40 New Year's Eve Appetizers To Start Your Party On The Right Foot

Party Poppers
Photo: Hector M. Sanchez Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

New Year's Eve is the ultimate excuse to throw a party. Everyone is still in a festive mood from the holiday season, and the promise of a new beginning is have your crowd buzzing. If you are hosting a sit-down meal, choose one of our tempting holiday menus. You will find a selection of intimate fireside meals, Cajun-inspired menus, or easy-going Southern dinners. You will also want to impress your guests with a show-stopping dessert such as an eye-catching beignet tower, trifles, tiramisu, fudge, cheesecakes, and much, much more. If you are hosting a New Year's Eve cocktail party, or just need a few delicious New Year's appetizers to start your party off on the right foot, look no further than this selection. Whether you have lots of time to prepare or need to whip up something in a flash, from baked brie bites, a selection of cheese balls, and new twists on old favorites, you are sure to find the perfect appetizer that will satisfy the hungriest of crowds.

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Chicken Liver Mousse Crostini With Pepper Jelly

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chicken Liver Mousse Crostini with Pepper Jelly

The velvety mousse pairs perfectly with the sweet and spicy pepper jelly. For a different presentation, make this mousse in a 1 1/2-qt. ovenproof dish instead of small jars. Serve with a sliced and toasted french baguette.

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Feta-Olive Fresh Herb Cheese Ball

Feta-Olive Fresh Herb Cheese Ball
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Feta-Olive Fresh Herb Cheese Ball

The fresh herbs on this cheese ball make this a beautiful offering at a New Year's Eve party. Combine feta and cream cheese for the yummiest cheese ball combination. Form the cheese ball into a yule log for some extra holiday cheer.

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Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites

Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites

We have given the signature Kentucky sandwich of bacon, turkey, and cheese sauce a new twist by turning them into beautiful bite-size cups. A crispy parmesan crust will be sure to delight alongside the mouthwatering cheese sauce. The turkey and bacon match the flavor pallet perfectly, adding a savory taste. Top with pasrley and diced tomatoes and you've got yourself the perfect holiday appetizer.

04 of 40

Roasted Fennel-And-Prosciutto Flatbread

Roasted Fennel-and-Prosciutto Flatbread
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Roasted Fennel-and-Prosciutto Flatbread

Use store-bought or homemade pizza dough for this recipe. You can substitute sweet onion for fennel and bacon for prosciutto. The balsamic glaze will pull all the ingredients together perfectly.

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Buttery Toasted Pecans

Buttery Toasted Pecans
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Buttery Toasted Pecans

The key to these toasted pecans is low-and-slow. Patiently roast pecans (the entire 25 minutes!) at 325° to coax out their flavor and essential oils.

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Cheese Dreams

Cheese Dreams
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Cheese Dreams

These savory little gems will be the first appetizer to disappear. Make them the day before and refrigerate, or you can freeze them up to 3 weeks in advance. If frozen, pop in the oven straight from the freezer and increase the bake time by 10 minutes.

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Chicks In A Blanket

Chicks in a Blanket
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Chicks in a Blanket

Everyone's favorite party food gets a remake by using chicken-apple sausages. They are best fresh from the oven, so bake one batch at a time and serve warm.

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Lump Crab Mornay

Lump Crab Mornay
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Lump Crab Mornay

Your holiday guests will devour this creamy and cheesy rendition of the traditional crab dip.

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Stuffed Endive With Herbed Goat Cheese

Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese

Belgian endive lettuce, with a crisp texture, sweet flavor, and a slightly bitter undertone, makes the perfect vessel for creamy herbed goat cheese. This appetizer will surely have your guests in awe as it looks gorgeous on the table. If you aren't a fan of tarragon, you can replace it with any herb you like.

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Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Baked Brie Bites

These delicious five-ingredient appetizers come together in under 10 minutes. All the ingredients are store-bought, so no prep for them is required. Top the red pepper jelly with some parsley flakes to add a little bit of holiday flair.

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Mini Potato Skins

Mini Potato Skins
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop styling: Claire Spollen; Food styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Mini Potato Skins

We can't promise these party-perfect appetizers will last long. They are one-bite and easy to grab off the plate, and super tasty. This appetizer only has five ingredients and will only take you 30 active minutes to put it together. Place sour cream in a piping bag for a neat dollop on top.

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Maple-Bacon Smokies

Maple Bacon Smokies
Southern Living

Recipe: Maple-Bacon Smokies

Anything wrapped in bacon is always a prized appetizer at any gathering. This savory and sweet appetizer will have people wanting more. With only four ingredients, it's simple to put together and it's easy to double or triple the recipe depending on how many guests you're preparing for. Be sure to poke your toothpicks horizontally, or parallel to the pan as the bacon is more likely to unravel if poked through vertically.

