New Year's Eve

55 New Year’s Eve Appetizers to Snack on 'Til Midnight

Frankly, we'll be taking bites well past 12 o’clock.

December  6, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with an abundance of appetizers ranging from classic party food like pigs in a blanket and stuffed mushrooms to elegant hors d'oeuvres such as smoked salmon canapés. With all of the champagne and festive cocktails that will be consumed before (and after) midnight, we created a robust selection of appetizers that you can serve or bring to a New Year’s Eve party. Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because spinach-artichoke dip happened.


Our Best NYE Appetizer Recipes

1. Nonna Gina's Stuffed Mushrooms

People go wild for stuffed mushrooms and these are about as good as they get. Cremini mushrooms are stuffed with a filling of pork sausage and Ritz crackers, which you’ll want to munch on until the clock strikes midnight.

2. Sticky Pomegranate & Black Pepper Chicken Wings

Countdown to the new year with these kinda sweet, kinda spicy chicken wings that are a welcome, festive change for anyone who just can’t do Frank’s RedHot.

3. 'Everything' Pigs In a Blanket

The ultimate party food for New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, and heck, an average Saturday night, is pigs in a blanket. Use store-bought puff pastry and beef cocktail franks (or a hot dog cut into bite-sized pieces) for a quick and easy appetizer.

4. Extra-Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Artichoke dip is a must-serve appetizer recipe for New Year’s Eve. We all want to look our best on December 31st, including spinach. To do that, mix your frozen friend with a lot of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and a dab of Dijon.

5. Smoked Salmon on Mustard-Chive and Dill Butter Toasts

Oh, so you want to be fancy for NYE? Well, nothing is fancier than smoked salmon on lil’ pieces of toast, darling.

6. Fried Goat Cheese with Honey and Black Pepper

Don’t worry about standing over a vat of hot oil in a sequin dress on New Year’s Eve. Just make these goat cheese fritters in advance and then warm them up on a cooling rack-lined sheet tray in the oven for a few minutes before serving.

7. Sourdough Starter Crackers With Thyme & Black Pepper

If you have continued to feed and maintain your sourdough starter through the pandemic, use it to make these perfect crackers, which are far from an afterthought for your New Year’s Eve spread.

8. Homemade Potato Chips

Chips complete every meal, every occasion, every party. Your guests will be impressed when they find out that you made these yourself...and they’ll be extra impressed when you serve them with caviar, which you were obviously planning to do, right?

9. Spicy Boiled Shrimp Cocktail with Smoky Remoulade

Out with the bland, soggy, store-bought shrimp cocktail ring and in with the actually flavorful shrimp poached with leeks and dried spices. They’re served alongside a seriously spicy horseradish remoulade.

10. The Perfect Cheese Ball

Most people’s eyes are fixated on the Swarovski-covered crystal ball above Times Square on NYE, but my eyes are on this walnut-covered cheese ball.

11. The Tiniest Meatballs

Give me mini meatballs and a handful of toothpicks and I’ll be the happiest New Year’s Eve party attendee.

12. Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus

Hummus is such an easy New Year’s Eve appetizer to make, and this recipe features a bonus shortcut for quick-soaking dried chickpeas.

13. Five Spice Oven Roasted Nuts

“These crunchy nuts are seasoned with warming five spice powder, a mix of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and white pepper that’s essential to Chinese cooking. Salty, pungent, and sweet, these nuts are a perfect foil for holiday cocktails,” says recipe developer Louisa Shafia.

14. Warm Blue Cheese Dip

Blue cheese is divisive, but if you love it, you’ll spend the whole night standing next to this spicy dip. Use good-quality blue cheese (not the pre-crumbled mix) for the stinkiest flavor. I mean that in a good way.

15. Flip-Side Lobster Lettuce Wraps

It’s the last day of the year, so go all out with the very best food...like lobster! These reimagined rolls are a welcome wintery addition to your New Year’s Eve menu.

16. Baked Figs With Balsamic and Feta

“This recipe is a vehicle for smushed or overripe figs. It's great on grilled bread, on pasta, or tossed with some crispy greens for a salad,” says recipe developer Phyllis Grant. It only serves one to two, so it’s best for an intimate New Year’s Eve dinner party.

17. Kale-Dusted Pecorino Popcorn

I only have one question for you: Who wouldn’t want to eat popcorn on New Year’s Eve? As long as it’s served with a glass of champagne, absolutely no one.

