Traditional recipes

New Year's Eve Appetizers

New Year's Eve Appetizers

Our collection of 30 quick and easy appetizers for your New Year's Eve party guarantees your guests will have as much delicious fun ending the year as they did celebrating every other day on the calendar. Guests will scoop up Goat Cheese Queso Dip with glee, or pop adorable Hasseltots happily. After all, you can't party all night without a full belly.

Smoked Salmon Bites

If you're looking for an appetizer that will delight your guests with its gorgeous presentation and rich, delicious taste, the search stops here. These beautiful canapés start with a base of candy cane (or Chioggia) beet squares, whose alternating ruby and white rings are stunning. (You can add more color to the platter by alternating candy cane beet and golden beet slices.) The beet stays raw, so the slices are crunchy and sweet and hold up nicely. The jewel-like topping of easy-to-find salmon caviar turns what's truly a simple make-ahead nibble into an absolute work of art that'll make you the talk of your social circle.

Tricolored Beet Tart

Start your holiday meal with a simple yet gorgeous beet tart, topped off with tangy goat cheese, crunchy hazelnuts, and flaky sea salt. Par-bake the crust to get a lovely raised edge (what forms the shell of your tart) and ensure that the bottom will be cooked through. If you or your guests are not beet fans, substitute sweet potatoes: Wrap 4 (4-ounce) sweet potatoes in parchment paper, and microwave at HIGH 3 minutes. Then cool, peel, and slice. You can also sub feta for goat cheese and pecans or walnuts for hazelnuts.

Glazed Cocktail Meatballs

These mini meatballs are perfect for holiday parties and tailgating. We made them healthier by forgoing sodium-heavy ingredients like the usual ketchup and chili sauce and including whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs. You can also serve a larger portion of these meatballs for weeknight dinner. To up the kid-friendly factor, omit the ground red pepper in the glaze and serve with mashed potatoes (à la Swedish meatballs). For a tangier glaze, substitute cranberry sauce for the grape jelly.

Dressing-Stuffed Mini Peppers

We love these stuffed peppers as an appetizer, but you can also serve them as a side dish. Be sure to use baby bell peppers and not mini sweet peppers (shaped like jalapeños) so they're big enough to accommodate the filling. As an alternative to broiling, you can char the peppers directly over a gas flame, turning frequently with tongs.

Mini Cheese Balls

Save 108 calories, 7g sat fat, and 69mg sodium per serving over a traditional cheese ball. Almond milk cream cheese is delicately nutty, with a buttery-rich texture and zero grams of sat fat. Find it at Whole Foods stores nationwide. You can substitute 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese, which adds 1.6g sat fat to each serving.

Golden Beet Nachos

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

With their awesome crunch and yellow color, thinly sliced golden beets make a great stand-in for tortilla chips. A mandoline works beautifully for slicing; try to cut the beets between 1/8- and 1/16-inch thick. If you use a knife instead, aim to get the thinnest slices possible.

Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas

Dry your chickpeas as thoroughly as possible before cooking to ensure a satisfyingly crisp result. If you're planning to pack these flavor-coated, fiber-filled poppers as a to-go-snack, be sure to allow them to cool completely on a flat surface first.

Gingery Shrimp Salad Bites

Photo: Christopher Testani

Pick up inexpensive Chinese soup spoons at Asian markets, or serve on rice crackers or in hollowed-out pieces of cucumber. The chives, an optional sixth ingredient, perk up the look but aren’t crucial to the flavor.

Mini Crab Cakes With Pickled Celery

Save 104 calories, 12.6g fat, and 156mg sodium over traditional mini crab cakes. You can bake these cakes up to 2 hours ahead of party time and rewarm in a 300° oven for 5 to 6 minutes.

