Seasonal October dishes

Updated on 03 October 2022

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.

Vegetables

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

When it comes to greens, look out for broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks and sprouts, while root vegetables such as swedes, parsnips, celeriac, carrots, potatoes and turnips are slowly starting to take centre stage. It's also a good time to buy and cook with aubergines, 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 at this time of year but, as ever, make sure you know what you're looking for if you're foraging.

Butternut squash, sage and Comté risotto

Creamy kale and celeriac

Stuffed aubergines in coconut dal

Pumpkin gnocchi with almond pesto

Creamy mushroom soup

Creamy mushroom soup (Image: Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD)Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Meat

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

Braised lamb with sweet potato

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

Rabbit tagliatelle

Chicken soup and dumplings

Venison sausage and wild mushroom traybake

Venison sausage and wild mushroom traybake (Image: The Dorset Meat Company/loveFOOD)The Dorset Meat Company/loveFOOD

Seafood

October sees the end of mackerel season. Catches of the month include cod, 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. 

Smoky bean and monkfish stew

Chunky fish soup

Mussels in beer with chilli jam

Roasted cod with a coriander crust

Coconut fish curry

Coconut fish curry (Image: Asma's Indian Kitchen/Pavilion Foods)Asma's Indian Kitchen/Pavilion Foods

Fruit

Apples, pears and quinces 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.

Spiced pumpkin, olive oil and orange cake

Pear and prune cobbler

Quince clafoutis

Fig and almond tart

Brioche frangipane apple pudding

Brioche frangipane apple pudding (Image: Simple Comforts/BBC Books)Simple Comforts/BBC Books

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