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Here’s a list of delicious New Year’s Eve recipes to celebrate the upcoming year and say goodbye to the last. Serve a grand dinner or a quick and easy meal with appetizers, a main dish paired with some delicious side dish options, and dessert with friends and family. Plus, a few tips on planning the perfect New Year’s Eve dinner menu!
When planning a celebratory dinner for New Year’s, you’ll consider what to serve and how to best engage the spread into a long evening with friends and families. Getting the timing down and having fuel to get you through the night until the bell drops is fun, and you have many recipes to choose from with this list of appetizers, desserts, entrees, and side dish ideas. Go with a theme or simply celebrate with good food for all to enjoy. Your New Year’s Eve party will be one for the books!
How to plan a New Year’s Eve Dinner Menu
Whether planning a quiet family gathering or ringing in New Year with friends and family at the strike of midnight, planning a celebratory dinner for New Year’s Eve has some tasty options. For a traditional dinner, start with an appetizer followed by the main course and some fun party-themed desserts. You can get more creative with finger foods, handhelds, sides, and a few different sweets for a party-style dinner that will give you the energy to get through the evening.
- Choose a theme. If you want to decorate and cook recipes for a theme, this is the first step to planning a New Year’s Eve menu. Choose a theme that matches the celebration you aim to celebrate with friends, family, and/or kids.
- Color theme: Decorations are easy to find in classic silver and black or gold and black colors. This is always a go-to theme, from the serving platters, table decor, and cups to themed dessert and recipe ideas.
- Masquerade: This is a fun way to ring in the New Year. You can make it as elegant as a ball or more family-friendly with activities and finger foods for kids.
- Skip a theme: A casual New Year’s Eve party is a sure way to have a fantastic time and serve various foods.
- Pick a few appetizers. Bite-sized and easy-to-make starters are a great way to gather everyone to share your memories of the year over tasty tidbits.
- What’s the main course? Choose an entree, a few sides, and bread for a New Year’s dinner menu that is full of flavor, wholesome, and signifies the ending of another year. Stuffed squashes with lentils or quinoa, oven-roasted chicken, and pan-seared salmon.
- Try a Lebanese-inspired New Years’ Eve menu with recipes such as kibbeh and lamb. You may find more recipes in this giant list of delicious Lebanese recipes. If you’re aiming for healthy foods to start your year, you’ll find some fantastic foods with Lebanese cuisine, as they are known for using wholesome ingredients and cooking methods.
- Make fun holiday-themed desserts. Finish the year with some of your best delectable desserts and walk into the New Year with a satisfied sweet tooth. From cakes and chocolates to fruity parfaits and cheesecakes, pick a few of your favorites to serve on this commemorative night.
- Set up a beverage table. Ensure you have enough glasses for a sharable drink when the bell drops. You can also set up a table specifically for drinks. Put ice in a bucket with a scoop, including cups and carafes of tea, lemonade, and ginger ale. You can also make your fruit ice cubes for a fun, colorful, and tasty beverage.
TIPS FOR MAKING A new year’s eve dinner
- Include a few lucky recipes. Many cultures find that certain foods and recipes have a special meaning, and you can choose a few that serve tradition. Savory greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread are traditional southern foods representing luck and fortune for the upcoming year. Some fruits, such as pomegranates and grapes, represent prosperity in different cultures. Lebanese culture has traditional recipes we enjoy on New Year’s, such as Fattoush salad, Kafta, and Potato Stew.
- Choose food that will last. Depending on when your gathering starts, you’ll want to include foods that will stay fresh for a few hours. The night is long, and having stable foods will ensure there is something to eat.
- Finger foods to keep you going. Keep the energy going with food to nibble on through the night.
- Pick a few recipes to make ahead. The day before or earlier in the day, spend some time making a few dishes so they are ready to go when guests arrive. This will give you more time to spend with friends and family and enjoy the end-of-the-year festivities.
- Determine your guest count. Once you know how many people will be at dinner you can narrow down your menu, develop a shopping list, and know how much to prepare.
- Choose a variety of recipes. Pick a few appetizers and finger foods, the main dinner, and a few desserts that will meet your expectations and satisfy anyone’s diet needs, whether vegetarian, dairy-free, or allergens. Mainly you want recipes that will please everyone’s palates.
