Because kids shouldn’t have all the fun, we’re sharing our top picks for recipes to serve or bring to all your adult Halloween parties—dishes that are packed with sophisticated flavors, (mostly) healthy ingredients, and hearty veggies and grains that won’t leave you with that half-hungry feeling you get after indulging in junky finger foods and store-bought candy. From side dishes that make the most of the fall harvest to an entrée that looks as good as it tastes and a pair of desserts tailor-made for grown-up palettes, we’ve got your party menu covered.
Now you just have to figure out your costume. You’re welcome, Fresh fans.
Charred and crispy on the outside, tender and tasty on the inside. We could never get tired of brussels sprouts and their made-for-fall flavor. Whisk the sauce, toss with the sprouts, spread them on a baking sheet, and roast till you have crispy and caramelized goodness. Doesn’t get much easier—or tastier.
We knew we were onto something special with this original soup recipe, but judging by your e-mail love notes, you’re smitten, too. This dish makes terrific use of that big butternut squash in your CSA basket, and freezes well, so you can easily double or triple it. For Halloween, serve it in scooped out mini pumpkins for a happy-harvest feel.
This hearty, flavor-packed dish is one of our favorite ways to enjoy kale during the colder months. Rubbing the kale leaves with garlic and olive oil, then baking, covered, in the oven, removes the bitterness from the greens and allows their flavor to meld beautifully with the Parmesan. We skip the milk at the end and just bake till the breadcrumbs and cheese on top get golden and crunchy.
While it’s often relegated to side-dish status (roasted maple-covered squash rings, anyone?), acorn squash makes a toasty, satisfying entrée when stuffed with chewy ingredients that are packed with protein, fiber, and/or antioxidants, like wild rice, pecans, and cranberries. For even more grown-up flavor, pull the pan out of the oven at the 15-minute mark and drizzle some white wine over the squash halves, then allow them to finish baking.
Tender, moist, and spicy-sweet, this cake makes our mouth water just thinking about it. The addition of ground ginger to the cake mix gives it grown-up kick, while the cream cheese frosting with cinnamon and vanilla is as smooth and indulgent as it gets.
This recipe is so easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making chocolate bark every week (not that we’re recommending daily snacking, but dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, after all). Bottom line: we can’t get enough of the all-adult combo of dark chocolate, coffee, and pistachios, with the extra tang and crunch of sea salt sprinkled over the top. Make sure you use the best-quality sea salt you can find for this one; it really does make a difference. We like HimalaSalt, which is not only ethically harvested, but is also kosher certified, Green-e certified, and comes in a handy little sustainably-packaged shaker.