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quick chili

Ramona King


8 simple, fall-inspired recipes to make this week and on through 'til winter

Between the holidays and busy work schedules, there isn’t much time during the week to cook up a good meal. As schedules become filled with things to do, it’s best to keep weeknight dinners simple so you aren’t spending hours slaving away in the kitchen.

These eight speedy recipes are a surefire way to make sure you’re eating a delicious fall-inspired meal in no time.

Quick and Easy Chili
It’s cold outside, you desperately want chili, but you don’t have two-plus hours to make a big pot of deliciousness. In 45 minutes, you can have chili that doesn’t involve cooking larger pieces of cubed beef. Don’t worry though — you can still get plenty of flavor and spice during this short time frame. Serving a hearty fall dinner doesn’t have to be so hard.
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One-Pot Turkey Pumpkin Chili
If you want chili but want to add a fall twist to it, this turkey and pumpkin variation is for you. The pumpkin puree in this recipe will add a creamy texture and deep, earthy flavor. And the turkey? Well it'll bring the heartiness without weighing you down. A one-pot weeknight wonder that’s perfect for the fall season, y’all.
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Southern Kitchen’s Perfect Grilled Cheese
In 15 minutes you can be indulging in one of the most iconic fall (or, really, anytime) dishes: a simple, perfect grilled cheese sandwich. With a swipe of mayonnaise (yes, we know this may cause controversy), you’ll get an extra flavorful sandwich and a golden brown crust. Add slow cooker tomato soup to create the ultimate — easy — fall dinner.
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Virginia Willis’ Baked Potato Soup
You can skip the canned soup — no matter how tempting — even on a weeknight because Virginia Willis’ baked potato soup can be ready in just 30 minutes. A thick soup during the fall almost always hits the spot —plus everything is a little better than bacon. This will easily become a crowd favorite since everyone can add their own toppings.
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Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage and Apples
You can’t go wrong with pork and apples in the fall — especially while apples are still in season. Add some seasonal veggies, like red cabbage, and it’s a dish you’ll keep coming back to. Even better: this pork tenderloin recipe will only take you 35 minutes, start to fall-inspired finish.
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King Ranch Casserole
Fall is the official start of casserole season, so of course we’re planning to bake up loads of King Ranch casserole. Although this recipe comes in at an hour and five minutes, you can save yourself some time by buying a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and still get delicious results. We promise this casserole will get rid of all those sad cold weather blues.
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Instant Pot Jambalaya
If you’re busy during the week, but you still want a hearty weeknight fall meal, then let the Instant Pot do the work for you. With even colder weather right around the corner, you’ll want to serve this jambalaya with hot sauce on the side to warm you up. You're 40 minutes away from some serious Southern weeknight flavor.
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Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
If you’re not a fan of spice in your dinner, but you still want to enlist the help of a pressure cooker, then this rich beef stroganoff recipe is it. The tenderness and creaminess of this recipe will have everyone coming back for seconds.
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Photos (turkey pumpkin chili, jambalaya): Julie Koppman
Photos (grilled cheese, pork tenderloin, King Ranch casserole, beef stroganoff): Ramona King
Photo (potato soup): Virginia Willis

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Elisabeth Schrock is a contributing writer for Southern Kitchen. She's a graduate of Duquesne University and has traveled around the world chasing good food. Born and raised in Georgia, she vows that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl. Oh, and she can never get enough of her dad’s homemade mashed potatoes.