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15 Fall Pasta Dishes That Put Autumnal Flavors Front and Center

Fall is arguably the best time of the year for food (and clothes, and organizing, and redecorating). The oh-so-beautiful produce is brimming with autumnal hues and comfort is a key flavor alongside dishes that are equal parts mouth-watering and sumptuous. And whether it’s the ease of preparation or its endless versatility (or a bit of the two), pasta is always a wonderful way to invite in the colder temps. For a little inspiration and to get your culinary wheels turning, we’ve rounded up our favorite fall pasta recipes to keep you warm, cozy, and satisfied all season long.

And because everyone should be able to enjoy the silky, soothing pleasure of pasta no matter your dietary restrictions or preferences, we’re sharing our go-to recs for gluten-free options that combine real ingredients with a chewy bite. Pair a box of Capello’s (almond flour fettuccine, anyone?) or Jovial’s brown rice pasta with any of the recipes below, and you’ll have yourself a meal that celebrates cold weather eating at its most undeniably delicious.

Miso Carbonara from The Kitchn

Why We Love It: A dish that can impress any dinner date with minimal effort? This recipe checks off both boxes. For years, carbonara has been a weeknight staple at many a dinner table, but this take on the dish adds an impressive burst of flavor with the unexpected additions of miso and Sriracha. This foolproof recipe is a must-make for any time you’re trying to impress your fellow diners (or, of course, if you’re piling up a heaping bowl of pasta to enjoy all to yourself).

Hero Ingredient: The miso’s earthy, salty savoriness beautifully balances the egg yolks’ rich flavor, making this recipe hearty without feeling heavy.

Get the recipe here.

Turkey Tetrazzini from Adventures in Cooking

Why We Love It: This is not, we repeat not, the mysterious Turkey Tetrazzini served in many an early-aughts school cafeteria. With a stunning medley of fresh and vibrant veg (shallots, mushrooms, and a handful of peppery parsley), this dish imparts both brightness and heat. And if you’re already beginning to brainstorm the many ways you can repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers, this recipe’s a surefire solution for exactly that.

Hero Ingredient: While surprisingly polarizing in terms of taste, the health benefits of mushrooms can’t be denied, and when they’ve taken a spin in a sauté pan with a good glug of olive oil, you might even be able to make the most mushroom-averse diner change their tune.

Get the recipe here.

One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi With Italian Sausage from Well Plated

Why We Love It: This recipe had us at “one skillet.” Minimal clean-up for maximal results means that from the moment you brown your sausage to the final sprinkling of parmesan, you have a low-stress meal that’s absolutely stunning.

Hero Ingredient: Simple sauces can sometimes fall flat, but the addition of nutmeg brings a hit of quintessential fall flavor while lending a welcome mix of warmth and spice to this streamlined dish. Consider this recipe the equivalent of sliding into your softest, coziest fall sweater.

Get the recipe here.

Quick Ragù With Ricotta and Lemon from The New York Times Cooking

Why We Love It: If you’re intimidated by the thought of simmering an already labor-intensive sauce for an hour and a half (there’s a time and a place for that and it’s not 7 o’clock on a Tuesday evening), this recipe is for you. The mildly sweet and delicate bite of toasted fennel seeds balances the rich, potentially heavy flavors of beef and red wine. All the Italian flair of the classic dish in half of the time.

Hero Ingredient: This ragù owes its slow-cooked flavor to the addition of sambal oelek, an easy-to-find Indonesian chile paste that provides complex heat and tastes like you’ve gone to the effort of cooking with fresh chiles—minus the protective gloves.

Get the recipe here.

Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta from Gimme Delicious

Why We Love It: Like clockwork, the first fall chill sends signals to the body that it’s time to swap our summer salads for creamy, soul-satisfying dishes, and this simple pasta does a beautiful job of filling in the gaps. A crowd favorite, this is a must-make if you’re cooking for family or inviting friends over for an impromptu mid-week meal. Cheesy, creamy, comforting, and it all comes together in only 30 minutes.

Hero Ingredient: The base of this sauce requires a heavy pour of cream, and with chicken and parmesan added to the mix, this comes dangerously close to being a nap-inducing dish. But stirring in a heaping cup of diced tomatoes cuts the richness of the cream, and the final result is beautifully balanced while still feeling incredibly indulgent.

Get the recipe here.

Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta from Preppy Kitchen

Why We Love It:  While pesto pairs perfectly with a crisp and cool glass of rosé and laid-back summer vibes, there’s nothing like switching up your squash-heavy rotation for the fresh and fragrant flavor of basil. There are countless variations on the classic pesto recipe, and while this version leans on walnuts to give it body, you can also quickly blend up our favorite pesto if you’re craving the undercurrent of sweetness that pine nuts provide.

Hero Ingredient: Lemon enhances the pesto’s herby zing. Using both the juice and the zest gives this pasta the purest citrus flavor, brightening up every beautiful bite.

Get the recipe here.

