Let’s face it, the motivation for doing quite frankly anything other than the bare minimum seriously subsides when the cold weather hits, and cooking might feel like one task too many at the end of a cold, long day. But despite the pull to cosy up in bed with the Deliveroo app and yet another episode of Married At First Sight UK, the benefits of a home-cooked meal that provides a well-needed dose of comfort cannot be underestimated. Food is healing, and having a repertoire of go-to dinners that bring a welcome sense of ease on a rainy day is a self-care hack you’ll be forever grateful for.
Consider these TikTok* recipes the ultimate additions to this category, from goats cheese and veggie orzo to loaded nachos (with an extra helping of guac, please), add these to your saved folder and revisit in time for your next weekly shop…
*Ps. Did you know Zoella is now on TikTok?! Follow us at @zoella and enjoy our Brighton hidden gem recommendations, delicious recipes, fashion and beauty shares and more of our regular lifestyle content in video form. See you there!
Tomato Soup and The Ultimate Cheese Toastie
Is it even autumn if you’re not eating soup for at least 3 out of 5 of your weekday office lunches? Didn’t think so. Tomato soup may feel like the vanilla ice cream of the lunch world, but watch this video literally once and tell us you don’t want to devour it immediately. It’s not possible. Garlicky, herby and packed with flavour, the only way this soup could level up is with the addition of a cheesetastic toastie to wipe your bowl clean with- oh wait, it includes that as well! Nice. Simple but delicious comfort food is our autumn meal inspiration this cosy season.
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Autumn, consider it completed once you’ve made these caramel apple cinnamon rolls of dreams. Gooey, fluffy and quite frankly a sweet tooth lover’s wet dream, they’re easy to make and bound to wow your friends/family/partner/colleagues. Sharp apple perfectly balances the sweetness of the irresistible caramel drizzle, creating the perfect Sunday snack for movie marathons, afternoons in bed or rainy days that require a sugary pick-me-up.
Autumn Harvest Salad
Thought salads were just for summer? You thought wrong. This perfectly seasonal salad is the epitome of autumn in a bowl, combining all the most delicious parts of this season’s produce to create a meal that ticks both the healthy and fulfilling boxes. It’s a win-win! Combining caramelised squash, quinoa, feta, sweet pecans and an apple cider vinaigrette, this is the dish to make if you’re struggling to get into the autumn spirit.
Creamy Tomato Rigatoni
‘Tis the season for indulging in all of your favourite things, and a big ol’ bowl of pasta is surely high on the list of foods that deliver a serious dose of dopamine and fast. Striking the perfect balance of spice (thanks to the hit of chilli) with a creamy, moreish sauce, this recipe is so simple yet satisfying that it’s sure to become a new staple in your weekly meal rotation. Bellissimo!
French Onion Soup
Café de Flore, who? Fancy channelling Parisian vibes from the comfort of your own home? This French Onion Soup is as comforting as it gets for the autumn season ahead, and a guaranteed winner when coming in from a rainy, cold day- the copious amounts of onion and cheese may have something to do with its appeal…
For those who struggle with organisation or love a weekend batch cooking session, prepare a big portion of this recipe at the start of the season and relish in the fact you have a go-to dinner ready to be defrosted for up to 3 months afterwards. Simply add fresh bread to your bowl when serving and voila, that midweek lull of meal inspiration just vanished.
Chilli Garlic Noodles
POV: you’re sad and food is your love language. Add some heat to an otherwise cold week and revel in the joy that is a steaming bowl of deliciousness when life feels hard with this quick and easy chilli, garlic noodle dish. Sure it takes a little more effort than some beans on toast, but the satisfaction that comes from practising self-care even when you don’t feel like it might be motivation enough for you to rescue the Udon noodles currently collecting dust in your cupboard…
Vegan Green Chilli
If the cost of living means a takeaway is off the cards, consider this green vegan curry your new go-to. Made with a creamy coconut base, crispy tofu and moreish noodles, it’s the perfect balance of healthy, delicious and simple, aka the ideal combo for your meat free Monday meal.
Korean Comfort Bowl
Any dish with sticky rice is a winner for us, and this Korean comfort bowl is the true definition of a winter warmer. For the airfryer kings and queens out there, this recipe makes for the perfect opportunity to crisp your tofu to God tier status, and further the debate of whether you realistically ever need to use your oven ever again…
The peak of vegan food made easy!
For the days when the motivation to get in the kitchen is somewhat more present, grab your biggest pan and prepare for your home to be filled with the delicious aromas of Moroccan Loubia. This traditional dish is based around the humble white bean which creates the base for the dish, typically seasoned with cumin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, making it perfect for the autumn/winter season. Enjoy!
Vegan Sausage and Lentils
If your go-to bangers and mash is serving 0/10 excitement this autumn, consider this one pot dish the ultimate level up. Start with your veggie or meat sausages depending on your preference, add lentils and potato to a flavoursome tomato base and devour with as much crispy bread as you desire. Heads up- don’t wear white whilst eating.
Orange Chicken and Sticky Rice
Panda Express has made its way into your kitchen thanks to this easy, addictive Orange Chicken recipe that will leave you questioning if it’s socially acceptable to eat the same meal 5 days in a row…
Sweet, sticky and tangy, this is one of the easier Chinese style takeout dishes to recreate at home, and is sure to be a hit whether you’re cooking for one or need a recipe guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.
Goats Cheese and Grilled Vegetable Orzo
It’s simply not possible to get bored of pasta, but if by some miracle you’re feeling like changing things up then consider this your reminder to add some orzo to your next weekly shop. This creamy dish combines flavours of sweet, grilled vegetables, tangy goats cheese and warm toasty, nutty brown butter and fresh basil, for a meal that’s both satisfying and includes multiple of your 5 a day- it’s a win-win!
The Ultimate Loaded Nachos
The ultimate in ‘can’t be bothered to cook but still craving a hot meal’ recipes, you can’t go far wrong with a bowl of loaded nachos in the world of comfort food. The main requirements of a successful loaded nacho dish undoubtedly include a plentiful serving of cheese and guacamole, but ultimately can be customised with whichever toppings take your fancy. Bon appétit!
Creamy Mushroom Toast
Mushroom haters, prepare to be converted. This creamy, 5 ingredient mushroom toast is fast food made healthy, making it the perfect go-to for time crunch moments, or occasions when you’re bordering on the hangry end of the hunger spectrum- it’s not a fun place to be. Opt for sourdough for the ultimate crunch factor and say hello to your new obsession!
Which recipe is on top of your ‘to try’ list this autumn?