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I love putting party menus together, but I often have trouble coming up with New Year’s Eve food ideas. See, when I think of New Year’s, I mostly think of drinking (lots of) champagne and forcing myself to stay awake until midnight. (Alcohol makes you sleepy, OK?!) It’s not like Thanksgiving, when the menu is pretty nonnegotiable, or Christmas, when all I really want to do is fill up on cookies. What constitutes New Year’s food is a little bit more ambiguous and open to interpretation.
What I’m slowly figuring out is that when it comes to New Year’s Eve food ideas, there isn’t really a wrong answer. Anything goes, as long as there’s plenty of bubbly and maybe a little bit of glitter. I find that it’s helpful to have at least a loose theme for any party, though, so for New Year’s I try and go a little fancy.
Now, don’t freak out. Often, fancy food isn’t any more difficult to put together than then less fancy stuff. It’s just a matter of picking up the right ingredients. (And, if you decide to go the caviar route, maybe shelling out a little extra cash for it.)
The following New Year’s Eve food ideas range from simple cheese dips and pastry twists, to cute champagne cake pops and oysters Rockefeller. No matter what kind of party you have planned, fancy it up a little bit with a few of these festive recipe ideas.
1. Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp and Veggies
Seafood and cheese don’t often mingle, but the combo really works in this baked seafood dip, which is oozy and melty—and fancy enough to pair with some real Champagne.
2. Sun-Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive Bruschetta
These creamy, salty bruschetta bites taste great at room temperature and will last all night. Whip up the sun-dried tomato and olive mixture in advance, then assemble the bruschetta right before your party.
3. Port Sliders with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions
Why are these sliders fancy? You drench them in a port glaze, then add creamy goat cheese and caramelized onions.
4. Broiled Oysters
5. Cheesy Bacon Holiday Crack
What exactly is holiday crack, you ask? Basically, it’s potato chips with tons of melted cheese and bacon on top.
6. Champagne Cake Pops
Anything involving Champagne is fair game at a New Year’s party. And, frankly, every party could benefit from a tray of these glittery Champagne cake pops.
7. Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
If you love crab cakes as much as you love stuffed mushrooms, kill two birds with one stone and whip up a batch of these crab stuffed mushrooms.
8. Goat Cheese Dip with Champagne Shallot Vinaigrette
Didn’t think you could sneak Champagne into a cheese dip? This goat cheese dip with Champagne shallot vinaigrette proves otherwise.
9. Pink Champagne Cupcakes
With or without pink food coloring, these Champagne cupcakes are the perfect sweet addition to your midnight toast.
10. Cream Cheese Pancakes with Smoked Salmon
These airy, hearty cream cheese blinis are the perfect vessel for buttery smoked salmon.
11. Honey and Pistachio Goat Cheese Appetizer
This sweet, salty, sticky, creamy goat cheese appetizer feels fancier than a plain old cheese plate, and takes less than a minute to put together.
12. Baked Fontinella Cheese Dip
Serve this herby baked fontinella cheese dip with a crusty baguette, and you’re good to go.
13. Hot Black-Eyed Pea Dip
A big pot of black-eyed peas might bring good luck, but it isn’t exactly party-appropriate. Instead, whip up this black-eyed pea dip and scoop up that good luck with chips or pita triangles.
14. Pesto and Cheese Twists
Store-bought puff pastry, pesto, and cheese is all you need to whip up a tray of these fancy AF cheese twists.
15. Cucumber Slices with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraîche and Caviar
Slice cucumbers, add smoked salmon, then top with creme fraîche, caviar and some optional dill. That’s all you need for these easy cucumber bites!
16. Oysters Rockefeller
New Year’s Eve or not, it doesn’t get much classier than oysters Rockefeller.
17. Roasted Garlic and Four Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
Is it really a celebration if there isn’t a loaf of pull-apart bread gushing with cheese? I think not.
18. Shrimp Cocktail
Sure, you could buy cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce at the grocery store. But, making your own shrimp cocktail is almost as easy, and will yield better results.
19. 4-Ingredient Meatballs
What better way to celebrate the ball drop than with, you know, balls? Jokes aside, these easy meatballs are super tasty.
20. Halloumi Fries
It’s tough to argue with fried cheese.
21. Roasted Butternut Squash, Steak and Pomegranate Crostini
Nothing wrong with adding a little red meat to your appetizer table with these steak crostini.
22. Champagne Jell-O Shots
Jell-O shots are always a good way to get the party started. Champagne Jell-O shots are the way to go on NYE.
23. Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Every party gets a little better when someone breaks out the spinach artichoke dip.
24. Flatbread with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion
Make a few of these goat cheese and onion flatbreads to graze on until midnight.
25. Spinach Puffs
Get in some greens (plus a hefty dose of bread, butter, and cheese) with these spinach puffs.
A version of this story was originally published in December 2016.