Spooky meals for Halloween – or any day this fall

Last week, I shared with you some of my favorite Halloween-themed appetizers.

This week we will dive into some spooky entrance offerings.

The entrance is the star of the show when it comes to the holidays, and Halloween is no exception. The recipes that I have included will satisfy both adults and children alike, and I particularly enjoy their versatility whether your party features a sit-down meal or a stroll-through buffet.


This selection of recipes works for All Hallow’s Eve, but they also can be served for any fall-themed party throughout the next couple of months.

Reminiscent of the Rocky Horror Picture Show: I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey through my Spooky Kitchen of Delights that will lure you in for more fright and delight!

And with this, I couldn’t agree more!

Jacqueline Iannazzo-Corser is a contributing writer to The Monroe News, writing about food and recipes. She is a chef, co-owner of Public House, Culinary Specialist at the Opportunity Center at the Arthur Lesow Community Center, and an adjunct professor of culinary arts at Monroe County Community College. She can be reached at [email protected]

Pumpkin Chili

Serves 8 to 10


  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans roasted tomatoes, do not drain (Mild, plain sun dried, or fire roasted)
  • 1 to 1 lbs. of ground bulk Italian sausage or choice
  • 1 to 1 lbs. or ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Garnish ingredients:

  • sour cream
  • pumpkin seeds
  • Cheddar cheese (sharp if desired)
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Black olive pieces or peppercorns


  • In a large stock pot, heat oil over low-to-medium heat
  • Add the ground meat and sausage, breaking it into smaller pieces and sauteing until brown – cooked throughout, approximately 8-to-10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a colander then to a paper towel-lined plate to drain further, if desired.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot. Cook on low-to-medium heat for 9-to-12 minutes, until soft.
  • Stir in the garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, and cinnamon.
  • Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, pumpkin puree, chicken broth and meat.
  • Bring to boil over medium to high heat.
  • Reduce to low-to-medium heat and cover, stirring for approximately 25 minutes.
  • Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Use garnishes listed above for toppings, or additional ones as desired.

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