It’s that time of year finally! Halloween is only 30 days away now, and it’s time to start planning all sorts of spooky shenanigans and fright-filled festivities. And to get you ready, I’ve put together this list of recipes I’ve collected over the last year that are devilishly delightful and perfect to serve at any Halloween party or event this October.

Also, for a few of these recipes, I made some of my own adjustments as I tried them out, so I made a note of any modifications in my descriptions and in the directions as well.


Melted Witch Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip

I’m a big fan of cream cheese dip all year round, as it’s the perfect light and sweet treat to enjoy with your favorite fruits or cookies, which is why this Melted Witch Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip caught my eye. And even though it is green, it’s not mint-flavored at all, which means it’s the perfect destination to dip your favorite treats in this Halloween.


- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 drops green food coloring (more if desired)
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Oreo cookies and Hershey’s Kisses for decoration
- Fruit/Graham Crackers/Pretzels for dipping


- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until it is light and fluffy, then slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk. Beat until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla, and then mix until blended.
- Drop in 5-6 drops of green food coloring (or as much as you want to make your dip a deeper green color) and mix. Then, fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Pour into a serving dish. To finish off the dip, drop a couple dots of green food coloring on top and use a toothpick to swirl around to give it that “melted witch” look.
- Place half of an Oreo cookie on top, then top that with the Hershey’s Kiss so it looks like a witch's hat. Serve with fruit, graham crackers, and/or pretzels.

Credit: I Wash You Dry


Cheesy Spiders

If I’m being perfectly honest, one of my biggest vices in life is cheese. LOVE IT. And I love these miniature cheese balls that look like spiders, too. I made these Cheesy Spiders as a snack one day, minus the chow mein noodles, and they were delicious. To make them a bit differently, I mixed in 1 tablespoon of dried chives, and that added so much extra flavor. But do not put on crackers until you are ready to serve these snacks. Also, you can make these early and store them in the refrigerator overnight, and they’ll be just as tasty the next day.


- (1) 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

- (1) 16-ounce package shredded cheese

- Black paste food coloring

- (1) 3.5-ounce package round crackers

- (1) cup uncooked Chow Mein noodles


- Mix 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese with food coloring to tint it black. Spoon mixture into a resealable bag; set aside.

- Beat remaining cream cheese with all but 1 cup of the shredded cheese until blended. Shape mixture into 1 1⁄4-inch balls.

- Place remaining shredded cheese in a shallow bowl. Roll balls in cheese to coat.

- Place one ball on each cracker. Insert 8 chow mein noodles into each ball as legs of the spider.

- Snip a very small corner from the bag with black cream cheese, and then pipe eyes on each spider.

Credit: Woman's Day


Bloody Falafel Fingers

Truth be told, I had never worked with chickpeas before making a non-Halloween version of these Bloody Falafel Fingers this past summer, but even though they should soak overnight, after you get past that, they are a breeze, and this recipe is delicious. It’s perfect for those of you who are vegetarian, and great for those of you meat-eaters out there as well. They pack a ton of flavor in each bite, and they would make for a perfect Halloween appetizer to share this October.


- 1/2 cup dry chickpeas
- 1/2 cup dry split yellow peas
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup cilantro packed
- 1/4 cup parsley packed
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (you can also use coriander powder if you can’t find the seeds – it’s what I did)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 Serrano chili pepper, chopped
- 2 teaspoons oil optional
- 1-2 tablespoons chickpea flour (if needed)
- raw almonds


- Wash and soak both the chickpeas and split peas overnight for best results, where they should have a give to them when you press them. *If the chickpeas or split peas are hard after the soak, you can blanch them in rapidly boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes.

- Preheat your oven to 375°F.

- Drain your softened peas and transfer them into food processor or blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the chickpea flour. Using the pulse setting, mix the ingredients to form a coarse mixture.

- Transfer to bowl and add chickpea flour if the mixture is too mushy and doesn't easily stick together. Then, form the long finger patties.

- Stick almond halves to the fingers using chickpea paste (add a few drops of water to a teaspoon of chickpea flour).

- Soak the raw almonds for an hour, then peel and halve them. Stick one half into the end of each finger to create the nail.

- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. (Turn the tray after 15 minutes to bake evenly.) Serve hot.

- Dip the fingers in ketchup or Sriracha to make them bloody. They’re also delicious with tahini sauce.

