15 Healthy Fall Recipes for Seniors

Cooking is one of the more beautiful parts of embracing fall weather. As it gets a little cooler outside, turning on the stove or oven brings comforting warmth to your home. You also get to enjoy the delicious smells of your fall recipes cooking. Additionally, cooking healthy recipes at home will help you maintain your weight and fitness level, as well as improve your heart health. Need ideas on what to cook or bake? Stellar Living has you covered. Make sure to save these 15 healthy recipes for seniors to make this fall.

Healthy Fall Recipes for Seniors: Breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day, so don’t forget that breakfast can be a special meal, too! These recipes are quick and easy, but are also focused on lower sugar and nutritionally balanced. Check out these healthy fall breakfast recipes for seniors.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Try this yummy recipe for pumpkin oatmeal from WellPlated.


  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk, or milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus additional to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


To a large microwave-safe bowl (pick one larger than you think you need as the oats will bubble up), add the oats and milk. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until oats are cooked through.

Remove the bowl from the microwave. Stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Adjust spices to taste and serve with toppings like milk, greek yogurt, fruit, or nuts and seeds as desired.

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

Check out this healthy smoothie from Recipe Runner


  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large frozen banana, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon almond (or peanut) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Top the smoothie with extra cinnamon and toasted walnuts or pecans if desired.

Healthy Fall Recipes for Seniors: Lunch

A balanced lunch will help curb snack cravings and bring you energy during that afternoon slump.

Turkey Sandwich with Cranberries

You might think of this as a “Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich,” but it’s delicious any day of the week!


  • 2 slices of whole-grain bread
  • 4-5 slices of turkey breast (about 3-4 ounces)
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 tbsp cranberry spread (choose your favorite!)
  • 1-2 slices of tomato (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (optional)

Layer the sandwich ingredients to your liking, and enjoy!

Easy Butternut Squash Soup (3 Ways!)

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, double this recipe from Two Peas and their Pod and save or freeze the leftovers for lunch another day! 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs peeled chopped butternut squash (about 1 medium sized squash)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg, optional

Directions for Pressure Cooker:

On your Instant Pot or pressure cooker, select Sauté. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, butternut squash, apple, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, if using.

Place the lid securely on the Instant Pot and move the knob to seal. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and do a quick release of the pressure.

Use an Immersion blender in the Instant Pot to puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can let the soup cool a little and carefully transfer the soup to a regular blender and blend until smooth.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.

Directions for Stove Top:

Iin a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and cook the veggies until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, butternut squash, apple, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, if using.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft. Puree the soup in the pot, using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender to puree.

Directions for Slow Cooker:

Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Blend with an immersion blender or blender.

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Healthy Fall Recipes for Seniors: Dinners

These easy yet nutrient-rich dinners will make every day delicious. They’re great fall recipes for healthy seniors.

Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Sheet pan dinners are quick and easy, and you only have to wash the one pan! This recipe from Skinnytaste is a family favorite. Adjust the vegetables to whatever you like best. 

  • 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Balsamic Veggies:

  • olive oil spray
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium, 7-ounce zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces, layers separated
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment, if desired.

Season chicken with 1 tablespoon balsamic, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Marinate while you prep the vegetables, the longer the better.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with 1 tablespoon balsamic, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoons basil and 1 teaspoon parsley.

Spread out onto the sheet pan. Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables and roast until tender in the lower rack of the oven, about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve right away.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

This comforting and budget-friendly casserole from Spend with Pennies is sure to be a fall favorite. If you’re only cooking for one or two, halve the recipe, or plan to freeze half before baking for another day. 

  • 1 package wild rice mixture (6 ounces)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 ounces brown or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless skinless, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with heavy duty foil.

Cook onion and mushrooms in a saucepan over medium heat until slightly softened.

Add rice to the saucepan along with the water required on the package and cook according to package directions.

While the rice is cooking, toss chicken with basil, thyme, and salt & pepper to taste. Brown chicken over medium heat in a skillet until all sides are browned and chicken is almost cooked through.

