The first day of fall has arrived! As the leaves turn from green to gold, the air becomes crisp and cool, and the days get shorter, there’s nothing better than cozying up with a warm meal and enjoying good conversation with the ones you love. With the first day of this new season falling in the last weeks of September’s National Family Meals Month celebrations, there’s no better time to enjoy delicious, homemade meals with family and friends.

Cooking and eating together as a family can not only help your family grow closer by giving you more opportunities to share stories and bond, but it can also impact your physical health by improving nutrition and reducing stress. And what better way to enjoy family meals than by taking them outdoors? Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a barbecue in the backyard, or a campfire in the woods, eating outside can make any meal more fun and memorable.

Fall is definitely the coziest season, and you can enhance the cozy atmosphere even more by decorating your home together and adding some fall table decor like candles, pumpkins, or dried leaves. This can create a festive mood that brings everyone together to enjoy great food and even better company, but that’s just the start!

You can also create new fall traditions with your family by trying fun new recipes, activities, or themes for your outdoor meals. Make a tradition out of spending the first day of fall on a family hike in the woods ー complete with a picnic of course! Or, you can say goodbye to summer with a fall barbecue featuring Craft House Collection® vegetables like Aurora Long Sweet Peppers and Baby Eggplants. You could welcome the cooler weather and long fall nights with a cozy campfire under the stars with hot chocolate, marshmallows, and spooky stories. However you choose to spend the first day of fall, it’s time well spent when you’re together!

Five Fall Family Recipes

With fall beginning and for National Family Meals Month in full swing, you need some fresh fall recipes! The weather may be getting cooler, but luckily you can still enjoy all the fresh flavors of Pure Flavor® greenhouse veggies, which are grown 365 days a year in state-of-the-art greenhouses. These veggies are always crisp, juicy, and delicious, no matter what season it is. You can use them to create amazing dishes that will warm up your body and soul. Here are some of our favorite fall family recipes full of fresh and healthy veggies.

Oriana® Harvest Skillet

If you’re looking for a warm and hearty dish that celebrates the best of fall, try the Oriana® Harvest Skillet. This recipe features Oriana® Orange Grape Tomatoes, which add a burst of juiciness to the savory flavors of bacon, onion, and Sweet Bell Peppers. Pecans, dried cranberries, and thyme give this hearty side dish (or breakfast dish!) a festive touch.

Sweet Pepper Cornbread

There’s nothing better than fresh, homemade cornbread in the fall, but this is no ordinary cornbread recipe: it’s loaded with chopped Red Sweet Bell Peppers and shredded Monterey Jack cheese, which add a smoky sweetness to every bite. The peppers also give the cornbread a beautiful color that pops on an outdoor harvest table, making it a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. This cornbread is perfect for serving with Chili Stuffed Peppers, Sweet Potato & Roasted Pepper Soup, and many more savory fall favorites.

Baked Cheddar Tomato Artichoke Dip

This dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a cozy campfire or watching Sunday night football with your friends. It’s creamy, cheesy, and packed with flavor from fresh Luna® Sweets Cocktail Tomatoes. These tomatoes have a delicate, sweet flavor that perfectly complements the tangy artichokes, nutty pesto, and irresistable cheddar cheese. This dip is easy to make and can be served with corn tortillas, pitas, or grilled sourdough bread for dipping.

Tomato Eggplant & Chickpea Stew

On a chilly fall day, nothing beats a hearty and delicious stew that showcases the amazing flavor of RedRoyals® Cherry Tomatoes On-The-Vine, Craft House Collection® Baby Eggplants, and Roma Tomatoes. The RedRoyals® are majestically sweet with an unmistakable flavor that creates an experience that no other stew can rival. Full of lean protein, vitamins and minerals, this satisfying dinner will replenish a large group after a fall family hike.

Tomato & Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Mac n Cheese is the ultimate fall comfort food, but it can also be a healthy and delicious dish with some simple tweaks. This recipe features Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes, bite-sized snacking tomatoes that brighten up the bowl with vibrant, next-level sweetness. Butternut squash adds a creamy, smooth texture to the cheese sauce ー not to mention unmistakeable fall flavorー while also providing some fiber and vitamin A to keep everyone feeling great this fall.

You can find more fresh new fall recipes by visiting our recipes page and explore more family dinner and snack ideas on our National Family Meals Month page. You can always stay up to date and get the latest recipes by signing up for our newsletter.