4 Halloween Menus to Make the Night Extra-Special — Even If You're Not Trick-or-Treating
Don't be surprised if this sparks a new Halloween tradition!
If you’re still not sure what your Halloween plans might look like this year, fret not! We’re right there with you. Though trick-or-treating might look a little different this year, there’s still lots of ways to celebrate this fun night. Throwing a themed-dinner party — no matter how small — is a great and easy place to start. We toiled and troubled to find you all of our spookiest appetizer, dinner and dessert recipes perfect for Halloween 2020. And we have to admit, they even made us want to break out in the monster mash!
Ghouls Night In
Getting your Halloween boos on has never been easier — or more adorable — than with this ghost-centric party menu. Not only is it a perfect way to celebrate the cuter side of Halloween, ghouls big and small can also get in on the holiday fun by helping you make every dish. We absolutely love the idea of having everyone don matching Halloween pajamas like these to turn your celebration into an impromptu slumber party, complete with watching a spooky movie in the living room. Who knows? Maybe Casper the friendly ghost himself might show up!
Appetizer: Ghost Hand Pies with Honey Dijon
Molly Yeh packs these adorable miniature hand pies with mouthwatering caramelized onions and creamy cheddar cheese to give you and all your guests an ultra-flavorful and easily pop-able treat. If you find yourself pressed for time on Halloween night, go ahead and use store-bought pie dough to make the outer crusts — your pies will look absolutely bootiful either way!
Dinner: Individual Spooky White Pizzas
Add a little Halloween razzle-dazzle to your weekly pizza night with these fun ghost-shaped slices. You’ll use triple the cheese — mozzarella, ricotta and grated Parmesan — to give each one an ooey gooey texture that’s even better than takeout.
Dessert: Halloween Cocoa Ghost Pancakes
Let kids spread their very own hocus pocus by helping you make these adorable ghost-shaped pancakes after dinner on Halloween night. Dutch processed cocoa powder gives them a dessert-like heft while a luscious assortment of whipped cream, hot fudge, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and blueberries makes each pancake uniquely one-of-a-kind. Not only is making them a great way to help kids forget all about trick-or-treating, you’re also sure to have tons of leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Talk about a happy haunting!
Pumpkin Patch Plates
Paying homage to the Great Pumpkin has never been more delicious thanks to these pumpkin-shaped recipes. Though each one requires you to tend to your cauldron for a bit longer than other recipes do, the end results are truly ‘pumpkin to talk about. To take this frightfully fun theme even further, buy one (or a few) of these pumpkin-scented candles and light them just before dinner time to infuse your entire (haunted) house with the signature spicy smell of the season.
Appetizer: Pumpkin Cheese Ball
Add a little bippity-boppity-boo to your Halloween dinner menu with this larger-than-life pumpkin-shaped cheese ball. Softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar and crunchy chives form the creamy filling while ground-up cheese puffs make the crunchy outer layer. How’s that for a gourd-ous way to kickstart a meal?
Dinner: Chicken Pumpkins
Every member of your wolf pack is sure to do a double take when you place one or two of these golden and crispy chicken bites in front of them on Halloween night. Each one is stuffed with velvety mozzarella cheese and coated in crushed up cheddar cheese cracker crumbs to give them their picture-perfect pumpkin shape and coloring. Trust us — they’ll put a spell on you after just one bite.
Dessert: Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Bread
Everyone will be screaming “Oh my gourd!” after they see this pumpkin-shaped, pumpkin-flavored bread sitting on your dessert table. Follow Food Network Kitchen's lead and knot pieces of kitchen twine around your bread dough as it rises— doing so is what gives this eye-catching dessert its lifelike-shape. To finish the dish off, serve your pumpkin bread slices with a generous drizzle of pumpkin-maple butter to end your Halloween festivities on a warm and cozy note.
Creepy Crawly Critters
If you’re one of those people who prefers their Halloween celebration to feature as many tricks as it does treats, these are the cheeky recipes for you! Not only will they add a little extra spook to your evening, each dish also uses a variety of different knife cuts and other cooking techniques, so you’ll learn something new while putting them together too. To play up the creepy theme even more, follow our lead and freeze some gummy worms or candy spiders in ice cube trays, then use it to chill glasses of poison apple or eyeball punch — it’s sure to get everyone howling after their first sip.
Appetizer: Tempura Octopus Hot Dog Bites
Looks can be deceiving on Halloween, especially if you include these tempura “octopus” hot dog bites on your nightly menu. Not only is it a fun way to elevate the classic party frank appetizer, this recipe also adds a fun spooky touch to your dinnertime without being too over-the-top or gory for the kiddos.
Dinner: Wormy Weenie Sandwiches
On any other day of the year “worms” would be a total no-go at our dinner table; on Halloween though, not only are they acceptable, they’re a requirement. Inspired by classic sausage and peppers, these delectable hot dog sandwiches are topped with “wormy” slices of caramelized red onions and yellow bell peppers to add a devilishly delicious touch to every single bite.
Dessert: Halloween Crispy Rice Treats
Okay, okay so we’ll be the first ones to admit that these tri-colored crispy treats are much cuter than they are creepy, but their adorable marshmallow spider web and gel icing design adds an itty-bitty touch of mischief we just can’t resist. Trust us — every single person who sees them on Halloween night is sure to get tangled up in their irresistible webs. For even more fun with marshmallows, make these mesmerizing Marshmallow Candied Apples too.
Rest in Pieces
Though we wouldn’t recommend spending Halloween night in an actual graveyard, these multi-layered recipes are packed full of so many flavorful elements that they’ll turn absolutely any meal into your very own graveyard smash. For an extra-special dose of ghoulish fun have all your guests come to dinner wearing a Halloween costume and have them tell scary stories across the table as you prepare each course.
Appetizer: Taco Graveyard Dip
Not to brag or anything but something tells us Dracula himself would raise from the grave in order to snatch a bite of this elevated taco dip. Not only is it filled with seasoned ground beef, refried beans and all your favorite classic taco fixings like cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and lettuce, you’ll also use a variety of cookie cutters to give your tortillas a whimsical Halloween touch. It sounds like pure magic to us.
Dinner: Skeleton Meat Platter
This skeleton meat platter is sure to tickle your funny bone — in more ways than one. Not only does it double as spooky table decor, it’s also filled with several delicious components like sticky pulled pork, spicy Italian sausage, fiery red pepper, smoky ribs and briny prosciutto to give meat lovers of all ages a scary good dinner unlike any other. You’ll also combine a variety of ingredients like cream cheese, shredded sharp cheddar, pimento-stuffed green olives, scallions and bacon together to make skeleton’s head — now how’s that for brain food!
Dessert: Pull-Apart Graveyard Cupcakes
Guests of all ages won’t be able to resist sinking their fangs into these ghoulishly delightful pull-apart cupcakes. Though the recipe calls for making the cupcakes from scratch, you can easily use a boxed cake mix to make your graveyard’s bottom layer. You’ll then use a yummy combination of crushed up sandwich cookies and green sanding sugar to make your “dirt” and a tube of store-bought marzipan to make your adorable little ghosts and glittery miniature pumpkins. If that doesn't sound like a spell worth casting, we honestly don't know what does.