Set out some gourds and clever tools that make carving pumpkins a cinch, then let guests get creative with their charming (or chilling) designs. All that friendly competition triggers hearty appetites. In the spirit of the holiday, we’ve created a menu where pumpkin rules—from a warming pumpkin lasagna to spiced pumpkin cupcakes.
Kick off the party with a couple of foolproof appetizers: a platter of classic deviled eggs and a medley of marinated olives. Both make great snacks while guests mix, mingle, and tap into their creative sides. Meanwhile, sip on a couple of festive drinks — blood-red punch for the kids and hot-spiced cider with Calvados for the adults.
For the main course, give a nod to the theme of the occasion with hearty, cheesy pumpkin lasagna, made easy with our ready-to-use pasta sauce. On the side, a simple salad of butter lettuce in a mustard vinaigrette offers fresh, light flavors.
For dessert, you guessed it — more pumpkin! Make a batch of spiced pumpkin cupcakes, topped with a white chocolate-cream cheese frosting.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the marinated olives. Prep the vegetables for the lasagna. Bake the cupcakes and store (unfrosted) in an airtight container.
- Day of: Make the deviled eggs, cover and refrigerate. Assemble the lasagna. Frost and finish the cupcakes. Make the cider.
- Just before serving: Make the salad. Bake the lasagna. Make the punch and the cider.
Create a contest. Bring out competitive spirits by offering awards, like the funniest face or scariest scene. The winning prize: colorful candies to hand out to trick-or-treaters on the big night.