What to serve to ring in the new year? Here are our best easy New Year’s Eve recipes, from party appetizers to champagne cocktails.
How do you celebrate the new year? Go out, or stay in? Alex and I love hosting a party with good friends and tasty appetizers as we watch the countdown clock. And of course, champagne at midnight! It can be difficult to find good New Year’s Eve recipes, because there’s not really a “genre” for them. Really, you could eat anything! But there are a few standards that say “New Year’s Eve” a bit more than others.
Here, we’ve collected appetizer and finger food recipes, along with our favorite New Year cocktails. Because, why not dress up your bubbly when you pop the cork? Take a look and let us know what other new year recipes you love!
Shrimp cocktail is a classic New Year's Eve recipe! While it was popularized in the 1960’s, it truly never goes out of style. And this one’s the best shrimp cocktail you’ll find. It's got perfectly tender shrimp and a zesty homemade cocktail sauce that will have everyone begging for the recipe.
This is a New Year's Eve must-make recipe! Because this classic Champagne cocktail is features abubble fountain. When the champagne hits the sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, it creates an ongoing fountain of bubbles that leaves the glass literally sparkling for minutes! Want more bubbles? Just top off the glass with champagne, and you’ll have another round of bubbles to keep things lively. See also: Cranberry Champagne Cocktail and St Germain Champagne Cocktail.
Black eyed peas are known as lucky New Year's Eve foods, so what better way to enjoy them than Texas Caviar? Cowboy caviar, as it’s also known, was invented in Texas and has now spread all over the US. This combo of black eyed peas, veggies and a vinaigrette dressing is equal parts zesty and comforting: and you can use it as a chip dip or healthy side dish. It's got loads of colorful veggies, cilantro and jalapenos, and a simple zingy dressing with the perfect flavor.
Gooey baked brie cheese is a classic recipe around the holidays and New Year's Eve. This one makes a fantastic appetizer: top the melty cheese with honey and crushed nuts, or cranberry jam! Serve with crusty bread or crackers as a New Year's Eve finger food.
This baked goat cheese appetizer recipe is a total crowd pleaser and perfect for New Year's! Every time we serve it, people cannot stop eating it. It features a tangy homemade marinara sauce, simmered until perfectly flavored, then baked with creamy, tangy goat cheese. Dip in crostini or crusty bread, and it's to die for.
Want an easy drink that’s festive and sophisticated? There’s nothing better than a Kir Royale for New Year's Eve! This famous French cocktail stars black currant liqueur and sparkling wine: and the berries and bubbles suit each other perfectly. The best cocktail recipes are simple perfection, and there’s nothing better than this 2 ingredient combination.
Here’s a spin on spinach artichoke dip that takes this classic to a new level! This tangy, creamy dip recipe is such a crowd pleaser that it might interfere with the conversation when you serve it (sorry!). When we make it for guests, everyone parks around the bowl exclaiming how good it was. “WOW, this is so good! Can I have the recipe?”
One of the best New Year's Eve finger food recipes there is? A good pinwheels recipe! They’re full of Italian-style flavors: mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a blend of spices. They look totally stunning on a platter. We've got all the tricks to making a beautiful roll up.
Want a favorite trick for New Years Eve entertaining? Goat cheese stuffed dates! Yes, these beauties are incredibly easy to make, and the flavor of this simple pairing is outrageous. There’s the sweet caramel chewiness of Medjool dates. Pair that with tangy, fluffy goat cheese, and the sweet-savory combo is out of this world. To them with a dusting of pistachios and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and wowza!
Caramelized onion dip is the centerpiece of this epic happy hour platter, filled with veggies, chips, olives, and cheese! You’ll find people congregate around this dip because it’s just that good: loaded with red wine-simmered caramelized onions and sour cream. It’s perfect for dipping: potato chips are our personal fave.
Who can resist a plate of coconut shrimp? (We certainly can’t.) Each crunchy, coconut-scented, juicy bite is so supremely satisfying, we want to devour the entire plate. This appetizer is popular at seafood restaurants and has a bit of that nostalgic 1990’s chain restaurant vibe. Here we’ve decoded the secrets behind the flavor: and for a lighter twist we’ve made it baked, not fried!
Here’s a tasty New Year's Eve recipe: Buffalo cauliflower wings! These tasty morsels are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy, tangy buffalo sauce. You’ll see these in restaurants here in the US these days…and this recipe? It tastes just as good as restaurant-style. Better, in fact! Let’s be honest: this one requires a bit of time and effort.
Chocolate hummus? This unique spin on the savory dip is obviously not a classic New Year's Eve recipe, but hear us out! This sweet version of hummus is made with cocoa powder and maple syrup. It turns into the best dark chocolate-y dip for strawberries, green apple slices and pretzels. (oh, the sweet and salty combo!).
When it comes to festive cocktails…well, this one might take the cake. Try this Pomegranate Prosecco Cocktail! The combination of sweet tart pomegranate, orange perfume and airy bubbles is one of the most satisfying in our list of 200+ cocktail recipes. It's perfect for New Year's Eve when pomegranate is in season.
Here’s a favorite party trick of ours that makes a tasty and versatile appetizer in just 5 minutes of hands on time. It’s Marinated Olives! This dish will make an olive lover out of anyone. Using the right olives here results in smooth, rich flavor: not briny or overly salty. The garlic, lemon and herbs make a symphony of flavor! Every time we make these and set them out on the table, people go crazy for them.
Here’s a tasty, sweet tart spin on the vodka martini that's a great New Year's Eve recipe: the Cranberry Martini! It’s refreshing, zingy and perfectly balanced, starring Cointreau orange liqueur and fresh lemon juice. If you think this drink bears a striking resemblance to the classic cocktail the Cosmopolitan, you’re right! Our new and improved Cosmo is a favorite in our 200+ cocktail recipes, so prepare to be impressed with this one.
A nice recipe for munching through New Year's Eve: sesame almonds! This recipe dresses up whole almonds to make them the perfect salty-sweet snack. Roasting them with a mixture of honey, salt, sesame seeds and cayenne pepper makes for a crunchy, elevated take on this superfood nut.
This whipped feta dip is a seriously easy appetizer for New Year's Eve. In just 5 minutes crumbly feta cheese transforms into a creamy dip! Drizzle it with honey for the best savory and sweet combo, then top with cracked pepper and oregano. Serve it with warm pita triangles, and you won't be able to stop dipping.
Here's another sweet and savory combo made in heaven: tart cherries and cheese! Here, you'll cook tart cherries with a little balsamic vinegar to make a sweet-tart compote. Then spoon it over crusty bread spread with creamy goat cheese. Top with a few slivers of fresh sage, and you're party ready.
Last up in our New Year's Eve recipes, another champagne cocktail: the French 75! And it's one of the most sophisticated and refreshing cocktail recipes out there. While it has a mysterious name, it’s made with a few simple ingredients: gin, lemon, and Champagne. It’s tangy, bubbly, and a bit botanical, and it makes every occasion more festive!
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Thaw the shrimp (place it in the refrigerator over night, or day of place it in a strainer and allow a steady stream of cold water to defrost it for about 15 minutes).
Bring 12 cups of water to boil with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and lemon juice from the 1/2 lemon.
Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes (more or less time depending on size of shrimp), until bright pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place it directly into the ice water bath to stop the cooking.
Meanwhile, stir together the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust horseradish to your preference.
Remove the shells from the shrimp, leaving the shell of the tail on. Discard the shells.
Pat the shrimp dry, and sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and few squirts from lemon wedges.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.