6 Budget-Friendly And Hearty Autumn Recipes

As the cooler months move in, autumn is the perfect time for warm, hearty, home-cooked meals to keep you cosy and warm on a chilly, autumn day. And when it comes to cooking, autumn is the best time to grab the be ingredients to work with, from pumpkins, carrots, potatoes, kale, and turnips.

Unfortunately, cooking hearty home-cooked meals isn’t always a cheap endeavour, especially if you’re forced to purchase out-of-season ingredients or an array of spices all for one recipe.

However, cooking a healthy home-cook meal doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Use up the last of your summer ingredients and get your cupboards ready to embrace the new season. Here are 6 budget-friendly and hearty autumn recipes that are delicious, and easy to whip up, while staying on a budget…your wallet will thank you later!

Chicken Pot Pie

I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about a chicken pot pie that screams comfort food – especially when it’s chilly and miserable day outside – also this recipe uses shop brought ingredients including, cooked chicken, autumn season veg and mixed herbs.

Serving Size:
6 – 8
1hr 45mins


  • Cooked whole chicken or 8 chicken breasts
  • 110g butter, a little more to grease the baking dish
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 95g plain flour
  • 720ml chicken stock
  • 60ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped


  • 255g butter, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 375g plain flour, a little more for surface
  • 120ml ice water, a little more if needed
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. To make the dough, start by placing the flour and butter into the freezer for 30 mins before making the crust mixture. After 30 mins, remove the flour and butter from the freezer. Place the flour, baking and salt into the food processor and pulse until combined. Then add in the butter and pulse until it forms into pea-size or slightly larger pieces. While the machine is running, add in the ice water – 1 tbsp at a time – until the dough comes together and is moist but not wet and sticky.
  2. Dust a coating of flour on a flat kitchen surface and turn the dough, before forming the dough into 2 balls and then flatten it into 2 discs – make sure it doesn’t crack. Cover the dough discs in cling film and refrigerate for a least 30 minutes.
  3. If you are not using cooked chicken, you will need to bake your raw chicken breast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at a 180c fan before going any further. Place your raw chicken breast in a greased baking dish with butter, also grease one side of your large piece of parchment paper and season the chicken with salt and pepper well. Once cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting it into cubes.
  4. While you waiting for the chicken to cook, you can start on the filling. Firstly, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Then add in the onions, and carrots and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften or for about 10 mins. Stir in the garlic and flour and cook until the mixture becomes golden and starts to bubble.
  5. Then gradually whisk in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil – continue to cook until it’s become thickened – for about 5 minutes, then stir in the double cream, cooked chicken, peas, parsley and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Lastly, assemble the pie; roll out the disc of dough [one at a time] on a lightly floured surface, into a large round 1/2 cm [1/4″] thick. Place the roll out dough into a shallow pie dish and spoon in the filling and then place the pie top, trim and crimp the edges. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  7. Reduce the heat of your oven to 190°c and bake the pie until the crust is golden brown or for about 45 minutes. Allow cooling for at least 15 minutes before you serve.

Side not: you don’t have to make you own pie crust, you can opt for shop brought puff pastry to so save on time.

Cauliflower and Smoked Cheddar Soup

Serving Size:
25 mins


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 cups vegtable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup double cream or extra thick cream
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets, extra
  • 1/2 cup basil sprigs

Smoked Almond Pesto

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup smoked almonds, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 60g baby rocket


  1. Heat half the oil and all the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic, cook and stir for 5 mins or until the onion softens. Then add in the cauliflower and stock, and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower becomes very tender. [Occassionally stir to avoid the mixture sticking] Then remove the mixture from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In the meantime, start prepping the smoked almond pesto by placing basil, almond, garlic, rocket and parmesan into a food processor or blend in a bowl with a handled blender. Whilst blending, add in the oil in a thin, steady stream until it’s well combined and season well.
  3. With a handled blender, blend the cauliflower mixture in a pan until it’s very smooth. Add in the cheddar and cream, and stir until the cheddar melts. Heat the mixture over a low heat, cook for 1-2 mins or until it’s heated through and season well.
  4. In a frying pan, heat the remaining oil over high heat, then add in the extra cauliflower and cook for 2-3 mins on each side or until golden brown.
  5. Divide the soup mixture evenly, among the serving bowls. Drizzle with pesto, top with fired cauliflower and sprinkle with basil.

