What to cook in October: Big warming batches to come home to

After a day spent outdoors, there's nothing better than lots of lentils, pots of sauce, and all the apples.

After a day spent outdoors, there's nothing better than lots of lentils, pots of sauce, and all the apples

(Credit, left: Dennis The Prescott; middle: right: Christian Lacroix; right: Betty Binon)

The way we see it, October is the month to spend time outdoors because it won't be long before we need to bundle up a whole lot more to do so. So in anticipation of the hours we'll spend enjoying brisk walks or jogs; taking in the foliage; picking apples from orchards; cozying up to bonfires; or just hanging out in the park with a Thermos of something seasonal, we've rounded up some recipes that are perfect to come home to. And by that we mean: bring on the warm, seasonal batch cooks!

This month, we recommend meals that you cook once and enjoy for a few days: big batches of proteins, grains and legumes, with sauces to pair as you please, along with soups and stews, casseroles, tray bakes and warming bowls. A little extra work upfront will leave you with satisfying leftovers to reheat when you come in from the fresh air — and help you out if you're continuing to find your back-to-school-and-work groove. Plus, some of autumn's main yields (bushels of apples, all the gourds) are ideal for cooking up in batches. In-season produce like squash, broccoli and root vegetables make for energizing sustenance too. 

The dishes below can be scaled up as needed if you want an even bigger batch for the week. And we haven't forgotten about dessert. You'll spot some recipes that incorporate apples, pears, pumpkins and butternut squash, and will hold up for a couple of days after baking… if they last that long. 

Root Vegetable Stew with Rosemary Garlic Baguette

(Photo credit: Dennis The Prescott)

Delicata Squash and Italian Sausage Bake

(Photography by Betty Binon)

Hot or Cold Beet-Fennel Soup 

(Photography by Ellen Silverman)

Brown Rice, Chicken and Butternut Squash Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

(Photography by Gabriel Cabrera)

Sweet Potato, Coconut and Ginger Soup

Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Cheese Toasts 

Lentil Shepherd's Pie 

Khorak Bademjoon — Eggplant Stew 

(Photography by Betty Binon)

Grandma Gretzky's Great Perogies 

(Credit: Klorofil Publishing)

Parsnip and Heirloom Carrot Tart 

Vegan Potato, Leek & Artichoke Chowder

(Photography by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews)

No-Fry Eggplant Parmesan

(Credit: Allison Day)

Miso Soup with Root Vegetables 

(Credit: Meg Tanaka and Zenta Tanaka)

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese

Dal aur Sabzi: Lentils with Roasted Carrots and Kale 

(Photo: Shayma Owaise Saadat)

Turkey Roast with Cranberries

(Credit: Christian Lacroix)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Half a Pear Crumble

(Credit: Hungry Gap Productions Ltd.)

Apple Cheddar Pie 

(Photography by Marcella DiLonardo)

Classic Pumpkin Pie 

(Photography by Betty Binon)

Cranberry Apple Candied Ginger Pie 

(Copyright 2018 David Bagosy Photography)

Butternut Squash Pie with Oat Crust

(Photography by Rachel Conners)

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