40 Halloween Potluck Ideas
Parties are way more fun if you don't have to do all the cooking, so host a Halloween Potluck and let your friends show off their favorite Halloween potluck ideas. The best potluck ideas are dishes that can be shared, but that doesn't mean you have to make it all main dish. Ask guests to sign up for courses so that you get a range of appetizers, desserts, mains, and sides, not fifteen plates of (adorable!) cupcakes. As host, you should provide the plates, utensils, and napkins, but you can also set up the bar if that makes party planning easier.
Halloween Ham and Cheese Hand Pies
This is an adaptable little recipe. We love the warm, spicy flavor of brown mustard, but feel free to use your family's favorite mustard. You can also customize the filling by using any kind of thinly sliced cheese and/or meat that you or your kids prefer.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
This slow-cooker chicken chili is a great addition to your cool weather weeknight meal rotation, especially when it comes to a Halloween potluck. Calling for a mixture of beans and hominy, this recipe boasts bold, rich flavor, something that can often be dulled in a slow cooker. Processing some of the beans in a food processor thickens the soup, lending a heartier flavor to the dish. We suggest serving the soup with green onions, cheese, cilantro, peppers, and plain yogurt, a great substitute for sour cream. Perfect for a potluck, ideal for cool weather, and guaranteed to make your home smell amazing while you're gone, this slow cooker chili is sure to make your "must make again" list.
Spinach Jack-O'-Lantern Hand Pies
Turns out that spinach wrapped in pie dough passes the picky-eater test! For these Halloween riffs on the classic calzone, use 4- by 5-in. pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters (find at cooking or craft stores and online). Or cut out a pumpkin-shaped template from paper, set it on the dough, and cut around it with a thin, sharp knife.
Boneyard Chicken Pot Pie
We made good old chicken pot pie Halloween party-worthy by loading up the filling with fresh vegetables and herbs, and decorating the top with bones and skulls cut from puff pastry. You'll need special cookie cutters; or you can create your own skull and bones from cardboard and cut around them on the pastry with a knife. For the best "puff," keep the pastry cold as you work.
Chicken Curry Moon Pies
Toasting the cumin brings out its flavor, and a bit of Madras curry powder makes this a savory pie that's as appealing to grown-ups as it is to kids.
Devilish Chorizo Chili with Hominy
Not only is this chili easy to make ahead, it actually improves with time. If you like your chili very spicy, add an extra teaspoon of chipotle powder. Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes. Notes: Prepare chili up to two days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill; reheat before serving. Buy the best-quality chorizo you can find, preferably from a butcher or Mexican market, and avoid the type of chorizo that is very soft and sold in plastic casings; it tends to break down too much in cooking. Substitute another spicy uncooked sausage if you can't find good chorizo.
Boo-tiful Pumpkin Cake
Make two recipes of this pumpkin cake and create your own tasty pumpkin!
TIP: Let fresh-baked brownies chill, uncovered, overnight. For a perfect slice, cut while they're cold. Serve at room temperature.
What could be more fun than a cauldron full of seething, smoking sangria? It's delicious and wickedly strong (use more sparkling water if you want to dilute it a little). Although dry ice is not toxic, it's dangerous to swallow chips because of the extremely low temperature. Using a chunk of the ice, and wrapping it in cheesecloth, avoids that problem.
Pumpkin-Shaped Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
These chubby sandwiches have shredded cheese on the outside, which melts into a crunchy sheath as they cook. We used a Wilton 4 1/2-in. cutter for the large sandwiches and a 3 3/4-in. cutter for the smaller ones (find both as part of a nested set on amazon.com). Make these festive Halloween sandwiches alongside a pot of tomato soup for an easy dinner if you're having guests over to trick-or-treat.
Hallowed Eve Cheese Pumpkin
Don't just settle for a typical appetizer. Mix things up this Halloween and serve this hauntingly-good cheese pumpkin masterpiece to your party guests.
Honey Chicken Wings
You're sure to get a standing ovation when guests sample this sweet-hot salsa, honey, and ginger marinade. Bake the wings during the first quarter and serve at halftime with blue cheese or Ranch dressing.
Keep it simple by preparing just about everything ahead of time.
Frozen pizza dough is the secret to this easy pizza which is topped with slices of mozzarella cheese shaped like ghosts.
Mummified Cheese Log
Shaping this log into a mummy is half the fun. Let the kids help decide how they want this cheesy mummy to look and then start sculpting!
Bucket o' Bones
These make-ahead hot dogs use refrigerated breadstick dough, perfect for goblins, pretty princesses, superheroes, and even their parents. Watch the how-to video at SouthernLiving.com.
Spiced Lamb Chops with Rosemary Crumbs
These spiced lamb chops are great for cocktail parties, since you can eat them one-handed.
Give your guests a scare by float a creepy ice face in your punch bowl. Fill a Halloween mask with water (seal the openings with sturdy tape), freeze overnight, then remove the ice from the mask and float face up.
