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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.

Happy Hour Platter with Caramelized Onion Dip | A Couple Cooks via Platters and Boards

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!

And now…our favorite New Year’s Eve recipes!

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Best shrimp cocktail

20 New Year’s Eve Recipes: Shrimp Cocktail & More!

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


Here’s a classic New Year’s Eve recipe: shrimp cocktail! It stars perfectly tender shrimp and a zesty cocktail sauce that will have everyone begging for the recipe.



For the shrimp

  • 1 pound large 16 to 20 count shrimp (tail-on and deveined)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the shrimp cocktail sauce

  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce


  1. 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).
  2. Bring 12 cups of water to boil with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and lemon juice from the ½ lemon.
  3. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  4. 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.
  5. Meanwhile, stir together the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust horseradish to your preference.
  6. Remove the shells from the shrimp, leaving the shell of the tail on. Discard the shells.
  7. Pat the shrimp dry, and sprinkle it with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and few squirts from lemon wedges.
  8. Serve on a platter over ice with lemon wedges and shrimp cocktail sauce.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: New Year’s Eve Recipes, Shrimp Cocktail

Looking for more holiday recipes?

We’ve got your holiday entertaining covered! These recipe collections are related to Christmas, but they include New Year recipes too! This is especially helpful if you’re planning a fancy dinner.

Last updated: December 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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