Halloween is a holiday made for munching.
As the predecessor to Thanksgiving (one of the ultimate American feasts) on the calendar of festivities, Halloween is arguably as important in the food category. It's just that the menu is typically a bit different. With All Hallows' Eve comes excitement, jitters and even some jeepers-creepers. There's typically too many activities happening, from trunk-or-treats and trick-or-treating to parades and parties, to get anyone to sit down for a full meal.
Which brings us to the main topic of conversation, at least as it pertains to Halloween meal planning: the snacks. Snacks are key to any family event, party or just the small window between school and getting costumes on. Halloween snacks can't just be any old, make-ahead, quick recipes — they have to be themed. Why? Because it's Halloween!
To help everyone fuel up for the festivities, TODAY Food put together a list of its most fabulous, frightful and easy between-meal munchies for Halloween, from savory appetizers to creepily good cookies. Because there's nothing scarier than a kid eating candy on an empty stomach.
These ghostly berries are fun to make with kids for an easy Halloween treat. They'll never realize they're being "tricked" into eating fruit on a candy-filled holiday.
They're not blueberries, they're boo-berries! These haunting chocolate-covered strawberries can be served as a Halloween kid's snack in lunchboxes, at a party or for a romantically frightening feast with your partner in crime.
Cinnamon and pumpkin cakes get rolled up into a log swirled with cream cheese frosting. They're perfect for dessert, a sweet breakfast treat with coffee or autumn entertaining.
A little food coloring goes a long way to transform the beloved cereal-based treat into bloody little brains. Aside from cooking spray, the recipe only requires five ingredients that are probably in the kitchen already.
Whether you're preparing a full Halloween party feast or just want to make an unusual after school snack for the kids, this chocolaty take on classic puppy chow will be a hit with the whole family.
Chloe Coscarelli's homemade version of classic Hostess cupcakes is just as rich and decadent as the original — even without butter or cream. It's a dark-hued classic hard to pass up!
Some of the best party desserts are ones that come from the store but look completely homemade! Turn chocolate doughnuts into a Halloween treat you'll want to sink your teeth into.
These hand-shaped pies are the perfect portable, easy-to-eat treat for ghouls of all ages. And unlike traditional hand pies, these are better when there’s some filling oozing out to really make them Halloween-worthy.
A pack of store- or bakery-bought macarons and a food-safe marker transform this elegant French cookie into a ghoulish group of lovable creatures.
Thick Greek yogurt, dates that taste like caramel, maple syrup, pumpkin and nutmeg combine into a delightfully creamy dessert that's low in sugar but still full of bold flavor that hit the spot when you're craving something sweet.
These sweet treats are filled with fresh raspberries and then topped off with sprinkle-studded spiders for the ultimate addition to your spooky soiree.
This recipe is all pumpkin all the time! The crispy fritters are made from fresh roasted pumpkin then they get a dip in sweet pumpkin caramel infused with homemade pumpkin butter.
Give your popcorn an addictive, pumpkin-y spin by tossing a batch with a sweet and caramel-like sauce and then crisping it in the oven. It helps take a standard snack from good to, well, incredible. Plain crunchy popcorn becomes completely irresistible with the cozy warm flavors of fall.
These adorable banana pops, dipped in white chocolate and coconut are a lesser evil on Halloween than the standard gummy worms, taffy brains, and candy corn! Baby bananas are a great choice here, because of their size, but regular halved bananas are fine too.
Some of the after school snacks are ones that come from the store but look can be transformed into something that'll make the kids gasp with glee! Turn chocolate doughnuts into a Halloween treat you'll want to sink your teeth into.
Enjoy all the wonder of pumpkin pie in one tasty little snack. These shots are perfect for any fall celebration where you don't want to be slicing up cakes and other confections. Just pass out and enjoy!
Let guests dig into this spooky graveyard dip that has layers of refried beans, shredded cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, seasoned sour cream and guacamole. Turn pita bread rounds into spooky shapes like tombstones, creepy cats and ghosts by using cookie cutters. Then toast them in the oven until they're golden brown. Place the pita chips in the dip, then top off the dish with scallion "grass" and mounds of olive "dirt."
Don't have time to make a layer dip? No problem. The only things needed here are a pumpkin and some store-bought guac. Instead of placing the spread in a plain bowl, turn the creamy green goop into a gruesome Halloween appetizer. This cute but creepy appetizer sometimes goes by the rather unappetizing names "pumpkin vomit" or "puking pumpkin," but let's just call it delicious.
This creepy zombie skull is the ultimate way to serve charcuterie on Halloween. Simply wrap a clean plastic skull with prosciutto and serve it with more salumi, plus cheese and crackers. Guests will be head-over-heels for this creepy centerpiece.
Roll garlic bread dough into knobby witch fingers that are almost too creepy to eat. Pat down the dough to create knotted knuckles and use a knife to make light creases. Then press in the almonds to create fingernails. Give them a swipe of garlic-infused ghee or butter and serve them up with blood-red marinara sauce for dipping.
Give guests a break from the sugary candy and fill them up with some nice, creepy veggies. It keeps the spooky theme of a Halloween party while providing a healthy snack at the same time.
These irresistible bites have all the flavors of classic deviled eggs but with the spooky, salty bite of an olive spider on top.
Get dressed up for Halloween with these little brie bites. They're more snazzy than spooky, but they're sure to get the party started.
This recipe has just two main ingredients, so it could not be any simpler to assemble, yet the final presentation is totally centerpiece worthy.
"I love to watch the expression on peoples' faces after biting into one of these and realizing there's a grape inside," Elizabeth Heiskell says about this salty, sweet recipe perfect for Halloween parties.
Save the seeds from jack-o'-lantern carvings, clean them and dry them out for an easy, on-the-go snack for Halloween's busy activities. This healthy munch is also great as a flavorful topper for a creamy soup or fall salad.
It's Halloween and what could be spookier than the threat of a ghastly vampire bite? These garlic fries will keep your immune system strong … and chase all the vampires away! Just be sure to keep some breath mints handy.
These savory bites are the ideal way to balance out your candy-induced sugar shock. That's because each edible "eyeball" is packed with blood-sugar-stabilizing stuff: protein-rich egg whites plus fiber-filled hummus and guacamole, which also contribute heart-healthy fat.
Popcorn shrimp wouldn't be exciting without a sauce. This is one that packs in complex flavors. The gochujang in the sauce adds an intensely sweet and spicy taste, and the shrimp is slightly spicy and tangy from the buttermilk-chili marinade.
Smoky chipotle peppers bring the heat to this Southwestern-inspired dip whose dark color is perfect for Halloween. Use just one pepper if you want a mild dose of spiciness, or add more adobo sauce or pepper if you want to amp up the burn. If possible, use fresh, in-season corn — the raw kernels’ juicy sweetness will offset the heat.
The color of the black rice with the digestive charcoal is surprising but the flavor is deep and rich so it's fun to see the initial skepticism on people's faces before they bite it and then react to the delicious taste.
This easy recipe turns to regular hot dogs and pre-made croissant dough for one adorable dish. It requires very little time and effort yet is a savory showstopper for an otherwise sweet-filled holiday!