18. Caramelized Banana & Maple-Bacon Sliders

These aren’t the sliders most people would expect to find at a party, but your New Year’s Eve party deserves something better than average.

19. Apple Cheddar Cheese Straws

Keep store-bought puff pastry on hand for easy appetizers, like these twisted straws filled with apple butter and two kinds of cheddar cheese.

20. Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Wings

I’m not going to tell you to fry wings on New Year’s Eve. I honestly can’t think of anything less elegant or more time-consuming than haphazardly frying wings. Instead, make them entirely in the oven for just-as-crispy skin, sans oil splatters.

21. Saltie's Focaccia

Focaccia is best enjoyed the same day that it’s baked, so making it on the morning of December 31st it’s a great way to start the last day of the year. Later, slice it and warm it up just as guests begin to arrive.

22. Crab Cakes

Recipe developer Josh Cohen finally found the ultimate ratio of meat to breadcrumbs to wet ingredients for a crab cake that isn’t dry and doesn’t fall apart (it’s a holiday miracle).

23. Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread With Mustard & Chives

I don’t know what it is about pull-apart bread but it always guarantees a good time (okay, I do know: it’s delicious!). “This fluffy loaf is sliced into a checkerboard, creating ample space for fillings. Each crevice is smothered in a decadent mustard, garlic, and chive butter, followed by shredded sharp cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano,” says recipe developer and cheese extraordinaire Marissa Mullen.

24. Baked Goat Cheese with Honey and Rosemary

All you need to make this appetizer is the three ingredients in the name and a small gratin dish. It couldn’t be easier, but the impact is big.

25. Herby Shrimp Toasts

There are three main factors I consider when thinking of which appetizers to serve for New Year’s Eve (or any party for that matter): 1) Can I make it in advance? 2) Is it bite-sized? And 3) Can it sit out at room temperature? These shrimp toasts check all of the boxes.

26. World's Easiest Falafel and Tzatziki

A bowl of falafels seated next to a citrusy tzatziki sauce is sure to be a bright spot for vegetarian guests at your New Year’s Eve party.

27. Traditional Fondue Fribourgeois

This truly classic Swiss fondue flows evenly, has a balanced sharp flavor, and totally is clump-free. I can’t imagine a better centerpiece for your holiday table than this (after all, it’s cheese!).

28. Arancini Recipe

My New Year’s resolution is to eat more deep-fried snacks (Mac and cheese bites! Fried meatballs! Mozz sticks!) and I’m going to start right here, right now with these rice balls. Join me, won’t you?

29. Winter Crudités with Lemony White Bean & Tomato Dip

For a lighter, brighter New Year’s Eve appetizer that’s vegan to boot, serve in-season veggies alongside two different dips.

30. Silky Sweet & Sour Eggplant Caponata

“Eggplant Caponata is a sweet, salty and vinegary mixture of eggplant, onion, celery, capers and olives. It's chunky and silky and pairs well with fresh ricotta on top of crunchy French or Italian bread or even fat bread sticks,” says recipe developer Dorie Colangeo.

31. "Italian Countryside" Cheese Plate from Marissa Mullen

Every party needs a cheese plate. Okay, I know I’ve said that about mozzarella sticks and popcorn and sliders, but it’s really true about this stunning cheese board.

32. Caramelized Onion Dip

I don’t want your store-bought onion dip (just kidding come, back here). But what I really I want is this six-ingredient dip made with caramelized Spanish onions, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon, and chives.

33. Sausage, Cheddar, and Chive Biscuit Bread

I see your sausage bread and I raise you biscuit bread inspired by the flavors of an old-fashioned southern biscuit.

34. Hand-Formed Parmesan Tater Tots

The New Year is believing that all things are possible like yes, you can and should make tater tots from scratch.

35. Party Pretzel Bites

The name alone should convince you to make these salty, brioche-like poppers for New Year’s Eve.

36. Last-Minute Yogurt Dip

Oops! You forgot you offered to bring an appetizer to your friend’s New Year’s Eve party. Avoid the awkwardness of showing up with something store-bought and instead, make this super speedy dip that only uses ingredients that I know you already have in your fridge and pantry.

37. Coconut Shrimp With Pineapple-Habanero Salsa (Camarones al Coco)

I’ve never heard of anyone who was upset by the presence of coconut shrimp at a party. If anything, I’m only upset when they’re not accompanied by a pillow and an Uber code (can I go home yet?).

38. Sweet Potato Nachos

Nachos can be an appetizer or they can be the main event. These vegetarian nachos made with thinly sliced sweet potatoes and topped with the usual beans, cheese, salsa, etc. serve both roles.

