The Best Halloween Dish from Every State
Take a look at which spooky Halloween recipe is being brewed in your neck of the woods. Here you'll find recipes for snake-shaped sandwiches, ghostly hot chocolate, Halloween nachos and more.
Alabama: Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad
Salty pretzels pair nicely with the sweet fruit in this refreshing layered salad. It’s a family favorite that is a slam-dunk at potlucks. —Peggy Boyd, Northport, Alabama. Check out the most popular Halloween candy in every state.
Alaska: Easy Beef Pies
We make a lot of French dips and always have leftover roast beef. Here’s how I put it to good use. For these pies, use any vegetables you like. They’re extra awesome drenched in cheese sauce. —Jennie Weber, Palmer, Alaska. These DIY Halloween decorations will pair perfectly with these dishes.
Arizona: Snakewich with Venom Sauce
Our Halloween party is so big, I hold it in the street. This sandwich shaped like a snake is tasty and a scary good centerpiece. —Suzanne Clark, Phoenix, Arizona
Arkansas: Tater Tarts
These bite-size potato appetizers combine the tang of sour cream, the sharpness of pepper jack, and the distinct flavor of cilantro to make a delectable snack that’s easy to prepare. —Sona Massey, Stephens, Arkansas. Find out the haunting history of 14 Halloween traditions.
Colorado: Skull Deviled Eggs
Thrill partygoers with these bone-chilling deviled eggs. The mayonnaise-filled bites are one of my favorite apps, so I had fun creating a Halloween version. —Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How long is Halloween candy good for?
Connecticut: Eyes On You
Look out! This crazy cupcake only has eyes for you. Don’t worry though, he’s delicious! —Karen Tack, Riverside, Connecticut. Kids love these non-candy Halloween treats.
Florida: Boo-rito Bites
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and entertaining is one of my favorite things to do. My entire family loves these cute apps, especially my kids, which makes the recipe extra-special. —Rachel Ruiz, Hurlburt Fld, Florida. Add these spooky, silly Halloween books for kids to your library.
Georgia: Pasta Squiggles with Pumpkin Sauce
My family loves this spiral pasta in a tasty pumpkin sauce. Make it for Halloween and call it Creepy-Crawly Noodles! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Hawaii: Savory Pumpkin Quiche
This quiche satisfies a seasonal craving I get for all things pumpkin. Fresh mushrooms add flavor, and I try different types like baby portobello and cremini mushrooms. —Rachel Garcia, Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is why we carve pumpkins on Halloween.
Idaho: Spiced Ambrosia Punch
I love this chai-inspired twist on basic spiced cider punch. It’s so easy to make, and everyone seems pleasantly surprised by the apricot and peach nectars.—Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
Illinois: Eyeball Taco Salad
Topped with creepy peepers, this tasty taco salad is packed with beef, cheese, tomato, and satisfying southwestern flavor to make everyone in your freaky family happy. —Jolene Young, Union, Illinois
Indiana: Crescent Roll Witch Hats
It doesn’t take magic to transform these crescent rolls into charming witch hats—just a few minutes and a couple of ingredients. They’re so good, you’ll want to make a double batch. —Mara Fletcher, Batesville, Indiana. Check out these things you probably never knew about Halloween.
Iowa: Spooky Joes
Dressing up an old favorite for the occasion, I made hearty Spooky Joes, served open-faced so everyone could see slices of cheese cut into Halloween shapes topping the beef. The sandwiches were accompanied by orange cheese curls and jack-o-lantern Jell-O jigglers.
Kansas: Silly Snake Sub
This slithering sub makes a fun and tasty centerpiece. Add your own zany, creative touches and feel free to mix and match the meat and cheeses to suit your family’s tastes. You also can add breadsticks to make “legs” if you want the sub to look like a centipede. —Linda Overman, Wichita, Kansas. Did you know why we celebrate Halloween in the first place?
Louisiana: Gouda Mixed Potato Mash
Everything’s better with cheese, right? This cheesy two-potato mash is no exception. If you cube the cheese, you’ll discover delicious pockets of melted cheese throughout the dish. —Shelby Goddard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This is why Halloween’s colors are black and orange.
Maine: Glazed Apple-Maple Blondies
My six-year-old son and I conjured up this recipe to use up the last of the apples we picked from the local apple orchard. Serve it with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. —Heather Bates, Athens, Maine
Maryland: Apple Corn Bread Crisp
With its hearty ingredients and quick prep time, this warm apple crisp makes a smart dessert for any fall night. It reminds me of the recipe my grandmother would serve after our big family seafood dinners. It’s absolutely wonderful topped with ice cream. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
Massachusetts: Scary Eyeballs
Kids will squeal with delight at the sight of these eyeball treats. But the peanut butter flavor is the best part! —Shannon Blatchley, Ludlow, Massachusetts. This is the reason we pass out candy on Halloween.
Michigan: Scary Hairy Caramel Apples
This is a cute and tasty version of a caramel apple. It’s perfect for a Halloween party. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
Minnesota: Jack-o’-Lantern Cake
I pieced two fluted tube pan cakes together to make this gap-toothed grinner that will make the best-ever centerpiece at your Halloween party. —Julianne Johnson, Grove City, Minnesota. These are the stories behind 14 common Halloween traditions.
