Our Favorite Halloween Recipes
If you're looking to scare up some serious fun on Halloween, the best way to any little goblin or ghoul's heart is through his or her stomach. Buying Halloween candy is one way to do it, but a more satisfying option is to serve a curated menu of festive appetizers and finger foods, as well as deeply satisfying entrées that can keep guests of all ages happily full all evening long.
Some of our very best Halloween recipes are extremely creative, and, when plated properly, can feel like they've been concocted in the depths of a mad scientist's lab. Even those who skipped costumes and trick-or-treating will enjoy a rich eggplant and tahini dip or a dish of baked rice and squash. If you're hosting adult revelers, you'll be pleased to know that we're also sharing thematic cocktails that are anything but routine—our big-batch punch recipe, pictured here, will quench thirst all night long. It's a classic-yet-grown-up version of a fruit punch, and added embellishments like edible hibiscus leaves earn you serious presentation points. Whatever the nature of your Halloween bash, these recipes are sure to delight and entertain.
After you've decked the halls with the spooky touches that make your home feel like a ghostly retreat, prep a few fun activities for lively mortals to enjoy—it's a great preamble to any formal seated dinner you have in mind (these menus should help you plan it out, by the way). And if you're looking to keep it informal as possible, serve a handful of our favorite Halloween recipes and watch as spirits near and far come back for more.
Black-Tahini and Eggplant Dip
Raven's Nest Cake
Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's infamous bird, your guests will rave about this decadent cake's topper. It's made with an edible "nest" of piped melted chocolate that is chilled in vodka, where it instantly hardens; toasted cake crumbles stand in for actual dirt, and underneath the vanilla buttercream frosting is a treat-worthy chocolate cake.
Putting a sinister face on party food takes nothing more than some simple sleight of hand—and a bit of heat. Mix up deviled eggs using your favorite recipe, and add a dash of cayenne and some hot sauce for kick. Then bring them to life with pointed facial features: Triangles of red bell pepper and dark green scallions make horns and a goatee; snipped chives form a skinny 'stache.
Sinister Salsa: Guacamole with Black Beans
Is that pebbly sludge, dredged up from a nearby swamp, or creamy guacamole studded with black beans and minced chiles? Only a bite—or two—will reveal the true tastiness in the bowl.
Spinach Ricotta Skulls
Morbid Miniature French Onion Soups
Individual servings of French onion soup are sufficiently satisfying for Halloween revelers with more refined tastes. Morbier cheese, which has a veinlike stripe of vegetable ash down the center, makes a more suitably morbid topping than the traditional gruyere.
Shriveled Potatoes with Romesco Sauce
Squeamish Squash with Rice
Slivered Scream Beans
Are your guests green with hunger? These sliced haricots verts were cut (by witches, of course) to look as scary and spiky as possible.
On Halloween, creative presentation turns prosciutto slices into delightfully eerie horror d'oeuvres.
Savory Pumpkin Puffs
Guacamoldy with Creature Chips
Ghost of Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Serve these ghost-shaped sandwiches and give kids or party guests a savory surprise.
Set out scrumptious snacks in eerie ebony and orange shades.
Grilled Cheese Sand-Witches with Celery Broomsticks
Ladies' Fingers and Men's Toes
These fingers and toes make look ghastly, but they're delicious pretzel-like digits with almond nails.
Petrified Cheese Log
Serve something that looks as if it's been festering in the pantry for months, even if it is really fresh and delicious.
This recipe is primed for any Halloween party; you'll bake your way through three whole trays of dense, cakey buttermilk donuts filled with pumpkin purée. Finish them off by rolling them in cinnamon sugar and ground pepitas, and arrange them on a Halloween tablescape for all your guests to ogle over.
Dark and Swampy Cocktail
Vampire Vodka Cocktail
Fit for Dracula himself! Sweet homemade grenadine serves as the "blood" in this inspired Halloween cocktail.