Credit: Vegan Richa


Mummy Meat Loaves

As someone who still believes in serving up a traditional meatloaf dinner, these Mummy Meat Loaves offer up a fun twist on a classic dish. When I tried these out, I didn’t use the tomatoes and just went with all ground beef instead of using some ground pork, and they were still delicious. Also, I didn’t have the right Wilton decorating tip, which resulted in a messier outcome, so if you’re a perfectionist, I recommend swinging by Michaels to pick up some decorating bags and the proper tip to make these adorable mummies.


- 3/4 pound white or yellow potatoes, peeled
- salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup panko or plain bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 12 grape tomatoes
- 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 24 ounces peas


- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with foil liners. Place the potatoes in a pot, add enough cold water to cover, and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 15 to 18 minutes.

- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir in the bread crumbs. Add the garlic and diced carrot and mix to combine.

- Add the beef and pork and mix everything together. Divide the meat mixture among the foil liners and push a tomato into the center of each one. Transfer to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the meat registers 155°F, usually for 14 to 16 minutes.

- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt and mash until very smooth.

- Transfer your mashed potatoes to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch ribbon tip (Wilton #104).

- Transfer the meat loaves to a platter and pipe the potatoes back and forth over each top to resemble a mummy's wrapping. Place two peas on each mummy to create their eyes, and enjoy.

Credit: Jonny Valiant / Woman's Day


Reese’s Nachos

If you’re looking for a super simple dessert-style treat to serve up this Halloween, these Reese’s Nachos should do the trick. There’s barely any cooking involved and they’re ready to go in less than 10 minutes. Plus, they’re sure to be a favorite amongst your party guests, too!


- 20 graham crackers, broken into pieces
- 6 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
- 1 packet Reese's Pieces
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, warmed
- 1/4 cup melted chocolate


- Heat up your broiler. In an ovenproof skillet, layer graham crackers, Reese's, Reese's Pieces, and mini marshmallows.

- Drizzle with peanut butter and chocolate and transfer to oven.

- Heat until marshmallows are toasted and nachos are warm. Serve immediately.

Credit: via Ethan Calabrese


Candy Corn Cheese Tower

As mentioned, cheese is my weakness, so when I saw this Candy Corn Cheese Tower, I just knew I needed to try it. And while my rendition didn’t look nearly as clean as this version does (I admittedly rushed things), it was still fun and ended up being delectable. Also, I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, so I substituted with cream cheese, which was surprisingly good and mixed well with the other cheeses.


- Four 8-ounce rectangular blocks yellow cheese, preferably cheddar
- Four 8-ounce rectangular blocks white cheese, preferably Monterey Jack
- 1 pound goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- Crackers, for serving


- Place 2 blocks of yellow cheese side by side on a cheese board. Press them together so they touch. Stack the remaining 2 blocks of yellow cheese on top of them.

- Stack the blocks of white cheese on top of the yellow in the same way. If desired, insert 2 skewers down through the top of the blocks to hold them together (you can find them at most grocery retailers; they’re what you use to create shish kabobs for the grill).

- Using a sharp knife, carve away the sides of the cheese blocks to resemble the bottom two-thirds of a piece of candy corn. (You will add the white tip at the end using the goat cheese.) After carving, remove the skewers from the tower.

- Using your hands, mold the goat cheese into the tip of the candy corn and add it to the cheese stack. Shape it to a point using a butter knife or a small spatula.

- Whisk together the red wine and paprika in a small bowl and paint it onto the middle layer of the candy corn with a pastry brush. Serve with an array of crackers.

Credit: Food Network


Buffalo Meatball Pumpkins

I’ve been making buffalo meatballs for years, so this recipe for Buffalo Meatball Pumpkins seemed like an easy choice to include here. Usually, I make my own meatballs, but if you’re serving these at a party, hand-rolling 75 meatballs can be tedious (I usually make 24 with one pound of ground beef, and that one batch is time consuming), so I recommend picking up a pack of frozen meatballs to use in order to save yourself a ton of time.


- (2) 1/2 pound bags of frozen meatballs—about 75
- 38 pretzel rods or pretzel sticks
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley or cilantro

Buffalo Sauce:
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing


- Put the meatballs into a slow cooker (crock pot), cover, and heat on high for 3 1/2 hours.

- Pour the buffalo sauce (see recipe below) over the meatballs and stir to coat. Allow the sauce to cook on the meatballs on low for 30 minutes.

- To make the buffalo meatballs look like pumpkins, set them out on a tray.

- Break the ends off of the pretzel rods and insert them into the meatballs. Cut a small hole in the top of each meatball before inserting the pretzel, if necessary.

