Learn how to make Halloween spaghetti, a healthy Halloween dinner idea! We’re taking protein-packed Halloween pasta and orange carrot spirals, and mixing them with a black peanut sauce. The finishing touches are some pumpkin-shaped carrots, for a dish that isn’t your typical spooky spaghetti. (Yes, even scaredy cats will love this Halloween pasta recipe!) Enjoy it before indulging in Halloween party food or trick-or-treating!
I remember going to several Halloween parties as a kid with a walk-through sensory activity. You’d reach into several mystery boxes with a blindfold on, and the host would tell you what ghastly thing you were touching.
Peeled grapes were usually eyeballs. Popcorn kernels might be our imaginary victim’s teeth. And cooked spaghetti was always guts, worms, or brains.
Though Halloween spaghetti brains are fun, I’ve got a far less creepy way to enjoy spaghetti for Halloween. This one is different than most of the Halloween spaghetti ideas you’ll find online.
I’ve noticed a lot of recipes for “eyeball spaghetti.” Often, a plate of pasta with marinara is topped with cheese and black olive “eyeballs.” Or, cut green olives stuffed with pimentos are used to make eyeballs.
Alternatively, monster meatballs are decorated to look like eyeballs. It’s all loads of ocular fun, but there’s ways to make less scary Halloween food too!
Today you’ll learn some tips and tricks to make a Halloween-themed plate of pasta. I’ll show you how I get black Halloween pasta and sauce with no food coloring and no squid ink.
We’ll finish the dish with green pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and little carrot pumpkins. (Awww...) It’s nutritious and has a kid-friendly peanut sauce even little ones may love!
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of Halloween spaghetti has 578 calories, 21 grams net carbs, and 59.7 grams protein. It’s a good fit for high protein and low carb diets.
What are the benefits of making Halloween spaghetti? Here are some reasons you’ll love this easy Halloween dinner recipe:
- Healthy Halloween recipe: This spaghetti recipe is packed with nutritious foods. The poppy seed butter is a rich source of plant-based calcium (40% DV for calcium for 2 tablespoons). In addition, you’re getting a serving of seafood (shrimp), veggies, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
- Protein-packed: The shrimp in this Halloween main dish is a rich source of lean protein. In addition, the black bean pasta in this recipe provides 25 grams of protein per serving. It also gives you a whopping 11 grams of fiber.
- Special diet friendly: These Halloween noodles are naturally pescatarian, low carb, and dairy free. Get tips on making it gluten free and vegan in the FAQ section below. It’s easy to customize!
- Delish: Peanut noodles are a tasty crowd pleaser. If you’re looking for a family dinner idea that everyone will eat, pasta dishes tend to be a safe bet.
What are the ingredients for Halloween spaghetti? Here’s your shopping list:
- Creamy peanut butter
- Dastony poppy seed butter
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Fish sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Fresh garlic
- Maple syrup (regular or sugar-free syrup for keto)
- Black soybean pasta
- Fresh carrots
- Raw, peeled, tail-off shrimp
- Pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Note: Specific quantities of ingredients are always listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
Explore Cuisine’s black bean spaghetti is our black pasta in this recipe. You could also use squid ink pasta or dye regular pasta jet-black with food coloring.
We're using poppyseed butter to get our black Halloween sauce. The ratio of poppy seed butter to peanut butter is 1:3 because poppy seed butter by itself is very bitter. I don’t recommend adding more than is specified by this recipe.
A little maple syrup goes a long way in this recipe to give the expected sweetness to the peanut sauce. You can use sugar-free maple syrup if you want to keep things added sugar free. Feel free to add an additional tablespoon of syrup to the recipe if things aren’t sweet enough for you.
There are lots of options for foods that are a natural vibrant orange. I used carrots here, but frozen butternut squash spirals, pumpkin, or orange pepper strips are some other foods to consider.
Finally, if you like your peanut sauce to have some kick, add some red pepper flakes for heat. I chose to leave them out here to keep the recipe more kid-friendly.
To make Halloween spaghetti, here is the kitchen equipment you need:
- A good knife
- Vegetable spiralizer (for spiralizing carrots)
You also need a big pot for cooking the pasta and shrimp on the stovetop. A colander is handy for draining the cooked spaghetti.
🔪 How to Make Halloween Spaghetti
Set a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat for the spaghetti. Make the sauce by whisking together the peanut butter, poppy seed butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, and maple syrup. Set the Halloween spaghetti sauce aside.
Cut a total of 12-16 ¼-inch (0.6 cm) thick carrot coins off the thick ends of the carrots. Slice two small notches from each carrot coin to make the carrot pumpkins. (Watch the video in the recipe card below for visuals!)
Sometimes I trim a little extra off the carrots to perfect the pumpkin shape. Set these “pumpkins” aside. The notches that were cut away can be saved for another recipe.
