October brings thoughts of stews, squashes and apples (think apple harvests, apple-tasting days and the promise of toffee apples). Cosy autumnal baking recipes like French apple tart and sticky pear & ginger cake are also on the kitchen agenda.


Autumn is a season of contrasting temperatures – not only outside, but also in our favourite dishes; think steaming bowls of soup served with wedges of cheese on toast, chilled butter on jacket potatoes or a scoop of vanilla ice cream under a dense square of hot sticky toffee pudding.

As well as these autumnal classics, there are plenty of lesser-known fruits and vegetables still in season at this time of year, such as quince and kohlrabi. See below for more seasonal inspiration.

Once your produce is ready to go, check out our October recipes for delicious dinner inspiration.


Plate of puy lentils, squash and kale

You can find a variety of plants under the umbrella term 'kale', from the long and undulating blue-green leaves of cavolo nero to the scrunchy, scouring-pad-like curly kale. For a quirky option, try the hybrid kalettes – sadly not a vegan pop band, but a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts.

Roasted kale recipe

  • Serves 4-6
  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Wash 150-200g kale and tear off any woody stems. Scrunch (or massage) the leaves in your hands as if to squeeze out every last drop of water from a kitchen sponge – this makes the kale far less tough. Rip any larger leaves into small pieces.
  2. Put the kale leaves on a baking tray and drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil. Toss, then season well.
  3. Cook until the ends are shatteringly crisp and starting to char.
  4. Serve your roasted kale over something saucy like soft polenta or a creamy coconut curry, or as an alternative to crisps while watching a film.

Find more kale recipes.


Chopped and grated horseradish on a wooden board

Horseradish root can look a bit odd, like a large, slightly darker and thinner parsnip. You don’t need much for a decent batch of horseradish sauce, but the fresh stuff doesn’t keep, so grate all of it and freeze what you don’t immediately use. It’s eye-stinging work, so open the windows before you start – or, better still, use a food processor to finely chop the horseradish, adding a splash of water to help the blade go round.

Homemade horseradish sauce recipe

  • Serves 4-6
  1. Mix 1 tbsp coarsely grated horseradish root with 4 tbsp double cream and 4 tbsp crème fraîche.
  2. Add 2 tsp sherry vinegar and season to taste.
  3. To get the best flavour and texture, chill the sauce in the fridge overnight before serving.

Tip: Leftover horseradish sauce is good in mashed potato, with smoked salmon or as a dip for pizza crusts. Freshly grated horseradish discolours quickly, so mix it into the sauce ingredients as soon as you can. If using in salads, toss the horseradish in a little vinegar first to keep it bright.


Beetroot-cured cod with kohlrabi slaw

Light green, with tendril-like branches, kohlrabi looks somewhat alien-like. Taste-wise, it’s a cross between broccoli and radish. Serving it raw allows the crisp texture to shine through, but it does also roast well. The leaves are edible, too – cook as you would spinach or cabbage. The only parts of the kohlrabi I discard are the tough outer skin and the shoots.

Kohlrabi & apple salad recipe

  • Serves 4
  1. Mix 1 peeled and finely sliced kohlrabi with 1 cored and finely sliced green apple. Spread out on a serving plate.
  2. Pour over the juice of 1 lemon and toss together.
  3. Scatter over 50g toasted hazelnuts, 40-50g finely sliced hard goat's cheese (or parmesan shavings) and 1 tbsp cress.
  4. Season well and drizzle with 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Tip: Look for smaller kohlrabi that feel heavy for their size.


Quince & rosewater jelly and quince paste

A popular use for quince is as a sweet, sharp jelly served with hard cheeses (known as quince paste, quince cheese or membrillo). I hope one day I'll be more organised and make batches every year or manage to stuff the freezer with pre-baked chunks, but it’s such a short season that I often miss the boat. See our recipes for quince & rosewater jelly and quince paste to find out how to make your own quince paste. Alternatively, baking quince is an easy way to try this fruit.

Baked quince recipe

  • Serves 4-6
  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Slice 2 large quinces (or 1 quince and 1 Bramley apple). Lay the slices in a buttered ovenproof dish and pour over 100ml water, 1 tsp ground cardamom and 50g demerara sugar.
  2. Bake for 45 mins, or until tender, stirring occasionally to ensure the fruit cooks evenly.
  3. Add ½ tsp rosewater, then top with puff pastry or a crumble topping and bake for a further 25-30 mins.

Find more quince recipes.

Browse recipes for, and information on, other ingredients in season in October:

Seasonal food dates in October:

Air-fryer Bramley apple crumble

9 October – International Beer & Pizza Day

When the weather starts getting colder, the temptation to go outside recedes. Curl up in front of the TV with some of our recommended best lagers to buy and a slice from one of our pizza recipes.

21 October – Apple Day

Celebrate the humble apple this October by making it the star of your dishes. Perfect in salads, pies, crumbles and tarts, there’s nothing that an apple can’t improve.

25 October – World Pasta Day

After a long day, there’s nothing more inviting than a big portion of pasta covered in melting cheese and a delicious sauce. Check out some of our comforting pasta bakes this October to keep the chills away. We also have brilliant pasta sauce recipes and quick pasta recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

Other food dates for your diary:

1 October – International Coffee Day

If you need a pick-me-up, check out our irresistible coffee recipes.

See our seasonal calendar for more inspiration.

Check out more autumnal recipes...

Autumn recipes
Autumn soup recipes
Autumn cake recipes
How to cook with pumpkin
Autumn storecupboard essentials


What are your favourite ingredients to cook with in October? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post