Seasons & spice pairings: Fall

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons

As much as I love summer and it’s fresh herbs, there’s nothing more comforting this time of year than pumpkins, squashes and warm spices. Instead of posting just one recipe today, we’ve partnered with McCormick’s to share some of my favorite ways to use fall produce with their Gourmet Spices. Most of these are simple non-recipe ideas, so feel free to use these pairings as a jumping off point to get a little creative with your favorite fall fruits and veggies.

Acorn Squash: Roast with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and ground ancho chile or chipotle spices. Stuff with a quinoa or rice pilaf made with a variety of nuts, seeds & dried fruits.

Apples: Slice in half and bake them topped with a quick crumble made from crushed walnuts, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. Or slice them and make apple crisp. Spice it up with ginger and allspice, if you like.

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash: Obviously, you can make pie, but my favorite fall food is soup. Roast pumpkin, apple slices, and onion slices in the oven until soft. Blend with coconut milk, a bit of veggie broth, and spice it up with ground cardamom and freshly grated ginger. (recipe here)

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons

Carrots: Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, with olive oil, salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Remove carrots from the oven when they’re browned and caramelized on the outside, but before they’re mushy on the inside.

Beets: Scrub whole beets and wrap them in foil. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until fork tender. (about 40 minutes, depending on the size of your beets). Remove from oven, let cool, then slide the skin off under running water. Slice and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and ground coriander. For a quick salad, toss them with a splash of balsamic vinegar, bit of honey, and some feta or goat cheese.

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons Cayenne and Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries / @loveandlemons

Sweet potatoes: Make sweet potato fries with a sweet & savory kick using cayenne and saigon cinnamon. Or make a version this sweet potato chile or spiced quesadillas with ground chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of smoked paprika.

Sweet Potato Greens: These soft greens remind me most of spinach or Japanese mizuna greens. Slice them (stems and all), then quickly sauté them in a pan with coconut oil, hot madras curry powder and a splash of coconut milk.

Fall produce and spice pairings / @loveandlemons

This post is in partnership with McCormick. All thoughts, words and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Love & Lemons!


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  1. Carrots/sweet potatoes and cumin are one of my favorite flavor combos. Yum!

  2. Ania from

    I am really loving this post.

  3. Butternut and cardamom, beets and coriander, carrots and cumin. These warming spice combos are why I love fall too. But I hadn’t thought of the butternut and cardamom pairing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Allison from

    this post is making me salivate just at the thought of all of these wonderful flavor combinations!

  5. What a great post! Thank you for the inspiration! Headed to the farmer’s market in a few hours, I think I’m going to have to pick up some acorn squash!

  6. okay, this is a revolutionary post. Thank you for sharing this! I grew up in Florida where everything was available all year round as the weather never changed. Now that I’ve moved to London, it’s all about eating the seasons. I actually spent my lunch hour yesterday saving a few recipes including some of yours! xx

  7. Nadja from

    This is brilliant! I have never thought of these combinations 🙂
    And lovely pictures too

  8. Kristen from

    I am really loving all of these beautiful seasonal ideas!

  9. This is awesome! Bookmarking this page for reference for all my fall cooking and baking 🙂

  10. oni from

    great post! it gives me some great ideas for when i hit up the farmers market in sunday. I had no idea Mccormicks made a hot madras curry powder

  11. All these pairings sound delicious! I can’t wait to fill up on yummy roasted fall produced!

  12. Amanda from

    Oh wow, I adore this post Jeanine, I am in love with eating seasonally and I should really work on getting more into beets and soups. For some reason soups just seem weird to me. Although I am a frequent smoothie drinker… my goal this autumn is to make your ginger-apple pumpkin soup! YUMM

    • jeanine

      Thanks Amanda – hope you like the soup!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.