Using a vegetable spiralizer, spiralize the long, unused pieces of carrot into carrot noodles. I thinly slice the pieces that don’t fit in the spiralizer by hand. Put the carrot spirals aside.
When the water in the pot starts to boil, add the black bean spaghetti and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the pasta for three minutes, then add the raw shrimp to the pot and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
Note: if you use another type of pasta, adjust the cooking time according to the directions on the box. Add the shrimp during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time.
Drain the shrimp and spaghetti in a colander. Return it to the pot (off the heat), and stir in the carrot spirals and the sauce.
Divide the Halloween spaghetti between the serving bowls. Garnish with the pumpkin-shaped carrots, sliced scallions, and pumpkin seeds.
You can keep leftover Halloween spaghetti in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave. Do not freeze it, as the carrots will lose their crisp texture.
🍝 What to serve with Halloween spaghetti?
We usually enjoy Halloween pasta as a one-pot meal! However, if you want some side dish ideas for Halloween spaghetti, here you go:
If you’re really feeling creative, serve the cheese sticks or green bean fries as zombie fingers or witch fingers. Marinara sauce can serve as a (fake) bloody dip. (Ewww!)
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). Halloween can be a challenging time if you are a chocolate-lover who is trying to maintain a healthy weight! Consider having a filling meal that is loaded with protein and fiber before the festivities. This Halloween spaghetti is a nutritious meal that may help you feel satisfied so you’re less likely to overindulge later.
Legume-based pasta that is packed with protein and fiber may be more filling than a pasta made of white flour. That said, it can still be quite easy to overeat pasta as the portions are relatively small. If you don’t feel that your pasta portion is big enough, a garden salad on the side can add low-calorie volume.
The macro breakdown of this main course is unusual for a pasta dish. Most of the calories are coming from a combination of fat and protein (slightly more protein than fat). The relatively low carb count makes this a good choice for those using a low carb diet for weight loss or blood sugar control in diabetes.
To lower the calorie count a little more, you could replace some of the spaghetti with spiralized veggies. Another option is to use less sauce.
Nut and seed butters typically provide 180-200 calories per 2 tablespoons. Using just a little less Halloween sauce can easily cut 50-100 calories (or more) from the dish.
For a higher energy meal, have a bigger portion, add a side of bread, or add more sauce to the dish. (Or, if you know that you’ll be indulging in Halloween treats later, enjoy the lighter meal as-is!)
To make this Halloween spaghetti gluten free, you need to use gluten free fish sauce. Some fish sauces are gluten free friendly, while others are not. You will also need to swap the soy sauce for gluten free tamari or coconut aminos.
For vegan Halloween spaghetti, omit the fish sauce and use your favorite plant based protein instead of the shrimp. I think marinated air fryer tofu would work well in this dish. Simply stir it into the sauced pasta at the end, don’t add it to the pasta water.
There are so many fun Halloween-themed pasta options if you look around! I love Pastabilities Halloween pasta (a pumpkin, spider, and ghost noodles mix), as well as their black cat pasta. Also, don’t miss the black and orange squid ink and butternut linguini from Plentiful Pantry. I also adore this squid ink bow tie farfalle pasta that looks like bats.
👩🏻🍳 Other Halloween Recipes
Want more Halloween recipes for kids? Try these next:
- Black Bean Soup in Air Fryer with Pumpkin Web Swirl
- Papaya Popsicles (these look like candy corn!)
- Mummy Dogs
- Matcha Popsicles (that look like zombies)
- Sumac-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
- 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons poppy seed butter
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (use gluten free version for GF diets)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (use sugar-free syrup for keto)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces spaghetti (227 grams dry weight; I use low carb Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti)
- 5 ounces carrots (142 grams; 2-3 carrots)
- 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, tail-off (454 grams)
- 1 scallion, sliced
- ¼ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Set a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
- Make the sauce by whisking together the peanut butter, poppy seed butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, and minced garlic. Set the Halloween sauce aside.
- Cut a total of 12-16 ¼-inch (0.6 cm) thick carrot coins off the thick ends of the carrots. Slice two small notches from each carrot coin to make the carrot pumpkins. (Watch the video below!) Set these “pumpkins” aside. The notches that were cut away can be saved for another recipe.
- Using a vegetable spiralizer, spiralize the long, unused pieces of carrot into carrot noodles. Thinly slice the pieces that don’t fit in the spiralizer by hand. Put the carrot spirals aside.
- When the water in the pot starts to boil, add the black soybean spaghetti and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the pasta for three minutes, then add the raw shrimp to the pot and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Note: if you use another type of pasta, adjust the cooking time according to the directions on the box. Add the shrimp during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time.
- Drain the shrimp and spaghetti in a colander. Return it to the pot (off the heat), and stir in the carrot spirals and the sauce.
- Divide the Halloween spaghetti between the serving bowls. Garnish with the pumpkin-shaped carrots, sliced scallions, and pumpkin seeds. Happy Halloween!