french minestrone
Getty Images

3 Fast Dinners You Can Make Before You Trick or Treat

A Halloween dinner needs a few things. It should be warm, it should be packed with fall flavor, and it really needs to be fast. These three ideas check all of those boxes!

Wendy Paul shares some fast dinners you can whip up before you hit the streets for some candy.

Find more food inspiration from Wendy on Instagram, @therealwendypaul

Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi Dumplings


  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 lb. pkg. gnocchi
  • 2 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Badia complete seasoning, or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • (cornstarch slurry if needed for thickening)


Preheat your large skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil. Saute the diced celery, carrots, onion, and potato. Stir occasionally. About 4-5 minutes. Then add the gnocchi. Brown on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 more minutes.

Next, add the shredded chicken and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Then add the seasonings, heating for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the heavy cream, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2-3 more minutes. If you need to thicken the sauce, make a cornstarch slurry, and add while stirring to thicken.

Salisbury Meatballs


  • 2 small sweet onions, diced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar or unrefined coconut sugar
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 24-36 beef meatballs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 pkg. (powder only) onion soup or gravy mix
  • ½ cup sour cream


In a large skillet over medium high heat, caramelized the diced onion in olive oil. Stir occasionally, allowing the onions to turn brown slowly. Once they stat to go brown, and caramelize, add the kosher salt and sugar. Stir together. Then add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs, bay leaf and soup or gravy mix. Stir together. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Then add the sour cream at the end just before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, serve over mashed potatoes.

Sweet Hawaiian Pulled Pork


  • 2-3 lbs. pork loin
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or Badia complete seasoning
  • 1 cup sweet Hawaiian BBQ sauce


In your crock pot, add the pork loin, brown sugar, salt, cumin and garlic. Cook on low for 12-18 hours. Shred. Then add the BBQ sauce just before serving.  Serve with Hawaiian Mac salad or slaw.