Fall brings with it beautiful colors and a noticeable nip in the air that is famous for giving us sudden cravings for spicier, warmer and heartier dishes. Summer’s salads give way to thick soups and stews. We slice the last melons just as the season’s first pumpkins make their grand debut. It’s a wonderful time of year to be hungry! Whether you adore the tried and true classics – like pumpkin pie and Irish stew – or long for gustatory novelty, there are recipes that pay homage to fall comfort foods and autumnal haute cuisine alike. Here are just a few of the fun ones to add to your must-try list:

A Portable Way to Eat All That Squash

Fall is when tough to prep but sweet to eat squash like butternut, acorn and kabocha hits the markets in a big way. The challenge is finding new ways to cook it. This recipe for butternut squash, sage and parmesan pasties is not only hearty and delicious, making it perfect for chillier weather but also worth the time it takes to do all the peeling and prep.

Caramel Apples All Grown Up for Halloween

The majority of Halloween food ideas cater to the kiddos but adults love spooky sweets just as much. Simple caramel apples get an upgrade in this recipe featuring coconut and a rich chocolate drizzle, making them perfect for grownup Halloween parties. For an even more mature flavor, add a tiny pinch of sea salt. Kraft really knows how to kick up the Halloween festivities with tons of creative ideas! For all the Halloween food and party ideas, click here.

In-Season Soup as the Perfect Thanksgiving Starter

Since your Turkey Day dinner may be a marathon of excess, why not start with something light, fresh and flavorful? A pureed winter squash soup served with toasted pumpkin seeds brings all the tastes of autumn to the table in advance of the big bird without a lot of work. This recipe can be made a day ahead and warmed on the stove while you cook the main meal.

A Hot Drink to Warm You Up

After a long autumn stroll (or a few hours raking leaves) there’s nothing quite like a hot toddy to put some life back into chilled extremities. The pearman’s toddy marries gin and cinnamon in a warm cocktail – try this recipe that is simple enough for a late November afternoon once you’ve laid up a stock of homemade cinnamon-kissed simple syrup.

Truly Never Fail Stews

It’s been said that the only way to truly ruin a stew is to lose it to evaporation but some stews are better than others. For fall, fresh pressed apple cider gives a surprising richness and hint of sweetness to what might otherwise be a run-of-the-mill beef stew. This recipe is deceptively simple but yields a delightful end result that’s just as tasty leftover as on the night it’s cooked.

If nothing else, these dishes should lift your spirits precisely when you’re starting to miss summer’s weather and its lighter fare the most. There’s so much fun to be had in autumn’s culinary lexicon – make this the year you discover it!