Cauldron Full of Devilish Dip
Fill a bread bowl with a chunky Devilish Dip to create the look of a creepy bubbling cauldron.
Witch's Cauldron Chili
Prepare up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat, stirring frequently. If it's too thick, stir in a little water.
Boil and Bubble Soup Cauldron
Notes: The hominy can pass for teeth and the green peas as beady little eyes. If making soup ahead, don't add peas; cover soup when cool and chill, then add peas when reheating. For a tureen, use a rustic pan, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven. Or you can use a pumpkin shell. You'll need a pumpkin at least 12 to 16 inches tall and wide. Cut off top and scoop out seeds. About 10 minutes before serving, fill shell with boiling water to warm. Drain and fill with hot soup. Use top as lid for the pumpkin tureen.
Halloween Spider Cookies
Landing somewhere between adorable and slightly spooky, these Halloween spider cookies are sure to fulfill all your creepy-crawly sweet needs for your upcoming Halloween festivities. Using a classic cut-out butter cookie dough keeps the edges of your spider cookies shape neat and clean—no worries about the cookies expanding when they bake. Decorate these Halloween cut-out cookies with black gel icing, royal icing, candy eyes, orangle and black sprinkles, or whatever fun decorations you have on hand. These cookies make for a playful, spooky food craft that grown-ups and kids alike can enjoy.
Cheddar Witch's Fingers
These ghastly little nibbles are rich with cheesy flavor, and a real snap to make. Prep and Cook Time: 55 minutes. Notes: Keep the dough cool as you work with it to prevent stickiness.
The maple syrup in this pumpkin butter recipe really darkens up the spread and adds some good depth of flavor. This easy recipe makes a lot, but you can easily cut the recipe in half for a small yield.
Sausage Head Charcuterie Board
Sculpting a terrifying head using the components of a classic charcuterie board may be a labor of love, but for anyone who takes their Halloween entertaining seriously… trust us, it’s so worth it.
Starting with refrigerated, store-bought cookie dough, these cooky Frankenstein cookies are an easy Halloween baking project to whip up this year. That said, packaged cookie dough is made to spread, so if you’d rather your Frankenstein cookies have rectangular or otherwise shaped faces (as opposed to these round-faced cuties), you can use a classic cut-out cookie dough that will better hold its shape. Follow the same method for coloring the dough, and then simply cut it into the shapes you want (freehand or using rectangular cookie cutters). In the recipe below, we provided a suggested path for decorating your Frankenstein cookies, but definitely feel free to go about designing and decorating these tasty little monsters however you please. If you’d rather, you can bake the green cookies plain and decorate as you please using only icing pens once they have cooled. Keep in mind—it’s OK if they’re a little messy, they are monsters after all.
Stuffed Pepper Mummies
An adorable take on jalapeño poppers, these sweet pepper "mummies" are stuffed with a gently spicy mix of Mexican chorizo, cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and cilantro.
Halloween desserts definitely call for having a little extra fun in the kitchen. This kinda-cute, kinda-creepy Graveyard Cake is easy to make, fun to decorate (so recruit the kids’ help), and is sure to be a perfectly spooky centerpiece for any Halloween dessert table. Black icing transforms store-bought cookies into perfectly-sized miniature headstones for the chocolate-frosted graveyard cake. And once you’ve placed your headstones, crumble chocolate wafer cookies around each to create “dirt.” Just be sure to make each "gravesite" the serving size you want to ensure easy slicing. Disperse a few candle “lanterns” throughout the chocolaty graveyard and you have the perfect cake for a Halloween birthday party. The classic chocolate cake recipe here is decadent and moist standby, but if you’re in a pinch for time, feel free to use your favorite boxed cake mix instead. Obviously, it’s all about the decorating on for this Halloween-inspired treat.
Frankenstein Cookie Bars
These bars make a fun Halloween treat, and they're very flavorful: the green tea frosting cloaks a chewy-soft coconut-lime cookie. They're easy enough that the kids can help you make them.
For a truly spooky treat, this hummus is a great way to create a fun and festive Halloween effect. Simply fill a carved skull prop with this ghoulishly delicious hummus for a great appetizer to serve to guests. This hummus is red pepper based and features cayenne pepper, cumin, and plenty of garlic cloves for some great flavor. This dip is great to serve with crackers, chips, or veggie sticks. Dig right in, if you dare!
Drogon’s Breath Cocktail
In Game of Thrones lore, the dragon has three heads. And each would love to sate their thirst on this libation. A hint of bright citrus perfectly balances the rich earthy element the wine in this cocktail delivers. Refreshing, delicately sweet, and tangy, this drink if fit for a queen. A few leaves of fresh basil adds a delightful herbaceous layer to the drink, but feel free to leave it out if basil isn’t your flavor of choice or you don’t have it on hand— the cocktail will still be delicious. Tame the Mother of Dragons with the refreshing summer sipper, or double up on the ingredients and serve this at your next King’s Moot.
Pro-Tip: Using crushed or pulverized ice and packing it tightly in the glass will ensure you’re able to “float” your red wine on the cocktail mixture.