Combine the cooked rice and browned chicken with mushroom soup, sour cream, chicken broth, and ½ cup of cheddar cheese. Toss well to combine.

Spread into the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes.

Remove foil and top with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Rest 10 minutes before serving.


It is important to cover the casserole with foil as the steam allows it to continue cooking.

This casserole must rest 10 minutes before serving to thicken up.

Some brands of wild rice mixture come with a separate seasoning packet. This adds both flavor and salt to the dish. It can be used or left out based on personal preference.

Wild rice can be substituted for any kind of cooked rice. 

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Lean beef is a great option for seniors because it contains a lot of protein and iron, which help with healing, immune function, and strength. 

  • 1 1/4 lbs flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (divided use)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until tender.

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds more.

Remove the broccoli from the pan; place on a plate and cover.

Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and turn the heat to high. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Season the steak pieces with salt and pepper and add them to the pan in a single layer – you may need to do this step in batches. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.

Add the broccoli mixture back to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes or until warmed through.

In a bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, beef broth, sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water.

Pour the oyster sauce mixture over the beef and vegetables; cook for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch and bring to a boil; cook for 1 more minute or until sauce has just started to thicken.

Serve immediately, with rice if desired.


Pasta (Gluten-Free Option) with Pumpkin Sauce

This creamy Budget Bytes recipe can easily be made with gluten-free pasta, if desired. 

  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée 
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp half & half or cream 
  • 8 oz. pasta 


Begin boiling a large pot of water for your pasta. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and boil until al dente (7-10 minutes). Drain in a colander.

While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a large skillet with one tablespoon of butter. Sauté over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is soft and fragrant.

Add the pumpkin purée and chicken broth to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the nutmeg, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Stir in the spices and let the sauce simmer over medium-low heat while the pasta cooks (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Once the pasta is finished cooking and is draining in a colander, add the half and half or cream to the skillet and stir it into the pumpkin sauce. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed (this will depend on the type of broth you use). Finally, stir the drained pasta into the sauce and serve.

Minestrone Soup

This easy minestrone from Budget Bytes is not only healthy, but also vegetarian and gluten-free! Add elbow macaroni or other small pasta if desired. 

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans 
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas 
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 lb.) 
  • 1 cup frozen green beans 
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) 


Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the carrots. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions become soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot (do not let it burn).

Rinse and drain the kidney beans and chickpeas, and then add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), Italian Seasoning, and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the soup is simmering, slice the zucchini into quarter-rounds. After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir and simmer the soup for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini just begin to soften.

Finish the soup by adding lemon juice and chopped parsley. Give it a taste and add extra salt if needed (my soup did not need any extra salt, but it may depending on the type of broth used). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping!


 Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Meatloaf is a classic comfort food for many of us, perfect for a chilly fall night. This meatloaf comes together quickly and easily, and includes some hidden veggies! Half the recipe for just one “loaf,” or make two and freeze one for later.

  • 1 cup crushed saltines, 25-30 crackers, or ritz crackers, or bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, I use coarse, kosher salt – use slightly less for table salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, I use coarse black pepper – use slightly less for finely ground
  • 2 pounds ground meat, I use half ground beef/half ground pork (see note)
  • Ketchup, as desired
  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Meatloaf

For the meatloaf, in a large mixing bowl, add the crushed saltines and milk and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. Add the parsley, green pepper, eggs, onion powder, garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Add the ground meat and mix until evenly and well combined. (You can use a food processor for all of the above if you want an even more well-combined spice and meat mixture.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.

Pile the meat mixture in the middle of the prepared pan and shape into one or two loaves about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide (it doesn’t have to be perfect; just try to get it an even thickness throughout).

Spoon ketchup over the meatloaf, if desired. Bake for 45-50 minutes until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the center of the meatloaf.

