Autumnal Bakes and Roasts
There’s a chill in the air, crunchy leaves on the ground and the nights are drawing in – autumn is officially here. We’ve already put the heating on and now it’s time to give our menu an autumnal makeover.
At this time of year all we want to eat is hearty, warming food. Comforting and nutritious, we love autumnal bakes and roasts that make good use of this season’s harvest of root vegetables.
With seasonal produce filling up the supermarket shelves, feeding your family nutritious, oven baked casseroles, stews and bakes is easy and affordable.
So, change into your cosiest jumper, treat yourself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte and get ready for some dinner inspiration for those chilly autumn evenings.
Potato topped pies
Top anything with mashed potato and bake it in the oven and we get serious autumn vibes. The minute the leaves start turning golden, we begin craving comfort food.
It’s hard to beat a warming bowl of Creamy Mashed Potatoes – unless you heap them on top of a delicious filling and bake it all together in the oven. That’s why Shepherd’s Pie is a firm family favourite. It’s got the makings of a whole, hearty dinner in one dish.
Tender lamb, plenty of veg, rich gravy and then that velvety mash on top. Does autumnal food get any better?
To make our shepherd’s pie more slimming friendly, we like to use chunks of lamb, rather than lamb mince which can be high in fat. You get all that classic flavour, but for just 335 calories a serving.
Dish it up with even more veggies on the side or just enjoy it on its own, steaming hot and fresh out the oven. It’s a classic for a reason!
Never sure of the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie? While shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb, cottage pie usually contains beef. We love a twist on a classic recipe though, and that’s how we came up with this Chicken Bacon and Leek Cottage Pie.
The creamy filling is so easy to make, and it smells incredible. Layer it up in a dish with some cheesy mashed potatoes on top and leave it to bubble away in the oven. You can just imagine the amazing smell! Bacony, cheesy and so irresistible.
If bangers and mash isn’t already a cosy and comforting enough dinner for you, how about throwing in some beans, extra vegetables and baking it in the oven? Our Cowboy Pie was made for chilly autumn nights.
You can use any sausages you’d like, including veggie sausages if you’ve got vegetarians to feed. BBQ seasoning and paprika give the tomato sauce a smoky flavour that’ll warm you right up as the temperature drops.
Topped off with some mash and a good sprinkling of cheese, this gets so golden brown in the oven. Imagine coming home to this on a wet, windy autumn night!
Why have a pastry crust when you can use potatoes? It saves calories and we think it’s so much more comforting and filling. We’ve given a traditional pie a potato topped makeover, transforming it into an instant autumn classic.
Our Steak and Pepper Pie is such a hearty dinner. With a rich, spicy sauce inside, this one’s got a bit of a kick to it – just what you need when it’s cold outside.
With mushrooms, carrots and those fluffy spuds on top, this recipe is a hearty, balanced meal all by itself. If you’ve got some extra seasonal vegetables going spare you could serve them on the side for a veggie packed meal that’ll get you on your way to your 5 a day.
Our slimming friendly take on Toad in the Hole might just be our favourite autumn dinner. It’s quick, easy, affordable and, let’s not forget, delicious. A giant Yorkshire pudding, filled with sausages – yes please!
Some recipes really stand the test of time, like this Lancashire Hotpot that’s been passed down from generation to generation. In fact, we’ve barely changed it at all from the original, we’ve just trimmed any visible fat from the lamb to cut down any unnecessary calories.
Unlike similar stews, a hotpot gets baked in the oven, so the layer of thinly sliced potatoes on top gets golden brown and crispy at the edges.
It needs a couple of hours to bubble away and roast all that meat and vegetables, so you can leave it to do its thing in the oven, filling your kitchen with delicious cooking smells.
We especially love to eat it with loads of pickled vegetables. We can’t get enough of pickled red cabbage!
Sometimes you just need something easy for dinner, that you can prep quickly and stick in the oven after a long day. And it doesn’t come much more simple and delicious than this Bacon, Onion and Potato Bake
You only need five ingredients, and this dish will forever remind us of childhood dinners. Layer everything up, top it with cheese and pop it in the oven. We told you it was easy!
There’s no veg in this bake, so a good, hearty serving of whatever vegetables you have laying around is all you need to dish it up with.
Potato, bacon, cheese – what more do you need on a grey autumn afternoon? Plus, leftovers for lunch? Always a good idea!
Here’s a clever idea for you – how about using it instead of pasta to make this veggie-packed Butternut Squash Lasagne?
Cheesy and flavourful, lasagne is a comfort food all year round, but especially when the nights get darker and the weather starts to turn.
This twist on the classic is worth all the effort of peeling and slicing the squash. We’ve even made an aubergine puree that adds so much smoky flavour.
It might take a little longer to prepare than if you used pasta sheets but this bakes in just 45 minutes and it’s under 400 calories a serving. Yum!
Beautiful baked desserts
After one of those hearty dinners you might feel too full for dessert, but if the chilly weather is making you crave something sweet, we’ve got you covered with our favourite autumnal baked treats.
An Apple Strudel with no pastry in sight? We’ve transformed a low calorie tortilla wrap into a beautiful baked dessert that’ll warm you up and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Imagine this served with a good drizzle of hot Custard – perfect for snuggling up with on a cosy night at home.
We can’t talk about autumn treats without mentioning Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween, and this baked dessert deserves to be enjoyed all season long.
We’ve ditched the pastry again in favour of more tortilla wraps – honestly this works so well! It’s easier to make than you might expect, just don’t forget to blind bake the case before adding the filling to make sure you don’t end up with a soggy bottom!
Just 104 calories a slice? We don’t mind if we do!
We’re sticking with the autumn nostalgia theme here, but these Butterscotch Tarts really remind us of school dinner days.
Bitesize but big on flavour, these little treats are perfect for when you just want a taste of something sweet.
You guessed it – there’s no actual pastry again – but these bake in the oven until they’re flaky, with a rich, buttery filling.
With Halloween and Bonfire Night almost upon us, these Toffee Apple Pies feel appropriate. Far less indulgent than the name suggests, these low calorie individual pies are a dreamy dessert, whatever the weather.
Golden, crunchy filo pastry and a rich, caramel infused apple filling? Puddings don’t come much more comforting than this. Drizzle on some Custard and tuck in.
Ready for some Comfort Food?
If all this talk of hearty, warming dishes has got you craving some good old fashioned comfort food, you’re not alone. We love it so much, we’ve dedicated a whole book to it!
So long summer!
With all this yummy food to enjoy, maybe we’re not so sorry to see the back of summer after all. What are your favourite autumnal bakes and roasts?
Head over to our Facebook Group to let us know. You’ll find almost 1 million members who love to share ideas, inspiration and moral support on their slimming journeys.