Scary Spaghetti with Eyeballs

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Halloween is such a fun time for kids, and I love creating meals that are just as fun as trick-or-treating. This scary spaghetti is a classic spaghetti and meat sauce recipe with some mozzarella eyeballs to make a fun Halloween dinner idea. 

Scary Spaghetti eyeballs ready to eat

You can make this quick and easy spaghetti recipe with primarily pantry ingredients. Feel free to substitute fresh ingredients if you have them on hand. For all the steps to make this spooky dinner, as well as some other eyeball and sauce ideas, keep reading!

Ingredients

Scary Spaghetti eyeballs ingredients (See text for details)
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 28 oz. can tomato purée 
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Ciliegine fresh mozzarella (Mozzarella balls)
  • Large black olives, sliced
  • Basil for garnish

How to Cook Perfect Pasta

The key to a delicious spaghetti recipe, or any pasta recipe, is cooking the pasta perfectly. The biggest mistake is not salting the water, resulting in flavorless noodles. For every pound of pasta, I like to add about a tablespoon of kosher salt to the water before it boils.

Never add oil to your pasta while cooking; continually stir to avoid clumping and taste for doneness as it cooks. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it immediately. Do not rinse the pasta with water. This rinses away the starch and will make it harder for your delicious sauce to stick to each noodle.

Instructions

Here are all the steps to make this spooky spaghetti Halloween dinner recipe. 

Step 1 – Cook and Drain the Pasta

Cooked and drained pasta in a sieve

In a large pot, add four quarts of water and a tablespoon of salt. Turn the heat on high and bring the water to a boil. Place a lid on the pasta pot to help speed up the boiling process.

Once your water is boiling, add the spaghetti and stir. Reduce the heat to medium and let the pasta cook according to the directions on the box. Taste the pasta 1-2 minutes before the box says it’s done just to test for doneness. 

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and set it aside. 

Step 2 – Brown the Beef

Browning meat

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until completely brown with no pink remaining. This will take about 7-10 minutes.

If you prefer to make this vegetarian, you can skip this step and just continue with the rest of the sauce.

Step 3 – Make the Sauce

Making sauce for Scary Spaghetti eyeballs

Once the beef has cooked through, turn the heat down to low. Add the tomato purée, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Step 4 – Sauce the Spaghetti

Adding sauce to spaghetti

When you’re ready to serve, toss the spaghetti with a little sauce to coat the noodles. Then plate the pasta and top it with the rest of the sauce.

Step 5 – Add the Eyeballs

Adding eyeballs to spaghetti

Add the mozzarella balls to the spaghetti. I used Ciliegine, which are cherry-sized mozzarella balls and they were a perfect size. Top with the sliced black olives facing up, and serve this spooky Halloween recipe to your guests with a pair of tongs or a pasta spoon. 

Cookware Used

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this Halloween dinner recipe. 

Pasta Pot: To make evenly-cooked al dente pasta, your pasta pot should be big enough. I recommend a 6 to 8-quart pot to hold 4-5 quarts of water with your pasta.

Meat Chopper: This is one of my new favorite cooking tools. It breaks up meat quickly and easily so you have it dispersed through your sauce, rather than large chunks of ground beef.

Spooky Spaghetti with Meat Eyeballs

Rather than spaghetti and meat sauce, you can make this Halloween recipe with meatballs. Either use store-bought, frozen meatballs or make your own homemade meatballs.

Instead of using mozzarella balls, use a sliced log of fresh mozzarella. Cut the slices into smaller rounds and place them on top of the meatballs. Put the sliced black olive in the center and then place the mozzarella-covered meatballs under the broiler for 1 minute until the cheese has melted slightly. 

Place these eyeballs over your spaghetti and sauce as you would the mozzarella eyeballs in step 5 above.

String Cheese Eyeballs

If you’d prefer smaller eyeballs, use this tip to make them quickly. Slice string cheese into rounds and set aside. Use a straw to cut small rounds in the black olives. 

Place the small black olive rounds onto the discs of string cheese and scatter the small eyeballs all over your spaghetti instead of the larger mozzarella balls.

Spooky Spaghetti Pesto with Eyeballs

For a delicious meatless option, try making this into green Halloween pasta with an easy pesto sauce! 

Add 1 cup of basil, 2 garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of pine nuts, and ⅓ cup of grated parmesan to a food processor. Pulse while pouring in ⅓ cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss your cooked spaghetti in the pesto to create bright green pasta. Top with mozzarella eyeballs as instructed above.

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Scary Spaghetti eyeballs ready to eat

You’ve got to try this fun and spooky Halloween spaghetti recipe. My kids love it, and I think yours will too! You could even let them help create the eyeballs for a fun family cooking activity.

Be sure to cook your pasta properly and salt the water for the best flavor. Whether you choose ground beef, meatless, meatballs, or the pesto version, I hope it makes for a memorable Halloween dinner!

Print

Scary Spaghetti with Eyeballs

You mainly just need pantry ingredients for this quick and easy scary spaghetti recipe. Ideal for Halloween, but also fun for other times of the year, this recipe is a genuine meal.

  • Author: Beatriz Garcia
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 28 oz. can tomato purée 
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Ciliegine fresh mozzarella (Mozzarella balls)
  • Large black olives, sliced
  • Basil for garnish

Instructions

Prepare the Pasta

Bring four quarts of water (with a tablespoon of salt) to a boil in your pasta pot.

Once boiling, add the spaghetti and stir. Reduce the heat to medium and let the pasta cook according to the directions on the box. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and set it aside. 

Brown the Beef

While the pasta is cooking, add the ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a large skillet. Cook on medium heat until completely brown with no pink remaining. This will take about 7-10 minutes.

Make the Sauce

Once the beef has cooked through, add the tomato purée, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Sauce the Spaghetti

When you’re ready to serve, toss the spaghetti with a little sauce to coat the noodles. Then plate the pasta and top it with the rest of the sauce.

Add the Eyeballs

Add the mozzarella balls to the spaghetti. Top with the sliced black olives facing up, and serve this spooky Halloween recipe to your guests with a pair of tongs or a pasta spoon. 

Tried this Recipe?

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