Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.
You're looking at 65 of the very best fall recipes out there—all wearing a Genius Recipes badge of honor—to bookmark now and start making just as soon as you pack away the beach umbrella.
For starters? Apple cakes, cozy casseroles, roasted squash up the wazoo, and not one but two mac and cheeses—it's going to be a very good fall. I know 65 recipes sounds like a lot to parse when you're still probably recovering from your last sunburn of the season (I've been writing this column for eight falls now—I have a lot of favorites!). So I divvied them up into handy sections for all your autumnal needs, from Quick School-Morning Breakfasts to Mix & Match Sides to Comforting Mains That Feed a Crowd. See ya, summer—I'm ready to cook.
Supersoft, custardy eggs used to take 15 minutes of patient stirring over low heat, until Mandy Lee from the blog Lady and Pups found a handy pantry workaround.
Not only has Julia Turshen taught us a bright new breakfast, her egg-frying method is an especially smart (and un-splattery) one, as well.
Throw together a batch of these on Sunday and you'll have a real breakfast-on-the-go waiting for you every morning. (Sorry, energy bar, you are not real breakfast.)
No more puzzling over ingredient lists of $6 boxes of breakfast cereal at the grocery store! This will quickly become everyone's favorite granola—and the only skill needed to make it is to stir.
Why have we always made applesauce in a big pot on the stove when we could be making it (faster, toastier, and more apple-y) in the oven?
For people who can't eat gluten, this dense, seedy bread is life-changing. And for people who can, it still makes a darn fine piece of toast.
Joining the no-knead revolution gets even simpler when you bake in a buttered bowl—and makes a crust no sensible person would tear off and leave behind.
The key to fritattas that won't go dry our tough on you? Turn the oven down just a tad.
There is a whole block of tofu in these waffles. You won't know it.
Swap a little rice flour into your pancakes and they'll taste richer and milkier (but not enough to be chewy like mochi, despite the name).
These fluffy cinnamon buns require zero yeast know-how, all because Violet Bakery (yes, the Royal Wedding bakers!) didn't have space to proof doughs and needed an easier way.
This supersmooth butter roasts in the oven to concentrate its powers, and lets you use any hard squash you hauled home. Smear on cinnamon buns, biscuits, and other brunch players.
Finally, a potato cake recipe that works with any leftover mashed potatoes, no matter what seasonings you threw in. A highly recommended Thanksgiving weekend breakfast.
Of all the brilliant recipes J. Kenji López-Alt has created for the Food Lab at Serious Eats, this pantry-based, lightning-quick soup is the one he makes the most.
Here's how to bring out both broccoli's fresh green and deep roasted sides (and show your average, one-note broccoli-cheddar soup how to live).
Unsurprisingly, splashing brown butter into warm, pureed fall soups is a very good idea.
The creamy depth you'll get from little more than caulifower, an onion, and a lot of water will shock you. (Hint: It's just because of the free-flowing pectin in cauliflower.)
This might be the best thing you can make with a can of beans in, oh, about 10 minutes.
Andrea Nguyen's brilliant hack for a richer vegetable pho stock without chicken? Why, it's our favorite health-food underdog, nutritional yeast.
Another happy thing to pull out of a bare pantry, and the reason I sizzle tomato paste in olive oil whenever I run into a pesky flat-tasting soup or stew.
This cheesy, brothy masterpiece is layered with crusty bread like lasagna. It is unreasonably good. (Don't skip the anchovy!)
You wouldn't think melting cheese over salad like nachos would be a good idea—but you should also just trust the chef who started the kale salad craze (we didn't think that was a good idea at the time either).
If you could turn salt and vinegar potato chips into a warm, comforting salad, then this would be it.
Both a bright and perky lentil salad, and a game plan for better desk lunches all week.
A fancy-seeming salad with an impressive trick up its sleeve: You can mimic expensive wine vinegars by soaking red onions in average grocery store stuff.
Back in 2012, eating raw kale still surprised people. Even now, with the kale salad peak behind us, this one (with its two kinds of cheese!) holds up.
Notwithstanding the bacon-poached garlic cloves, this salad is a very refreshing post-Thanksgiving meal (and leftover turkey destination).
This simple, sturdy salad hugged with garlicky tahini dressing is entirely vegan (but doesn't seem to know it).
Crispier roasted potatoes with one simple step, plus a zingy dressing you can stir together from the humblest of ingredients.
The internet said this would be the best broccoli of our life—and it wasn't wrong.
By kick-starting your polenta in the morning, at dinnertime it cooks up creamy and comforting in a fraction of the time.
The order you add ingredients to your mashed potatoes (for Thanksgiving or otherwise) matters—choose the right adventure and you'll end up with more buttery flavor, without tipping in more butter.
A spicy fish sauce vinaigrette and a big bunch of fresh herbs is exactly what your Brussels sprouts (and your same-old Thanksgiving spread) needed.
This tender cornbread's secret is that, deep down, it's got the heart of a scone.
An elegance of form we didn't know potatoes could have, with crispy edges for days.
