Halloween is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and whip up some spooky, seasonal cuisine. Impress your friends or family this Halloween by hosting a spine-tingling three-course dinner party filled with delicious, ghostly treats. Follow this guide for tips, recipes and inspiration to create a fully themed Halloween menu.
Planning the Menu
When planning your Halloween dinner menu, think about featuring recipes with fun, creepy names and ingredients to set the tone. Incorporate typical Halloween symbols and colors, like pumpkins, apples, oranges, purple and green.
Go for a mix of savory and sweet dishes so you have appetizers, entrees and desserts covered. Give vegetarian options too for guests with dietary preferences. Here’s a sample three-course Halloween dinner menu to get you started:
- Bat Wings (chicken wings with bats carved out of pepper jack cheese)
- Skewered Mummy Dogs (pig in a blanket with striped phyllo bandages)
- Deviled Eyeball Eggs (deviled eggs decorated to look like eyeballs)
- Rigatoni with Pumpkin Vampire Sauce (rigatoni with creamy pumpkin Alfredo sauce)
- Witch’s Brew Stew (beef and veggie stew with a dash of red food coloring)
- Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers (red bell peppers stuffed with rice and veggies)
- Graveyard Cake (layered chocolate cake decorated with crumbled Oreo “dirt” and tombstone cookies)
- Apple Spider Bites (apple slices with a peanut butter spider web)
- Ghostly Cheesecake (plain cheesecake with chocolate cookie crumb base)
Get creative and come up with your own creepy-crawly menu items! Keep reading for recipes, decoration tips and presentation ideas.
Appetizers: Brew Up Some Creepy Bites
The appetizer course is a chance to wow your guests right off the bat with some frighteningly delicious snacks. Focus on creepy presentations and ghoulish ingredients.
These chicken wings are crispy, saucy and shaped just like bats for a spooky Halloween appetizer. Here’s how to make them:
- 3 lbs chicken wings, separated into drummettes and flats
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 1 block pepper jack cheese
- Separate chicken wings into drummettes and flats. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Set up breading station – flour, eggs, panko crumbs, seasonings in separate bowls.
- Coat each wing piece in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Ensure evenly coated.
- Bake wings at 425°F for 25-30 minutes until crispy and cooked through.
- Melt pepper jack cheese slices in microwave for 30 seconds. Cut out bat shape wings with cookie cutter.
- Toss cooked wings in buffalo sauce to coat. Top each wing with a pepper jack cheese bat wing before serving.
These spicy bat wings are sure to fly off your Halloween appetizer table!
Skewered Mummy Dogs
Mummify some mini hot dogs for a frightful Halloween appetizer. Follow this recipe:
- 1 pack mini hot dogs
- 1 pack frozen mini phyllo pastry shells, thawed
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Whole grain mustard
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray mini phyllo shells with cooking spray. Toast for 2-3 minutes until crisp.
- Cut phyllo shells into 1/2 inch wide strips. Wrap strips criss-cross over each mini hot dog to create “mummy” effect.
- Arrange mummy dogs on baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray and bake 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with mustard and ketchup for drizzling “blood”. Spooky and delicious!
These mummified mini hot dogs are sure to be a hit on your Halloween spread.
Deviled Eyeball Eggs
Transform ordinary deviled eggs into a creepy Halloween snack with these devilish decorating tricks:
- 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
- Olives and cream cheese for decorating
- Scoop out hard boiled egg yolks into bowl, mix with mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and spices.
- Spoon or pipe yolk mixture back into egg whites. Smooth tops.
- Top each deviled egg half with a small round of cream cheese “whites” and a green olive slice “iris”.
- Use paprika to create a “bloodshot” eyeball effect. Terrifying!
Offer to serve these creepy deviled eyeball eggs on a bed of shredded lettuce or spinach for added effect.
Main Dishes: Monster Mains
For the main event, concoct some Halloween-worthy entrees starring seasonal veggies, creepy shapes and spine-tingling colors.
Rigatoni with Pumpkin Vampire Sauce
This pumpkin Alfredo pasta gets its orange hue from pureed pumpkin and its vampire flair from sundried tomato “blood” drizzles.
- 1 box rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sundried tomatoes, chopped, for garnish
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook rigatoni 2 minutes less than package instructions.
- In saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add pumpkin puree and cook 2 more minutes. Reduce heat to low.
- Stir in heavy cream and mascarpone. Heat through until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Drain pasta and add to sauce along with Parmesan. Toss to coat.