13 of 40

Spicy Bisquick Sausage Balls

Spicy Bisquick Sausage Balls
Photography: Caitlin Bensel Food Styling: Ali Ramee Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

Recipe: Spicy Bisquick Sausage Balls

No appetizer list is quite complete without a sausage ball recipe, and this recipe has a spicy twist. Just switch out your normal sausage for hot sausage and add onion and cilantro. We recommend freshly shredding your cheese, as pre-shredded cheese can cause your sausage ball mixture to be a little dry.

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Bacon Bites

Bacon Bites
Oxmoor House

Recipe: Bacon Bites

With only three ingredients and only taking 15 minute to put together, this recipe might just become your go-to. Take the sticks off the pan immediately after baking, as they will stick to the foil like super glue if you leave them too long. Make sure you use heavy-duty aluminum foil for this recipe.

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Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies

Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies

This fun take on cheese straws will certainly get you and your guests in the spirit to ring in the new year. Cut the cheese dough into stars for some added festivity. When placing cookie cutters, make sure to place them close together-the dough will be tough to reroll.

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No-Stuff Deviled Eggs

No-Stuff Deviled Eggs
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: No-Stuff Deviled Eggs

Instead of bringing the old-reliable classic deviled eggs recipe to the party, try these no-stuff deviled eggs, which is basically its upgrade. You don't have to deal with the slick whites or messy interior with this recipe.

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Pigs In A Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket
Will Dickey

Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket

This classic finger food it sure to be gone before the party even starts. Use beef dogs, and wrap them in a crispy puff pastry for the ultimate pigs in a blanket. Season with everything bagel seasoning, and serve with dijon mustard.

18 of 40

Cranberry Sauce Meatballs

Cranberry Sauce Meatballs
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Meatballs

Your guests won't be able to get enough of these slow cooker meatballs. The jellied cranberry sauce and hot jalapeño pepper jelly make these meatballs the perfect combination of savory, sweet, and spicy. Use a package of frozen meatballs to save time.

19 of 40

Homemade Potato Chips With Fried Herbs

Homemade Potato Chips with Fried Herbs
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe: Homemade Potato Chips with Fried Herbs

Nothing screams "party food" more than potato chips. Add an elegant twist on the classic with these homemade potato chips with fried herbs. Use a mandolin slicer to ensure thin, uniform rounds. Cook your chips at a lower temperature for the perfect golden hue. Add rosemary and sage, along with some good old sea salt to create the ultimate combination of flavors.

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Mini Black Bean and Cheese Enchilas

Mini Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
Stephen DeVries

Recipe: Mini Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Want enchiladas but without all the hassle? These mini enchilada cups are the perfect solution, as they are super easy to make. Just tuck your mini tortillas into a muffin pan, fill with the enchilada mixture, and top with lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream!

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Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts

Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts
Alison Miksch

Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts

Two ingredients are all it takes to make these yummy peanuts. Throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, and cook them on high for 18 hours. Plus, boiled peanuts will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!

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Ham-And-Cheese Sliders

Ham-And-Cheese Sliders
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Recipe: Ham-And-Cheese Sliders

This Southern staple is the ultimate appetizer to bring to any gathering, and what better way to say hello to the new year than with a cheesy, savory, buttery, and sweet Hawaiian roll? Brush the tops of the sliders with butter before baking.

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Spicy Cheese Twists

Spicy Cheese Twists
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Spicy Cheese Twists

If you like spice and are a fan of cheese straws, you will surely like this appetizer. The puff pastries are layered with gouda and thyme, and the spice comes from cayenne pepper flakes.

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Cheddar Cheese Shortbread Crackers

Cheddar Shortbread Crackers
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Shortbread Crackers

These cheese crackers pair well with a glass of wine for a fancier get together. Serve with your favorite cheeses and grazing foods, like olives and nuts. You can use the classic cheddar option but we also have pimento cheese; pecan and thyme; and bacon, bourbon, and benne seed options.

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Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Buttery Chive-and-Mustard Drop Biscuits
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe: Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Parmesan cheese, chive, and a hint of mustard are the stars of the show in this buttermilk drop biscuit recipe. Serve them on their own, or split them, spread grainy mustard on the halves, and add smoked ham to make mini sandwiches with the best bread.

26 of 40

Jalapeño Popper Dip

jalapeno popper dip
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Jalapeño Popper Dip

If you like jalapeño poppers, you will love this cheesy baked dip. Serve with crudités or your favorite heavy chip. Add chopped-up red and yellow bell peppers to the mixture for added texture and color. This dip can be made three days prior to baking.

