Whether you signed up to bake spooky tombstone cupcakes for a class party, or want to serve a crowd-pleasing snack at your trick-or-treating headquarters, Halloween will creep up before you know it.
Yes, Halloween is all about the candy, but save it for the trick-or-treaters! Instead, mix up a spicy salsa or wickedly good brittle in your cauldron, or bake a boo-tiful pumpkin cake. No matter what the ghoulish night has in store for you, here are 45 of our favorite snacks and sweets sure to be monster hits at your Halloween party.
1. Chicken Nuggets With Warm Kimchi-Bacon Ranch Dip
These chicken nuggets might have a spicy kick, thanks to gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) and cayenne, but they get a bit of welcome coolness from a creamy kimchi and bacon ranch dressing.
2. Hot Honey-Sesame Snacky Mix
Take your favorite crunchy snacks—pretzels, sesame sticks, coconut chips, and the like—and make them even more addictive by tossing them in a hot honey and soy sauce blend.
3. Aunt Alice’s Stromboli
You can riff on this family-favorite stromboli to your heart’s content, but a combination of salty meats, melty cheeses, and green bell peppers will never steer you wrong.
4. Cooked Green Salsa (Salsa Verde)
This bright, punchy salsa goes with just about anything, from tortilla chips to tacos, but it also tastes great over top grilled meats and fish.
5. Party Pretzel Bites
Making homemade pretzels doesn’t need to be a huge fuss when you use this beginner-friendly recipe that pairs off best with whole-grain mustard or cheesy dip.
6. Wasabi Pea Snack Mix
You might want to keep this fiery mix away from the younger trick-or-treaters, but it’s sure to be a hit at the adult snack table.
7. Easiest, Cheesiest Skillet Dip
Look up the definition of “crowd-pleasing dip” and you’ll see a picture of this creamy, three-cheese dip.
8. Spicy, Smoky Homemade Kale Chips
Take a break from the Halloween sweets with these oven-baked kale chips that get their flavor from a medley of spices, like chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
9. Leek, Fennel & Mushroom Galette
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more fall-perfect galette than this earthy leek, fennel, and mushroom rendition.
10. Flaky Baked Samosas
Whip up a big batch of these flaky baked samosas, stuffed with a spiced potato and veggie mixture, and watch the crowd devour them one by one.
11. Devils on Hatchback
These Devils on Hatchback almost look like bacon-wrapped dates, but they’ve got a spicy secret hiding underneath that crispy goodness: hatch green chile peppers.
12. Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Tots
Even though these tots are made with more-nutritious cauliflower (instead of potatoes), their garlicky parmesan coating makes them just as lovable.
13. Sweet & Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Put those leftover Halloween pumpkin seeds to good use by roasting them with a sweet-savory mix of salt, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and balsamic vinegar.
14. Homemade Cheez-Its
It’s a universal fact that everyone loves Cheez-Its. It’s also a universal fact that this homemade version will be a winner at any gathering you bring them to.
15. "Pizza" Focaccia with Tomato Sauce & Green Onion
This easier-than-it-looks focaccia pizza with crushed tomatoes and gently sweet green onions will knock the socks off any delivery option you can think of.
16. Savory Carrot Bread
“We enjoyed this bread hot from the oven with lots of butter and flaky sea salt,” writes our Test Kitchen notes. But that’s not all: They also toasted it “under the broiler with Vermont cheddar and mango chutney.” Yes, please.
17. Sea Salt & Caramel Popcorn
Plain popcorn won’t taste the same after you bring this salty-sweet caramel topping, with a hint of vanilla, into the mix.
18. Glazed Shallot, Walnut, Sage & Goat Cheese Pizza
The outrageously delicious topping on this fluffy homemade pizza is so good, you’ll probably want to make at least three pies if you’re hosting a crowd.
19. Vegan Buffalo "Chicken" Dip
This vegan-friendly recipe calls for just six ingredients in total, most of which (like the canned beans, tahini, Buffalo sauce, and salt) are likely to already be in your pantry or fridge.
20. Laurie Colwin's Rosemary Walnuts
Dried rosemary and a pinch of cayenne gives these already toasty, cozy walnuts an extra dash of fall flavor.
