Halloween Appetizer Recipes

Throwing a Halloween-themed party? The holiday doesn’t have to be all about the candy and desserts. This year, try kicking off your festivities with some of our easy and tasty Halloween appetizers. Our archives are full options that go way beyond the usual sweet treats, like bite-size “skull” cucumber pickles marinated in vinegar, chiles, and sugar. Or grab a cat-shaped cookie cutter and try our crispy pita crackers, which are baked with Parmesan and paprika. Besides the spooky shapes, we’ve got plenty of Halloween appetizer recipes that focus on festive colors—like bright-orange spicy deviled eggs packed with pimientos, sharp orange cheddar, and cayenne. And don’t forget to store away a stash of seasonal nibbles, from candied nuts and to spiced pumpkin seeds. If you’ve combed through all of our Halloween appetizer recipes and can’t decide which one to make, choose a few—because there’s nothing scarier than hungry dinner party guests.

6 Halloween Appetizers That Rival What’s in the Candy Bag

Who says this season has to be all about the sweet stuff? Serve up these easy and festive finger foods at your Halloween fête, or snack on a few in between trick-or-treaters.

Skull Cucumber Pickles

Look closely at those cucumber pickles. Who says candy and sweets get to have all the fun on Halloween? Get your kids to down just a few vegetables before they head out to Trick-or-Treat (and begin the inevitable sugar overload) with this quick-pickled make-ahead salad. We sliced carrots, fennel, squash, and cucumber, then used a pairing knife to trim each cucumber slice into an adorable miniature skull. A simple solution of vinegar, chile, sugar, salt and water pickles the vegetables in the fridge, so you can make this concoction days (or even up to a month) beforehand. It’ll get spicier (and spookier!) over time.

Pumpkin Bread

Nothing says fall quite like a slice of warm pumpkin bread, straight out of the oven. Our egg-free recipe amps up the flavor with canned pumpkin pie filling (instead of regular ol’ canned pumpkin), molasses, and ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. The resulting loaf is wonderfully dense, but bakes through entirely in the center and slices easily once it cools just a bit. Quick breads like this one tend to freeze well, wrapped tightly in plastic or placed in a sealed container, but we doubt you’ll have many slices leftover. Serve with pumpkin coffee or apple cider to experience maximum autumn.

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

Turn each and every pumpkin seed you pull from that Halloween Jack-o-lantern into a tasty treat. Yep, our recipe, which calls for the seeds of two medium fresh pumpkins, results in the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and crunchy—the trifecta for one sanely addictive snack. After you rinse and pat dry the seeds, you’ll toss them with butter, sugar, salt, and a bit of cinnamon. Sip some warm apple cider and bask in one of those ideal fall days that combines sweater weather, pumpkin crafts, and this homemade classic the whole family will love. You’ll want to Pin this for next year, too.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

This recipe for deviled eggs goes way beyond the expected potluck snack. Nope, our spicy version combines the flavor and zip of pimento cheese with the classic Southern deviled egg: After you hard-boil and halve your eggs, you’ll mash the yolks with jarred pimentos, grated sharp cheddar, mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, before spooning the mixture back into your egg whites and dusting the top with a bit more cayenne. Fair warning: Take these Spicy Deviled Eggs to a party, and they’ll be gone in minutes. And don’t be surprised if you’re asked to bring them again and again.

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese

For a quick dinner that appeals to both kids and adults, sandwich grated cheese and pumpkin puree between two pieces of pumpernickel bread.