28 Truly Awesome Halloween Appetizer Recipes ... If You Dare
With so many creepy ways to reimagine everyday ingredients, appetizers are just more fun to make at Halloween. We dare you to check out this frightfully creative list of recipes. Deviled Egg Brains, anyone?
Most days, I prefer food that looks like food — sliders that look like sliders, meatballs that look like meatballs, breadsticks that look like breadsticks. But on Halloween, my purist tendencies go right out the cob-webbed window.
And lucky for me, there are some truly creative Halloween appetizer recipes out there.
Honestly, the very best Halloween apps are built from dishes you already know and love — especially if you have kids. Do you regularly do Taco Tuesdays? DIY pizza night? Hot dogs? Pasta with marinara? You’re already halfway there.
All you need to transform these familiar comfort foods — hello, meatloaf! — are some decent knife skills, perhaps some Halloween cookie cutters, tomato sauce for blood, mozzarella for mummy bandages, nuts for monster teeth or witch fingernails, and your imagination. Oh, and lots and lots of olives.
So we'll save the straightforward fall-themed party recipes for another time (you know, the roasted pumpkin seeds, spiced nuts, spinach dip, pumpkin cheesecake squares, pumpkin pie bars, snack mix, pretzels, and hummus). They're perfectly delicious, crowd-pleasing, even obligatory, but right now, your table needs the cutest, the creepiest, the most memorable Halloween-themed appetizers. And this list delivers. Should you have the occasion to celebrate Halloween with a spread of small bites, here are 28 clever appetizer recipes that pay homage to our spookiest holiday.
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Cheesy Halloween apps
From mummy cheese balls to mummy pizzas, we've got your need for cheese covered
For those who can’t say no to jalapeño poppers — guilty! — Must Have Mom! gives them the mummy treatment as well.
Who you callin’ a cheese ball, cheeseball? FoodySchmoody blends cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and ranch dressing, then transforms it into a pumpkin cheese ball. She rolls it into a ball shape and tosses it in a bag of crushed Cheez-Its to give it that orange-colored coat before topping it with the green stem from a jalapeño or bell pepper.
If you’d like to take your Halloween cheese ball appetizer to the next level, this mummy from Eating Richly is just the thing. The secret to a really convincing cheese mummy? A basketweave tip for your pastry bag and black or gray food coloring to add some depth to the bandages.
This cheese ball mummy calls for Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese, but if you're more of a goat cheese or brie fan, check out these festive alternative Halloween cheese balls here and here.
Pull out your cauldron and get ready for another Halloween appetizer that’s creepier than it needs to be! These cheesy, gluten-free breadsticks, made with mozzarella, cream cheese, and coconut flour, give new meaning to the term "Halloween finger food."
An all-around party pleaser: mini mozzarella pizzas masquerading as mummies. Cooking and Cooking skips the dough and uses English muffins, which makes this recipe so simple a kid could — and should — do it. Make a batch before you go out trick-or-treating to help keep the candy ghouls at bay.
Similar in spirit, but gluten-free! Plus, potato skins are the ultimate appetizer — Halloween or otherwise. Use plenty of olives — Spanish and black — as well as cut pepperoni or even red peppers to make mummies, monsters, ghouls, or the like, all on top of shredded mozzarella and tomato sauce.
Vegetarian Halloween apps
Creepy deviled eggs shaped like brains will be the talk of your next Halloween party. Or opt for a totally adorable tray of veggie sticks shaped like a skeleton.
I never met a deviled egg I didn't love — and these are no exception. To be fair, there is nothing all that different about the base recipe — eggs, mayo, mustard, garlic, paprika, salt — so feel free to riff. (I like a lot of dill, personally.) The artistry is in those adorable black olive spiders. Experiment with a drop of your favorite food coloring to make them even more dramatic.
Or try Deviled Eyeballs, made with mashed avocado that turns the whites of the eye an eerie green.
For a slightly less-expected, creepier version of deviled eggs, try this easy Halloween appetizer recipe from Brit + Co. The right dose of red food coloring, and a piping bag with a small round tip, means you’re sure to have a somewhat realistic brain look and feel. Zombies, rejoice.
I wasn’t sure you could improve on the classic 7-Layer Dip served with crispy tortilla chips, but if it’s Halloween, you sure can. Just draw a spider web with sour cream over the top layer of guacamole, then add a plastic spider for good measure.
