Monthly Menu: October

October has arrived! Pumpkins are scattered throughout the house, I picked up a couple new sweaters in anticipation of cooler days and I couldn’t wait to include fall flavors into this month’s menu. A big batch of homemade spaghetti sauce and hearty beef and bean chili are our most anticipated recipes this month. My husband always volunteers to keep an eye on the simmering pot while he enjoys Sunday football. If you don’t have the luxury of staying near the stove all day, consider transferring your sauces, soups and stews that require lengthy simmering time to a slow cooker.

This month I included plenty of dinner ideas that are easy to prepare when you are short on time. I noted whenever I was able to take advantage of a recipe shortcut, leftovers, or pre-prepared items. I also included a fun Halloween themed dinner that is ideal for a group of Trick or Treaters. Serve it with a side of these silly apple bites.

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Week #1

Trader Joe's seasonal favorite

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli: quick & easy, meatless

Smothered Burritos: slow cooker meal

Chicken Parmesan: quick & easy

Soy & Cola Pork Shoulder: slow cooker meal

English Muffin Pizza: customizable, quick & easy

Note: This is a great meal to schedule on a date night when you need something simple for the babysitter and/or kids to prepare.

Recipe: Split English muffin in half and toast. Spread marinara sauce (use leftover sauce from Wednesday night’s dinner) on each half. Place fresh mozzarella and halved cherry tomatoes on top. Broil until melted. Finish with roughly chopped fresh basil. (customize by adding/subtracting pizza toppings to please different tastes).

Apple, Chicken, Bacon Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette: new to me recipe

Week # 2

Farfalle with Butternut Squash: meat free, quick & easy

Crispy Tacos: family favorite, customizable

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole: make ahead

Note: I use rotisserie chicken and Trader Joe’s frozen Rice Medley and frozen Jasmine Rice to save time when making this casserole.

Herb Rubbed Pork with Squash & Grapes: gluten free

Steak & Roquefort Pear Salad: family favorite

Chili & Cornbread: slow cooker

Week #3

Sun-Dried Tomato and Mushroom Pasta: meat free

Tamales: quick & easy.

Note: Pick up a package of your pre-made tamales at your local farmer’s marketer grocery store. Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.

Chicken Noodle Hold the Soup: family favorite

Costco Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas Nachos: customizable

Recipe: Layer tortilla chips with carnitas, black beans, corn and shredded cheese. Broil until cheese has melted. Top with chopped tomatoes and avocado.

Chili Mac: quick & easy

Recipe: Reheat 2 cups of leftover chili. Boil 8 oz. of macaroni. Combine chili with cooked macaroni. (optional: top with shredded cheese)

Spaghetti Sauce: Slow cooker

Week # 4

Autumnal Havest Creamy Pasta: meatless, quick & easy

Note: brown sweet Italian sausage and add to sauce for a heartier meal. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan

Taco Casserole: gluten free

Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes: gluten Free

Pork Chop with Apples and Polenta: new to me

Chicken Marsala: family favorite

Crescent Mummy Dogs: festive

What fall meals are you craving this month? Use THIS blank monthly menu to customize a plan that best meets your own needs. 


  1. Malu

    October 1, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Love seeing your addition of meatless Monday recipes. Also I really like the idea of a theme like Mexican food on Tuesdays. Probably gives more sanity to meal prepping.

    1. M. Parker

      October 2, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you! Yes, having some sort of daily theme takes a little bit of the guesswork out of figuring out what to have for dinner. Please share any of your favorite meatless meals.

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