As soon as October hits, my kitchen goes into Halloween mode. The spookier I can make my food, the better. With the Walking Dead returning in just a few weeks, I’ve got zombies on the brain! And what better way to celebrate the scariest time of the year than with some delicious braaaaaaaains!?
To make these zombies, all you need is your favorite meatloaf recipe and a little creativity!
Most recipes for meat loaf call for slices of bread soaked in milk – but I’ve discovered something that works way better: Panko!
Just soak the panko in a bowl with some of the parmesan cheese and some milk for about ten minutes to soften it. For this recipe, panko works especially well as a ‘glue’ to help the meatloaves hold their scary shapes.
Stir some minced onion and garlic before adding the ground beef, mustard powder, brown sugar, ketchup, sriracha and an egg. It’s easiest to mix it all together with your hands.
The meat will be sufficiently combined when there are no chunks of the breading visibly left. Then shape the meat into your spOoOoOoky shapes! As a point of reference, it takes about forty minutes to an hour to cook a pound of meatloaf all the way through, so to get everything to cook evenly, I divided my meat into three separate balls so I could make a few different things.
For the skull, form a large oval shaped loaf and tuck all the pieces of onion into the center. Taper down the size of the loaf for the lower part of the mouth. Use some chopped white onion as teeth.
Press some mozzarella balls into the meat and form a nasal cavity between them. Cut the strips of bacon in half and then use the bacon to make bandages across the skull. The bacon just needs to go across the meatloaf, not all the way under. The bacon will cook best if it’s in a single layer.
The next meatloaf I decided to make some was some mozzarella stuffed braaaaaaaaaains!
I’m always looking for creative ways to use my Jell-O brain mold, and this year, meatloaf gets to be the star! Make an even layer of meat about a half inch thick in the mold then fill the cavity with onions, parsley, and balls of mozzarella.
Flip the brain out onto a greased baking sheet – it’s okay if there are a few holes, that will just allow the mozzarella to ooze out.
Finally I rolled the remaining meatloaf into a ball and created five smaller balls which I rolled into fingers. At the end of each finger I placed an onion ‘finger nail’ and then wrapped the hand in bacon, leaving some parts of the meatloaf hand exposed.
My favorite part of meatloaf is definitely the ketchup based sauce that gets poured on top. I mixed my sauce with a little bit of sriracha, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
I brushed the sauce over the entire brain and made sure to really get it in every crack and crevice.
I then brushed the sauce onto the exposed meatloaf on the hand.
And the exposed part of the skull gets some sauce too! He looks a little deliciously gross right now.
Pop the spooky meatloaves into the oven at 350°F for about forty to forty-five minutes. While the meatloaf is cooking, it’s time to start on the intestines!
For the intestines I made a simple egg noodle from scratch – which actually turned out to be this week’s challenge (homemade noodles)!
To make the noodles super green, I added an eighth of a teaspoon of green food coloring gel and some fresh parsley.
Then just whisk the green food coloring and eggs together in the well of the flour until the eggs start to get lumpy.
From there, use your hands to fully mix together the noodles. They will be SUPER sticky at first, but don’t add more flour yet!
Tip the dough onto a flour dusted surface and then sprinkle some more flour on top.
Use your hands to knead the dough until it’s smooth. If it’s still tacky, keep kneading!
When the noodle dough is nice and smooth, whack it flat with the side of a rolling pin. This ensures any air pockets within the dough are forced out of the dough.
Then use the rolling pin to flatten the dough as thin as you can. If you have a pasta press, I recommend using it – if only I had my own (*wink wink*).
Generously flour the top of the dough then roll it into a tube. Alternatively, you can use a pizza wheel to cut super thin noodles without rolling the dough into a tube. Which ever method works best for you.
Cut all the way through the roll to form some even sized noodles.
Then grab the loose end of the noodles and shake to unfurl. Let the noodles rest until you are ready to serve – they will only take about sixty seconds to two minutes seconds to fully cook.
By now, the meatloaf should be pretty close to being done.
My zombie’s eyes melted completely out of his head – which is mostly the effect I was going for, but I wanted the eyes to still be oozing when served, so I added some fresh mozzarella balls to the skull before popping it back into the oven for the final ten minutes of cooking. I also brushed the remaining ketchup sauce on the meatloaves before cooking the rest of the way.
When there is about three minutes left on the meatloaves, drop the noodles into a pot of almost-boiling water.
If the water is at a full boil, the noodles might cook too quickly. The water should be just hot enough to be simmering and steaming, but not a full on boil. Be sure to stir the noodles constantly so they don’t cook into a big dough ball too. Drain the noodles and toss them in a touch of butter, if you so wish.
Then serve the zombie meatloaf on a bed of the green intestine-like noodles!
Serve up this meatloaf at your next zombie themed party or on the night of Halloween. They’re so delicious, it’s spooky!
Zombie Meatloaf & Intestine Noodles | Halloween Recipes
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, whisk together the panko, half of the parmesan cheese, and the milk. Soak for about ten minutes, or until the panko is soggy and the milk has been absorbed. Stir in the garlic and chopped onion.
- Add the ground beef to the panko mix along with 1/4 cup of ketchup, two tablespoons sriracha, one teaspoon dry mustard, one tablespoon brown sugar and one egg. Use your hands to combine until the panko mix can no longer be distinguished.
- Form the meatloaf into your desired spooky shapes. To make the skull, create an tapered oval shape and pinch in the bottom half. Add onions for teeth. Press divots into the skull where eyes should be and add two mozzarella balls. Wrap the skull in half strips of bacon.
- To make the hand: form a ball and flatten it to the size of your palm. Take five smaller balls of meat and roll into finger length. Use onions as finger nails. Wrap the hand and fingers in strips of bacon.
- To make the brain: use a Jell-O brain shaped mold and press the meat into an even layer on every side, leaving the center open. Place several mozzarella balls, fresh parsley and chopped onion into the center and cover with meat. Pinch the edges closed then tip out of the brain shaped mold.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, sriracha and brown sugar until smooth. Spread half of the sauce onto each meatloaf.
- Arrange the meatloaves onto a pan lined with foil and greased with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and the sauce has darkened in color.
- While the meatloaves are baking, start making the noodles. In a large bowl, add two cups of flour and make a divot in the center. Crack in the eggs. Add the parsley and green food coloring. Whisk until the eggs and food coloring have combined and has started to lump up.
- Use your hands to continue to work with the noodle dough. It will be really sticky at first. Knead until the stickiness has reduced then tip the dough out onto a floured surface. Dust the dough with flour and continue to knead until the dough is smooth on the outside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to an 'almost-boil'. Dust a large surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to beat any remaining air out of the noodle dough. Roll the dough out into a large sheet, as thin as you can possibly get it without tearing. Use a pizza cutter to cut thin noodles OR dust with flour and roll into a log, then cut into noodles. Grasp the end to unfurl the noodles then dust again with flour. Set aside until ready to cook.
- Remove the meatloaves from the oven. Replace the mozzarella eyes in the skull if they are too melted. Spread the remaining ketchup sauce onto the meatloaves and place them back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- During the last few minutes of baking the meatloaves, add the noodles to an almost-boiling pot of water. Stir constantly to keep separated. Cook for two minutes or until tender. Drain but do not rinse.
- Arrange the noodles on a plate and place the spooky shaped meatloaves on top. Serve hot at your next Halloween party, and enjoy!