October is officially here and, even though we’re all about Halloween, our sights are set on Thanksgiving, Christmas and all those other everyday reasons to cook up a cozy dinner that come along with colder weather. For this quartet of culinary goodness, we teamed up with Target Wedding Registry to create four vegetarian takes on our favorite comfort foods. And guess what? They’re all super easy to make and re-bake, so happen to be perfect for folks who like to plan ahead.

If you’re getting married in the near future or have wedding gift shopping on your list of to-dos, kitchen staples like a Dutch oven, muffin pans, bake-and-store glassware and a solid cast iron skillet are essential. They’re tools that last a lifetime, and only get better with age :)

Muffin Pan Veggie Pot Pies


– 2 tablespoons salted butter

– 1 yellow onion, chopped

– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

– 2 cups vegetable broth

– 3/4 cup whole milk

– 1 1/2 cups celery, diced

– 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced

– 1 cup peas

– 1 1/2 cups baby gold potatoes, diced

– 1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, diced

– salt and pepper, to taste

– 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

– 1 egg, beaten

– puff pastry, defrosted


Calphalon Jumbo Muffin Pan ($19)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a jumbo muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter to the pan. Add the onions and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour. Whisk. Slowly whisk in the milk and vegetable broth. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and peas.

Stir to combine. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley. Mix to combine.

Lightly flour your work surface, and gently unfold one puff pastry sheet. Roll out the dough into a 15 by 15 inch square. Cut into 6 squares. Place one square in each of the muffin pan cups. Spoon the pot pie filling into the muffin pan cups. Gently fold the puff pastry over the filling. Brush each pot pie with the egg wash and bake for 25 minutes, until golden.

Let cool 5 minutes. Enjoy!


Savory Feta Spinach Strata


– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– 1 yellow onion, chopped

– 1 16-oz package frozen spinach, thawed

– salt and pepper, to taste

– 8 eggs

– 1 1/4 cups whole milk

– 2 baguettes, cut into 1-inch cubes

– 1 ½ cups shredded swiss cheese

– 3 cups crumbled feta cheese


Pyrex Bake and Store 19-Piece Set ($50)

First off, what is strata? It is a make-ahead breakfast type dish that resembles a casserole crossed with a savory bread pudding. Since we’re all about eating breakfast for dinner, this also happens to make a great side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Let cool 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Fold in the spinach mixture.

Place half of the bread into a 13×9-inch baking dish. Top with spinach mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup swiss cheese and 1 cup feta cheese.

Top with remaining bread mixture. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover and refrigerate overnight (or let stand 30 minutes).

Bake for 55 minutes, or until set. Enjoy!

Look at all that melted cheese and bread…. mmm :)

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili


– 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– 1 yellow onion, chopped

– 4 cloves garlic, chopped

– 1 green bell pepper, chopped

– 1 red bell pepper, chopped

– 2 large zucchini, chopped

– 1/2 tablespoon cumin

– 1/2 tablespoon paprika

– 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

– salt and pepper, to taste

– 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

– 1 14-oz can cannellini beans

– 1 14-oz can red kidney beans

– 1 14-oz can black beans

– 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

– Optional garnish: avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips


Tramontina 5.5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven ($100)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped green bell pepper, red bell pepper and zucchini.

Time to add the spice! Add cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Add vegetable broth and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top with sour cream and avocado. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Skillet Mac and Cheese


– 1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente

– 4 tablespoons salted butter

– ½ yellow onion, chopped

– 4 tablespoons flour

– 3 cups whole milk

– 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped

– salt and pepper, to taste

– 3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

– 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

– 1 cup Parmesan cheese


Calphalon 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet ($20)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta al dente. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter to the pan. Add the onions and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour. Whisk. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Add cheddar cheese. Whisk until melted.

Pour cheese mixture over the pasta. Coat evenly.

Pour mac and cheese back into the skillet. In a small bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs and Parmesan. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

Let cool 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Who can ever say no to mac and cheese, anyway? ;)

Each of these would make a great main dish or side to any fall feast, and the leftovers are perfect for lunch!

What are your favorite make-ahead recipes for fall and winter? Talk to us in the comments below.

This post is a collaboration with Target Wedding Registry.