New Year’s Eve Dinner Ideas That Will Impress

Posted: December 28, 2022 10:17 am

The New Year’s holiday is one of the best of the year. Most get more than a couple of days off, and many choose to take some extra paid leave from work for the entire final week of the year. It’s a time to relax from the efforts of the last year, rejuvenate from the stress of the holidays, recover from weeks of overconsuming holiday pies and Christmas cookies, and reflect on the year to come. In a way, the week between Christmas and New Year’s serves as a reset button on life, and New Year’s Eve is the kickoff to the start of something great.

So if you are hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration this year, what better way than to mark the occasion with a New Year’s Eve menu that will knock the socks off of any guest that walks through your door? Serving up a New Year’s dinner shouldn’t add to the holiday stress, so we’ve got you covered with some great New Year’s Eve dinner ideas.

New Year’s Eve Cocktails

At New Year’s, festive cocktails are expected. There is any number of inspiring New Year’s cocktail recipes available, and it’s always tough to choose just one. But now matter what you choose, the time you’ll spend as an amateur mixologist for your guest will be much appreciated. Since it’s New Year’s we recommend using what you already have on hand, like sparkling wine or champagne. A festive bubbly cocktail is always a crowd-pleaser, so you can’t go wrong with a cheery, fizzy specialty drink.

Choose one (or more) Festive Champaign Cocktails at Epicurious.

Appetizer: Cowboy Caviar (Light Option)

For many New Year’s Eve celebrations, dinner may not be served until after 9:00 PM, so your guests will most certainly need a little nosh before the main course is served. Kick off your New Year’s Eve dinner with a light and healthy appetizer. Cowboy Caviar is a great option because it can be made ahead of time, making last-minute preparations much easier. It’s also sure to please both vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Simply serve with tortilla chips, toast points, or warm up some street-taco-sized tortillas in the oven if you want to really impress!

Get the Cowboy Caviar recipe at NYT Cooking.

Appetizer: Creamy Cheesy Spinach Dip (Not Light Option)

For the long haul of a New Year’s Eve party, something creamy and a bit heavy might be appropriate for the occasion. And depending on where you live, the cold December weather might require something warm and comfy to snack on before the main course is served. So treat your guests to a creamy, cheesy spinach dip this year! Serve with crostini, and crackers, or plop the dip into a hollowed-out, round sourdough loaf and serve with sliced sourdough.

Get the Creamy Cheesy Spinach Dip recipe at AllRecipes.

Main Dish Option #1: Firecracker Salmon

Serving firecracker salmon at New Year’s is a great way to add some good luck to the festivities. The bright red and orange colors of the salmon are reminiscent of fireworks, creating a festive and celebratory atmosphere. The rich flavors of the salmon, combined with the zesty taste of the firecracker sauce, create an unforgettable and delicious meal. Not only is firecracker salmon a great way to add some luck to your New Year’s celebration, but it’s also a great way to bring some deliciousness to the table. Serve with rice and green beans.

Get the Firecracker Salmon recipe at Cafe Delites.

Main Dish Option #2: Blackened Tuna Steak

Eating fish at New Year’s is considered good luck, so here is another delicious New Year’s dinner fish option. Blackened tuna steak is a simple yet delicious meal that is perfect for a special night. The tuna steak is coated with a flavorful blend of spices, then cooked and seared to perfection. Serve the steak with a side of roasted vegetables or a light salad for a complete meal. With its unique flavor and exquisite presentation, blackened tuna steak will be a memorable addition to your celebratory dinner.

Get the Blackened Tuna Steak recipe at Cooking Frog.

Main Dish Option #3: Cornish Game Hen

Making Cornish game hens for New Year’s Eve dinner is a delicious and festive way to celebrate the new year if you have a smaller gathering. This flavorful poultry dish is easy to make and requires minimal ingredients. To prepare it, simply season the hens with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, then stuff them with a mixture of herbs and butter. Place the hens in a roasting pan and cook them in the oven until they are golden brown and the juices run clear. Serve with roasted vegetables and a glass of champagne or light white wine for a festive New Year’s Eve dinner.

Get the Conrnish Game Hen recipe at Food Network.

Main Dish Option #4: Coffee Rubbed Roast

A coffee-rubbed roast is yet another great way to add a unique and delicious flavor to your New Year’s Eve dinner. To prepare the roast, mix together freshly ground coffee with a blend of spices and seasonings and simply rub the mixture all over the roast. While the ground coffee adds deep, rich flavor to your roast, it’s not necessarily the thing that will keep your guests up past midnight (for that, we suggest putting on a pot of coffee with dessert). Serve the roast with your mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and a side salad, and you’ll have a special feast that will make your New Year’s Eve celebration memorable.

Get the Coffee Rubbed Roast recipe at Foodal.

Main Dish Option #5: Glazed Duck

Cooking glazed duck for your New Year’s Eve guests is a sure way to impress them. While this ranks slightly higher on the challenging-dinner scale, with a little preparation and patience, it will absolutely be a hit. There is nothing more satisfying than a rich, flavorful roasted duck with crispy skin and a sweet pomegranate-honey glaze. Your guests will be amazed at the crisp and juicy flavor of the duck and will be sure to go back for more. Serve with rice and sauteed spinach.

Get the Pomegranate-and-Honey-Glazed Duck With Rice recipe at Bon Appetit.

Dessert: Traditional New Year’s Vasilopita

When it comes to a New Year’s Eve dessert, you want to go with a show-stopper. Nothing rings in the New Year like a traditional New Year’s Vasilopita. Preparing a traditional Vasilopita for dessert at New Year’s is a great way to celebrate a fresh start. A Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake served at New Year’s celebrations and is made with a sweet bread dough and is filled with a variety of sweet ingredients such as walnuts, dates, raisins, and cinnamon. The cake is often decorated with a sugar glaze and slices of fruit. Before serving, a coin is hidden inside the cake for good luck. It is a hit with both kids and adults alike! Serve with some authentic Greek coffee for bonus points.

Get the Vasilopita recipe at Olive Tomato.

Serve Up a New Year’s Feast!

Serving a delicious and hearty meal for your guests to ring in the new year is a great way to show your appreciation and make them feel special. From the appetizers to the desserts, your guests will be delighted by the variety and flavors of the food and all of the time and effort you have put into your New Year’s feast. With the perfect combination of ingredients, recipes, and spirits, your party will be memorable for all of your guests. Celebrate the new year with a festive meal that will leave your loved ones feeling satisfied, happy, and ready to take on the big year ahead!

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