So you're hosting a New Year's Eve party. First things first: snacks. No one wants to start the year on a hangry note.
Whether you're hosting a bigger bash or keeping things cozy until midnight, keeping fun New Year's nibbles around is paramount to a good celebration. While appetizers (or at least festive snacks and treats) are always important to have at a party, New Year's Eve is a particularly important time to beef up the little bites. Why? Well, New Year's Eve is typically a long night because everyone, oftentimes even the kids, get to stay up until the clock strikes 12 — and for most adult parties, long after that.
No matter who gets a spot on the guest list, they're going to need to eat. They're going to need hors d'oeuvres when they arrive. They're going to need to have a substantial New Year's Eve dinner. And after dessert, if it's a late night, you're going to want to have little late-night bites to soak up the drinks and sustain everyone into the wee hours of Jan. 1.
For many, New Year's is also a big drinking holiday. With plenty of dazzling New Year's drinks and Champagne circling around, consistent munchies help encourage guests to feel their best without overdoing the libations. And for the adults who enjoy an alcohol-free lifestyle (or kids), having a spread of flavorful plates and finger foods to indulge in while dancing and chatting one's way into 2023 can turn a good time into a great one.
So, here are some of our favorite New Year's Eve appetizers that will guarantee friends, family and loved ones have an exciting and satisfying spread in front of them.
This spread of chicken strips, slaw and dip is inspired by a cross between chicken fingers of the '90s and a fried chicken picnic spread. The juicy, flavorful chicken has a cheesy-herb crust with a yogurt marinade that keeps the meat tender. If you're transporting the meal to another party, pack up the chicken in containers along with the slaw and dip, and then spread them out together on a small board or platter wherever you're serving.
Thanks to a clever cup structure, these potato latkes are the perfect vessel for all sorts of tasty toppings, including the classics like applesauce and sour cream. In the oven, the edges become golden brown and crispy, while the middle remains soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Be sure to have fun with all sorts of creative fillings!
This dressed-up deviled egg recipe — which calls for bacon and smoky paprika — will definitely be a hit at your New Year's Eve party.
This recipe is perfect for a party because it can be used as an appetizer while waiting for longer dishes to cook. The rich saltiness of the pork belly is perfectly complemented by the sweetness of the caramelized brown sugar.
Impress everyone with this gorgeous grilled steak, sliced thin on top of sushi rice. The rich savory favors of the beef are a perfect base for the bright garlic and onion favors in the toppings. It's a glitzy finger food perfect for New Year's Eve.
These bite-sized, flavor-packed bites have the full experience of mouthwatering lasagna with some added crunch — plus, they're portable.
This recipe is the ideal for entertaining when I am low on time and don’t want to make a huge mess. It comes together in one pan and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
A can of chipotles in adobo is your secret weapon for making these three-ingredient chipotle-shrimp skewers. They're perfect for a party appetizer when you don't want to labor too long over something filling to serve during cocktail hour.
Deep-fried shrimp toasts are one of those dishes that appear like they took hours to make but they're really quite simple. The spread has a lively flavor with fresh ginger and garlic, topped with a snappy salad of Granny Smith apples, avocado and tart lime.
These sliders are a hearty twist on a classic French onion soup. And they're perfect for filling up hungry party guests.
These sweet and smoky spiced nuts are perfect host gift for the holidays. The flavors are so irresistible, it's almost impossible to stop snacking on the crunchy little morsels. They're so easy to make but leave a lasting impression.
This is a great dip for a large crowd to share. The contrast of flavors and textures is so exciting and satisfying. The warm, creamy cheese with sweet brown sugar and crunchy spiced pecans is an unbeatable combo. The flaky pastry crust holds everything together and adds an extra indulgent layer of buttery goodness to the dish.
Take cream cheese and sausage dip to a whole other, indulgent level by stuffing it into bite-sized mushrooms. It's a portable pick-up guests will love.
Making fondue tends to be a tricky, fussy project requiring specialty pots and chafing dishes and incessant stirring to help the cheese melt evenly and stay molten. We wanted to take advantage of the heat-retaining powers of cast iron to make a beer and cheddar fondue that would stay creamy without constant attention. This dip is served right in the skillet; the residual heat of the cast-iron helps the fondue stay warm and melty.
These pizza "bombs" are a handheld pizza popper packed with authentic pizzeria flavor. Make them in advance and throw 'em on the grill (or pop 'em into the oven) right before you get the party started.
Give guests an hors d'oeuvres that is as snazzy as they are! This adorable little hack black olives to dress up wedges of brie or Camembert for your New Year’s Eve party.
