New Year's Day

31 New Year’s Day Dinners for Good Luck

Long noodles, cornbread, and black-eyed peas are all said to bring good luck and prosperity.

December 17, 2021
Photo by Ty Mecham

New Year’s Day dinner can mean a lot of different things to different people: If you resolve to eat healthier, you may be looking for recipes packed with protein and veggies. If this is the year when you are finally going to learn how to cook basic, classic recipes like roast chicken and lasagna, we have our go-to recipes. It may mean a chance to break old habits and try new recipes. It may also mean that this is one of your last days to spend with your extended family and friends during the holidays so one final hurrah in the form of a crowd-friendly dinner is in the cards.

No matter what hopes and dreams you have for the New Year, we hope it’s filled with good luck and delicious food.

1. Cheesy, Creamy Black-Eyed Peas

For many folks in the South, eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day is a sign of prosperity and good fortune. There are a number of theories for why this may be true, but this Brazilian recipe is a delicious way to test out the superstition for yourself.

2. Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread

Another tradition is eating skillet cornbread on New Year's Day. I will never make an argument against eating more cornbread, so this is a tradition I can get behind; the golden color is said to resemble gold and consuming it is believed to bring you great wealth in the upcoming year.

3. My Big Fat Halloumi Salad

This is for everyone who resolved to eat healthier in the New Year and is already regretting it: the crunch from roasted almonds, sweet dates, roasted eggplant, crispy chickpeas, and grilled Halloumi is proof that better-for-you meals can also taste better than you imagined.

4. Instant Pot (or Not) Soy-Ginger Pork with Noodles and Greens

In Japanese culture, eating long, squiggly noodles (okay, I added in the squiggly part) is said to be a symbol of a long life ahead and pork is seen as another food symbolic of prosperity. Together, they make for one satisfying, savory meal that bodes well for everyone.

5. Zesty & Zippy Tangled Collards

Feeling lucky? Like cornbread, the color of collards represents a prosperous New Year, only this time it’s in relation to green money.

6. Chickpeas & Cheddar Sauce With Chickpea Crispies

If you’re hoping to incorporate more protein-rich, plant-based ingredients in your diet during the new year, this chickpea-based mac and cheese is a great place to start. Plus, it’s kid-friendly for your little ones to enjoy while they’re home on school break.

7. Andrea Nguyen's Vegan "Chicken" Phở

Trying your hand at cooking pho is a great way to kickstart your resolution of cooking more in general. It takes quite some time to put together, which makes this a great recipe for your day off.

8. Vegan Slow-Cooker Tomatillo Stew

Resolved to eat less meat in the new year? This hearty stew is packed with two kinds of beans, canned diced chiles, and tomatillos. Our readers have tried adding tofu, tempeh, and plant-based beef to the mix with much success.

9. Pad Thai From Kris Yenbamroong

Follow Kris Yenbamroong’s tips for making his famous pad thai recipe for a simple and delicious New Year’s Day dinner.

10. Mimi’s Pan Pizza Dough, Two Ways

If you have kiddos at home who are going stir-crazy over winter break, get them to help out in the kitchen by making this sheet pan pizza with all of the toppings that their heart desires.

11. Porcini Mushroom Risotto

This seemingly simple rice dish all comes down to technique. “Two of the most important tips for making sure it comes out perfectly: Don’t overlook the quality of the broth and make sure the rice has a good bite,” writes Kristina Gill. Fortunately, you have all day—make that all year—to perfect your craft and consistently churn out fantastic risotto.

12. Sheet-Pan Shrimp & Broccoli With Cocktail-Sauce Sauce

If you aren’t entirely shrimp cocktailed-out after the holiday season, this low-key sheet pan supper will hit the spot.

13. Slow-Roasted Chicken With Extra-Crisp Skin

Our editorial team calls this a best-of-all-worlds roast chicken. “In one simple recipe, you get both extremely tender, rotisserie-esque meat, plus the crispiest skin imaginable. Unheard of! It’s also just about impossible to overcook and extra-easy to carve, and not one bit will go to waste—all thanks to one of the more surprising Genius tricks yet.”

14. Tangy Baked Salmon With Calabrian Chile

Historically, healthy food hasn’t always gone hand in hand with comfort food. But away with antiquated tradition and in with this baked salmon dish that is equal parts nutritious and warming.

