Are you hosting a Halloween dinner party for adults? Even though your guests are grown-up, they'll appreciate that you took the time to come up with a Halloween-centric menu. Whether you're planning to prepare a ghoulish but yummy meal for just a few people or if you're serving a crowd, there are a lot of great tasting and creative Halloween dinner ideas to consider. Choose your favorites from the options below, and your guests are sure to leave feeling much more treated than tricked.
Creative and Casual Halloween Dinner Ideas
If you want to make sure your Halloween dinner party doesn't feel the same as traditional gatherings for other holidays and observances, challenge yourself to infuse some creativity into the menu. Halloween-themed food isn't just for kids. Engage your guests with these fun Halloween menu ideas.
Make pizza crust ahead of time, or purchase prepared crust from the supermarket. Creatively top so that the pizza resembles a Halloween ghoul or something else that goes bump in the night. Cut pepperoni to resemble teeth, use cheese and olives for eyes and nose, and add fresh basil for stitches (think Frankenstein's monster) or decay.
DIY Halloween Flatbreads
If you're looking for a less laborious way to have a Halloween pizza party, set up a DIY pizza bar with flatbread and/or flour tortilla for crusts alongside an extensive selection of pizza toppings that guests can use to create their own Halloween theme pizza to enjoy. Challenge guests to a competition and award a prize to the person who comes up with the most ghoulish-looking pizza. Assign someone to be in charge of the oven or grill.
Devilish Taco/Nacho Bar
Create a devil-inspired DIY taco/nacho bar. Put taco meat in the center of a platter to begin making a devil face. Surround it with shredded lettuce and chopped green onions. Fashion horns from red peppers and place shredded cheese in between for hair. Use a pepper for the nose and make devil eyes with sliced onions and cherry tomatoes. Create a mouth with onions and mushrooms. Place taco shells, nacho chips, and tortillas nearby, along with additional toppings.
Make-Ahead Ideas for a Halloween Dinner
If you're looking to minimize stress and want to have plenty of time to mingle with your guests, build your menu around make-ahead dinner ideas. There are plenty of hauntingly good Halloween options that work great for sit-down dinner parties and serve-yourself spreads.
Yes, you read that right! Feet loaf is a great make-ahead meal for a Halloween dinner party. Make your favorite meatloaf recipe, but shape it into severed feet instead of a loaf. Store the loaves (um... feet) in the fridge until an hour or so before the party, then add the finishing touches and pop them in the oven. Use onion chunks for toenails, onion slices to indicate where the feet were severed, and (of course!) ketchup for blood. Serve it with some spooky red Halloween cocktails to add extra-creepy flair.
Beef Stew With Sweet Potatoes
For a hearty but laid-back Halloween meal, prepare your favorite beef stew recipe. For maximum ease, opt for slow cooker beef stew that can simmer all day and will stay warm throughout the evening. It's easy to adjust any beef stew recipe slightly to boost the Halloween factor. Just use orange sweet potato chunks instead of (or in addition to) ordinary potatoes to color coordinate it with the occasion. Serve with crusty bread or hearty crackers.
Stuffed Pepper O'Lanterns
Stuffed peppers are an easy dish to make ahead and bake just in time for dinner. To give this dish a special Halloween twist, you'll just need to carve the peppers to resemble jack-o'-lanterns before filling them with your favorite stuffed pepper recipe. Or, for a more casserole-like option (with less carving), you could slice the peppers flat, spoon the filling on top, then add ghoulish eyeballs to the top using circles of white cheese with black olives in the middle.
Great Soups for a Halloween Party Menu
Soup makes a great appetizer (or even a main course!) for a Halloween dinner party, especially if the weather is cold or at least a bit chilly - as it usually is in most places on October 31. Soup is an elegant choice that - if you select the recipe wisely - you can make ahead.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
When you pick up a pumpkin for your jack-o'-lantern, purchase a few extras so you can easily whip up a batch of spicy pumpkin soup for your guests. For a creative and holiday-specific touch, you may even want to serve it in a pumpkin shell. Pumpkin soup is a fantastic addition to the menu of any Halloween party. Not only is it an elegant and delicious dish, pumpkin soup is also spectacularly seasonal.
