17 Festive Halloween-Themed Dinner Ideas For Celebrating the Holiday at Home
Imagine: It's Oct. 31, and you're sipping an autumnal Halloween cocktail while snacking on a charcuterie board. You have candles lit, "Hocus Pocus" is playing in the background, and you're cooking up a special Halloween dinner since you don't have plans to go out. Trick-or-treaters occasionally stop by, and you feel the cool October temps drift in through the open door.
It's idyllic — but what are you making for Halloween dinner? You can't go wrong with seasonal flavors or fresh produce, like pumpkins, squash, zucchini, apples, and carrots. But if you're already making lots of fall dinners, you might want something to set this holiday meal apart and make it feel, well, Halloween-y.
Great news: we have the Halloween dinner inspo you need. If you really want to amplify the themes of the night, you can add gooey eyeballs, red-hot blood, and creepy Halloween accents to your dish; it'll delight any little ones in attendance and equally please any grown-ups who are kids at heart. If you're ready to make the Halloween dinner of your dreams (or nightmares), read on to see ideas for dishes that range from seasonal and festive to straight-up campy. Happy haunting!
— Additional reporting by Erin Cullum
Spooky Green Monster Zucchini Noodles
Creepy, crawly, and easy to cook, these spooky green monster pesto-covered zucchini noodles will make anyone smile, no matter their age. Add as many eyeballs as you want, and garnish with roasted red pepper tongues. If zucchini noodles aren't your thing, swap for regular pesto spaghetti or even Trader Joe's pumpkin-shaped pasta.
Roasted Carrot Mummies
Carrots and red potatoes make these creative roasted carrot mummies come to life — er, death? Serve these spooky veggies as a nutritious Halloween dinner side dish or even as a creative appetizer.
Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup
For a Halloween dinner idea that's seasonal but not too wacky, try this spicy Southwest pumpkin soup recipe. It's vegan, gluten-free, and super hearty for a cozy night in. Feel free to kick up the spice level if you want to make it zestier or scare anyone at the table.
Baked Cheese Mummies
More cheese, please! These bite-size baked cheese mummies are simple to put together, as they're made with just puff pastry and mini Babybel cheese. Add little eyeballs to make them complete, and serve as an appetizer or part of a larger Halloween dinner.
Oozing Eyeball Meatballs and Sweet Potato Worms
Bloody Rats Meatloaf
If you're not afraid to go all out with the gross factor for your Halloween dinner, go ahead and try this recipe for bloody rats meatloaf. Don't forget the ketchup blood on top, two pea eyes, and green onion tails to really sell the theme. Once guests get past the name, they'll love this flavorful meatloaf, which is flavored with garlic, onion, and cheddar.
Perfect as a Halloween app or creative vegetable side dish, these stuffed mushroom eyeballs are an easy way to add some Halloween flair to your dinner without too much extra work. You only need five ingredients to make this recipe, including the creamy cheese stuffing.
Who's hungry? This spider pizza is a fun twist on the classic that's perfect for a Halloween dinner. Make your own homemade pizza with this recipe, including pesto sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, black olives, and bacon, or simply add your own spider-shaped toppings to a frozen or delivery pie to make it even easier.
What's more festive than cooking with pumpkin on Halloween? This yummy pumpkin ravioli is topped with a rich sage brown-butter sauce that you'll want to make for months to come. Pair it with a side of garlic bread to make this classy Halloween dinner a home run.
Slow-Cooker Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili
Chili is a quintessential fall food, and you can give it an additional autumnal twist with pumpkin puree or chunks of fresh pumpkin. This pumpkin and black bean chili is perfect for Halloween dinner if you're busy all day; you can make it in your slow cooker, and it'll be ready to eat when you get home from your Halloween activities.
Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta
A cold night calls for a warm and hearty alfredo — and adding pumpkin makes it a festive Halloween dinner. Make this creamy pumpkin alfredo pasta this October, and it'll become your go-to recipe every fall.
Brazilian Shrimp-Stuffed Pumpkin
For a Halloween dinner idea that makes the day feel like a true special occasion, take a page from the cookbook of Olivia Mesquita, the Brazilian blogger behind this recipe for camarão na moranga, or a shrimp-stuffed pumpkin. It's a traditional Brazilian dish from the coast of São Paulo that combines the seasonality of fresh pumpkin with rich seafood flavors.
Curried Carrot Soup
Take a break from pumpkin everything — but still serve up a festive orange dish for Halloween dinner — with this recipe for flavorful curried carrot soup. It's packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other essential nutrients, and it just happens to be vegan — though you can top with a scoop of Greek yogurt for some tang and extra creaminess.
Hasselback Potato Bugs
Don't be afraid to serve this creepy crawly side dish during your Halloween dinner — it's sure to make anyone smile. These hasselback potato bugs are crunchy, crispy, and just a little spooky thanks to the carrot stick "legs."
Pumpkin Sloppy Joes
Pumpkin sloppy joes are a great party food or easy meal and a fun choice for a Halloween dinner. This recipe's fall flavor comes from pureed pumpkin and a dash of pumpkin spice seasoning.
Spooky Halloween Salad
Serve up this spooky Halloween salad with your dinner, or add some protein such as grilled chicken or tofu to beef it up and make it your main dish. It gets its festive flair from the green and orange tortellini, mozzarella cheese skulls, and cutout pepperoni.
Here's your excuse to serve breakfast for Halloween dinner. These cute jack-o'-lantern pancakes are no harder to make than your usual flapjacks and are a fun meal idea in the days surrounding the holiday, whether you serve them in the a.m. or p.m.