21. Party Wings with Cholula Butter
It’s all in the name: These spicy, sticky wings were made for a party.
22. Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix
Here’s one more easy snack mix for the road, because you can really never have too many.
23. Wicked Brittle
This nutty, honey-butter brittle is wicked, yes. Wickedly delicious.
24. Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Our co-founder Merrill Stubb's pumpkin-y take on classic chocolate chip cookies hits all the right autumnal notes.
25. Spiced Candy Apples
Candy apples are a must for Halloween, and this cinnamon and cayenne-spiced version is the best of the bunch.
26. Convertible Chocolate Cupcakes
Alice Medrich gives you the very best base for chocolate cupcakes you could possibly ask for, and then invites you to riff on it endlessly—by switching up the flours, swapping in different sugars, and even adding beets.
27. Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing & Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds
If you're wondering just how good this pumpkin cake is, take one reviewer's word for it: "I made this for my family's early Thanksgiving this year. No one even missed the pie."
28. Rocky Road
Alice Medrich is back at it again—this time, with a three-ingredient rocky road you can easily batch up for a big crowd.
29. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Tart
If you like peanut butter cups, then you'll love this grown-up chocolatey peanut butter tart that just so happens to be vegan.
Think of this cool-weather cake as the perfect anytime treat: for breakfast, as an after-dinner sweet, or a Halloween party showstopper.
31. Carrot-Halwa Blondie Bars
Our Test Kitchen notes couldn't have described these better: "Carrot cake marries blondie bars, then honeymoons in India." We'll take six.
32. Brown Butter & Butternut Loaf
You probably know pumpkin bread well, but have you met it's earthier, nuttier cousin? This butternut loaf takes all those fall flavors you know and love, and cranks them up a bit with squash and rich brown butter.
33. Perfect Hot Chocolate
Sometimes it's warmer than it should be on Halloween, but sometimes it's extra chilly—when it is, make a big batch of this cozy hot chocolate and pass it out to your neighbors and trick-or-treaters.
34. Vegan Dark Chocolate-Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies
"To say that they've ruined me for all other gingerbread desserts would be a gross understatement," writes Recipe Developer Ella Quittner. And we would have to agree.
35. Fig Keplers
What are keplers, you ask? Well, they're a lot like those soft, chewy Fig Newtons you can't eat just one of.
36. Apple Chips
It doesn't get easier than these two-ingredient apple chips. We're talking just apple slices and ground cinnamon—that's it.
37. Chocolate Caramels
Do you need a reason to make these chewy chocolate caramels sprinkled with flaky sea salt? Absolutely not, but Halloween is a pretty good one.
38. Pumpkin Spice Muffins Filled with Maple Cream Cheese
These pumpkin spice muffins technically count as breakfast, but we'd be just as happy eating them for dessert.
39. "Almond Joy" Candy Bars
Simply put: "In 30 minutes, these no-bake, vegan candy bars can be yours to enjoy."
40. Marcella Hazan’s Croccante (2-Ingredient Almond Brittle)
This snappy toffee looks like it was made by a professional pastry chef, when it really just takes two ingredients and—seriously—a potato.
41. Triple-Chocolate Olive Oil Brownies
There are three types of chocolate—dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, and Dutch-pressed cocoa—in these butter-free brownies, and yes, it makes us very happy.
42. Raspberry Fruit Roll-Ups
The only ingredients you need to make these homemade fruit roll-ups the kids will go wild for: fresh fruit, a squirt of honey, lemon juice, and just a little bit of patience.
43. Quick Peanut Butter & Chocolate Squares
Prep these fuss-free peanut butter and chocolate squares the day or two before Halloween, store them in the fridge, and pull them out when you're ready to serve.
44. Apples Baked in Cider
It doesn't get more classic fall than these whole apples baked in cinnamon-spiced cider with brown butter.
45. Molasses Clove Cookies
These massive molasses cookies are chewy, spice-filled, and perfect for dipping in a glass of milk or hot chocolate.
What's your favorite Halloween party bite? Share spooky ideas in the comments below!
This post has been updated in October 2019 to include more Halloween-ready snack ideas.