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Shrimp On Seasoned Crackers With Pepper Jelly And Cream Cheese

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

Crackers with cream cheese, pepper jelly, and shrimp—need we say more? Toss out the cheese, and top your crackers with this savory and sweet appetizer. It may look fancy, but it doesn't take too much effort to prepare.

28 of 40

Black Bean And Corn Salsa

black bean and corn salsa on a wooden cutting board
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salsa

One of the best appetizer options out there is a tasty dip you could munch on all night long. This black bean and corn salsa is no exception. People will be swarming the bowl all night long (well if it lasts that long). Serve with your favorite chips.

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Smoky Snack Mix

Smoky Snack Mix
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Smoky Snack Mix

This appetizer is fun, super easy to put together, and doubles or triples easily, depending on the number of people you are serving. It is a bonus that you can customize the recipe to your liking—however, we recommend keeping the white cheddar cheese crackers, as their buttery flavor is *a chef's kiss* in the mixture.

30 of 40

Basic Pimiento Cheese Recipe

Basic Pimiento Cheese
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese

Pimiento cheese is a staple snack at parties for a reason: everybody loves it. Always hand-grate the cheese for the best quality. Grate the cheese both fine and coarse for the best texture. Make sure to buy pimientos that are diced, not sliced.

31 of 40

Texas Caviar

texas caviar in a bowl with a bowl of tortilla chips
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Recipe: Texas Caviar Recipe

This appetizer is not only perfect for New Year's because of its taste, but also because of its history. Renowned 1950s Neiman Marcus food director, Helen Corbitt served "pickled black-eyed peas" for the first time on New Year's Eve in 1940 at the Houston Country Club. This delightful dip was later renamed "Texas Caviar" and bell peppers, corn, and other ingredients were eventually added to the recipe.

32 of 40

Creamy Spinach-Ricotta Crostini

Creamy Spinach-Ricotta Crostini
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Creamy Spinach-Ricotta Crostini

The best thing about this appetizer? It only takes 15 minutes to make it. All you have to do is combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it has a good dip consistency. Serve with prosciutto and pita chips.

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Austin Diner-Style Queso

Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Austin Diner-Style Queso

Who doesn't love queso? This queso is super easy to make. We suggest using a brick processed cheese like Velveeta, since it easily melts to a liquid. Feel free to incorporate canned green chilis or try raw or roasted fresh jalapeños for a pop of taste and color.

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Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups

Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups

Your guests will not be disappointed with these yummy mushroom-stuffed cups. It can be made ahead of time, and it only needs five minutes to bake. You can use leftover mushroom mixture in a pasta sauce, as a pizza base, or in a ravioli filling.

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Mini Caprese Bites

Mini Caprese Bites
William Dickey

Recipe: Mini Caprese Bites

This tasty one-bite appetizer is equally delicious as it is easy to eat. You will have to make a bunch of these, as they won't last long. The skewers make for mess-free eating.

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Stuffed Okra Poppers

Stuffed Okra Poppers
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Stuffed Okra Poppers

While we love jalapeño poppers, we just can't get enough of this southern twist on the staple. Look for longer okra pods than usual, that aren't tough or dried out. Opt for regular bacon instead of thick-cut, as regular will wrap easily around the okra.

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Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
Victor Protasio

Recipe: Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

These little sandwiches are so cute, and their taste is divine. Choose quality tomatoes for this recipe. We like the color contrast of the yellow and red heirloom tomatoes, but we recommend to choose which tomatoes are the ripest.

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Pulled Pork Nachos

Pulled Pork Nachos
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Pulled Pork Nachos

This recipe is a major crowd pleaser; I mean, who doesn't love some loaded nachos? Customize the nachos any way you like—add ingredients, switch out the pulled pork for a different meat, etc. It's all up to you with this hearty appetizer!

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Cornmeal Popovers

Cornmeal Popovers
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Cornmeal Popovers

These light and airy cornmeal popovers will have your guests wanting more. They are easily bingeable, and the ultimate appetizer for a dinner roll alternative. Spoon batter into an already hot muffin pan—this will make or break your popovers. Achieve this by preheating the oven with the muffin pan inside then scooping the batter into the pan, and immediately putting it back in. This makes all the difference in this recipe.

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Party Poppers

Party Poppers
Hector M. Sanchez Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Party Poppers

With a name like this, there's no way a New Year's appetizer spread could be complete without them. Chicken, cream cheese, lime juice, cilantro, and salt are all mixed together to stuff the insides of jalapeño chilis wrapped in bacon. We can't think of a better way to kick off the new year.

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