Seasonal October dishes

October foods in season and what to cook with them

October calls for comforting and hearty meals, like soups, stews and casseroles, to warm up on colder days and nights. We take a look at what produce is at its best this month and pick our favourite recipes to make.


With Halloween at the end of the month, it's time to eat (and carve) pumpkins, while a wide variety of squashes, including butternut squash, are available too.

When it comes to greens, look out for broccoli, cabbage, kale, leek and sprouts, while root vegetables such as swede, parsnip, celeriac, carrots, potatoes and turnips are slowly starting to take centre stage. It's also a good time to buy and cook with aubergine, celery and beetroot. A lot of hardy herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage are also at their best in autumn, as well as chestnuts and hazelnuts. 

Wild mushrooms and truffles are arguably at their peak but, as ever, make sure you know what you're looking for if you're foraging.

Creamy mushroom soup

Kung pao roasted broccoli

Roasted spicy squash, nuts and beans

Pearl barley and kale broth

Golden squash curry

Golden pumpkin curryMandalay/Bloomsbury


Game season continues into October so grouse, guinea fowl, pheasant and wood pigeon are all in plentiful supply while venison is starting to make an appearance. It's also time for autumn lamb which has a beautiful depth of flavour, perfect for Sunday roasts. October's chillier days are extremely well-suited to cooking hearty meals with duck and goose. 

Lamb tagine

Classic Burmese pork curry

Confit duck tacos with corn and mushroom salsa

Pot-roasted guinea fowl with wild mushrooms, prunes and thyme

Chicken thighs with red onion, apple and chestnuts

Chicken thighs with red onion, apple and chestnutsEat to Beat Illness/Harper Thorsons


October sees the end of the mackerel season and catches of the month include lemon sole, monkfish, plaice and red mullet. Shellfish-wise, go for crab and oysters. October also marks the return of mussels which are now in season until late spring. 

New England clam chowder

Tangy seafood stew

Turmeric and lime mussel broth

Harissa and lemon baked fish with cous cous

Smoky bean and monkfish stew

Monkfish stewThe Flexible Pescatarian/White Lion Publishing


Apples, pears and quince are at their best in October, and it's your last chance to use up the last of the blackberries, figs and plums. Cranberries start to appear on shelves towards the end of the month.

If you're out and about in the countryside, look for sloes in the hedgerows to use for sloe gin, jelly or syrup.

Pumpkin pie

Apple and cheese spelt bun

Quince clafoutis

Caramelised fig semolina loaf

Plum, blackberry and bay friand bake

Plum, blackberry and bay friand bakeOttolenghi Simple/Ebury Press


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