15. Pasta With Green Pea Sauce & Lots of Pecorino

This pasta dish is an ode to spring, which is just peeking around the corner, giving us a glimpse of its minty, fresh flavor.

16. Lentil, Tomato & Olive Baked Cod with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

In Italy, lentils are believed to bring good luck on New Year’s Day (a delicious superstition that dates back to ancient Rome). Here, they’re nestled with tomatoes, olives, and cod for a cold-weather healthy dinner that will feed a crowd.

17. Tomato Soup With a Whole Head of Garlic

In most parts of the country, New Year’s Day doesn’t just mean a chance to reset; it also means the dead of winter is here. Hunker down with a bowl of this flavorful and uber-easy soup recipe that will keep you satisfied on those single-degree days.

18. Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon

Are you sensing a theme? Can you tell I’m cold? Nothing warms the soul—or feeds a crowd—the way that beef bourguignon does. Making it in an Instant Pot is ideal for impromptu guests.

19. Brown Butter Pasta With Butternut Squash, Walnuts & Sage

I’m just going to come out and say it—I miss fall. It’s January (or maybe almost January, depending on when you’re reading this). The holidays are over. Everything is dark and cold and miserable. But this nutty, buttery pasta dish studded with walnuts and sprinkled with sage reminds me that there are good things in life to be happy about.

20. Chetna Makan's Vegetarian Chili

The epitome of cold weather comfort-food is chili. You can make an absolutely delicious, hearty version without any meat at all; this one puts kidney beans and black beans in marquee lighting.

21. Cheesy, Meaty Lasagna

Rick Martinez developed quite possibly our favorite lasagna recipe of all time. Every element of it is just very, very good.

22. Instant Pot Pork Chops With Mushrooms & Parmesan

Did you just receive an Instant Pot for Christmas and have absolutely no idea what to do with it? Been there, done that, and then made this fabulous bone-in pork chop recipe. It’s a home-cooked meal that resembles the best kind of restaurant cooking.

23. Chickpea Noodle Soup

We love a flexible, versatile recipe that’s not too fussy. In fact, that’s kind of our MO. “I call for a variety of vegetables, but don’t make a special trip to the store if you’re missing one or two. Embrace substitutions. The combination of protein-rich chickpeas and starchy noodles give this hearty vegan soup body,” says recipe developer and substitution stan Abra Berens.

24. One-Pot Squash & Barley Bowl With Miso

The creamy, savory flavors of this grain bowl is perfect for winter. “This easy one-pot meal is the kind of dish that looks and tastes like something you’ve been simmering all day, but it actually comes together in under 45 minutes—with very little attention,” writes Amy Chaplin.

25. Perfect Vegetable Dumplings

Challenge yourself to learn a new cooking technique in the New Year with this beautifully simple recipe for dumplings made with homemade wrappers.

26. Slow-Cooker Pasta e Fagioli


27. Vegan Mushroom Pie With Melted Leeks & Herbs

New Year’s Day means a few things: it’s probably cold outside, you probably have family around, and you probably have some time to spend cooking in the kitchen. I wouldn’t call this meatless pie a labor of love, but it does require some care and attention—in my book, it’s perfect for dinner.

28. Rao's Meatballs

When we talk about mastering essential skills in the kitchen, meatballs tops the list. If you’ve never made them before, there’s no better recipe to start with than NYC’s famed Rao’s restaurant, which calls for warm water for extra moisture.

29. Butternut Squash Risotto With Mushrooms

This creamy risotto recipe is a one-two punch of family-friendly comfort food that has a seasonal spin for January. “Pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on the music, and stir your way to relaxation,” writes recipe developer Eric Kim.

30. Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup With Ginger & Fennel

We are widely devoted to slow-cooker meals all throughout winter, but especially on New Year’s Day. Not only does it deliver consistently warm and nourishing meals, but its “set it and forget it” technology is perfect on a day when you may be feeling a little slow and sluggish.

31. Lazy Ratatouille With Pork Chops

Resolutions aside, this cozy pork and vegetable medley is perfect for a family dinner at the start of the New Year because baby, it’s still cold outside.


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Former Food52 Staff Editor