Butternut Squash Soup
Pumpkins aren't the only type of orange produce that can be used to make delicious soup appropriate for an adult Halloween party. Soup made from butternut squash also has a lovely orange tone, so it's also great choice for a Halloween dinner party. You can make butternut squash soup on the stove or in a slow cooker. For a protein-packed version, use this recipe for butternut squash chickpea soup.
Witch's Brew Soup
If you like the idea of a soup that resembles something a not-so-good witch might brew in a cauldron, make your favorite type of green soup and serve it in a black bowl. Split pea soup is a good choice. You also could make your favorite potato-based soup, such as potato leek soup, but stir in some green food coloring to give it a brew-like tint. Just be prepared to explain to guests what it is, as they certainly won't want to fall under the spell of a witch! Your guests will award you extra points if you serve it alongside green Halloween cocktails.
Spooky Sides for a Halloween Dinner
Whatever else you serve, be sure to include a nice selection of seasonal side dishes on your Halloween party menu. You could go as basic as stirring green or orange food coloring into mashed potatoes (especially if you're serving feet loaf for the main course), but you could also go with something a bit more upscale.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes aren't just for Thanksgiving. For Halloween, use this recipe for sweet potato fries or buy frozen ones at the supermarket. Sweet potato fries are a tasty treat any time of the year, but their orange color makes them a great choice for Halloween. After they're cooked, grind some extra black pepper over the top so they're both orange and brown.
Roasted Root Vegetables
For a fall favorite, prepare a batch of roasted root vegetables for your Halloween dinner. Choose veggies based on color to stick with your Halloween theme. Make with them blood-red beets, red onions, and orange veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and/or butternut squash. You may also want to add some purple potatoes, as they look almost black when cooked. Black radishes (only the skin is black) are also a fun seasonal addition.
Halloweeny Pasta Salad
Adapt your favorite pasta salad recipe for Halloween by using pasta in a seasonal shade instead of ordinary beige semolina pasta. You can find orange pumpkin pasta in most supermarkets. This will taste great and look uber-Halloweeny, especially if you stir some black olives into the mixture. Get even more creative (and creepy!) by using black squid ink pasta.
Devilish Desserts for a Halloween Dinner Party
No dinner party is complete without a tasty dessert (or several from which to choose!). In addition to providing a seasonal sweet treat to end the meal, prepare some coffee (pumpkin spice, anyone?) for guests who enjoy a hot beverage with their dessert.
Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée
For a fancy dessert pre-portioned in individual servings for your dinner guests, pumpkin spice crème brûlée is a terrific menu selection. Simply use this basic crème brûlée recipe, but stir a tablespoon or so of pumpkin spice into the creamy custard before pouring it into the ramekins for serving. You can lightly dust a bit more on the top for more flavor and Halloween flair.
No Halloween dinner party is complete without pumpkin cookies to nibble on after the main event. Choose your favorites from these pumpkin cookie recipes, or make several different kinds so that your guests can try several kinds. Use a jack-o'-lantern cookie cutter for a distinctly Halloween-like appearance.
Cupcakes are a fun, low-maintenance dessert choice for any casual dinner party. They also provide a perfect palette for adding a special Halloween touch to the very end of the meal. Bake your favorite cupcake recipe or boxed cake mix. Devil's food cake is a great option, though any flavor will work. Top with orange or chocolate frosting along with coordinating sprinkles or candy. Or, if you feel like getting really creative, use these witch cupcake decorating instructions.
Have a Tasty Good Time on Halloween
No matter what you serve, the key to a successful Halloween dinner party for adults is to choose a combination of tasty recipes tweaked to fit in with the seasonal theme. For even more ideas, check out these Halloween party food ideas for adults and Halloween finger foods and appetizers. Don't forget the adult beverages. Some wickedly delicious Halloween cocktails whipped up just for the occasion will help guests really get into the spirit of the occasion. From terrifyingly tasty Halloween shots to sophisticated Halloween martinis, there are plenty of great seasonal beverages to consider for your Halloween party menu. Make sure to have alternate choices on hand for designated drivers and guests who prefer nonalcoholic beverages.