For a really healthy Halloween appetizer, take your favorite fall vegetables and some ghost or bat-shaped cookie cutters and have at it. Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’ likes to serve these alongside her mummy meatloaf but roasted veggies are a welcome addition to any Halloween appetizer spread — especially with a tasty dip.
Another healthy, on-theme addition to your array of Halloween appetizers? These sweet tangerine pumpkins, made from tangerines or mandarins and — surprise! — celery. Full of spirit, but not creepy in the least.
I mean, it’s purple pasta for goodness' sake! This otherwise straightforward pasta dish, featuring jarred marinara and Spanish olives, brings some serious wow factor to the table. But it’s also perfect for even the pickiest eaters. As Jenn of Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog says, “Purple noodles just taste better.”
For a similar Halloween appetizer idea for adults, try this Witches Hair Pasta made with squid ink.
This bone-a fide and totally adorable veggie skeleton makes eating your vegetables way more fun. And here's a bone-us: The kids can learn some anatomy as they help put the pieces of the body together.
Meaty Halloween apps
Nothing could be more horrifying than meatloaf shaped to look like a human foot
For heartier appetites (and a healthy serving of veggies), these spooky jack-o’-lantern-esque stuffed peppers from Citronlimette should do the "trick." A sharp knife and a steady hand will help when it comes time to carve.
No child (or adult, for that matter) can resist this Halloween-only play on pigs-in-a-blanket from Martha Stewart. And with just five ingredients (hot dogs and puff pastry do the heavy lifting here), they're a cinch to make.
If you happen to be low-carb, Nom Nom Paleo has your Halloween party covered. The secret to these savory treats? Sweet potatoes!
This is perhaps the one Halloween recipe that genuinely freaks me out — cooked or uncooked. Strips of bacon are used for a mummy-like effect, tomatoes become eyes, and blanched almonds become teeth. But underneath it all, it’s still that all-time-fall-fave: meatloaf.
For a truly complete Halloween party spread, don’t forget the other half: the feetloaf.
Seriously, these are the cutest Halloween appetizers you ever did see. In this hybrid of sliders, sloppy joe's, and tacos, ground turkey is seasoned with taco mix, simmered with tomato sauce and cheese, and slathered onto fresh rolls, with a sprinkling of shredded lettuce. But the key to pulling this dish off is the simple stuffed green olive eyes.
These spooky rice paper ghosts are both sophisticated, as far as Halloween appetizers go, and super tasty. The rice paper and chives give them a Chinese dumpling vibe, but the Parmesan, beef, parsley, and breadcrumbs feel pretty Italian.
Worms, ew!! That’s the intended effect of this kid-friendly savory Halloween appetizer, made of two standbys: hot dogs and pasta. To dip in marinara or ketchup? That’s for your toddler to decide. Just don't sweat the inevitable red tomato stain on the Halloween costumes.
Consider serving this Halloween eyeball appetizer alongside your monster spaghetti, for an extra spooky Halloween appetizer spread. Who doesn’t love a cocktail meatball?!
Fishy Halloween apps
Halloween sushi? You bet.
The only thing separating these Halloween tacos from your go-to weeknight fish tacos is that cute little black olive spider. You don't need much of an excuse to eat tacos on Halloween though, right?
“Temari” means hand ball in Japanese — and these hand-shaped sushi rice balls make for unexpected and super cute Halloween appetizers. You can get as creative as you like with the Halloween theme, but it seems like the smoked salmon or Japanese omelet pumpkins, with seaweed cutouts, are a great place to start.
Sweet Halloween apps
Sometimes the appetizer table needs a few sweet bites
Can't get enough mummies? Home and Plate offers up a sweet, adorable, apple-based version to round out your selection of finger foods.
This easy, kid-friendly popcorn ball recipe from Hilda's Kitchen is just an excuse for you and your party guests to munch on candy corn. The candy eyeballs, which stick easily to the marshmallow mixture, take these sweet treats from cute to spooky.
These teeth bites just make me smile. Made with apples, strawberries, sunflower seeds, and sunbutter, this is a pretty darn healthy Halloween party snack from Fork and Beans. Easily swap out the sunbutter for peanut butter or any other favorite nut butter, or try Spooky Peanut Butter & Apple Dentures.
With candy eyeballs, anything can be transformed into a spooktacular Halloween treat, including these super simple, no-bake coconut, walnut, and date bites from Eat Good 4 Life.
Want more Halloween-themed treats and party food?
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