On Halloween, kids — and many grownups — are excited to eat just one simple thing: candy. But while a little indulgence may indeed be called for on the holiday, most moms and dads insist on offering something other than chocolate bars and peanut butter bites to their littlest ghosts and goblins. This year, whether you’re hosting a pre-trick-or-treating get-together with the neighbors or simply making dinner for your family before heading out for the night, serve up a themed menu of spooky eats and drinks to celebrate. These family-friendly recipes below for grilled cheese and tomato soup, chicken lollipops and strawberry-orange punch go a long way in making sure kids’ bellies are full before they start collecting candy.
As comforting as it is hearty, Food Network Kitchens’ Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies (pictured above) is a top-rated recipe that features a Halloween-worthy twist on a kid-approved pairing: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Here the Kitchens puree tomato-basil soup into a smooth consistency, then serve the warming mixture alongside gooey cheddar-muenster grilled cheeses built on pumpernickel bread. To achieve the ghoulish designs pictured above, opt for a ghost-shaped cookie cutter when shaping the sandwiches.
For something a bit meatier, look to Deviled Chicken Lollipops from Food Network Kitchens. Just brush chicken drumettes with honey mustard, cover them in garlic-parsley breadcrumbs, and bake them until golden brown and deliciously crispy on the outside with tender, moist meat on the inside. These can be eaten either hot out of the oven or at room temperature, so they make a great go-to grazing option when a sit-down meal isn’t possible.
Quench kids’ thirst with a cup of Sandra’s Spooky Punch (pictured right), a crimson-colored drink made with strawberry smoothies, orange juice and a splash of citrus soda. Perhaps the most impressive element of this recipe is the garnishes: Sandra adds cranberry-juice ice cubes with gummy worms frozen inside to the glasses and tops each straw with a “shrunken head” creatively crafted with the help of prunes, white chocolate chips and coconut.
Visit Food Network’s Halloween headquarters for more spooky recipes and entertaining ideas.