Halloween is such a fun holiday! Dressing up and putting on parties is one of my favorite things to do. Here is an Easy Halloween Dinner idea. I have been putting this dinner together for years and everyone in my family loves the tradition we have created.
It is simple, with Mac and Cheese as pumpkin brains. Cut up hot dogs cooked under the broiler makes them curl up like fingers. Red jello poured into mini muffin pans to set up and then tossed in whipped cream makes perfect eyeball salad. Bread dough rolled out into long thin bones is a favorite. No matter how many I make, there never seems to be enough bones.
Setting the table can be extravagant or simple. These plates are my mother’s wedding china. The gray tones make a perfect setting for Halloween when placed on black chargers. The skull mugs are filled with homemade root beer and then I drop in some dry ice to make them bubble, bubble toil and trouble.
Below, I have attached a PDF file with the food name cards. It makes it just a little more festive when everything has a Halloween name.
How to Make an Easy Halloween Dinner
1. Make the jello eyeballs the day before your party. Use two packs of any red jello, black cherry, raspberry, cherry, strawberry, or whatever you have on hand. Usually, a large package of jello is made using 2 cups of hot water and then 2 cups cold water.
When making the jello eyeballs, I use 2 large packages of jello and then put in 4 cups of hot water. Dissolve the gelatin completely by stirring until you cannot see any grains of sugar. Then let it sit on the counter until it is room temperature.
Put the muffin pans on large cookie sheets and then pour the jello in. This way if you make a mess, it is on the cookie sheet. This recipe fills up 4 mini muffin pans, with a dozen spots for muffins or 2 pans with 24 spots for mini muffins. You will have 48 eye balls.
If you do not want the hassle of the quiche pans, pour the jello into a 13 x 9 or in a large cookie sheet with sides. Refrigerate the jello and then cut into cubes.
Before you are ready to serve dinner, whip 2 cups of heavy cream. Sweeten the cream with powdered sugar and then toss in the jello eyeballs. Gently mix the two together and serve. Use Cool Whip instead of heavy cream for an easier prep.
To loosen the jello from the mini muffin pans, put hot water in a large jelly roll pan. The jello will come out very easily if you dip, don’t place, the pans in the hot water. It will melt the gelatin just a bit and you can turn the muffin pans upside down into a bowl with the whipped cream/Cool Whip.
2. Pumpkin Brains are good old Kraft Mac and Cheese. I usually make 3 boxes and follow the directions exactly. The only thing I do different is let the noodles cook for 13 minutes. I want them to be nice and soft so they will soak up all the cheesiness of the sauce.
Of course, you can make homemade mac and cheese, which is my favorite. Just remember, this is an Easy Halloween Dinner.
3. Buy 4 packs of (8) hot dogs. I am always amazed how much food everyone eats at this party. I know 24 hots dogs sounds like a lot, but everyone eats about 3 hots dogs when they are fingers. Cut each hot dog in half and then cut each half into thirds. The long skinny pieces of hot dog curl up under the broiler and make perfect fingers.
These take longer to cook than you think. I cut up the hot dogs the day before and then spread them out on a large cookie sheet to cook 40 – 45 minutes before dinner. It takes a while to get the ends nice and brown. Use tongs and toss the hot dog fingers once every 4-5 minutes.
4. The bones take the longest to make and you need to start four hours before dinner. I use Rhodes Dinner Rolls. Place the frozen rolls on a cookie sheet to thaw for an hour or so. When the dough is soft and pliable, roll it between your fingers and then on the countertop to create long, thin pieces of dough. I need everyone’s help when I make these. A large package from Costco has 60 rolls, which is 5 dozen bones. You decide how many you need, but everyone wants bones the next day because they are so good!
Spray vegetable oil on your cookie sheet. Place the long pieces of dough across the cookie sheet. Try and roll out the bones so they almost touch both sides of the pan. Place a dozen on each cookie sheet. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave and spoon or pour the butter down the long strip of bread dough. Then use Kraft Parmesan Cheese and generously sprinkle on the butter so it will stick to the dough. Cover with saran wrap and let rise for two hours.
You can use real parmesan cheese, but to be honest, I love the parmesan with the green lid, on these rolls. They just taste so delicious! Think Magelby’s Rolls if you live near me.
5. Buy a bottle of Hire’s Root Beer and follow the directions on the bottle. This little bottle of root beer makes 5 gallons. I only make 1 – 2 gallons for my party. If you have any root beer extract left over, you can make Root Beer Cookies. Pour the root beer in your glasses and then drop in broken up dry ice to give it that eery effect.
6. Ghosts in the Graveyard finishes this dinner off as dessert. You can make this in a 9 X 13 pan instead of individual cups. I love the cups because the sides help the ghosts to sit upright. The recipe for these bad boys is below. You need Oreo cookies, chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, mellowcreme pumpkins and mini chocolate chips.
I am not an instant pudding fan, so I always make the cooked chocolate pudding the day before and let it cool before putting these little cups together. Mix the thawed cool whip with the cooled pudding and add crushed cookie bits. Mix together and then spoon into containers. Use left over crushed cookies to cover the top of the dessert to look like dirt.
Put Cool Whip into a plastic bag and cut a large corner off at the bottom. Pipe the cool whip in the shape of a ghost and then insert two mini chocolate chips, pointed side on the inside, flat side on the outside, for eyes. Set a pumpkin on the dirt and you have the perfect finish to your Easy Halloween Dinner.
Here are a few of my favorite products when making an
Easy Halloween Dinner
Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner. I want to know how it turns out.
Ghosts in the Graveyard
- 16 oz. Oreo Sandwich Cookies
- 3 1/2 Cups Milk
- 2 – 3.9 oz Chocolate Instant Pudding
- 16 oz. Cool Whip
- 11 oz Mellowcreme Candy Pumpkins
- 1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- Use your hands to break up the cookies. You can crush them in a food processor or put them in a large plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
- Put the cold milk in a bowl and add the pudding mixes. Use a wire whisk to mix together. Once the pudding is smooth, add in 3 cups of thawed Cool Whip and 1/2 of the crushed cookies. Use a spoon to fold everything together.
- Spoon the pudding mixture into a large plastic bag and cut off a corner of the bottom of the bag. Pipe the pudding into individual cups until they are 2/3 full. Cover the top with crushed cookies. Put this in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- A half an hour before dinner, take the pudding out of the refrigerator and put the left over Cool Whip in a plastic bag. Cut off a corner of the bottom of the bag and pipe ghosts on the top of each cup. Place chocolate chips, pointed side in, to create eyes and then place a pumpkin on the ground next to the ghost.