Cooking Through the Seasons with Chopped: Fall

Get inspiration for cooking with these fall foods at home by reliving how past Chopped competitors used them on the show.

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Apple Cider

If you find yourself with leftover apple cider, take a cue from Tournament of Stars competitor Sinbad, who used it to add a little autumnal flair to his mom's homemade vanilla ice cream recipe.

More: Dessert Is No Laughing Matter

Boxed Macaroni and Cheese

While you might not think to grab boxed mac and cheese from the pantry unless the kids have a craving, Chef William Lustberg put it to good use; he ditched the processed packet and used the macaroni as part of a pasta and artichoke salad alongside pan-seared tilapia.

More About: Mac & Cheese, Cola and Bacon

Cranberry Sauce

Whether it's canned or freshly made, there's always some of this left over after Thanksgiving. Instead of letting cranberry sauce go to waste, try using it in a quick salad dressing — Chef Robin Moore dressed arugula with homemade cranberry vinaigrette.

More About: Cornuchopia


While a slice of cornbread by itself is always acceptable, there are plenty of ways to use it as a shortcut for a quick dinner. When judge Maneet Chauhan competed on Chopped, she repurposed it into an arepa filled with hominy and turkey. 

More About: Chopped Family Thanksgiving

Baked Sweet Potato

Have some leftover sweet potatoes on hand? Try making them into a creamy topping for a pancake or filling for a crepe like All-Stars Chef Anne Burrell did. She mixed them with mascarpone to make a filling for lime leaf crepes.

More: Storming the Dessert Round

Apple Cinnamon Cereal

Before it goes stale in the pantry, use apple cinnamon cereal as a dessert shortcut. Chef Dean Rucker turned it into a quick crunchy topping for his apple crisp.

More About: Chopped Chops

Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole doesn't hold for too long in the fridge, so use it up the next morning during breakfast. Chef Dustin Gauvain added it to his holiday hash for a little green and some extra flavor.

More About: A Chopped Thanksgiving

Pecan Pie

The half of a pecan pie that's still left on the table after dinner can be put to good use the next day, as Chef Laurie Potts proved. She used it as a crust for venison, but you could use it for any sturdy meat to add some sweetness and crunch.

More About: Hoofin' It!

Smoked Turkey Legs

If you're lucky enough to have any of these left over, try using them to flavor a soup or stock. Chef Crystal Fox used both the meat and bones to add flavor and heartiness to a bowl of ramen.

More About: The Icing on the Steak

Pumpkin Pie-Flavored Vodka

Leftover specialty vodka (or almost any liquor) can easily be worked into a sauce to drizzle over dessert. Judge Chris Santos used it to create a pumpkin pie sauce to go with his cranberry empanada.

More About: Chopped Family Thanksgiving

Belgian-Style Stout Beer

Dark beer can be used as a shortcut to add deep flavor to recipes. Chef Anastacia Song used it in the sauce for her ricotta gnocchi with meatballs to make the dish taste like it had been simmering all day.

More About: Late Night Food Brawl

Halloween Candy

If the kids can't finish all of their Halloween haul, try melting some of the sugary stuff down to make a meat glaze. Chef Michelle Firlit-Garcia used it to sweeten grilled sausage, and you could do the same for pork chops as well. 

More About: Trick or Treat, Chicken Feet!

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