Candied Hazelnuts

The easiest way to candy nuts is to toss them with an egg white-sugar mixture, then gently bake them until the sugar melts and the egg whites dry out, forming a crispy candy shell around each nut. The whites serve as an adhesive so the sugar and any flavorings can cling to the nuts. There are other, trickier methods, but this one gives you sure fire results. You can play with spices and sweeteners; try maple sugar or granulated honey. The choice of nut is up to you. A crunchy sugar coating goes hand in hand with any nut, but pecans and walnuts really rise to the occasion: Their craggy surfaces are perfect for catching the egg mixture. Candied nuts are pretty durable, so make a big batch, and store them in a cool, dry place for up to one week.

Hasseltots with Crème Fraîche and Caviar

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

This two-bite, no-fork-required appetizer is perfect for parties where guests will be juggling drinks and nibbles. Choose a sustainable, budget-friendly roe. Depending on what kind you choose, it can be affordable or break the bank. Make note of the origin to be sure you aren't buying caviar or roe from endangered fishing areas or species. We suggest Classic American White Sturgeon Caviar ($85/oz.), Paddlefish Caviar ($44/oz.), Salmon Roe ($8/oz.), and Masago ($5/oz.). Store opened caviar on ice, and use within one to two days. In a pinch, sour cream can stand in for the crème fraîche.

Beet Hummus with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

We love creating innovative hummus recipes, and Beet Hummus with Blue Cheese and Walnuts is no exception. This beautiful, crimson-colored dip is made with chickpeas, tahini, beets and garlic.

Pear, Brie, and Balsamic Bruschetta

This bruschetta is both sweet, with pear slices and honey, and savory because of the Brie cheese and balsamic drizzle. Perfect for entertaining, these adorable bruschetta bites are a light way to kick off a dinner, plus they come together quickly and easily.

Goat Cheese Queso Dip with Vegetable Chips

This warm, tangy twist on fundido is perfect with sparkling wine; the bubbles help cut through the richness. We pair with veggie chips, but you can also serve with crudités for a fresher take. The dip is very easy to put together. One note on mixing: Blend the beans until they are completely smooth and puréed for the silkiest, creamiest results. You can’t overblend it, but if you stop too soon, the dip might have a few lumps. The great thing about this dip is that it can be made ahead and rewarmed when you’re ready to serve it. To reheat, stir gently over low heat until hot. For an herby version, add a generous 1⁄4 cup of a mix of chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, and a little basil.

Spicy Soy Bar Nuts

To achieve maximum nuttiness, you have to toast nuts. This coaxes out flavorful, aromatic oils for a deep, rich taste and pulls out some of the nut's moisture for satisfying crunch with each bite. Our go-to-method for toasting nuts is a slow oven roast at a relatively low temperature (300°F) in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and crisp. That allows hot air to circulate around each nut to gently cook it. Don't blast them in a hot 400°F oven for a few minutes until they've darkened—not a good thing for a nut—because that high heat can bring out bitter flavors. Only using a handful? You can also roast nuts in a pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat or on a plate in the microwave for a minute or so at HIGH.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Garlic

Photo: Christopher Testani

After just one bite, it's easy to get hooked on this flavorful, 5-ingredient, hummus topper. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with toasty baked pita chips, if desired. Simple, yet impressive, soon you'll be topping mashed potatoes and steaks with this versatile mushroom side too.

Broiled Shrimp with Buttermilk Rémoulade

Quick broiled shrimp paired with spicy remoulade dipping sauce is sure to rally a crowd at the appetizer table. This holiday staple is naturally low in sugar and rich in lean protein.

Sesame-Soy Nut and Pretzel Mix

If any one dish is devoured quickly and constantly (usually by the fistful) throughout the holiday, it’s snack mix. Consisting of salty nuts, pretzels, and cereal doused with a Worcestershire and butter, this innocent munchie racks up sodium and calories quickly. Our healthier version gives you all the salt, crunch, and bold spices of the original with the addition of whole-grain popcorn, toasty whole-wheat cereal, and spicy wasabi peas. The peas inspired an Asian track with toasty sesame oil and reduced-sodium soy sauce, cashews, and pungent ground ginger.