This is a classic dish reinvented and it's perfect for dinner parties any time of year. Spinach and artichoke dip is baked into puff pastry, creating easy-to-assemble bites that are great for cocktail hour mingling because they're not messy.
This recipe takes a classic party finger-food and gives it a flavorful twist. Oregano, garlic and Parmesan cheese give these poppable pigs in a blankets fresh Italian flavor.
Is there anything better than queso fundido? It's such a simple yet satisfying delight. In this recipe, Ford Fry maximizes every ingredient here, making something really special.
Slightly charring cauliflower gives it a wonderful flavor. You can make this exact recipe with so many different vegetables: Substitute the cauliflower for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, fennel and more. These sauces are so delicious, they will turn any veggie in the main attraction.
A classic croque monsieur is a dish many people are intimidated to make, but it couldn’t be simpler. It’s basically an elevated grilled cheese — and who doesn’t love a grilled cheese? Plus, these mini versions are perfect for entertaining.
Little lamb burgers with garlicky tahini sauce and radish-parsley salad are great crowd pleasers. Plus, this recipe is super adaptable. You can serve the kebabs on their own, with just the sauce, over roasted vegetables or in a pita.
There’s a certain art to crafting a cheese board, and every year for the holidays, finding the right cheeses, meats and accoutrements is something to look forward to. For those who aren't quite sure where to start, this recipe is a great guide. You'll be the master of charcuterie in no time!
Easily turn a container of average grocery store ricotta into a creamy and elegant whipped lemon ricotta dip to serve with crackers or crostini.
These super sprouts are so cute, they're irresistible. The recipe can be a side dish or an appetizer, and it's a cinch to make — only three ingredients. The best way to get a picky eater to eat their vegetables? Wrap 'em in bacon!
Potato pancakes are a favorite holiday dish of Ina Garten's husband, Jeffrey. Her secret for the crispiest and creamiest ones is to combine both grated and mashed potatoes.
These crab-stuffed mushrooms may look totally decadent, but they're actually light and airy, which means they're an ideal way to start a holiday celebration. And don't be shy about making a big batch — even if they're just for you and your loved ones.
The layers of flavor from this caponata are simple but powerful, while the salty bacon, capers and sweet raisins provide a nice variety of textures.
Packed with a little sweetness and a lot of punch, these adorable, bite-sized meatballs are fun to serve as a finger food (though some festive toothpicks might help cut back on saucy fingers).
This whipped feta platter is loaded with sweet and spicy pickled vegetables to go along with the herby and briny feta dip. And it only requires only a few minutes of cooking, which means you'll be able to spend more time with your guests while you enjoy this veggie-packed dish that is light, fresh, robust in flavor and will leave everyone wanting seconds.
Flaky, crisp phyllo dough, tender asparagus with a cheesy, salty filling — this easy-to-make appetizer will definitely be a hit at any holiday dinner.
Buy seasonally and avoid precut vegetables (which are more expensive and not as fresh) to achieve the perfect starter for a holiday party. Greek yogurt is amazing because it's so healthy but it doesn't taste so healthy. It's satisfying and rich, full of great probiotics and it has a luscious mouthfeel. Fresh herbs, garlic and lemon make this dip come alive!
This dip is so versatile, light in feel and vibrant in color and taste. It's a a great make-ahead option for the holidays because it lasts up to a week in the fridge.
Who knew that the humble new potato could be turned into shell casing for a bullet of flavor? These little bombs of cheesy, buttery flavor are a great way to fuel up for the holiday season.
Whip up a quick batch of these vegetarian-friendly poppers made with cauliflower for your party. Dredged in egg, breaded in gluten-free almond meal and tossed in warm, flavorful spices, these bite-sized florets are irresistible when they come sizzling out of the oven.
You can easily throw these bites together at the last minute and no one will guess that they're made with pre-made crescent dough. You can bake these in your oven, toaster oven or even in your air fryer. Plus, they're bursting with tangy, cream-cheesy flavor.
Crostini are the perfect thing to whip up when guests stop by. The poached pears soaked in Italian grappa are especially comforting as the weather gets cooler. They're easy to make and always delight a crowd.
These inventive bites turn a classic bloody mary cocktail into a delectable appetizer. They're a refreshing departure from the usual party fare, so fun to dip and vegan, too!
For those with a sweet tooth, chocolate fondue offers a special kind of bliss. Dipping an enormous red strawberry into a pot of warm melted chocolate is guaranteed to make just about anybody happy.