Sticky Chicken and Plum Tray Bake

Serving Size:
50 minutes


  • 1/4 cup plum sauce
  • 1kg chicken drumsticks
  • 2tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2tsp chinese five spice
  • 4 plums, halved, stonned
  • 1 bunch pak choy, halved lengthways
  • rice, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c. Cut 2 slits in the thickest part of each chicken drumstick and place into a bowl, before adding in the plum sauce, ginger and five spice. Toss to coat evenly.
  2. Line your baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the chicken and mixture, and bake for 35 mins or until it’s golden brown and cooked through. Also, remember to turn over the chicken drumstick occasionally.
  3. Add the plum to the chicken mixture on the tray and bake for 10 minutes or until the plums become tender. Then add the pak choy onto the tray and bake for 2 minutes or until the choy wilts.
  4. In the meantime, boil the rice for 15-25 minutes. Once everything is cooked, serve the chicken and mixture immediately with rice.

Slow-cooker Smoky Pulled Chicken

Slow cooker season all year round – this light and bright smoky pulled chicken breast recipe is good.

Serving Size:


  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3tbsp ground coriander
  • 250ml [1 cup] massel chicken style liquid stock
  • 1tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2tbsp brown sugar


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned, before transferring the chicken into the slow cooker.
  2. Add the chopped onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until softened, then add in the garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and coriander and continue to stir. Pour in the stock, then add in the passata and chipotle and bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken and cook in the slow cooker on low for 3hrs or until the chicken becomes tender.
  3. Once the chicken is tender, place it onto a plate and set aside to cool slightly. Shred the chicken using a fork and then return the chicken to the slow cooker, stir through the sugar, and serve.

Side note: This filling is for tacos in mini tortillas and topped with lettuce, cucumber, sliced tomotoes. Also you can serve it with steamed rice of use as a filling for pies.

One-pot Mexican Pork

Looking for a fuss-free, midweek, one pot meal which isn’t boring and instead super tasty. Try this easy to follow mexican pork taco bowl, that’s filled with pork mince, sweet potato and rice. Yum, Yum!!

Serving Size:
20 minutes


  • 500g pork mince
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 30g sachet taco seasoning
  • 375g chunky salsa
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 400g caned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander leave
  • 200g tortilla crisps [optional]
  • 200g sour cream
  • brown rice, to serve


  1. Heat a dash of oil in a large saucepan and cook the mince for about 7-8 mins or until browned. Then add in the sweet potato and pepper. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until softened slightly. [Make sure to stir often so the potato and pepper don’t stick to the bottom]
  2. Add in the taco seasoning, salsa, beans and 1/2 cup of water. Bring it all to a boil, before reducing the heat and simmering [while continuing to stir] for 5 mins or until thickened.
  3. Lastly, top the Mexican pork with onion, coriander and tortilla crisps. Serve with sour cream and rice.

One-pot Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

Serving Size:
35 mins


  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped [plus a little more for garnish]
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1lb mince beef
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • spaghetti [approx half a pack]
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Tomato paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c. Place the garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion, egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl and stir until combined, before adding in the minced beef and mixing by hand until incorporated.
  2. With the beef, from 1″ meatballs and place on a baking lined baking tray or in a greased casserole dish [The meatballs can be touching] and lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 mins.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth, combine tomato paste and water and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Reduce the heat and stir in the spaghetti and cooked meatballs. Simmer gently for about 10-12 mins or until the spaghetti becomes tender. Lastly, stir in parmesan, and garnish with basil and more parmesan if needed. and serve. Bon appetite!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and found a little inspiration for different cosy, home-cooked autumn recipes that are both budget-friendly and super quick and easy to whip up. Please feel free to share what you favourite or go-to autumn recipes, in the comments below or over on my Instagram @leannemariedenton.

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