The brine in your pickle jars in the fridge is liquid gold—a secret ingredient no one will be able to pinpoint in these fancy-tasting mushrooms.
Just when your fall diet seems to fade to beige, bright orange slabs of squash and ombré pink pickled onions are here to save the day.
Not only is there no need to carefully layer potato gratin, you can jump-start the cooking on the stovetop before tumbling into a casserole for a much faster bake time.
Baby back ribs you don't have to cook low or slow for almost-fall-apart tenderness. And that sticky (but not-too-sweet) glaze doesn't hurt.
There may never have been a more deeply flavored braised chicken. Here's why: It uses not just simple salt for seasoning but powerful ingredients preserved in salt, like salami and olives.
For good reason, Jenny Rosenstrach calls this the Instant Dinner Party: Make your ragu the night before (the active cooking time is extra efficient, since you start with browning a single hunk of pork shoulder instead of smaller bits). Then, just boil pasta and reheat the sauce the night you want to party.
Pitch-perfect craggly crust. Can be made ahead and held in a low oven without sacrifice. Oh, and you get to see just how fast an onion sautés when you're doing it with all the salt you'll need for the brine (fast).
Any gumbo is more within reach when you bake your roux to a rich, dark brown in the oven (instead of stirring constantly on the stovetop).
This is the ne plus ultra of gooey yet crusty, creamy yet sharp, comforting as all get-out baked mac and cheeses. The cute little croutons on top are a swap for the traditional crispy breadcrumbs that are technically optional (but how could you resist?).
Traditional bolognese simmers very gently for a very long time, but Nigel Slater mimics that tenderness by adding mushrooms and a wee bit more cream.
This vegetarian dinner party stunner makes you question why the beef gets all the glory in a classic boeuf bourguignon—it should clearly be the mushrooms (silver medal: pearl onions).
This simple technique was so good at making roast turkey that wasn't prone to overcooking and drying out (and that actually tasted like turkey) that Russ Parsons ran variations on the recipe in the L.A. Times five Thanksgivings in a row.
When you make lasagna (well) in a single skillet, you can have gooey, saucy comfort any night you particularly need it.
In the morning, throw your chicken in a salty ice water bath. In the evening, toss it in flour and make the best fried chicken you didn't have to fry.
Yes, the garlic and lime and chile brighten up this speedy salmon dinner. But the trick for grating a jalapeño is one you'll take to any recipe you don't feel like stemming and chopping for.
As lemon juice and cream mingle with egg noodles, this pasta essentially makes its own sauce. And oh, is it a good one.
Fried rice made from cold leftover rice is handy—when you have just the right amount of cold leftover rice. This one gets plenty of texture from the crispy ginger and garlic and fried egg, even if you need to cook the rice fresh.
This three-ingredient wonder proves that you don't need to simmer marinara all day (or even chop the onion!) to get a pure, bright tomato sauce much better than anything from a jar.
If landing a perfect medium-rare makes you nervous, then this rule-breaking method will soothe you: Flip your steaks every 30 seconds or so (really) for a more evenly cooked middle. Throw in some arugula and squashed potatoes for my favorite speed-luxury dinner.
The secret to not-at-all dry turkey burgers (or chicken or pork burgers) is to load them up with tons of fresh herbs, ginger, and chile. Eat them with a big salad and baked potato, or in more classic burger form.
This untraditional spin on cacio e pepe makes it easier to emulsify a sleek, noodle-coating sauce because here the salty, umami "cacio" element isn't pecorino cheese, but miso, which melts effortlessly.
Make Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese (above) when you have time and want to serve a big, happy crowd. Make Melissa Clark's stovetop version when you don't.
We still don't know who Teddie is, but we know they made one very lovable apple cake, just sweet and spiced enough. Freeze it, gift it, divvy it up for a bake sale.
With five ingredients and about 20 minutes, you can have a very fancy-looking, very fall dessert (and gluten-free, should you need it).
This traditional Brazilian cake's batter is made by whizzing raw carrot chunks with oil, sugar, and eggs in the blender (yes, it blends perfectly smooth!), which makes a lovely, orange-tinted pound cake that goes very well with the handsome chocolate glaze poured over the top. The orange-black palette also makes it an accidentally perfect Halloween dessert.
Inspired by Nutella, this crisp-chewy cookie is stirred together in one bowl and just happens to be gluten-free.
For a deeper (and less canned) pumpkin flavor, this recipe cooks the pumpkin down in a saucepan until it turns a shade darker. And, despite baking hotter and in less than half the time of the back-of-the-can recipe, a good dose of cream makes it much less likely to crack if it's overbaked.
I love Stella Park's simple, intuitive pie dough technique so much that I made it the default pie crust for every recipe in Genius Desserts. You won't need a food processor or years of butter-pinching experience.
Inspired by the texture of a vintage recipe that called for shortening, Rose Levy Beranbaum worked in brown butter, which has a similar structure—but tastes much better.
This flourless chocolate cake collapses on purpose, and then you fill its moussey middle with whipped cream. It will look amazing served at the end of any holiday dinner, no matter what happens along the way.
Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Perhaps something perfect for beginners? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.Order Now