39. Pan-Fried Lamb Chops With Minted Pea Salad

I once attended a wedding where the talk of the night was the lamb lollipops (it was a micro-pandemic wedding so, in my defense, the only other topic was “Moderna or Pzifer?”). Needless to say, they were really good and these are too.

40. Ricotta Crostini with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Some New Year’s Eve appetizers may ask you to go all out. These understated crostini do the opposite but I guarantee they’ll disappear off the platter before you can say 3, 2, 1.

41. John Besh's Green Olive Tapenade

An assertive array of olives, capers, anchovies, and garlic join forces for this dip. Serve alongside crostini for an appetizer that’s low-key in appearance but dramatic in flavor.

42. Chicken and Steak Skewers with a Tahini-Yogurt Marinade

If you want to serve something a little bit more substantial for a New Year’s Eve appetizer, how about assorted grilled meats and vegetables skewered for individual servings?

43. Flatbread With Taleggio, Tomato Jam & Olives

Emma Laperruque has a great perspective when it comes to picking and choosing which appetizers to serve: “Why I love an assembled flatbread for a holiday party: All the “hard work” is already done for your guests. This way, instead of spreading this or dolloping that, they’re chitchatting and enjoying themselves.”

44. Auld Lang Syne Fondue

Listen to the ultimate end-of-the-year song while twirling pieces of seared meat and cubes of bread in hot mustard sauce and cheese fondue.

45. Fried Oysters With Saffron Aioli

Yes, you can fry oysters at home and yes, you should serve them for New Year’s Eve.

46. Creamy Chicken Florentine Quesadillas

Make a jam-packed quesadilla with chicken, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and Parmesan cheese then slice it into individual wedges for a heartier appetizer.

47. Crunchy Spring Rolls (Zha Chun Juan)

These spring rolls are a staple during Lunar New Year celebrations but why not adapt them for other New Year’s parties too? “They also look like firecrackers, and that makes them lovely symbols of the New Year celebrations,” says recipe developer Madame Huang.

48. Nori Deviled Eggs

Thanks to crumbly, crunchy roasted seaweed, these deviled eggs feel far more apt for New Year’s Eve than an Easter brunch.

49. Tomato Jam

“A sweet-savory jam that you can—and should—make in the middle of winter. Canned, diced tomatoes star here, yielding a chunky texture that reminds me of a rustic chutney,” writes Food Editor Emma Laperruque. Serve alongside crostini for an easy, easy appetizer.

50. Clams (or Mussels) With Lime-Butter Sauce

Spicy shellfish is always on my New Year’s Eve guest list.

51. Pretzel for a Crowd

We have pretzel bites if you’re looking for something that is individual and poppable. But this giant, crowd-friendly pretzel is almost too epic to pass over.

52. Old-School Swedish Meatballs

My grandmother made Swedish meatballs for Christmas and New Year’s Eve every year, so now my dad and I have taken on the tradition of making them too. This crowd-friendly recipe from Food52 contributor Corby is pretty close to Grace A’s.

53. Grandma's Mushroom Puffs

I love Emma Laperruque’s grandmother (she’s also the superstar behind these roasted potatoes) and I love these crispy puffs, which taste like a warming bowl of cream of mushroom soup. “Like a potato chip or pizza slice, it’s impossible to eat just one,” says Emma.

54. Parmesan-Roasted Edamame Snack

Dress up frozen shelled edamame with olive oil, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and lemon zest for a zippy appetizer.

55. Creamy Kale & Walnut Strudel

Looking for a big baking project on the last day of the year? Try your hand at this savory strudel, then slice it up into individual servings and present it at a New Year’s Eve party.

What do you like to serve for New Year’s Eve? Share your go-to recipes in the comments below.

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2 Comments

judy December 11, 2021
Wonderful. biscuit bread for sure this year. Simple, straight forward. I can also imagine a pannetone version of the same with dried fruits and some orange or lemon zest. My folks ALWAYS thru a New Year's Eve party. Became the GO TO event for NYE in our area of No Hollywood, California. Themed costume and food party every year. But on every menu was either little vein sausages or meatballs in a sauce he made of Currant jelly (or grape jelly in a pinch) and yellow mustard. This one made it to every party because it was asked for each year by one and all...Simple, and just about the best! Happy holidays everyone....
 
[email protected] December 11, 2021
Luv the recipes. Can't wait to try some