Slideshow: SE Staff Picks: Fall Comfort Foods We Love Eating

Butternut squash risotto
Butternut squash risotto
On a crisp fall day, there's nothing better than digging into a big bowl of butternut squash risotto. It's warm, extra-creamy, rich and sweet—everything that makes your tummy happy when it's a bit chilly outside. I usually make this recipe from Epicurious, which has a nice bite from a good dose of minced gingerroot, but this year I may try this version with scallions. Christine Tsai
Pot pies
Pot pies
When I was a little kid, every Saturday in the hour I had between Japanese school and music school (thanks Tiger-mom), I'd come home and have one of three lunches: a tuna melt if my dad was home, a grilled hot sausage sandwich if my mom was home, or a Stouffer's frozen chicken pot pie if I had to heat something up myself. I really loved those pot pies with their short crust and not-flavorful-but-super-salty filling. Since then, my pot pie game has been upped quite a bit and I can't remember the last time I ate a frozen one, but it's still one of my favorite comforting fall treats, especially because it's the perfect medium for getting rid of leftovers and it allows for so much variation. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is a boring choice, but whatever. Thanksgiving is usually the only time of the year I eat (and bake) pumpkin pie—because if I ate it more often I'd get sick of it. Saving it for that one time a year makes it taste awesome. The pie pictured was made with Cooks Illustrator's Foolproof Pie Dough recipe for the crust and Dorie Greenspan's Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie recipe for the filling. Robyn Lee
Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin Chili
For pumpkin fans such as myself, fall is the promised land. I'm always looking for new ways to eat that big orange jewel, which is why I totally freaked when I saw this post for Pumpkin Turkey Chili go up back in 2009. Beyond using pumpkin in a new and exciting way, it was a dish I could eat from a bowl (a personal prerequisite for comfort foods). This dish is hearty and warming. It's also very open to interpretation. I like to add peas or zucchini and a whole lot of cayenne. Carrie Vasios
Split Pea Soup
Split Pea Soup
Split pea never seems to get enough love, but it's always been one of my favorite soups. It's a rib-sticking, textured, flavorful soup, especially when slow-simmered with ham hocks. I like to throw all the ingredients into the slow-cooker then forget about it and come home to porky-pea-infused air. The ham meat slinks off the bone after all those hours, and lends a smoky, salty richness to the velvety green soup. This recipe from Simply Recipes is a winner. I'm also just a pea superfan in general, whether the fresh ones in the spring or, in this case, their dried cousins during scarf and sweater months. Erin Zimmer
Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts
This may sound like a simple side dish, but in the winter, I'm so happy with an enormous bowl of these guys for dinner. They feel nourishing, in that "this'll fill you up for a good long time" way. They get an awesome char that adds immeasurably to their flavor. And the copious bacon fat gives 'em that soul-satisfying feel that comfort food's all about. I don't use a recipe, but this technique sums it up pretty well: crisp up the bacon in a skillet, take out the actual bacon, use the fat to cook the sprouts, bacon back in. Plus tons of salt and pepper.

I'm a simple home cook, though. If I wanted something more involved, I'd go for this squash spaetzle from Bill Telepan: it's sweet and autumnal from squash and maple and apple, the spaetzle squiggles brown up in bacon fat and butter, and it's easy to eat so much of it, you're lulled into a blanket-snuggled nap. Carey Jones

Apple cider doughnuts
Apple cider doughnuts
I love getting apple cider donuts at the Union Square farmers' market, or anywhere for that matter. I crave their springy, moist form and cinnamon apple-y flavor. I like them rolled in sugar or fresh hot and plain. It's always a good sign when they leave grease marks on the bag they're sold in! AHH. Now I want one. Leandra Palermo
Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese
In autumn, my diet mostly consists of two things. Roasted vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, and brussels sprouts) cooked until super-caramelized, and macaroni and cheese. I usually improvise, but I have my eye on this skillet mac, from Jennifer Hess of Last Night's Dinner (who happens to be married to our Cocktail 101 columnist!) Maggie Hoffman