These delicious and doable recipes will feed your costumed crowd before they head out for an evening of fun.

Although ordering a pizza may be a classic pre-trick-or-treating ritual, you may want something more substantial to help keep you and your squad going as you head out for a night of costume-clad doorbell ringing. The recipes we've pulled together here will definitely provide that sustenance, but they won't have you working in the kitchen for hours or worrying how you'll be able to take a break from cooking to answer your own doorbell.

Make-ahead casseroles are one tactic we love. You can prep them ahead of time, then cover and refrigerate or freeze; on the big night, just bring the dish up to room temperature (or close to it) before sliding it into the oven. A few ideas: Sausage and Kale Stuffed Shells, which combine spicy pork sausage and hearty kale for a crowd-pleasing meal you can make hours, days, or even weeks ahead of time; a Chicken Tetrazzini that cuts down significantly on prep time because it calls for rotisserie chicken; or Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole, a Tex-Mex-inspired dish that includes sautéed mushrooms, cooked black beans, store-bought salsa, and corn tortillas.

tortilla casserole

Feeding a crowd (or just want leftovers)? Chili is a terrific option, and our tried-and-true Easy Beef Chili won't let you down. Chili powder, cocoa powder, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes take its flavor to the next level, and it's equally wonderful on its own, over nachos, or stuffed into roasted peppers. A curry also works well, as you can stretch it far with more rice or vegetables. Our Yellow Curry Chicken incorporates curry powder and lemongrass but we also like this Coconut-Curry Shrimp, which calls for quick-cooking fresh shrimp, frozen peas, and couscous. And your slow cooker or Instant Pot can also come in handy on Halloween. Prep your meal when you have some quiet time earlier in the day, and then once the festivities start, dinner for many is ready to eat. A few of our favorites include Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic, Pulled Pork, and White-Bean Soup.

Finally, we're big fans of sheet pan meals that come together in a flash. There are Chicken Fajitas that feel festive but also provide a nice combo of protein and vegetables; Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops that go perfectly with broccoli and sweet potatoes; and Roasted Sausages with Cabbage and Squash, which feels just right for a fall night.


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