The flavors for this dish come from traditional Roman saltimbocca: veal cutlets with sage and prosciutto. The tender prawns balance the meatiness and crispiness of the bacon, and the sage, tempered by the lemon, makes it all very fresh-tasting.
The potato is one of the humblest foods, but it has the ability to be a superstar — especially when you add cheese and broccoli. This dish is a winner for kids of all ages and is as welcome at a New Year's Eve party as it is for a quick, mid-week meal.
Alex Guarnaschelli's crab dip is such a great option for gatherings and get-togethers because it is so versatile. "I really like to maximize an expensive ingredient like crab and dip is a smart and tasty way to do just that," she says. "Buy really great quality crabmeat so it is front and center in the dish. But, if you do not like crab, swap it for chicken! If spicy isn't your thing, omit the cayenne pepper and Tabasco."
"It works well as a center-of-the-table appetizer, served with grilled toast," says Bobby Flay. "The fontina and cream cheese help solidify the creaminess of the ricotta and the sun-dried tomato sauce gives the flavors a well-deserved contrast of sweet acidity."
Delicate, but also packed with flavor, these little jewels from the sea are perfect portable party fare.
For this great party recipe, scoop-style tortilla chips are filled with beans and all your favorite taco toppings to create ready-to-go bites. You might want to make a few platters because these are sure to go quickly.
A single show-stopping cheese — a gooey baked brie — is perfect for cocktail hour. Start with store-bought puff pastry (a great timesaver!) and roll in ground pecans, which add a nutty note to this mouthwatering appetizer.
These blissful bites are the perfect easy, elegant and impressive appetizer on New Year's Eve. No one will suspect they only took five minutes to make.
Big green Castelvetrano olives are delicious prepared this way, but any meaty olive will do well. The briny, salty flavor bursts when cooked alongside garlic cloves and lively citrus.
Delicata squash rings are roasted, tempura-dredged, fried, then stuffed with a simple salad of raw pear, dried cherries, feta cheese and a few sprigs of arugula. The result is a sweet yet savory wonder, perfect for a starter or perhaps a decadent side dish on a holiday table.
"There's nothing like eating glazed nuts still warm from the oven, toasty and flavorful through and through. They're perfect served with a cocktail for an easy appetizer and will elevate any cheese-and-fruit plate to new heights," says Bobby Flay.
This is a great recipe for family snacks any time of year but is especially fun for the holidays to counter the abundance of sweet snacks. The cranberry mustard is also great served with roasted turkey or pork and added to leftover sandwiches.
Shrimp cocktail and a martini so cold it hurts your fingers: It simply does not get much better than that, especially on New Year's Eve.
These crabcakes don't have any breadcrumbs — which means more crabmeat, less filler! — and are baked like the little "cakes" they're meant to be.
"One of my go-to tricks is to keep some dough for slice-and-bake crackers in the freezer that I can throw in the oven when people are coming for drinks," says Ina Garten. "The sharp Vermont cheddar and spicy chipotle chili powder with crunchy sea salt really wake up everyone's taste buds. My friends can't stop eating these!"
These crostini are easy to make, cheap, super light, full of flavor and perfect for any time of day — or super late at night.
The garlicky shrimp, creamy avocado and crispy crostini come together for a pretty much perfect bite. They're a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for any festive occasion.
Candied bacon or “pig candy,” as Elizabeth Heiskell calls it, is always a home run. Keep the bacon strips whole, wrap it around crunchy breadsticks and stuff them into a mint julep cup to make the perfect nibble while you sip on a cocktail.
Ready in 25 minutes, this is an easy and affordable appetizer that is also elegant. If making ahead of time, prepare the crostini and the topping separately and assemble at the last minute to ensure the crostini are served crisp.
"Jeffrey and I were having some friends for drinks, and he couldn't believe how quickly I put these appetizers together!" says Ina. "You put the fig spread on toast, then add some creamy cheese, sprinkle with microgreens and drizzle it all with syrupy balsamic vinegar. They taste like grown-up cream cheese and jelly sandwiches."
Whenever Ina has leftover baguette, she likes to slice it diagonally and keep it in the freezer. "This way I can make these cheesy toasts in minutes," she says. "Toast the bread slices, then add the garlic and goat cheese. They're perfect to serve with drinks or as a crouton to float on top of a bowl of soup."
Chicken seasoning and queso fresco add extra savory flavor and rich texture to this comforting dip made simply with frozen artichoke hearts, steamed spinach and luscious Italian cheeses. It's best served bubbling hot in a cast-iron dish.