Chef John says you can eat these slices hot or cold, or at room temperature with an aioli dipping sauce spiced up with garam masala, turmeric, and hot paprika to taste.

06 of 11

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash in a white dish
Marisa R.

Ready in 40 minutes. The basic gist of this recipe is "toss butternut squash in olive oil and garlic." Besides turning on the oven, that's really about all you have to do. The hardest part of this recipe is probably peeling the squash (and we won't tell if you decide to use pre-prepped squash from the grocery store), but Allrecipes home cook jaydeu has you covered with this tip: "Before peeling, wash and poke holes in the squash, then put it in the microwave for 3 minutes. After it cools down a bit, you can easily cut and peel it."

07 of 11

Zucchini Tots

Zucchini Tots

Ready in 25 minutes. Fun fact: Zucchini disguised as tots plays better than zucchini disguised as spaghetti for 9 out of 10 picky eaters. #checkmymath

As recipe originator deliciouslystylish points out, this recipe comes together in under a half hour, and you can make cleanup super quick and easy by using mini muffin cup liners, says home cook marleyhank.

08 of 11

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate

bowl of Spiced Pears with Pomegranate recipe
Jennica Reis

Ready in 10 minutes. When the nights get cooler, this easy recipe offers a fresh new presentation for a familiar fall flavor mix. If you're new to preparing pomegranate, take a tip from Allrecipes home cook Richard Beard, who says: "Pom seeds are easily separated under water. The little gems float and all else sinks. Just scoop off the surface with a slotted spoon."

09 of 11

Chef John's Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Syracuse Salt Potatoes close up with green garnish
My Hot Southern Mess

Ready in 25 minutes. "Not only is this Syracuse salt potatoes recipe one of the most delicious ways to cook baby spuds, it's also one of the most interesting," says Chef John. "I generally don't like when people watch me cook their food, you know, in case anything gets dropped (#5secondrule), but these are kind of fun to do in front of guests; just to see that look of shock in their eyes, as you dump in all that salt."

Sherri Nicol calms your fears about all that salt, saying, "This was the easiest way to get creamy, delicious baby Yukon Gold potatoes. It's amazing, but the salt does not permeate the potatoes, just makes them really tasty."

10 of 11

Easy Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Ketchup

sweet potato fries
Photo by lutzflcat.

Ready in 35 minutes. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes while your oven heats up, then you just toss the wedges with oil, salt, and paprika before popping them into the hot oven. While they're roasting, you'll take a minute to mix up ketchup and curry powder. So easy! Allrecipes home cook Paula says, "The star of this recipe is the ketchup. I never eat ketchup with my sweet potatoes...until now! This ketchup concoction is fabulous!"

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