15 Easy Dinners to Make Before Trick-or-Treating

Because you need something in your belly before you load up on all that candy, right?

By: Foodlets

Food Network's Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

When it comes to getting your crew fed quickly before the big night out, there are a few ways to go: make-ahead casseroles, slow-cooker recipes, sheet-pan dinners and simple meals that come together in only a few minutes. With four kids to outfit in Star Wars costumes myself, here are my favorites in every category. Happy trick-or-treating!

Make-Ahead Casseroles: Prep everything in advance and bake when you’re ready.

Beef and Cheddar Casserole
This is the creamy goodness that happens when you combine egg noodles with sour cream, Parmesan cheese and ground beef.

Baked Risotto with Bacon & Peas
All the flavor of risotto with none of the standing over the stove.

Zucchini Enchiladas
Start with rotisserie chicken, end up with individual portions of enchilada rolled in fresh strips of zucchini instead of tortillas.

Slow-Cooker Showstoppers: Get started ahead of time so your dinner’s ready and waiting.

Photo by: Picasa


Slow-Cooker Shredded Chicken Tex-Mex
There’s no end to the ways to make this one your own. Add bell peppers, use enchilada sauce instead of tomatoes or throw a can of beans in there to feed a crowd. Serve over rice or in between warm tortillas.

Slow-Cooked Cuban Sandwich
It’s make-your-own sandwich night with Cuban flair!

Slow-Cooker “BBQ” Ribs
I once had a mom email me for this recipe because she couldn’t find it online and was desperate to serve these ribs at a birthday party the next day. They’re that good. 

Sheet-Pan Dinners: Everything cooks together politely on one pan. (Easy cleanup means more time for trick-or-treating.)

Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli
Glazed chicken, broccoli and fingerling potatoes are an all-in-one meal.

Kielbasa, Sweet Potatoes & Apples
I make this family-favorite all year long, but it always tastes best in the fall.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans
Did you know it only takes 25 minutes to cook a whole pork tenderloin? You're welcome.

Food Network Kitchens Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas
A foil-lined baking sheet never worked so hard, or produced such a delicious dinner so easily.

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus
Substitute zucchini, broccoli or any veggie your family likes but don’t skimp on the fresh lemon. You’ll love every bite.

Lightening-Fast Dinners: If you’ve got 25 minutes, you can make any of these meals.

Photo by: Picasa


Spaghetti with Bacon & Tomato Sauce
This is, hands down, my favorite dish I learned to make when we lived in Italy.

Sausage & Spinach Over Rice
A 15-minute dinner kids love, with a built-in veggie to boot.



Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Christopher Testani

Christopher Testani

Salmon Cakes with Salad
Canned salmon costs a fraction of the price of fresh, but the flavor doesn’t disappoint.

Weeknight Cooking

Weeknight Cooking



Pasta e Fagioli with Chickpeas
A hearty soup is just what you need before cold-weather trick-or-treating.

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