What food is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve?
New Year’s Even has a few traditional recipes that signify luck, good fortune, and well-being for the coming year, such as black-eyed peas, greens, fish, cornbread, lentils, and pomegranates. Don’t let this keep you from developing personal traditions, though! Create memories through food and choose recipes that resonate with your taste and that your family enjoys.
- Black-eyed peas or lentils bring good luck! You can make them as a side dish, add them to soup, or stuff squash.
- Cornbread is a traditional food for new year’s and signifies gold for wealth and luck. This vegan cornbread recipe is healthier and so easy to make. Serve with some of your favorite main dishes, and even spice them up by adding chopped jalapenos.
- Greens represent financial prosperity and include collards, cabbage, mustard, or turnip greens. Two of my favorite recipes are roasted cabbage and stuffed greens rolls.
- Pomegranate represents a lively New Year to come with fresh starts. Use pomegranate seeds in appetizers, mains, sides, and desserts.
- Seafood for abundance and progress. Fish, shrimp, and scallops are all tasty foods to serve and symbolize a prosperous year to come.
BEST New Year’s Eve RECIPES
From appetizers to dinner and some delicious desserts, you’re sure to find the perfect well-rounded dinner to celebrate bringing in the New Year.
new year’s eve appetizers/Finger Foods
Appetizers and finger foods will be a fantastic way to serve food throughout the evening, keeping you fueled for when the clock strikes midnight. You can choose a few tidbits and keep them warm or cool by using chafing dishes, crockpot, or ice trays. Include chips, pita bread, vegetables, and other foods for dipping.
- Spinach Artichoke Dip – Made with cashews, this vegan and dairy-free dip bakes in the oven for a gooey appetizer everyone will love.
- Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes – Whipped goat cheese is filled inside these bite-sized Campari tomatoes for a creamy and fresh flavor.
- Cucumber Sushi Roll – These gluten-free cucumber sushi rolls are so easy to make, and they are such a colorful and pretty appetizer. Fill with fresh veggies, seasoned cream cheese, and your favorite sushi add-ins.
- 7-Layer Dip – Try this easy Mediterranean twist on the popular dip for your next party; perfect appetizer to feed a crowd and dip with pita chips!
- Corn Salsa – This super quick and easy salsa is perfect as a dip with tortillas, loaded with vibrant Mexican flavors, takes less than 10 minutes, and can be made ahead of time.
- Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes – The ultimate party food or appetizer to serve to guests. They look fancy but are made with only three simple ingredients!
- Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms – Flavorful, cheesy crowd-pleasing finger foods filled with a mixture of chickpeas and walnuts.
- Avocado Shrimp Salsa – A bright & zesty recipe that makes the perfect appetizer. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.
- Shrimp Cocktail – There is a reason classics never go out of style, and this gorgeous platter of chilled succulent shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce is a cause for celebration!
- Lentil Cakes – Include lentils in your dinner for good luck! These lentil cakes are perfect for dipping in a creamy dill and lemon yogurt.
- Stuffed Dates – These gourmet stuffed dates can be filled with sweet or savory fillings that everyone will love.
new year’s eve dinner ideas
Decide which direction you’d like your dinner party to go, whether it an elegant feast with stuffed mushroom appetizers and a classic surf and turf dinner or pasta dish in a delicate sauce, or a more family friendly celebration with easy but delicious recipes for kids and adults to enjoy.
Decide which direction you’d like your dinner party to go. Prepare an elegant feast with a stuffed mushroom or shrimp cocktail for appetizers, classic surf and turf dinner, or a pasta dish in a delicate sauce. A family-friendly dinner celebration is a fantastic option for sharing easy but delicious recipes for kids and adults.
- Baked Lamb Chops – Tender, oven-baked lamb chops marinated in rosemary, garlic, and olive oil with just a hint of lemon, perfect for elegant dinner parties.
- Grilled Steak and Shrimp Skewers – Combine these two recipes to make a surf, turf steak, and shrimp dinner.
- Roasted Salmon – Buttery, infused with fresh herbs and served with lemon and roasted asparagus for an irresistible seafood dinner.
