Samhain Foods: 10 Meals Your Family & Ancestors Will Love
There’s a chill in the air. Autumn and Halloween decorations set the spooky vibes in the neighborhood. The veil is thin. Samhain is coming. How do you like to celebrate this sabbat? My family loves to eat…so eating a Samhain supper is inevitable. Are you planning a Samhain meal for family and ancestors? If so, here we provide our favorite 10 Samhain foods your family, friends and ancestors will love.
10 Samhain Foods: Traditional & Modern
Samhain is the last harvest in the Celtic tradition. Our Celtic ancestors used this time to harvest the last of the crops, cull some of the livestock, and prepare for the long Winter ahead. Often they used this time as a means of preparing themselves physically for the Winter by feasting and eating as much as possible. Enjoying the spoils of the hunt, any livestock culled that couldn’t be preserved, as well as crops that had to be eaten right then and there.
While times are different today, we can still celebrate the last harvest with a purposeful, magical meal. What kind of foods do you associate with Samhain or Autumn? Pumpkin, corn, cinnamon, squash and maybe apples? We say, it’s time for ALL of these Autumn foods!
1. Pumpkin Goat Cheese Fettuccine Alfredo
I know what you’re thinking. Pumpkin pasta? Hear me out. Pumpkin is traditionally associated with sweet treats like pie. But trust me when I say, pumpkin is so much more than dessert! I’ve made this recipe almost every year and it never disappoints. It is rich and creamy and the perfect Samhain meal. HERE’S THE RECIPE. Wash it down with a nice Cabernet.
2. Colcannon *A Traditional Irish Samhain Meal*
A traditional Samhain food, colcannon comes from the Emerald Isle. Samhain custom tells us to add little trinkets and charms to the mashed potatoes and cabbage and watch as each guest/family member finds their own charms. Each charm has meaning – this is an old school form of divination for Samhain Eve. Charms might include hearts, baby bottles, coins, etc. Just make sure everyone knows to be careful when eating it!
- 8 Russet potatoes Peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 1/2 Cabbage head Washed and chopped
- 1 Yellow onion Chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves Minced
- 32 oz Chicken broth
- 6 TBSP Butter
- 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 2 Bay leaves
- Salt and pepper To taste
- Smoked sausage rounds or chopped ham OPTIONAL
- Melt half stick of butter (4 tbsp) in large stockpot. Add onion. Cook until onions are translucent.
- Add garlic and cook one minute until fragrant.
- Add broth, potatoes, bay leaves, a palmful of salt and a pinch of pepper. Heat to a light boil. Let cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. (NOTE: I sometimes add some extra water, depending on if I want my soup to be thin or thicker like stew. The choice is yours)
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (this cuts down on the smell of the cabbage when it boils)
- Add cabbage. Taste and add extra salt and pepper, if needed. This is also where you can add any extra herbs or spices you’d like (optional).
- Bring it back to a boil and cook for another 15 minutes until cabbage is softened and potatoes are cooked.
- If you want to add cooked meat, do so now (this is totally optional).
- Serve with a tab of butter on top. We also enjoy eating crusty bread with herb butter and dipping it into our colcannon soup.
3. Butternut Squash Soup
In addition to it being pumpkin season, in America it is also Fall squash season. So, it’s time to load up on Butternut squash, acorn squash, etc. Another of my favorite Samhain meals is butternut squash soup. If you’re night’s busy, prepare it ahead of time and throw it in your Instant Pot when you’re ready to eat. HERE’S THE RECIPE.
4. Apple Waffles
When Samhain falls on a weekend, take advantage and make an elaborate Samhain breakfast and save dinner-time for dressing in costume and handing out candy. Apple waffles with cinnamon and syrup make Samhain breakfast a treat! Plus, everyone loves apples in the Fall. Particularly the ancestors.
5. Pumpkin Soup
You all know how much I love making and eating soup. Remember our talk about pumpkin being more than just dessert? It’s back again, but this time in the form of a savory soup. I’ve made this for Samhain in years past and everyone enjoys it. Add a crusty bread and it will stick to your bones for that long Samhain ritual or Halloween trick-or-treating. HERE’S THE RECIPE.
6. Barmbrack *A Traditional Samhain Food*
It’s not a full meal, but it is a traditional Samhain food. Barmbrack put simply is an Irish fruit cake. If you’re a fan of fruit cake, then try making Barmbrack for Samhain this year. HERE’S THE RECIPE. Slather it in butter before eating!
7. Pork Roast with Apple & Acorn Squash Stuffing
I love using my crockpot and instant pot in the fall. Pork roast is always simple, delicious and feeds a family (or you end up with leftovers). Add apples and acorn squash to make it a full Samhain meal, and be sure to offer some to the ancestors. HERE’S THE PORK ROAST WITH APPLES RECIPE. Roast acorn squash in the oven like this.
8. Oktoberfest Sausages, Apple and Kraut
If you’re German or have German ancestors, don’t forget that October is also Oktoberfest! This is a day when Germans celebrate food, family, friends, Fall and beer. Oktoberfest foods can be substituted as a Samhain meal. Sausages, apples and sauerkraut are traditional along with a frosty cold beer. PROST! Here’s a list of nothing but Oktoberfest foods for your Samhain meal.
9. Herb Roasted Chicken With Mashed Turnips
And now my mouth is watering. One of my favorite seasonal feasts features an herb roasted chicken. When you stuff a chicken with lemons, fresh herbs from the garden and onion, cake the chicken’s skin in salt and pepper, and baste with butter, you have the recipe for mouth-watering, moist chicken for your Samhain meal. I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s ALWAYS a hit!
- whole chicken, cleaned and innards removed
- 2 lemons, cut into chunks (unpeeled)
- one onion, cut into chunks
- handful of fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, and lemon balm are best!
- half stick of salted butter
- generous amount of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Clean the chicken: remove the innards and wash the outside. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Squeeze a lemon chunk into the chicken’s cavern and then stuff the lemon chunks, onion pieces, and fresh herbs into the chicken. Tie the legs closed.
- Rub salt and pepper all over the chicken’s skin.
- Set on pan and bake at 350 degrees. 20 minutes per pound.
- When there’s 40 minutes left on the chicken (or before the chicken skin gets too crispy/burns), melt your butter and pour over the chicken. Return to the oven.
- Every 10-15 minutes following, baste the chicken with the juices in the pan.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Cut and serve.
And instead of mashes potatoes, go with traditional mashed turnips.
10. Pumpkin Pancakes As a Samhain Meal
Do you ever eat breakfast for dinner? My kids absolutely love having breakfast for dinner. It’s always a fun meal for the whole family. Why not eat pumpkin pancakes for your Samhain meal this year? Here’s our favorite recipe.
Choose Your Own: Samhain Veggies, Fruits, Etc.
If none of the Samhain meals above tickle your witchy fancy, select your own recipes using some of our suggested Autumn ingredients:
- Veggies: root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions are all appropriate as Samhain foods
- All Autumn squashes: acorn, butternut, and pumpkin
- Fruits: apples, blackberries, and pomegranates are all traditional Samhain and Halloween foods
- Meats: roast pork, roasted chicken, turkey, sausages, etc.
- Corn and grains like wheat, rye, barley, etc.
- Bread is traditional and evocative of Samhain and all things Autumn
- Spices: cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, pepper, pumpkin spice, cumin, etc.
More Autumn Foods:
- Samhain Recipes: 11 Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Recipes
- The Kitchen Witch’s Food List: Magical Properties of Food
- Cinnamon Magic: 10 Ways to Use Cinnamon in Witchcraft