- Finish them off with a green parsley leaf.

Buffalo Sauce:

- Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then stir in the buffalo sauce, pumpkin puree, and ranch dressing. Cook for 5-10 minutes.

Credit: The Gunny Sack


Spooky Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl Cauldron

I love spinach dip in general, as it’s another appetizer that’s perfect for guests of any culinary inclination, vegetarian or otherwise. This Spooky Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl Cauldron should conjure up plenty of smiles this Halloween season, and be sure to save all your leftover bread items to serve with your dip when you’re ready to serve it up.


- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package frozen chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- green food coloring
- 2 refrigerated breadsticks (from an 11-oz. can)
- black icing color
- 1 round loaf pumpernickel bread
- 1 package cream cheese


- In medium bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, basil, black pepper, garlic powder and salt; mix well. Stir in spinach, scallions and carrots; blend well. Tint green with some food coloring (4-6 drops should do the trick), and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight for flavors to fully develop.

- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Unroll 2 breadsticks from the package of refrigerated breadsticks (Pillsbury works great). Twist and form into handle shape. Insert a toothpick into each end and bake as the package directs. (You can bake the remaining breadsticks as well and serve them as an accompaniment to dip. Be sure to bake them immediately after opening the package.)

- Once baked, allow the breadsticks to cool completely. Paint the breadstick handle with the black icing color. Then, cut top off of your loaf of bread and hollow out to form a bowl. Insert handle into top of bread bowl.

- In a small bowl, tint cream cheese black with icing color. Transfer to resealable plastic bag. Snip a 1/2-inch hole from one corner of the bag, and pipe it around top of cauldron. Spoon the dip into the cauldron, and serve with the leftover pumpernickel bread chunks from the loaf, leftover breadsticks and raw vegetables.

Credit: Woman's Day, photo by Mark Ferri


Meringue Bones

I finally learned how to make meringue treats last Christmas, and what I love about them is that they seem super fancy, but they are really easy to make, which makes you seem even more impressive to others (and I’m not afraid to admit that when it comes to my cooking, I live for accolades from other people). These Meringue Bones are a perfectly easy treat to serve at your Halloween party this year, and if you want to make them even a bit more festive, you can separate your meringue mixture into several bags and add in a few drops of various food coloring options to serve up a seriously eye-popping snack for friends and family.


- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


- Arrange your oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Heat to 225°F. Make a 6-inch bone template/stencil and trace your design onto 2 large sheets parchment paper, leaving 1 inch space on each side of stenciled bones. Line 2 large baking sheets with the paper, stenciled side down.

- In medium bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites and pinch salt until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until meringue stands in stiff, glossy peaks. Then, beat in the vanilla extract.

- Transfer meringue to large disposable piping bag and snip off end. Using your stencils as a guide, pipe bone shapes onto the parchment paper.

- Next, turn your oven off, and place the meringues in oven 1 hour with oven door closed. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Credit: Good Housekeeping, photo by Danielle Occhiogrosso


Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeño Mummies

For our final recipe today, I’m going to spice things up with these Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeño Mummies. One quick note: they say to use a “dash” of hot sauce, but I used one tablespoon and that seemed to give me the kick I was looking for with these yummy mummies.


- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- Dash hot sauce
- 6 small jalapeños
- 1 container of refrigerated crescent roll dough
- 24 frozen peas, thawed, or tiny pieces of roasted red pepper, or a combination of both


- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar, scallion, and hot sauce together.

- Spoon your cheese mixture into a resealable plastic bag and snip off one corner.

- Cut the jalapeños in half, lengthwise, then remove and discard the seeds (trust me—you do not want seeds in your peppers, so be careful). Pipe the cheese mixture onto each of the pepper halves.

- Unroll the crescent dough and cut them into 1/4" strips. Wrap 2 strips around each filled jalapeño half to create a mummy-like pattern.

- Transfer the wrapped jalapeños to the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

- Let the mummies cool for 5 minutes, then place 2 peas or pieces of pepper on each one for eyes. Serve warm for best results or at room temperature.

Credit: Woman's Day


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  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    After falling in love with the horror genre at a very early age, Heather Wixson has spent the last decade carving out a name for herself in the genre world as a both a journalist and as a proponent of independent horror cinema. Wixson is currently the Managing Editor for, and was previously a featured writer at and where her online career began; she’s also been a contributor at FEARnet as well as a panelist for several of their online programs.

    Wixson recently finished her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, and is currently working on her second upcoming book project on special effects artists as well.

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