Lobster and Bacon Stuffed Jalapeño Bites

Put down the wings and elevate your happy hour appetizers with these flavorful bite-sized poppers. The cream cheese balances the spice of the jalapeños with the richness of the lobster and bacon.

Bacon and Ricotta-Stuffed Mushrooms

These crowd-pleasing stuffed ‘shrooms pack two cheeses, crumbled bacon, and fresh thyme. You can fill the mushroom caps in advance, but don’t sprinkle the panko mixture over top until ready to bake.

Chestnut Hummus

This homemade hummus is a great appetizer for holiday parties and casual dinner get-togethers alike. Healthy dippers include baby carrots, bell peppers, pita chips, radishes, jicama, and sugar snap peas.

Pesto Pastries

Photo: Christopher Testani

Unlike classic pesto, there's no oil in this filling. Once everything is minced in the food processor, though, it develops a paste-like consistency. Thaw the pastry in the fridge overnight, or leave out at room temperature for an hour or two.

Spinach-Artichoke Bites

Save 167 calories, 3.6g sat fat, and 393mg sodium per serving over traditional spinach-artichoke dip. Frozen artichoke hearts contain no added salt, unlike the canned variety, which may contain more than 300mg per half cup.

Chicken Phyllo Turnovers

Photo: Christopher Testani

This appetizer is based on bisteeya, a traditional Moroccan pastry that pairs savory, spiced meat and flaky phyllo with a dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar. Make ahead: Freeze unbaked pastries for up to 1 month; bake frozen, unthawed pastries 5 additional minutes or until browned.

Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

This retro-chic snack can be served with raw veggies, crackers, or toasted whole grain bread. Medjool dates add natural sweetness and chewy texture, while blue cheese creates the ideal salty, tangy contrast. Bonus: you can prepare it up to two days in advance.

Mac and Cheese Bites

Feed a hungry crowd these all-star, feel-good favorites at your next party. Nothing is as comforting as melty, creamy, cheesy, comforting macaroni and cheese. Be still our hearts.

Eggs in a Cloud

If you love your eggs over easy, then you will love these light and fluffy baked egg whites topped with an oozy egg yolk. This recipe bakes up in less than 10 minutes and creates a delightful yet simple twist for the ever-so-popular egg-in-a-basket. The recipe title Egg-in-a-Cloud rings true—the texture of the baked egg whites mixed with Parmesan cheese creates a wonderfully airy, cloudlike texture. This texture allows the egg yolk to nestle perfectly inside, creating that egg-in-a-hole type of dish we all love so much.

Blue Cheese-Bacon-Spinach Dip

The bold flavor of blue cheese and saltiness of the bacon give a creative punch to your average spinach dip. Serve with celery sticks for an added crunch.

Buffalo-Brisket Sliders with Special Sauce

This is the burger everyone will be talking about and wanting the recipe for. It’s OK, you can demure and tell them it’s your secret recipe—we won’t tell. The mayo-based “special sauce” gets heat and sweetness from red pepper jelly; a briny edge from dill pickle relish; and a little lemon, onion, and garlic to balance it all out. Buffalo (also called bison) has a sweet and rich flavor and is a low-fat, nutrient-dense food. We mix in rich and flavorful brisket to maximize this burger’s taste and juiciness. Pressing each patty once it hits the hot pan helps develop a good sear that will lock in the burger juices.

Lobster Nachos

These are not your abuela’s nachos. OK—it’s likely no nachos are from your Mexican grandmother because this popular dish has its roots in Tex-Mex cuisine. The first nachos were reportedly created by a maître d’ in Texas named Ignacio whose nickname was “Nacho.” But don’t focus on who lays claim to having invented them; instead revel in our iteration laden with lobster; avocado; a rich yet amazingly low-fat cheese sauce; and a heap of crunchy, piquant tomato-radish salad on top that takes this dish to a completely new level. You can substitute cooked crabmeat for the lobster, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly choice.