- Serve in bowls topped with chopped sundried tomatoes as “blood” drizzles.
This rich, creamy pumpkin pasta will be a new favorite vampire-themed dish for Halloween!
Witch’s Brew Stew
Bubble up a spooky beef and veggie stew tinted orange with red food coloring for a quick one-pot dish.
- 1 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, salt, oregano
- 1/2 tsp red food coloring (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Pat beef dry and season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and oregano.
- Heat oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown beef on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Add carrots, celery and onion. Cook 5 minutes more.
- Whisk in flour until absorbed. Stir in tomato paste and broth.
- Add bay leaves. Simmer 30 minutes until beef is tender.
- Remove bay leaves. Mix in food coloring if desired.
- Turn off heat and stir in sour cream. Adjust seasonings.
- Serve stew garnished with bread rolls or biscuits. Enjoy this spooky stew!
Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers
Carve out orange bell peppers and stuff with rice, veggies and ground turkey for a healthy Halloween entree:
- 4 orange or red bell peppers
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. Rub with olive oil and season inside with salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F for 15 minutes.
- In pan over medium heat, cook ground turkey until browned. Drain excess fat.
- Add diced zucchini, onions and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.
- Stir in rice, oregano and crushed tomatoes. Heat through.
- Stuff pepper shells with turkey-rice mixture. Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake stuffed peppers at 375°F for 20 minutes until hot and melty.
These jack-o-lantern inspired stuffed peppers are equally festive and flavorful!
Desserts: Treats from the Crypt
Cap off your ghoulish dinner with some creepy, crawly desserts. Use Halloween candy decorations, chocolate webs and creepy serving dishes for added fright factor.
Construct a spooky graveyard cake with chocolate frosting tombstones:
- 1 chocolate or devil’s food cake mix, prepared as directed
- Chocolate frosting
- Crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies, for “dirt”
- Candy tombstone decorations
- Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Let cool completely.
- Frost outside of cake with chocolate frosting. Cover top and sides.
- Press cookie crumbs onto frosting on top and sides to mimic dirt.
- Decorate top of cake with candy tombstones and ghosts to create a graveyard scene.
- Write RIP messages on additional cookies and stick into cake as headstones. Spooky!
Add some creepy crawlies like gummy worms peeking out for an added Halloween touch.
Read More: 45 Best Halloween Cake Ideas – Updated 2023
Apple Spider Bites
These peanut butter apple treats resemble creepy crawly spiders:
- 4 apples, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Mini chocolate chips
- Pretzel sticks
- Spread peanut butter on one side of apple slices.
- Press mini chocolate chips into peanut butter to create “spider eyes”.
- Stick in pretzel sticks on either side for “legs”.
- Arrange spider bites on a platter for serving. Scary good!
Let kids help decorate these apple spider bites for a fun Halloween activity.
A plain cheesecake becomes ghostly with a chocolate cookie crumb crust and chocolate ganache drizzle:
- 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
- 5 tbsp melted butter
- 3 packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Mix cookie crumbs with melted butter and press into bottom of springform pan. Refrigerate.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time.
- Stir in sour cream and vanilla extract. Pour over crust.
- Bake at 325°F for 55 minutes. Turn off oven, leave cheesecake in for 60 more minutes.
- Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.
- For ganache, heat cream until simmering. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth.
- Drizzle ganache over cheesecake. Chill until serving.
With crumbled cookie “ectoplasm”, this ghostly cheesecake is sure to terrify and satisfy your sweet tooth!
Set the Scene: Decor and Serving Ideas
Now that your creepy cuisine is ready to go, it’s time to set the scene for a spooktacular Halloween dinner party. Use decorations, serving ware and presentation ideas to bring your ghoulish menu to life:
- Set a moody tone with Halloween decor like flickering candles, cobwebs, and black crows. Orange string lights add ambiance.
- Use Halloween themed dishware like spiderweb plates, ghostly mugs or carved pumpkin serving bowls.
- Craft place cards with vampire fangs or mummy fingers holding names.
- Display food on cake stands, under glass cloches or inside apothecary jars for dramatic effect.
- Print up menus on scrolls sealed with black wax.
- To create smoking cauldrons, dry ice baths produce an eerie bubbling fog.
With chilling dishes, spine-tingling decor and a frightfully fun ambiance, you’re guaranteed screams of delight at your Halloween dinner party! Let your guests know a ghoulishly good time awaits.