- Stuffed Eggplant – Small and tender eggplants are loaded with a rice and beef mixture in a tomato-based sauce for a filling, wholesome, and uniquely delicious dinner idea.
- Chicken Parmesan – The classic made easier by using the Air Fryer to cook the chicken, premade marinara sauce then served over pasta
- Grilled Lamb Kabobs – You can make these skewers on the grill or inside with a grill pan if it’s too cold and snowy outside. Seasoned with popular Lebanese spices, they’re quick to prep and easy to make.
- Spinach Feta Stuffed Chicken – Juicy well-seasoned chicken is stuffed with a flavorful blend of feta cheese and spinach, making for a truly delectable main dish.
- Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash
- Pesto Pasta with Chicken – A perfectly charred and seasoned grilled chicken breast paired with herbaceous pesto pasta is quick but elegant.
- Pomegranate Roasted Chicken Thighs – Marinated using zaatar and pomegranate molasses gives the chicken an intense sweet and sour flavor similar to balsamic.
Start with a main dish idea and choose a few different side dishes. From healthy salads to hearty potatoes and traditional New Year’s foods, you’re sure to find a perfect match for you dinner party.
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Pomegranate – A sweet and savory side topped with mint, almonds, pomegranate, and yogurt. A wonderful way to enjoy winter squash.
- Cornbread – This recipe is quick and easy to make and vegan too. This traditional food is perfect for serving with your New Year’s dinner.
- Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – FIlled with a mix of ground meat and rice, these cabbage rolls can be served as a side or appetizer.
- Crispy Parmesan Roasted Potatoes – Butter, herbs, and crispy Parmesan soak up into the potato for a delicious bite. Serve with homemade ranch for dipping.
- Kale Pear Salad – Loaded with texture, sweet pears, candied walnuts, and creamy feta, all tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.
- Apple Quinoa Salad – Whip up this incredibly delicious salad with amazing texture and color. It will keep you feeling full and energized to celebrate throughout the night.
- Garlicky Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Two heads of garlic infuse the creamy sauce and potatoes for an indulgent mashed potato side dish and pair well with almost any main entree.
- Smashed Sweet Potatoes – Roasted, smashed and baked with garlic parmesan cheese to crispy perfection. It’s a delicious change up to sweetened sweet potatoes.
- Lebanese Mujadara (lentils) – Just 3 ingredients to make this savory lentil recipe and hearty side dish. The flavors pair well with fish and Lebanese salads like fattoush or tabbouleh.
- Rosemary Focaccia – No special skills are ingredients are needed to make this freshly baked focaccia. It pairs well with many dishes and is easy to make and bake in a skillet.
- Roasted Butternut Squash – This winter squash is roasted and spiced with cinnamon, pairing well with pan-seared chicken thighs or baked salmon.
- Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice – Seasoned with garlic, herbs and spices, this side dish is a great low carb alternative that is bursting with fresh flavors.
- Creamy Pasta with Pine Nuts – Creamy, tangy, and easy to make, this yogurt pasta is similar to alfredo and delicious with traditional Lebanese recipes such as kibbeh but would also pair well with chicken, steak, or shrimp.
This will be your last food of the year! Pick a few delectable desserts that summarize the year and welcome the New Year’s best. If you’re starting a new healthy diet on January 1st, don’t worry, you can still commit to a healthy lifestyle and enjoy dessert without loading it with sugar and unhealthy ingredients. I’m sharing a few of my favorite desserts and a few healthier options!
- Berry Chia Pudding – A healthy dessert with strawberries, almond milk, and chia seeds. Make a big batch, and you can start your New Years’ morning with a nourishing breakfast, too.
- Hot Cocoa Bombs – These are so fun to make and drink! Drop[ them in warm milk and watch the explosion of cocoa and marshmallows pop out and mix into a delicious beverage.
- Coconut Date Balls – Frosted with shredded coconut, these little bites are made with dates and nuts for a sweet and healthy dessert.
- Cranberry Cake – Cranberries, oranges, and almonds come together for a perfect dessert with seasonal flavors. A dusting of powdered sugar or sweet glaze will round out this cake for serving on New Year’s Eve.
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Good old fashion oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy and have chocolate chips added to take them over the top!
- Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies – Chewy and delicious, these cookies are perfect for serving at gatherings with their festive appeal. You can switch the chocolate for white chocolate and write the New Year on them with a frosting or food-safe pen.
- Cream Cheese Vanilla Cupcakes – his simple and sweet vanilla cupcakes recipe with cream cheese frosting is perfect for any occasion or holiday; decorate to fit your celebration theme.
- Strawberry Sauce over Ice Cream – Get everyone involved to make their own ice cream shaken in mason jars with their favorite toppings! You have the whole evening to work with and this will be a great way to fill up the time with fun activities for the kids and adults, too!
- Banana Pudding Parfaits – Made with simple, fresh ingredients for a decadent, delightful & delicious treat that everyone will love! You could also make this in a larger dish for easy dipping.
- Holiday Sugar Cookies – Dipped in white chocolate and crushed peppermint, these are a wonderful holiday treat. Try a different candy to dip them in, too.
- Chocolate Peppermint Bark – Kids love a good chocolate bark, and this is an easy-to-make festive treat.
- Vegan Lemon Bars – Made with an oatmeal walnut crust and fresh lemons, these are the best lemon squares that are also vegan!
- Chocolate Souffle – This decadent and delicate chocolate souffle hits the mark for a truly special and intimate dessert to celebrate on New Year’s Eve.
- Lebanese Baklava – The aromatic simple syrup-soaked pastry is filled with crushed walnuts and is a special occasion dessert perfect for ringing in the New year.
Bonus: Recipes To Cook On New Year’s DAy!
Keep the celebration moving into the next day with tasty breakfast options, brunch, and more dinner ideas to round out the holiday.
- Vegan Cinnamon Rolls – Soft, sweet, and mouthwateringly delicious, these cinnamon rolls can be made ahead of time and served for breakfast.
- Cranberry Lemon Muffins – Freshly bake muffins with a burst of citrus flavor are great after a long night of bringing in the New Year.
- Tall Banana Pancakes – Wake up and whip up a batch of the fluffiest banana pancakes for all to enjoy.
- Homemade Granola and Yogurt – Make granola up to two weeks ahead of time and enjoy over a bowl of yogurt, in a smoothie bowl, or with cereal.
- Skillet Dinner Rolls – Bake up a fresh batch of yeast rolls in a cast iron skillet for dinner.
- Pan Seared Scallops with Pasta – Keep the festivities going with more dinner ideas like this delicate pan-seared scallop recipe over pasta.
- BBQ Chicken Pizza -Have leftover chicken? Slice it up and make a tasty homemade chicken pizza with onions and bbq sauce for lunch or dinner.
- Couscous with Shrimp – Use leftover shrimp to toss with couscous and some Mediterranean flavors for a quick and easy lunch or dinner to enjoy New Year’s Day.
HOW TO KEEP FOOD WARM On New Year’s eve
Once you have all your New Year’s Eve Dinner Recipes prepared, from appetizers to desserts, you’ll want to keep them warm or at the proper temperature. Here are a few suggestions:
- Oven: As long as you’re not cooking anything in the oven, you can set it to 200°F and store dishes in there to keep them warm.
- Aluminum Foil: If your oven is not free, you can use aluminum foil, which has reflective properties that protect the food from light and oxygen. The foil reflects the thermal energy of the food, maintaining moisture, flavor, and texture.
- Crock Pots and Instant Pots: Think of recipes that can be made in your crock pot or instant pot that will keep food warm during the party. You can use them to keep food warm even if you don’t cook in them.
- Insulated coolers: You can use a cooler to keep food hot as well as cold. The insulation technology that keeps out the heat to maintain cold foods also traps heat and keeps food hot for hours. You can even line the cooler with aluminum foil for even better results.
- Chafing buffet set: You can use disposable chafing dishes to keep everything warm. Set up a table to display all the hot dishes for easy access and maintain temperature throughout your meal.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve made any of these New Year’s Dinner Recipes and Desserts – leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making your dinner menu or your plans for New Year. If you snapped some shots of your dishes, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost them on my stories!
Full list of Recipes
Check out the picture cards for all the recipes listed above. You can click on any recipe cards to take you directly to those recipes.