These New Year’s Eve appetizer recipes will add to any party! From finger foods to dips, we have you covered. Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time so you won’t spend all your time in the kitchen away from your guests.

Sausage Balls-These treats are absolutely delicious and so easy. This recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled.

Mexican Sausage Balls-these are a twist on the classic. The salsa Verde dipping sauce is fantastic.

Southern Caviar-I’ve made this dip so many times and it is always a hit. You can make it the day before your party.

French Onion Dip-This is so good and it’s even better when you serve it with our Parmesan Baked Potato Wedges! It is also a dip that can be made ahead of time.

Cheesy Italian Pull-Apart Bread-this is an easy appetizer that is great served with marinara sauce or even salsa.

Water Chestnut Dip-It’s not a party at our house if this dip isn’t involved. It’s THAT good!

Best Ever Ham Sliders-These are great and the perfect finger food for any gathering! If you like Sliders, you can also try our French Dip Sliders, they are only 5 ingredients.

Baked Pizza Dip-pizza lovers will flock to this dip!

Crock Pot Pepperoni Dip-this is also a huge hit with pizza lovers. It’s so easy to prepare and delicious.

Hot Artichoke Dip-a wonderful dip that is perfect on a cold New Year’s Eve!

No matter what you decide to do for New Year’s these appetizers will be a hit! Also, don’t forget to check out our 10 New Year’s Day food recipes.

Be sure and PIN these New Year’s Eve Appetizer Recipes:

© The Southern Lady Cooks photos and text – All rights reserved. No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.

Make-Ahead Appetizer 2: Mini salmon and ricotta cheesecake

To make three cheesecakes, mince 2 oz. saltines. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter and while it's still hot, pour it over the chopped crackers. Stir until uniform, then pour into 3 3"-round molds. Press the mixture down to level it, then place it in the fridge. Meanwhile, prepare the mousse. Mix 4 oz. ricotta cheese with 4 oz. cream cheese, salt, pepper, add a few juniper berries, 1 Tbsp. vodka and a tuft of dill. Pour the mixture into the circles. Cut 3 oz. smoked salmon into strips to complete the cheesecakes. Leave to rest in the fridge for about an hour, remove from the molds, and serve at room temperature.

Tips for making the most of New Year’s Eve at home:

After many years of celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, I’ve learned a few tricks that are worthy of passing on.

1. Make the foods YOU enjoy.

Sure, there are plenty of traditional foods to have on New Year’s, but it’s always the best plan to make the things you actually enjoy. This past year has been anything but traditional, so don’t feel obligated to make what you always make.

2. Include the rest of the household.

For years we’ve served a Mocktail Party that our kids have largely planned. In the early days, I helped each child prepare his appetizer of choice. Nowadays they’re on their own.

You may get an eclectic mix, but that’s okay. See tip #1.

3. Keep it simple.

It’s one thing to make your favorite foods and snacks, it’s another thing to go overboard. Remember, this is a quiet evening at home. Make as many dishes as needed, but resist the temptation to make all the things.

We’re continually refining our game plans, of course, so I hope you will let me know what you try and what works best for you.


This Baked Brie Recipe is the fanciest looking recipe here, but really is probably the easiest! The kids may not go crazy over this, but the adults definitely will. I have made this one over and over again, and I never get sick of it. It doesn’t hurt that it only takes minutes to put together.

The countdown to a New Year includes this celebratory cake infused with the sparkling essence of champagne.

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16 New Year's Eve Appetizers That Will Get the Party Started

If there's one day of the year that's worthy of a party, it's New Year's Eve. From getting dressed up in dazzling outfits to toasting with a glass of Champagne at midnight, there's nothing quite like a celebrating in style. Our appetizer recipes for New Year's Eve are sure to get the party started. From casual party bites like Spicy Chicken Wings with Harissa and Guacamole Without Tomatoes to more elegant appetizers such as Grilled Oysters with Compound Brown Butter and a showstopping Egg-and-Caviar Dip, these appetizers are the perfect bites to enjoy while celebrating the new year to come.

