When family friends are making the rounds on Halloween night, invite them in for a warming pot of stew and other savory bites. After all, you can’t survive on candy alone! Our menu has something for everyone, from little witches and ghosts to their excited parents — here are all the recipes and party planning tips you need.
With all of the sweets to come, you’ll want to start off the evening with some fresh veggies. Make it festive with crudites and a dip made from pumpkin seeds — save the seeds from your pumpkin-carving party!
A big pot of hearty, simmering stew is perfect for serving a crowd. Our pork and pumpkin stew has all the best flavors and spices of the season, and you can prepare it completely ahead. Just add a few crusty baguettes for soaking up the broth. On the side, make a seasonal salad with candied walnuts and apples, perfectly balanced with tangy goat cheese and fresh greens.
For dessert, make a couple of sweet treats that are easy to snack on and take on the go. These creepy Halloween cupcakes are deliciously chocolate-y and topped with glazes in a spider web design, while our “dirty” popcorn balls are packed with marshmallows, cookie crumbs and gummi worms.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the stew, cool, cover and refrigerate. Make the candied walnuts. Make the cupcakes (leave unfrosted) and cover tightly. Make the popcorn balls.
- Day of: Make the pepita dip and prep the vegetables for dipping. Frost and finish the cupcakes.
- Just before serving: Reheat the stew. Finish the salad with the walnuts. Make the hot cocoa and toddies.
With guests coming and going, it helps to have a few different zones of activity. Set out the appetizer in a chip & dip tray on a kitchen island or coffee table, along with a stack of cocktail napkins. Place the stew, baguette and salad on a buffet, along with generous soup bowls, plates, harvest-hued napkins and flatware. On a separate table, arrange the desserts and drinks — we love these glass mugs for a cozy beverage.
For a fun party activity, make the popcorn balls as a group. Set out an assortment of Halloween candies — gummies, candy corn and more — and let kids create their own. Think of other games, and DIY projects, too; bob for apples, carve pumpkins, or make caramel apples and haunted houses.
Give out prizes for the most creative, scariest, and silliest costumes. And don’t forget party favors: more Halloween candy, of course!