Find inspiration and ideas for seasonal cooking for October including lists of produce to buy, what to use up, and easy recipes for seasonal meal planning. PLUS free printable seasonal menu planning pages to help you focus on cooking through the seasons.
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This article is part of a year-long series on how to cook seasonal foods for each month as a resource for meal planning, saving money, and helping the environment.
Each month of the seasonal cooking series includes:
- What's in season for that month.
- What you may have in your freezer and pantry to use up if you preserve food.
- Favorite recipes using seasonal produce from An Oregon Cottage to help you plan to eat seasonally.
- A free printable weekly menu planner for the month with areas to record what's in season for you and what you have to use up!
You can find all the months of this seasonal eating series here.
We're fully into autumn this month in our series that helps you to cook and eat more seasonally.
You can read the first section of this month for answers to the questions, "What is seasonal cooking," "Why is easting seasonal important" - and a big caution we need to take into account for eating "seasonally."
Here are tips to help you eat more seasonally and use this resource page with the printable meal planner:
- Use the lists and recipes you find here for August to make a menu according to what you are harvesting/buying.
- Harvest from your own garden or visit farmer's markets for the produce you need.
- OR use the shopping lists when super market shopping, noting the sales in the produce aisle.
- Try new things that are in season.
- Add any new recipes you like and keep them in a binder to cycle through the following season.
It's easy to lose track of produce's seasonality since most are carried all year long in stores - use this resource article and the free printable weekly menu planning page to help:
Download the menu page, print it out, and use it to write down the seasonal foods you need to use and buy, as well as the recipes you'll make that week.
Note: If you're already a subscriber, you can find this in the VIP library!
October Seasonal Eating
October is the first full month of fall and while those of us with gardens are still harvesting some of the last summer veggies (and any things we planted for fall harvests!), when we think about food, it's warm, cozy, and comforting foods, isn't it?
And of course apples and pumpkin everything! I'm not a pumpkin fan (gasp...) so you won't find much on the site about that, but apples are SO good and I've got some great recipes I pull out every fall (a couple of which you'll find below).
It's also soup time, which I love and look forward to. I plan a soup or stew recipe every week in the cooler months - sometimes twice a week. And I love the leftovers, so I make big batches, even though our household is smaller now.
What about you - what are your favorite things to eat in the fall?
Seasonal Produce for October
Fruits That Are In Season
Vegetables That Are In Season
- Brussel Sprouts
- Corn (only for the first few weeks, though)
- Green beans (Yep- my Emerite Beans and Fortex are still producing)
- Pumpkins (this is the month they're available fresh!)
- Tomatoes (if you bring them in green, you may have them into November and maybe December!)
Preserved Seasonal Food From the Pantry and Freezer
- This is the second month of the year (September is the other month) that those of us in the Pacific Northwest are finishing stocking our freezers and pantries with preserved foods, so it's good to concentrate on eating the last of the fresh and leave the newly preserved things for the long winter ahead.
- Dried Plums- we already are eating these - they are so good, we start eating them as soon as they come out of the dryer!
Pro Tip: Use the planning page to record how many preserved foods you have left in order to use them up as soon as possible to make room for the new season's produce.
Seasonal Eating Recipes For October
Fall to me always means lots of hearty, warming soups and stews - the more vegetables included, the better!
This Italian sausage vegetable soup delivers on that front and also has such great flavor. Plus it's made easily in a slow cooker to cook all day, bringing the smells and coziness to cooler weather days.
Break the oven out of it's summer hiatus with these slightly crispy, caramelized roasted cabbage wedges with a delicious sauce. I promise you will like these even if you don't like cabbage!
Here's a quick, healthy meal that's warm and spicy for fall nights and the flavor is SO amazing in this I promise you will never miss the meat!
Why is a light and summery salad included on the October seasonal eating list?
It's the last hurrah for the summer tomatoes and I like to make this in the first couple weeks of the month just to savor the seasonal flavor one more time!
Plus, it's a 15 minute meal that I can just add bread to and call good.
What's so amazing about this soup? It's almost all vegetables (and broth), but the cheese makes it seem decadent as well as warm and filling.
Plus, just call it cheese soup and even picky eaters will eat it!
The cooler weather often finds us wanting to bake again. If you don't have a lot of time, scones are a great, quick option and using the season's apples makes them that much better.
Served without the glaze for breakfast or with for afternoon coffee or tea - your choice!
What would be October without caramel apples? Make it super easy with this dip and let everyone dip their own!
Every October when our kids were growing up we'd have a night of apple tasting: I'd buy 3-4 new-to-us apple varieties and serve them with this dip for dessert after a lighter dinner of soup and bread. We all LOVED it.
What are your favorite seasonal foods to make in October?
Originally published in October of 2011, this article has been completely updated to be more relevant and useful - enjoy!