When it comes to entertaining, we're all about make-ahead dishes that can be served at room temperature. That's why we're such a fan of this vegetarian Mushroom-Gruyere Tart. The whole dish can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered, overnight just bring it to room temperature before serving. Another make-ahead winner is this Mixed-Olive Tapenade, which is a flavorful accompaniment to a cheese and charcuterie board.

If your party is going to err on the side of casual, serve a crowd-pleaser like our Pull-Apart Cheesy Pesto Bread. On a cold winter night, there's nothing better than a comforting slice of rich, warm bread. Just as crowd-friendly and comforting is Classic Cheese Fondue. Who doesn't love getting to mix and match cubes of bread and fresh vegetables, then dipping them in a savory batch of ooey-gooey melted cheese?

Welcome the new year (and wish the old one adieu) with these special New Year's Eve appetizer recipes.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (16 ounce) package wonton wrappers
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chopped black olives, drained
  • 1 cup Ranch-style salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a miniature muffin pan with cooking spray.

Insert wonton wrappers into the muffin pan so as to form small cups. Bake 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow the baked wrappers to cool. Remove from the pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the sausage, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, black olives and Ranch-style dressing. Fill the baked wonton wrapper cups with the mixture.

Bake the filled wonton wrappers 10 to 15 minutes, until the sausage mixture is bubbly and slightly brown. Watch closely so the wonton wrappers do not burn.

New Year’s Eve Appetizer Recipes

A Trio of Pinchos

The perfect ticket for intimate gatherings and more genteel cocktail hours is our trio of pinchos (a kind of Spanish snack, similar to tapas): garlicky shrimp, juicy slices of steak with Chimichurri, and perfectly charred peppers and pork belly served on toasts. Just add wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Tostones with Tomato Salsa

We say swap those lousy tortilla chips and jarred salsa for these tostones and homemade salsa. You won’t be sorry! You can pre-fry the first round of tostones and then do the second round right before your guests arrive.

Homemade Scallion Sesame Crackers

If you’re planning on putting together a smattering of fruits, cheeses, and dried sausages, try fanning out some of these homemade scallion sesame crackers on the side. Make a huge batch to cover your bases for New Year’s Eve AND snacking for New Year’s Day.

Lemon Manchego Toasts with Green Olive Tapenade

These toasts are deceptively easy and extremely tasty. Perfect with a cocktail and a bit more interesting than your traditional bread + olive medley combo.

Curry Lime Chicken Phyllo Rolls

These phyllo rolls are crispy and crunchy, with a deliciously spiced and fragrant filling chicken lime curry filling. The best part is that you can grab store-bought phyllo AND a store-bought rotisserie chicken to knock this one off of your list quickly and efficiently!

Fried Wontons

For those of you who are more ambitious, Fried Wontons are delicious and festive. Bonus? If you throw some of the uncooked wontons into the freezer, you’ll have the perfect start to Simple Wonton Soup to treat any…::ahem. libation-induced headaches on New Year’s morning.

Kimchi Fries

Another appetizer for those looking to ring in the New Year with adventure. These Kimchi Fries will make you forget any silly mistakes or missteps of 2015 and get you feeling optimistic about all that 2016 has yet to offer!

Sausage Balls, 2 Ways

These sausage balls may have been the MVD (Most Valuable Discovery) of all of our 2014 culinary adventures. These look deceptively simple and–dare I say–boring, but the traditional version and our Asian spin are seriously epic. We’ve made them for a few parties now and they always disappear. Enjoy these before all those killjoy diet resolutions set in in January!

Spinach artichoke dip is keto-friendly, low carb, and full of flavor. Easy to make this dip with few ingredients and ready in just 10 minutes. You can serve this with any spicy biscuits or other bite-sized snacks.
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