Fall Food Hacks for Simple, Stylish Entertaining

Easy ways to add autumn color and appeal to premade appetizers and desserts

Whether entertaining at home or bringing a dish to share, we’re offering some simple secrets to give prepared foods extra flavor and flair with an autumn appeal. Add a personal touch to prepared foods for easy, lovely dishes that wow at tailgate parties, book club meetings, and meals with family and friends.

Baked Brie or Feta

For brie, heat in oven at 350 degrees in a pretty casserole dish until soft, then drizzle with honey and top with chopped pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and dried cranberries. For feta, brush with olive oil and heat in the oven in a small casserole dish until just golden, then drizzle with balsamic reduction or glaze and top with fresh diced Roma tomatoes and chiffonade fresh basil leaves. Serve with warmed pita wedges or gourmet crackers. Sliced apples complement brie, while feta is perfect with figs.

Bakery Desserts

Top a rustic apple tart or pie with drizzled caramel sauce, sliced pears, and chopped walnuts, or decorate a cheesecake with slightly thinned chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or raspberry preserves, then top with raspberries or blueberries, candied walnuts or pecans, and fresh mint sprigs.

Mac and Cheese

Make it special from the store—place in an attractive casserole, heat through, then top with 1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs mixed with two tablespoons melted butter and bake again until topping is golden. Garnish to serve with warm crumbled bacon and chopped chives, and drizzle with truffle or chili oil for extra color and punch.


Add a teaspoon of beet juice to hummus or tzatziki for an autumnal hue. Drizzle with olive oil or flavored oils. Add chopped pecans or walnuts, golden raisins, chickpeas, chopped fresh dill or parsley, or seasoning mixes like za’atar.

Fried Ravioli or Tortellini

Cook pasta as directed, then drain well and gently toss with two tablespoons olive oil and a light coating of parmesan. Air fry or oven bake at 350 degrees 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with a side of warm marinara or alfredo sauce to dip. Try pumpkin ravioli, or add a spoon of canned pumpkin puree to the alfredo sauce. Use the remaining pumpkin to make a pitcher of pumpkin martinis, with glasses rimmed with sugar/apple pie spice mixture and decorated with a cinnamon stick, a star anise, and a blood orange slice.

Charcuterie Boards

Add a fall touch to this perennial favorite with sliced blood oranges, apples, or pears, pomegranate seeds, and figs. Wrap meats around cracker-style bread sticks for ease of eating! Garnish with rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries. Make a non-dairy cheese and fruit board with delicious vegan cheeses such as smoked Gouda and bleu from the health food section of the supermarket.

Our simple secrets give prepared foods extra flavor and flair with an autumn appeal.

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