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Elena Besser shares eerie-sistible last-minute Halloween party dishes

From squid ink pasta to cauliflower bites, these creative dishes will balance out the candy.

The scariest thing about Halloween should be the movies you watch or the decorations you hang around your house — not figuring out what to put on the table for dinner before trick-or-treating. To help balance out all the candy you’ll likely eat this week, chef and television host Elena Besser is stopping by TODAY to share a lineup of last-minute Halloween party recipes that will bring filling yet eerie vibes to the dinner table.

Besser incorporates some underutilized (but fun) ingredients like squid ink pasta, black rice and black tahini, all of which bring a visual wow-factor to your plate without changing the taste of the dishes too much.

For dessert, we’ve added some fun seasonal bites, including monster cereal treats and easy mummy hand pies that are perfect to bring to Halloween parties.

There’s also no need to battle with the last-minute candy buyers at the store for ingredients. All of these recipes are shoppable, so you can click “Get Ingredients,” then proceed to check out at Walmart. Everything you’ll need to make these festive Halloween recipes will be available to pick up curbside or for delivery.

Elena Besser's last-minute Halloween party dishes

A tip from Besser: Swapping in black squid ink pasta for the regular stuff adds a fun and festive element to any dish this season, including this one. While the squid ink doesn’t impart any additional flavor, it’s traditionally used for seafood-based dishes. This meal gets most of its flavor from the salty pancetta, but bacon will also do in a pinch.

Every seasoned trick-or-treater knows that the key to hitting as many houses as possible is fueling up beforehand with a satisfying dinner. This rice bowl is both delicious and healthy and definitely fits the bill. It's already perfect for the vegetarians at your table, but swap out the sour cream for coconut yogurt if you’re looking to make it vegan.

Frying is delicious, but we’ve found that using roasted cauliflower with a crispy breadcrumb topping creates the same fabulous texture without the heaviness of being fried. Plus, black sesame tahini is a fun swap for traditional tahini paste as it adds an eerie element to an otherwise simple snack.

More Halloween recipes

Forget bobbing for apples: Having kids decorate and customize these ghoulish cereal treats is a better activity for a Halloween party (with less mess, too). Let them add the hair, mouth and eyes to each Frankenstein monster to customize each treat as they’d like.

Transform store-bought pie dough into mini mummies with only a few ingredients. These hand pies are perfect to have on hand for an easy breakfast this week. Or, whip up a batch to wow guests at your next Halloween party.