There’s nothing quite as disappointing as a DIY food fail. You know the feeling: You see a fantastically simple recipe for, say, mini pumpkin pies. You proceed to attempt them yourself. You end up with pumpkin in your hair, a blob of pie crust that looks scarier than the decorations on your front stoop, and a smoking oven. What gives?!
We’re not going to let that happen to you this Halloween—turns out, there are creative Pinterest-worthy ideas out there that get into the holiday spirit, but are also simple enough that you actually can replicate them in your own kitchen. Check out these 25 boo-tiful recipes, perfect for your October festivities.
Even if you want to leave out the food coloring, these little guys are still the perfect addition to your Halloween-treat table. They’re simply the traditional Rice Krispie treats rolled into balls and given chocolate chip “faces.” So much easier than carving a pumpkin—no risk of lopping off a finger either.
These are really nothing more than simple hand pies, but cutting the puff pastry into coffin shapes tips them over into Halloween territory. Plus, the spiced pumpkin filling inside makes them totally appropriate for the season. Trust us when we say these are way easier than they look.
The childhood version was basically a processed parfait: chocolate pudding cup topped with cookie crumbles and gummy worms. This one is a thick chia pudding topped with freshly baked, grain-free cookie crumbles and a dairy-free coconut whipped cream. Take a wild guess which one will leave you—and your digestive system—happier.
These aren’t the way-too-sweet, sticky-enough-to-pull-a-tooth-loose caramel apples you find at a typical Halloween party. Instead, the coating is made from a wholesome blend of dates and nondairy milk, and only a thin layer is needed over the fruit to be the perfect “glue” for your favorite toppings.
With candy eyes and walnut noses, these “monsters” are more adorable than scary. Plus, they don’t just look friendly: Thanks to the brown rice cereal, all-natural food coloring, and heart-healthy dark chocolate, they’re a lot kinder to your body too.
Just because you’re going grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free doesn’t mean you should be deprived of treats on Halloween. Satisfy your sweet tooth with these simple sandwich cookies, which use almond flour and maple syrup as the base and jam for the filling.
With coconut and almond flour as their base and honey for a touch of sweetness, these Paleo-friendly treats are as healthy to eat as they are creepy to look at. You even get to make your own low-sugar jam, and it’s so much easier than you think.
Introducing the easiest Halloween treat ever: Simply discard banana peels and wrap them in phyllo pastry instead. After a few minutes in the oven, you’ll have flaky dough on the outside and gooey fruit on the inside—no added sugar necessary. This also makes for a fun art project if you’ve got kids in the kitchen.
Given that candy corn’s ingredient list includes corn syrup and “titanium dioxide color,” you may not want to eat them by the handful. In this parfait, the orange and yellow colors come from actual fruit and Greek yogurt acts as the white tip, making it OK to eat “candy” for breakfast.
Start celebrating Halloween first thing in the morning with this “eyeball” open-faced sandwich for breakfast. It couldn’t be easier: Just plunk eggs into bell pepper rings until they’re cooked, then decorate with a few choice ingredients to make the yolks look like bloodshot eyes. The result isn’t just deliciously eerie, it’s also a pretty balanced meal.
It’s all about the decoration for this recipe, which is essentially your typical guacamole with carrot "hair," veggies for a face, and a witch’s hat made of tortilla chips. It’s an example of how just a few simple tweaks can transform a snack plate from standard to seriouly entertaining.
Make your own version of Hot Pockets for Halloween with this five-ingredient recipe. All it takes is wrapping some meat and cheese in pie crust, then cutting out your favorite jack-o’-lantern faces into the dough before baking them into hot, portable pizzas. These are guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
Topped with mozzarella “eyeballs” and red pepper noses, these pesto-coated “zoodles” are a great way to get kids to eat veggies. TBH you really don’t need to be pint-size to get a kick out of the dish. After all, what’s Halloween without indulging your inner child, right?
Carve faces into stuffed peppers—they're a less finicky alternative to pumpkins. Packed with quinoa, veggies, and a handful of feta, they’re also a healthier option to fill up on versus all those holiday sweets.
Bubble, bubble, toil and… well, no trouble really, seeing how this recipe is easy, tasty, healthy, and fast. It may look like something out of a witch’s cauldron, but with tons of broccoli, no cream, and just a bit of cheese and bacon, there’s nothing vile about this virtuous soup.
Using avocado instead of mayonnaise in these devilish bites is both functional and fun: It’s a much more heart-healthy and filling fat, while its green color is precisely what makes it so appropriate for Halloween.
The meatball recipe is pretty traditional, so here’s one time it’s what’s on the outside that counts: flaky strips of crescent dough wrapped around the balls to make them look like (headless) mummies. Dip 'em into marinara sauce for an extra-gory effect.
You’ve got the cookie version of witches’ digits above, but if you don't have much of a sweet tooth, try these savory falafel fingers instead. Made with chickpeas, split peas, and tons of spices, they’re flavorful enough to eat on their own—although if you want to get really cheeky, you can put them between bread for literal finger sandwiches.
The black and orange theme doesn’t need to be limited to just streamers and balloons—this recipe lets you get just as festive with your meals, using pumpkin and black beans for the classic color combo.
This layered smoothie—complete with “eyeball” stir sticks—is striking in appearance alone (it looks like the liquid version of a Sesame Street character, no?). But made with nothing but fresh fruit and ice, it also makes an impact in the taste department as a naturally sweet thirst-quencher.
With green tea, cucumbers, lemon, and mint, this refreshing gin cocktail can just as easily get away with being called a green juice. If all goblins are this health-conscious, they may not be so terrible after all.
With its deep, dark red color; tartness from the cranberry juice; and devious dashes of Merlot and Cointreau, this beverage can’t be called anything but Devil’s Sangria. Toss in some cranberries for extra festive flair.
Halloween isn’t complete without a shout-out to this iconic movie. Pay homage the healthy way with this smoothie, which gets its green color not from ectoplasmic residue, but from a nutritious blend of kiwis, spinach, and avocado. Coconut milk adds thickness to make it extra slimy.
This alcohol-free punch gets its diabolical twist from the kick of the red chili, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and ginger mixed into the sweet cherry juice. It may surprise you at first, but you may just find yourself addicted.
With its black sugar rim and deep purple color, this drink might look sinister, but it tastes downright delightful. Feel free to omit the vodka if you’re serving to an underage crowd or simply don’t feel like boozing; with nutmeg and cinnamon stirred into the grape juice, there’s still plenty to enjoy aside from the alcohol.