Worms in dirt

I have a tradition of making fun food for Halloween every year. In the past, I have made monster pizzas, meringue “ghosties,” green monster hands out of white chocolate with food coloring, and that sort of thing. This year is the first year I have been following the paleo/primal lifestyle, so I decided to make a paleo-compliant, healthy, fun food for them.

Inspired, I looked through a number of websites for ideas on fun Halloween foods. I came across many recipes for “worms in dirt.” This disgusting-sounding Halloween favorite is made  in a variety of ways—as a pie, as a dessert cup, as a pudding, etc.—using crushed Oreo cookies as the dirt and  gummy worms as the worms. I decided to make mine as a main dish using hamburger meat as the dirt and sliced hot dogs as the worms.

I made it early this year for two reasons. I am appearing in a play in November and will be in rehearsals on Halloween (more on that in later posts). And because I’d like you to be able to make it on Halloween yourself if you’d like to do so.

Worms in dirt (with "grass")

Worms in dirt (with “grass”)

Worms in dirt
Serves 4
A fun, yet hearty Halloween treat for your little ghouls.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
394 calories
5 g
110 g
29 g
27 g
10 g
163 g
551 g
2 g
1 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 394
Calories from Fat 258
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 110mg
Sodium 551mg
Total Carbohydrates 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 500 g (ca. 1 lb.) ground beef
  2. 1 onion, finely diced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  5. salt and pepper or your favorite spice mix
  6. 4 (or more) hot dogs, quartered lengthwise
  1. Heat a pot of water to the boil.
  2. In the meantime, in a deep skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink.
  3. Add onion, garlic, tomato paste, and spices to hamburger meat. Continue to sauté until onion is translucent.
  4. Add the quartered hot dogs to the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer hot dogs until they begin to curl; drain.
  5. Serve the meat topped with the curled hot dogs. Tuck the hot dogs into the meat to look as if they are worms in dirt.
  1. I served this with a side of sautéed Savoy cabbage, to function as "grass." I sauteed the Savoy cabbage in about a Tbsp. of coconut oil with a minced shallot, salt, and pepper until tender. This could also be served on a hamburger or hot dog bun if you're not paleo. Have fun and happy Halloween!
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5 Responses to Worms in dirt

  1. Amdnarg says:

    Looks ghoulicious! Hope the family enjoyed it.

  2. Heidi says:

    Wow – those hot dogs really look like worms. This is on our list for next week!

  3. Naved says:

    This went on the food chart for this week and following the theme we also are going to make Ants in a Tree to go along with it!

  4. Naved says:

    This went on the food chart for this week and following the theme we also are going to make Ants in Trees to go along with it!

  5. Josh says:

    Great idea on using gummy worms, for a minute there I thought them to be real !

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