Pasta With Salmon, Broccoli Rabe, and Garlic from Martha Stewart

Why We Love It: Salmon, bitter broccoli rabe, and the robust flavors of Pecorino Romano and garlic make this simpler-than-it-seems dinner an always-impressive choice. Drizzling olive oil over top just before serving only improves the final fruity result that’s bursting with flavor. 

Hero Ingredient: Trimmed and chopped bites of broccoli rabe give this otherwise mostly monochromatic dish visual interest while balancing out the salmon’s richer flavor.

Get the recipe here.

Linguine and Clams With Almonds and Herbs from Bon Appétit

Why We Love It: If you haven’t tried serving long locks of linguine with an abundance of fresh clams, now’s the time to get started. Nothing beats the fresh and fragrant flavor of chives and parsley, and when mixed with garlic and roasted almonds, you have yourself the perfect topping for any lucky bowl of pasta.

Hero Ingredient: Bon Appétit called it: Almonds are the new breadcrumbs. While definitely a bold statement, this recipe makes perhaps the most convincing argument. We’d never say no to a little crunch.

Get the recipe here.

Spicy Tomato Seafood Pasta from The Original Dish

Why We Love It: The simplicity-to-wow-factor ratio of this recipe is unmatched. The good news too is that this dish works well with any seafood that’s available. If you’re not a fan of the shrimp and mussels combo that’s called for, you can easily swap in lobster, clams, or really any fish your heart (and appetite) desires.

Hero Ingredient: While the strong licorice-like flavor of raw fennel turns many otherwise adventurous diners off, here, you’re caramelizing the hardy herb until it’s delectably golden and sweet. Garnish your dish with a few fennel fronds and you’ll have a show-stopper on the table for everyone to enjoy.

Get the recipe here.

Lemon Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta from The Recipe Critic

Why We Love It: Loaded with buttery, garlic-laced shrimp, this 30-minute meal makes the most of pantry staple ingredients that many home cooks will have on hand. It’s satiating while still feeling light and won’t leave you with a mountain of dishes to clean up afterward.

Hero Ingredient: The red pepper flakes diversify the dish’s flavor and bring a welcome bit of heat.

Get the recipe here.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta With Tahini Sauce from Eating Bird Food

Why We Love It: When the temperatures drop and all your cravings point to a hearty, mind-blowing meatless main dish, this butternut squash pasta is your answer. A mix of fresh and colorful veggies blends beautifully with a lemon and tahini sauce that’s unexpectedly divine. Plus, the mix of easy-to-prep ingredients makes this a great option for anyone who’s looking to build up their confidence in the kitchen.

Hero Ingredient: Tahini is showing up more and more as a go-to base for all sorts of sauces—and for good reason. The subtle sesame flavor makes itself known while also being light enough to let the other ingredients shine.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Lentil Bolognese from The Toasted Pine Nut

Why We Love It: If you’re convinced that any attempt at making bolognese should be reserved only for open-ended weekend culinary pursuits, this recipe is swooping in to say otherwise. A vegan twist on the classic meat sauce, this version leans on lentils’ hearty and creamy texture to mimic ground beef.

Hero Ingredient: Lentils are the real MVP here. They give bite and body to the sauce, and when simmered with tomatoes and just a few seasonings, the result is an impressively-filling vegan substitute for this traditionally meat-based dish.

Get the recipe here.

Creamy Eggplant Pasta With Walnuts and Spiced Breadcrumbs from The First Mess

Why We Love It: We’ll let you in on a secret: Eggplant, while amazing in both baba ghanoush and eggplant parmesan, is capable of so much else. This eggplant pasta is packed with an irresistibly smoky flavor and complemented by umami-rich miso and a pungent mix of garlic and shallots. Seconds? Thirds? Yes, please.

Hero Ingredient: Is there anything walnuts can’t do? Given a blitz in the food processor with the softened eggplant, the walnuts add bulk and body to this super satiating sauce.

Get the recipe here.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Alla Vodka Tortellini from Half Baked Harvest

Why We Love It: Leave it to Tieghan Gerard to create the dinner we’ll be craving every night from now until spring. Using just a handful of ingredients, you can have this pasta that perfectly encapsulates the flavors of fall ready to enjoy in under half an hour. Oh, and if you can think of something better than sinking your fork into a pillowy pile of pumpkin tortellini, let us know.

Hero Ingredient: Browning the butter results in a complex flavor that’s nutty and not overwhelmingly strong, sealing the deal on this autumn-inspired dish.

Get the recipe here.

Garlic Herb Mushroom Pasta from Love & Lemons

Why We Love It: We’ve already shared our love of mushrooms above, but we’d be remiss not to include a recipe that puts the buttery and beautiful fungi front and center. Sautéed with a splash of white wine and elevated with the addition of savory cashew cream, the mushrooms shine in this deceptively easy dish.

Hero Ingredient: A touch of dijon mustard gives just enough acidity and punch to the cashew cream sauce, making it hard not to dive into your leftovers spoon-first.

Get the recipe here.


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