Mississippi: Spiced Hot Apple Cider
During cool-weather season, my husband and I take this soul-warming drink outside by the fire pit. Our house smells amazing while the cider is simmering! —Lisa Bynum, Brandon, Mississippi
Missouri: Brownie Spiders
I’m absolutely petrified of real spiders. But I can make an exception for these cute ones made from chocolate. They make perfect Halloween treats. —Ali Ebright, Kansas City, Missouri
Montana: Hot Dog Mummies with Honey Mustard Dip
These flaky mummy sandwiches are instant party hits! The accompanying mustard dip adds just the right kick. Check out these fun facts you never knew about Halloween candy.
Nebraska: Pumpkin Snack Mix
This yummy mix is so munchable, a bowl of it never lasts long. Feel free to use candy corn instead of the candy pumpkins—or a mix of both—if desired. —Shirley Engstrom, Genoa, Nebraska. We bet you didn’t know these surprising facts about candy corn.
Nevada: Spirited Spaghetti
Transform this pizza-flavored pasta sauce into something spooky by adding some black food coloring to the pasta water. —Robert Smith, Las Vegas, Nevada
New Jersey: Gourd-geous Halloween Nachos
My family loves nachos so much that I sometimes serve them for lunch. To get in the Halloween spirit, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out chips from pita bread. You can change the cutter shape to match any theme. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey. Check out where to spot a ghost in every state.
New Mexico: Slow Cooker Cider
There’s no last-minute rush before the party when you slowly simmer this punch. It has all the tantalizing flavors of fall. —Alpha Wilson, Roswell, New Mexico
New York: Ghostly Chicken & Pepper Pizza
My friendly ghost pizza won’t scare folks away from your dinner table. My family loves Halloween, so we like creating fun new recipes like this one. Fill it with whatever pizza toppings you like best. —Francine Boecher, Queensbury, New York
North Carolina: Ghostly Hot Cocoa
Chocolate pudding mix is the convenient start to this clever cocoa mix. Kids of all ages get a kick out of the marshmallow ghost floating on top. —Ruby Gibson, Newton, North Carolina. Share these corny Halloween jokes around the table.
North Dakota: Pressure-Cooker Beef Tips
These beef tips remind me of a childhood favorite. I cook them with mushrooms and serve over brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. Here’s one of the best Instant Pot recipes for a quick and easy dinner. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Oklahoma: Jack-o’-Lantern Brownies
Hosting a Halloween party? Use a cookie cutter to easily cut these homemade chocolate brownies into pumpkin shapes, then give them personality with orange, black and green frosting. Our grandchildren think these are great. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma. This is why some people are painting their Halloween pumpkins teal.
Oregon: Confetti Corn Quesadillas
This easy and convenient meal is easily changed to fit any family’s picky eaters. You can even sneak in protein, dairy and veggies and the kids will never know this is relatively good for them. I try to keep a batch in the fridge for a quick and hearty lunch. —Carey Hunt, Portland, Oregon
Rhode Island: Grilled Figgy Pies
Delicious figs combined with maple, walnuts and creamy mascarpone make a decadent treat that’s easy to enjoy at a backyard cookout. These unique hand pies always disappear quickly. —Renee Murby, Johnston, Rhode Island. The best ghost story from every state will spook your Halloween guests.
South Carolina: Sweet Potato Hummus
With a little planning, it’s easy to whip up a batch of hummus for unexpected guests, a potluck or an after-school snack. I always bake up extra unpeeled sweet potatoes so I can quickly mash the pulp for this unexpected dip. —Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
Tennessee: French Toast Spirals
These little spiral cookies taste just like French toast. They’re not too sweet, and they’re pretty enough for a Christmas cookie plate. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. These Halloween movies will scare you senseless!
Texas: Gruesome Greek Dip
Guests will not be able to stop eating this savory dip. The orange color makes it natural for a Halloween party. —Gina Wilson, Austin, Texas
Vermont: Maple Syrup Pie
Folks in New Hampshire apparently appreciate maple syrup almost as much as we do in Vermont. When my husband and I took a road trip through New Hampshire, we discovered this pie at a number of diners and restaurants. We loved it so much we created our own version. —Laurie Herr, Westford, Vermont. Learn about some haunted house mysteries no one can explain.
Virginia: Halloween Monster Cookies
Don’t be surprised if all the monsters come out of hiding when you assemble these fun and easy treats. My kids and I made them for their classroom Halloween party one year. Their classmates loved them, and it’s now a tradition to make them every year. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Washington: Ghostly Custards
You’ll hear shrieks of delight when these not-so-spooky pumpkin custards appear for dessert. These ghosts will be gobbled up in no time! —Suzanne Strocsher, Bothell, Washington. These Halloween movies for kids make great party viewing!
West Virginia: Mini Martian Burgers
I’m always trying to come up with fun recipes for my grandchildren. Since these mini burgers starred at their trick-or-treat party, my grandkids have been requesting them often. They love to help me make the sliders. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
Play the mad scientist this year and bring a monster to life. He’s frightfully fun and delicious! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These are the best haunted houses in America.
Wyoming: Quick Ghost Cookies
Spruce up store-bought cookies for the holiday. These are a real hit with “goblins” of all ages. —Denise Smith, Lusk, Wyoming.
For more fun facts, costume ideas, traditions, candy inspiration, spooky entertainment, and updates on how October 31 will look different this year, check out our Halloween Guide.