Loosely tent with foil and let the meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Directions: Mashed Potatoes

Peel potatoes if you don’t like the skins. Boil potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes. Add butter to a mixing bowl. Add potatoes. Mash the potatoes by hand, or use an electric mixer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with meatloaf. 

Healthy Fall Recipes for Seniors: Baked Goods

It’s just not fall without some baked goods! These healthy fall recipes for seniors feature nutrient-rich ingredients and lower sugar and fat options. 

Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins

These muffins from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe are so delicious, you won’t believe they’re also full of fiber, protein, and vitamin C! They freeze great, so double the batch and pull them out whenever you need a sweet treat.

  • 1 cup (100 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (see note)
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup (57 g) butter or coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup (71 g) granulated sugar or honey
  • ¾ cup (107 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (70 g) dried cranberries or raisins (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or grease the muffin cups. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the oatmeal, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt (and cranberries or raisins if using). Make a well in the center and pour in the applesauce mixture. Stir until just combined (don’t overmix or the muffins will be dense and dry). The muffin batter texture might be a bit different (wetter?) than other muffin batters but no fear, carry on!

Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake or the muffins will be dry.

Remove the muffins to a rack to cool completely. Once cool, I place 6-9 muffins in a large freezer ziploc bag, suck all the air out and seal the bag, then freeze.

Breakfast Cookies

These “breakfast”-inspired cookies are full of healthy ingredients and also make a great snack. They’re even vegan, and gluten, egg, and dairy free!

  • 2 ½ cups oats (I prefer using half old-fashioned oats and half quick oats in this recipe. It yields the best texture, I think, but you can try using all old-fashioned oats or all quick oats.)
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup (113 g) mashed banana, about 1 medium 
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup (24 g) flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup (85 g) honey or pure maple syrup (for vegan option, use maple syrup)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, I use coarse, kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, craisins, chopped nuts or other add-ins 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, peanut butter, mashed bananas or pumpkin, applesauce, flaxseed meal, honey or syrup, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until mostly combined.

Stir in any add-ins and mix until evenly combined.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets (I use a #20 cookie scoop which is about 3 heaping tablespoons). The cookies won’t spread while baking so they can be spaced about 1-inch apart. Flatten each cookie dough mound into an even disc about 1/4-inch thick.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden but still soft. {You can bake longer for crunchier cookies.}

Banana Bread

This is a healthier take on classic banana bread that’s just as yummy as ever.

  • 4 bananas , about 1 ⅓ cups, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (white or white-whole wheat)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted (or substitute applesauce)


Grease a standard 9×5” loaf pan (I also like to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make sure the loaf doesn’t stick).

Mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add egg, vanilla, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon and stir well to combine.  

In a separate small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir to combine. 

Gently stir in melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 few minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack.

Cranberry Orange Scones

These scones from Amy’s Healthy Baking pack a sneaky protein punch, as well as being a gorgeous combination of bright citrus and tart cranberries. 

  • 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour 
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (7g) orange zest (about 1 large orange)
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) honey
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (82g) fresh cranberries, diced
  • 2 tsp nonfat milk


Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Greek yogurt, honey, orange juice, and vanilla. Fold in the diced cranberries with a spatula.

Using a spatula, shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the milk. Slice the circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. Bake at 425°F for 18-21 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Apple Crisp

This apple crisp is one of my favorite healthy fall recipes for seniors. It’s mostly apples, with a hit of healthy oats. It’s so good, I could eat the whole pan!

  • 7 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks or slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed or bottled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (71 g) all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (212 g) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (113 g) butter, softened to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and vanilla. Pour the apples into a 9X13-inch baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. It doesn’t matter if the apples are slightly overlapping.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, two forks or two knives, mix the butter into dry ingredients until lumpy and coarsely mixed. Most of the dry ingredients should be incorporated with the butter to form large crumbs.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping is browned and crunchy.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

Stellar Living hopes these healthy recipes for seniors help you feel great this fall. Tired of cooking? Most senior living communities offer dining rooms with all-day dining and chef-prepared meals daily. Tour a community near you today!