31 Spooky Recipes to Make for Halloween
Black Widow Goat Cheese Log
Sautéed shallots and feta cheese flavor this simple spread, which is a delicious hors d'oeuvre at any time of year. Here, it's formed into a spooky spider.
Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers
On Halloween, Grace Parisi shapes these cheesy crackers into creepy witch fingers, pressing a sliced almond onto the end of each one to make the nail. During the rest of the year, she rolls the dough into logs and cuts them into coins before baking.
Red Velvet Spider Web Cupcakes
These web-topped, chocolate-frosted red velvet wonders are filled with a spooky surprise—a sweet and creamy filling loaded with chewy tapioca pearls.
Spiced Candy Corn Crispies
These charming sweet-and-savory rice cereal treats are spicy enough to serve with drinks and sweet enough to satisfy a candy craving.
Pastry chef Christina Tosi transforms her trick-or-treat haul into these irresistible Halloween treats.
Worms in Dirt (Hijiki Salad)
The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, makes a lovely Halloween-ready salad that just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.
Pastry chef Christina Tosi transforms her Halloween haul into this irresistible party mix.
Dark and Stormy Death Punch
This is Grace Parisi's take on the Dark and Stormy, a classic rum and ginger beer drink. Floating in the punch bowl are round ice cubes made with lychee syrup and lychees stuffed with brandied cherries, which have an uncanny resemblance to eyeballs.
Halloween Whoopie Pies
Tender chocolate cake with a luscious creamy filling is great in any form, but it's most fun of all in a whoopie pie. These little cakes are dressed in their Halloween finest with orange sashes made by rolling the creamy edges in bright orange nonpareils.
Scallop-and-Olive Eyeball Canapés
A quick scallop mousse mixed in a processor in under a minute forms the base of these elegant canapés. For the sleekest look of all, cut the mousse slices with a small round cookie cutter into perfect, even rounds.
Swamp Chili (Poblano-and-Spinach Posole)
Spinach and pureed poblano chiles (sautéed with garlic and cumin) give this chili a swamp-like look that's fun on Halloween. Before serving, Grace Parisi stirs in hominy and little chicken-and-pork meatballs.
Flaky Blood Orange Tart
Pastry chef Zoe Nathan prefers to be called a baker, which better reflects her unpretentious style. "I like making desserts that go from oven to table without a lot of fussing and futzing," she says. Her stunning yet simple crostata, which uses juicy blood oranges at their peak, is nothing but sweet-tart oranges and a bit of sugar on a flaky, buttery crust.
These soft, lightly spiced cake-like cookies are studded with minced candied ginger and topped with a buttery sugar glaze.
Ghostly Lemon Cake Pops
Grace Parisi's cake pops are easy to make: Crumble store-bought pound cake; mix with lemon, sugar and butter; then shape into mounds. When they're covered with white chocolate, the cakes look like ghosts. Make their faces with an edible decorating pen or dots of black frosting.
Day of the Dead Cookies (Halloween Sugar Cookies)
Although a skull is the traditional Day of the Dead motif, you can stamp these cookies into any festive shape, from pumpkins and witches to cats and ghosts.
Snickers Ice Cream Milk
Pastry chef Christina Tosi transforms her Halloween haul into a candy milkshake.
Sriracha-and-Wasabi Deviled Eggs
Chef Joanne Chang's mother used to make hard-boiled eggs for dinner: She would add them to the beef or chicken she was braising in soy. This is Joanne's riff on those eggs, made spicy with hot sauce and wasabi.
Walker’s Mulled Wine
Walkers Maine restaurant in Cape Neddick, Maine, gently infuses wine with nutmeg, vanilla, and star anise, then lightly sweetened with honey and maple syrup.
Chicken alla Diavola
Salvatore Denaro's pollo alla diavola ("devil's-style chicken") is intensely seasoned. Two days prior to cooking, Denaro infuses white wine vinegar with a big bunch of dried Sicilian oregano for a marinade. Then he seasons the marinated chicken with an exotic herb mixture, or condimento, that includes Turkish bay laurel ("the only kind to use," Denaro says) and myrtle leaves. Feel free to experiment with a variety of herbs for the condimento.
Devil's Food Cupcakes With Espresso Meringue
Karen Hatfield usually prepares mini versions of this recipe for her petit four plate, topping the rich, chocolaty cupcakes with a fluffy swirl of espresso meringue and some cocoa-nib dust.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Pancetta
For this simple and satisfying risotto you can substitute bacon and most types of winter squash (like delicata) for the ingredients used here.
Tea-Scented Pumpkin Soup
Han Feng lightly flavors this silky, creamy soup with Ceylon tea, garnishing it with a drizzle of roasted pumpkinseed oil.
Basil Limeade Slushies
A splash of soda water makes these tart slushies pleasingly bubbly. With a little rum, they'd also make great cocktails.
Beef Chili with Beans
"Chili means Halloween to me," Grant Achatz says. When he was growing up, his mother would always serve it to him and his cousins before they went trick or treating as a way to counteract the sugar buzz to come. The smoky, spicy version here is a slightly modified version of his mother's chili, made with ancho, pasilla and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs.
Sweet Potato Gyoza with Beet Puree
Sweet potato and hazelnut butter make up the filling for these inventive and satisfying gyoza. A silky beet puree shot through with preserved lemon adds a hit of brightness.
Devil's Island Daiquiri
"This is basically a cold buttered rum," says mixologist Jeff Berry. "You could serve it during the holidays in lieu of eggnog."
These icky-cute mice feature three kinds of chocolate: semisweet in the creamy, cakey center and white and bittersweet in the crisp chocolate shell.
Grilled Pineapple–Tequila Punch
In this Grilled Pineapple–Tequila Punch, the sweet and smoky notes of grilled pineapple meld deliciously with tequila, Ancho Reyes Verde (a spicy, crisp poblano liqueur), and splashes of pineapple and lime juices to create a punch that’s the perfect Halloween equalizer.
Delicata Squash and Sausage Crostata with Ricotta and Honey
In their book Wine Food, sommelier Dana Frank and recipe developer Andrea Slonecker pair funky, bright wines with flavorful, vegetable-forward dishes. They compare crostatas and galettes to pizza, making them the perfect weeknight dinner. This version layers fennel-spiced sausage, chile, delicata squash, and honey for a dinner that pairs well with a northern Italian Dolcetto.
With nutty, spicy flavor from the prepared pumpkin butter, this mousse comes together in minutes. Tang and body from the crème fraiche, and an airy, light texture from the whipped cream complete this super simple fall dessert. Serve with an extra dollop of whipped cream, or with some sugar cookies on the side.
Halloween Sugar Cookie Pizza
This is a playful riff on the classic margarita pizza, made with a crisp sugar cookie “crust,” strawberry jam and marshmallows. This would also be terrific with a peanut butter cookie crust.