Autumn recipes: 5 tasty vegetarian dishes that use harvest produce

Whip up these delicious autumn recipes that make the most of your veg plot's autumn harvest

Autumn recipes
(Image credit: National Trust)

If you are looking for some tasty autumn recipes that really make the most of homegrown veg, you are in the right place. These mouthwatering vegetarian meal ideas will let your autumn harvest shine – what better a way to honour the fruits (and veg) of your labour?

While you might still be enjoying the last of the productive summer crops, such as courgettes and cucumbers, early autumn vegetables, including pumpkins, leeks and kale, can also be harvested from this month. See some fantastic ways to cook them below. From a filling quiche to cheddar and tomato muffins – perfect for the kids' lunchboxes – you are sure to find a new crowdpleaser.

Read on to see five great recipes, then for more meal inspiration and ideas, head to our food hub.

So, put on your pinny, head out to the garden, and gather your ingredients for these tasty autumn recipes created by the chefs at the National Trust, which are sure to be a hit with the whole family.

1. Crustless quiche with roasted beetroot, kale and brie

autumn recipes beetroot, kale and brie quiche

(Image credit: National Trust)

This recipe is not only a seasonal, colourful delight, packed full of the first of the autumn vegetables, but is great if you are gluten-free as it is a no pastry quiche. 

Added to which, this brie quiche is fairly quick and easy to make, with prep time 30 minutes and cooking time 30–40 minutes.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 360g sweet potato, grated 
  • 1 medium egg 
  • 50g cheddar cheese 
  • Pinch chilli flakes 
  • Pinch salt 
  • Pinch cracked black pepper 
  • 1tsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil 

For the filling:

  • 600g beetroot, scrubbed
  • 10 ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 200g red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 100g kale, thinly sliced
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 150g brie, cubed

For the custard:

  • 5 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 50ml double cream
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cracked black pepper
  • 100g brie, cubed

Method

For the crust of this crustless quiche:

1. Place the grated sweet potato in a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. 

2. Place in a mixing bowl and add the egg, cheese and chilli with a little salt and pepper, mix well. 

Autumn's harvest

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

The kitchen gardens at National Trust properties are a source of inspiration for what you can grow in your own veg plot. As we enter autumn, Kate Nicoll, garden training specialist, advises on what to harvest: 

Beetroot, carrots and potatoes, should be full-size and ready to be pulled up. In October, lift any still in the ground before the frosts arrive and store in a cool and dry place, or in a garden shed for use through the rest of the season. 

Parsnips can stay in the ground for longer as they are frost hardy, but any ready can be brought to the surface.

Summer cabbages should be harvested before the onset of winter.

Tomatoes need picking and used in September or early October, before the cooler mornings. Keep harvesting once fully ripe, but when reduced light levels prevent them turning red, pick them while still green to ripen indoors or turn into a chutney. 

Pumpkins and squash should be developed and formed by now. The large fruits do best with a piece of tile or slate placed underneath them as they grow to help keep the skin clean and dry. Leave them to swell and colour-up for as long as possible. Keep an eye out for heavy rain and frosty mornings. When ready to harvest, cut leaving a piece of the stem attached and leave to cure somewhere dry and sunny.

3. Brush the base and sides of a loose-bottomed sandwich tin (23cm) with the oil. Press the potato mix into the tin, making sure it’s of even thickness and well pressed. Save a little mix for filling any holes. 

4. Place in the oven at 170ºC fan /190º/Gas 5 and cook for around 15 minutes until the potato is set and slightly crisp around the edges. Check for any holes or cracks and patch them accordingly. 

For the filling:

1. Place the beetroot on a tray, add a little water and then wrap it in foil. Place in the oven at 170ºC fan/190ºC/Gas 5 and bake for around 1 hour until soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 

2. Rub the skins off the beetroot and cut into small, bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. 

3. Place a pan over a high heat, add the oil and onions and fry until colouring. 

4. Place the kale into boiling water for 5 minutes, drain in a colander and leave to dry. 

5. Place the beetroot, onions, kale, rosemary and brie in a bowl and mix together gently but well. Pour into the case and shake gently to level. 

For the custard:

1. Whisk the eggs, milk and cream together, season well and pour over the mix in the case. 

2. Scatter over the remaining brie and place the no pastry quiche in the oven for around 35–40 minutes or until set and golden. A delicious autumn recipe.

2. Bruschetta with squash, balsamic onions and walnuts 

autumn recipe squash balsamic onion and walnut bruschetta

(Image credit: National Trust)

This autumnal recipe is perfect for a savoury treat or snack and combines nutty squash hummus with sweet and sour onions. Yum. 

Prep: 30 minutes. Cooking: 40 Minutes

Serves 4.

Ingredients

For the squash hummus:

  • 400g squash, cooked
  • 1/2 garlic bulb, roasted
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 15g peanut butter
  • 10ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the onions:

  • 15ml vegetable oil
  • 300g red onions, thinly sliced
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 20ml balsamic vinegar
  • 4 thick slices uncut bloomer loaf or vegan sourdough

To top/serve:

  • 40g walnut pieces, toasted
  • Small handful watercress
  • 40ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Method:

1. Place the cooked squash into a food processor with the ‘S’ blade attached. Add the roasted garlic, lemon juice, peanut butter, oil, cinnamon, cumin and smoked paprika. 

2. Blitz until smooth, stopping halfway through to scrape down the sides. Season and put to one side. 

3. For the onions: place the vegetable oil in a large pan, add the onions and stir well, cover the pan and sauté for around 15 minutes. 

