21 Vegan Fall Recipes to Fuel Your Apple-Picking & Leaf-Raking

August 20, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

As the weather gets cooler, we’re craving heartier meals tinged with warm spices, to be devoured in between pulling on a sweater and opening the window for a crisp autumn breeze. Of course, heftier dishes don’t necessarily require cream, eggs, and meat: These fall recipes are all vegan, leaning into starchy vegetables and legumes—think sweet potatoes, winter squash, chickpeas, and lentils—not to mention leafy greens, creamy (dairy-free!) sauces, grains, and noodles. These 21 vegan fall recipes will fill you up during the workday, before a long walk, or after jumping into a big pile of leaves—er, doing yard work.

Start Off the Day

1. Vegan Morning Glory Muffins

Break open one of these fruit- and nut-studded muffins while they’re still warm from the oven and slather with jam or softened vegan butter and flaky salt. Now you’re ready to conquer the day.

2. Vegan Cinnamon Pecan Rolls

On lazy fall mornings, no breakfast calls out to be made quite like cinnamon rolls. And this egg-, butter-, and dairy-free variation is no less satisfyingly gooey than the originals. Serve with plenty of strong coffee or tea.

3. Trinidadian Doubles

These petite chickpea-filled, fried flatbread sandwiches can be served with Trinidadian hot pepper sauce, kuchela (mango relish seasoned with amchar masala), or tamarind sauce. You will not be able to eat just one.

4. Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Load up on these pumpkin pancakes before heading out for a day of apple picking, cider-doughnut eating, leaf raking, and other extremely autumnal tasks.

5. Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple & Dried Cranberries

This quinoa salad (which happens to be gluten-free in addition to vegan) is customizable to whatever crunchy, crisp, sweet additions you have on hand: No hazelnuts? Try almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds. Not into dried cranberries? Use golden raisins, chopped dates, or dried cherries. Out of apples? Grab a pear, a firm fuyu persimmon, or even a beet (cooked or raw).

6. Warm Farro & Mustard Green Salad With Roasted Maple Acorn Squash

Toss nutty roasted acorn squash and chewy farro with mustard greens and a lemony dressing—prep everything beforehand for the simplest savory breakfast or working lunch.

On the Side

7. Vegan, Gluten Free Butternut Squash Gratin

This cozy gratin is sweet and filling, and pretty adaptable in the squash department: If you can’t find (or don’t like) butternut, go for acorn, kabocha, red kuri, or delicata. You could use panko bread crumbs in the topping instead of almonds if you’re not gluten-free, just don’t skip the nutritional yeast.

8. Spicy Vegan Sweet Potato Chili Fries

Just because you don’t eat cheese or meat doesn’t mean you can’t still have chili fries. In fact, while this sweet potato version with canned bean chili is ideal alongside a pile of (vegan!) cornbread and your favorite salad, even alone it still makes a hearty dinner for one.

9. Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits

Tender biscuits take on a golden hue thanks to sweet potato purée (or heck, even canned pumpkin if that’s what you have on hand). This recipe has two variations—one more savory, one more sweet—so there’s sure to be something for everyone at the table.

10. Vegan Cashew Caesar Salad

Grab a big bunch of kale (any kind will do), chop it, and toss with a creamy vegan Caesar dressing, where that classic anchovy flavor is mimicked by soy sauce and nutritional yeast.

11. Medley of Roasted Potatoes With Za’atar & Aleppo Pepper

Grab a bunch of small, waxy potatoes to roast, then toss with fruity Aleppo pepper and za’atar. (Psst: You can DIY a version of the latter seasoning with thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds.)

12. Sweet Squashduckens

If you’re hankering for a project—you know you are—look no further than “squashduckens,” a meatless version of “turducken,” the infamous turkey-duck-chicken Thanksgiving monster. Note: This recipe’s topping calls for 2 tablespoons of butter; vegans should swap in vegan butter or coconut oil.


13. Baked Sweet Potatoes with Lentil Salad & Lemon Tahini Dressing

Baked, loaded sweet potatoes are such a satisfying meal on chilly evenings. This one starts with brown lentils (though you could use red, green, French, or beluga) tossed with a garlicky, Moroccan-spiced tomato mixture and a bit of spinach. Don’t forget to top it with creamy, lemony tahini dressing.

14. Andrea Nguyen’s Vegan “Chicken” Pho

This genius faux-chicken pho broth comes together with ginger, apple, cabbage, carrot, and nutritional yeast. Assemble each bowl with slabs of tofu and rice noodles, dressed with soy sauce, scallions, and cilantro.

15. Coconut & Red Curry Lentil Soup

A hearty red lentil and sweet potato stew that tastes like it simmered for hours but comes together in less than 30 minutes. Prep it, set the table while it simmers, and you’re ready to eat.

16. Spaghetti Squash with White Bean Ragu

You may know ragu as a stick-to-your-ribs meat dish; here it’s been veganized thanks to white beans. This is served with spaghetti squash, but for a bit more heft, try it over polenta with a generous shake of nutritional yeast.

17. Soba with Parsley-Pea Pesto & Kale

Just because your basil plant wilted with the end of summer doesn’t mean you can’t still have pesto. Toss this pea, parsley, and almond version with nutty soba noodles and chopped kale.

Something Sweet

18. No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

This coconut cream and pumpkin purée dessert couldn’t be simpler if you have a working freezer. It’s ideal for those balmier fall evenings when you’re not quite ready for a warm slice of pie, but are still craving autumnal flavors.

19. Vegan Apple Brownies

These brownies, well, aren’t exactly brownies, see. But what they lack in chocolate they make up for in tender apples tossed with cinnamon and nutmeg.

20. Chewy Vanilla Spice Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

What do you get when you cross chocolate chip cookies with spice cookies? These chewy, chocolatey, cinnamony treats. Dreamy for dipping in a steamy cup of vegan hot cocoa.

21. You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Classic pumpkin pie, but 100 percent approved for vegans (thanks, soaked cashews!). Top it with a big dollop of coconut whipped cream.

Which recipe do you want to make first? Let us know in the comments!
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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.