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Harvest time has arrived! Discover the best September fruits and vegetables to add to your farmers market or grocery list this month, then learn how to incorporate these seasonal produce stars in my favorite early-fall recipes.
What’s in season in September? An impressive variety of options. As the fall transition begins, you can now savor both summer and winter squash in all of their glory, alongside berries, stone fruits, nightshades, and corn galore. I can’t be the only one getting hungry already!
You’ll save money and add flavor to your menu when you stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables like the goodies below in my guide to what’s in season in September. Unlike something shipped in from thousands of miles away, these in-season ingredients are so much fresher and more affordable. (To save even more, allow that green thumb to shine and grow your own!)
Consider adding these September fruits and vegetables to your garden-harvesting, late-season farmers market, or grocery shopping list. After that, I’ll stoke your appetite and your arsenal of recipes with options for how to put what’s in season in September to use in meals and snacks for yourself, your family, tailgate parties, or crisp picnics.
Table of Contents
What’s in Season in September?
- Stone fruits: Mangoes, nectarines, peaches, and plums are still shining in early fall. Slice and serve them in fruit salads, feature stone fruits in crisps, pies, compotes, salsas, or salads, or dice and toss with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt.
- Berries: Botanically, pomegranates fall under this category, too. They join blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries as late-season berries that are available by the bushel in September. Snack on any of the above out of hand, stir them into jams, tarts, pies or cakes, blend berries into smoothies, or freeze them now, when these September fruits are at their peak, to enjoy a sweet-tart taste any time of year.
- Grapes, mulberry, and rose family fruits: Fair, figs are actually a flower and member of the mulberry family, not a fruit. But they’re far too delicious to skip! Try fresh figs in quick breads, pies, or in a sweet-and-savory skillet dinner with chicken or pork. Persimmons, which are part of the rose family, are dreamy in everything from smoothies to salads to cocktails. Kid-friendly grapes are ideal to add to brown bag lunches (slice in halve for little diners), to showcase in fruit salads or appetizer recipes, or to freeze and enjoy as an ice pop alternative.
- Cucurbit vegetables: Cucumbers are still at their refreshing, hydrating best, and ready to use as vessels for your favorite dips. We’ve entered that unique time of year when both summer squash and winter squash are in season. Snag squash from the grocery store or famers market to roast or feature in spiralized vegetable recipes, salads, side dishes, and beyond.
- Grasses and nightshade vegetables: Corn, a grass, is a staple part of the Midwestern diet during September. Grilled, roasted, boiled, or baked; sweet corn is a treat any and all the ways. Or preserve it by pickling corn. Nightshades like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are also shining in September. Mix these into salads, soups, salsas, casseroles, pasta sauces, or dips.
- Leafy greens, tubers, and daisy family vegetables: Round out your menu with spinach, artichokes (a member of the daisy family), parsnips, sweet potatoes are all popping in August. Try them in wholesome soups, salads, stir-fries, wraps, and sandwiches.
- Brassicas: Cauliflower is a harbinger for vegetable relatives like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, collard greens, and cabbage. Peek in the aisles at any supermarket for some versatile inspiration; cauliflower is now frequently used as a swap for everything from steak and gnocchi to pizza crusts, mashed “potatoes,” and rice.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Eat in September
Stone Fruit Recipes
Cobblers, cocktails, condiments, and more can star on your September menu thanks to my favorite mango, plum, nectarine, and peach recipes. Savor stone fruit fresh now, then keep these side dish, dessert, and drink recipes on rotation all year long with frozen fruit.
Whether you use them to simply infuse water or naturally sweeten sangria or lemonade, or fold them into cobblers galettes, salads, or quick breads, options abound when you have pomegranates, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries in your crisper drawer.
Grapes, Mulberry, and Rose Family Fruit Recipes
Fruit salads, cocktails, and smoothies can all be vehicles for this diverse group of fruits. Figs and persimmons in particular are ideal sliced and shining in upside-down cake recipes (take a cue from my Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!). Grapes are a Midwestern staple in salads (actual ones and dessert-style treats we generously call “salads”).
From zucchini and yellow squash to butternut and spaghetti, September seasonal produce is rich in all things squash. It’s also a great time to add some fresh cucumbers to salads, soups, grain bowls, and crudité platters.
Grasses and Nightshade Vegetable Recipes
A pat of butter and pinch of salt is all September sweet corn requires. But I can’t resist dressing it up in chowders, salads, and salsas, too. Speaking of salsas, early fall is a beautiful time to whip up big batches with your tomatoes to can or enjoy now. Otherwise, transform tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers into other dips, pasta tosses, casseroles, soups, or stews.
Leafy Green, Tubers, and Daisy Family Recipes
Go green with spinach salads and smoothies, mash and roast parsnips and sweet potatoes, and transform any of the above into soups or stews.
Rice it, mash it, roast it, taco it; cauliflower is one of the most versatile veggies on Earth. Get a taste in these crowd-pleasing side dish, appetizer, and dinner ideas.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.