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Fall in Love with These Delicious Seasonal Dishes to Make At Home

by Nicole Leone
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In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “There is a time of year in New York when, even before the first leaf falls, you feel the seasons click.” It is a truly special feeling when you walk outside in early October and feel the crisp air on your face, knowing fall has begun. For many, it’s a time to reset, reflect, and embrace the new season. But more importantly, it’s time to start making {and eating!} heartier, cozier dishes. Nicole Leone of The Millennial Chef is all about giving the classic dishes a new spin. That’s why she’s sharing a snack, dinner, and cocktail recipe that embraces the warm fall season, with half the calories. Keep on reading for a fun and festive fall-inspired menu to make right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix

fall at home recipes nicole leone

Pumpkin spice is popular for a reason, it’s delicious. It masters the combination of sweet and spicy in one bite. Trail mix is also the type of snack that keeps on giving, giving, and giving until you’ve consumed about six bowls of it. For this recipe, pairing the two concepts together made a healthy pumpkin spice trail mix with roasted chickpeas, pepita seeds, sesame sticks, and rice crackers, seasoned with all the best spices. It’s a guilt-free snack that screams fall. Here’s how you make it:

Serving Size: 4


  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas 
  • 1 1/4 cup rice crackers 
  • 1/2 cup sesame sticks
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds {or any seeds you like}
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin spice 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, dry completely, and then add to a baking dish. Lay them out on a single layer then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice, chili powder, paprika, and cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix until chickpeas are evenly coated. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the chickpeas have a nice crunch. If you prefer them to be a bit softer, take them out around 15 minutes. 
  3. Next, add the roasted chickpeas, rice crackers, sesame sticks, and pepita seeds to a large bowl. Toss in the remaining spices {1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin spice, chili powder, and paprika}, mix-up, and enjoy!

Read More: 4 Delicious + Refreshing Cocktails to Make at Home ASAP

You Butternut Squash My Diet Pasta

fall at home recipes nicole leone 

It can be difficult to balance the decadence of fall flavors and dishes. Enter – butternut squash pasta! Butternut squash soup is the obvious choice for fall, so to switch it up, pairing the flavors with a fall-inspired soup that consists of whole wheat, fibrous, and pasta is a great alternative. There are an abundance of healthy pasta options these days {chickpea-based pasta, gluten-free pasta, lentil-based pasta, etc.}, so feel free to use any type you like. Roast the squash with shallots, herbs, and garlic, then purée with Greek yogurt, oat milk, and parmesan cheese. You toss the guilt-free sauce over your favorite healthy pasta and it is the ultimate mash-up of comfort and nutrition.

Serving size: 4 – 6


  • 1 pound peeled and cubed butternut squash 
  • 2 shallots, skins removed and cut into quarters
  • 4 garlic cloves, skins on
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt {whichever fat content you prefer}
  • 1/4 cup oat milk {or any non-dairy of your choice]
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyère {optional} 
  • 3/4 cup parmesan {optional} 1 pound of whole wheat pasta {or plant-based if you prefer} 


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add the butternut squash, shallots, and garlic to a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus the thyme, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper.  Save a pinch of each herb for garnish. Mix so everything is evenly coated and then roast for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely softened.
  3. Take out a large pot, fill with water, and bring to a boil. Once it’s at a rapid boil, season with salt and add the pasta. Cook one minute under package instructions to ensure you have al dente pasta. Save 2 cups of pasta water, then drain. 
  4. Once the vegetables have softened, take the sheet pan out of the oven, remove the garlic skins, and add everything to a blender or food processor, along with the Greek yogurt, oat milk, Gruyère, and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. 
  5. Now, it’s time to assemble! Add the pasta to a big bowl and then pour the sauce {start with half, then add to taste} over the pasta. If it seems too dry here, add the pasta water. Mix, taste for seasonings, and then finish with the rest of the parmesan cheese plus your herbs as a garnish, and enjoy!

See More: How to Make Delicious + Medicinal Congee Rice Porridge

Orange You Happy It’s Fall Cocktail

fall at home recipes nicole leone

Pandemic life has led many of us to experiment with cocktails. Vodka and tequila are key during the summer, but the second the weather dips below 70 degrees, bourbon makes the most sense! Everyone loves an Old-Fashioned, so we’re putting a seasonal spin on the classic drink and are incorporating some of our favorite fall flavors – maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, and raisins. It’s nearly impossible to have only one, so make sure to drink this when you have no responsibilities the next day. Here’s how it’s done:


  • 2 oz of your favorite Bourbon 
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup 
  • 3-4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 Craisins
  • 1-star anise
  • Orange peel


  1. Add one large round ice cube {or a few small ones} to your glass. Then, pour in the bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters and stir to combine. Add the cinnamon stick, Craisins, star anise, and orange peel {you can express the oil of an orange peel around the rim of the glass if you’re feeling extra}. Mix and enjoy!

And there you have it — some seriously seasonal and delicious fall recipes to make at home!

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