4. Increase the heat and add the sugar and half the balsamic vinegar, stir well and cook until the liquid is absorbed, and the sugar has slightly caramelised. 

5. Stir in the remaining balsamic and remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and leave to cool. 

6. Slice the bloomer loaf/vegan sourdough into four thick slices, cutting at an angle across the loaf, place on a baking tray and put into the oven at 200ºC for around 7 minutes, until just drying and lightly golden. 

7. Remove the bread from the oven and roughly spread the squash hummus over the surface. 

8. Scatter a portion of the onions over the hummus, followed by the walnuts and watercress. Finish by drizzling the rapeseed oil over each bruschetta and serve. 

3. Courgette and potato curry with red peppers

autumn recipe potato, courgette and pepper curry from National Trust

(Image credit: National Trust)

This delicious – and healthy – autumn recipe is a great way of using the seasonal harvest and you can even add in other veg from your plot. With its spicy kick it is lovely and warming after a day outdoors in the crisp autumn weather.

Prep: 15 minutes. Cooking: 40–45 minutes

Serves 4.

Ingredients

Curry paste:

  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 10g fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 25g curry powder
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 200g onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 50ml white cooking wine
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 80g tomato paste

For the curry:

  • 300g courgettes, sliced
  • 200g red peppers, roughly chopped
  • 200g potatoes cooked and chopped
  • 50g natural yoghurt
  • 10g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Learn how to grow your own vegetables, herbs and more in our guide.

To serve:

  • 2tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 portions of chunky bread or naan

Method:

1. Place a large pan over a medium heat and when hot add half the oil, spices, chilli flakes, onion and garlic. Sauté lightly for 10 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and soft. 

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2. Add the wine to the pan and stir to deglaze the pan. 

3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for around 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and blitz until smooth. 

4. Place another pan over a medium heat and when hot add the remaining half of the oil and the courgettes, peppers and potatoes. Sauté them gently until they start to colour. 

5. Add the pureed curry sauce to the vegetables along with the yoghurt and coriander, stir well then add a further 100ml water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for five minutes. Test the peppers to ensure they’re cooked to your liking. 

6. Season to taste using salt and pepper. 

7. Divide between serving bowls and sprinkle over a little more chopped fresh coriander. Serve with a portion of bread or a small naan. 

4. Vegetable fritters with beetroot, carrot and spring onion

autumn recipe beetroot carrot and spring onion fritter

(Image credit: National Trust)

These sweet and earthy vegetable fritters are packed full of nutrients. The crispy light bites can be served on their own as a snack, as a starter, or with salad for a main meal. These make a lovely autumnal recipe addition to your menu, plus fritters are a great way of tempting the more vegetable wary children – or adults – to try something different, as who doesn't love a satisfying, crispy crunch of a fritter?

Prep: 20 minutes. Cooking: 15 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 200g flour
  • 200g raw beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 200g carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

1. Place the flour, salt and pepper into a bowl and combine. 

2. Add in the beetroot, carrot and spring onion and combine again. 

3. Add enough water to bind the mixture together. 

4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. 

5. Once the oil is hot, split the batter mix into four and place into the pan. 

6. Leave to fry for 2–3 minutes until the bottom sets and starts to go crisp. 

7. Carefully flip the vegetable fritters and cook for a further 2–3 minutes on the other side. 

8. Transfer to a baking sheet and place into you preheated over at 180°C for 10 minutes to ensure the centre of the vegetable fritter is cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve. 

5. Savoury muffins with cheese and tomato

autumn recipe cheese and tomato muffins

(Image credit: National Trust)

These delicious savoury muffins make the most of the bounty of freshly ripened tomatoes.

Prep: 75 minutes. Cooking: 35 minutes

Serves 8 

Ingredients:

  • 500g strong plain flour
  • 9g fast action dried yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 400ml water
  • 80ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 5g dried rosemary
  • 150g tomatoes, quartered
  • 100g red onion
  • 3g cracked black pepper
  • 3g salt
  • 240g cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

1. Place the flour, yeast and salt into a mixing bowl, add the water and 20ml of cold pressed rapeseed oil. 

Planning next year's harvest

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

September is also the time to start planning for which crops you want to be harvesting next year, too. National Trust gardeners share their top tips for the veg plot in autumn:

Plant rhubarb, asparagus and fruit bushes now while the soil is warm and wet. First clear weeds and old crops and dig in peat-free compost or well-rotted manure

Sow rocket in a pot, window box or bed. Rocket germinates quickly and can give small harvests through winter and a flush of leaves in spring, especially if positioned in a sheltered, sunny spot. 

Keep harvesting crops. Fruit can be spread out in crates in a cool garden shed or garage to help them last longer. Root vegetables are better stored in sand to stop them drying out. 

Gather old rotting leaves from crops to help prevent slugs the following year. They will do their essential work safely in the compost heap.

2. Mix the dough until sticky. If you're using a stand mixer and dough hook, this will take about five minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another couple of minutes. 

3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop. Start to knead by stretching and folding the dough, continue until smooth. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour. 

4. Once the dough has proved, preheat your oven to 160°C. Tip the dough onto your worktop and knock back on your kitchen counter to remove any excess air. Cut into eight even-sized pieces, then shape these into balls by rolling them in your hand. 

5. Place each piece into the muffin tin. 

6. Top the muffins with the tomatoes, red onion and rosemary, pressing these gently into the top of the dough. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and drizzle over the remaining oil. 

7. Add the cheese to the top and cover to prove until each muffin rises over the top of its tin. 

8. Place the muffins into the oven at 160°C and bake for around 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5–10 minutes before turning them out of the tin. 

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