These simple New Year’s dinner ideas are the best way to celebrate before the ball drops!
From entrees to sides to champagne cocktails, ring in the new year with these delightful dishes.
No matter what kind of year it’s been, going out to celebrate New Year’s can be stressful and expensive.
But even if you’re celebrating at home, there’s no reason the night can’t be just as special!
The final evening of the year is the best time to finally try out that coq au vin recipe or flex your culinary skills with some perfectly seared scallops.
Make your New Year’s feast a meal to remember with these 25 delicious New Year’s dinner ideas.
25 Fancy New Year’s Eve Dinner Ideas & Recipes
New Year’s Day is for sleeping, watching TV, and spending time with loved ones.
Chances are, you overdid it this year, and the last thing you want is to spend hours in the kitchen.
It’s also usually the day we all look for healthier meals to make up for the overindulging during Christmas.
This one-pot wonder has everything you need to start the year off right, and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
When I’m laying out a feast, I like to make sure I include some colorful dishes.
And this traditional southern salad is just what you need.
It would look just as good served at a BBQ as on a New Year’s table, and I promise you won’t have a morsel left.
Loaded with beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, peppers, and cucumber, it’s crunchy, sweet, and packed with nutrients.
If you’re traveling with it, store the dressing in a separate tub and give it a good shake before mixing through the salad.
I don’t know about you, but I often struggle to make it to midnight.
After eating and drinking all day, I usually fall asleep before the ball drops, missing the celebration altogether.
So having a big bowl of lentil soup during the day is just what I need to keep me full, but not sluggish.
Lentils are full of goodness, and though they may not look the prettiest, they will help keep your energy up.
There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe and cooking up a bowl of something you know will be a hit.
Fettuccine Alfredo is the perfect dish to make everyone happy.
The sauce is a simple mixture of garlic, butter, cream, and cheese, and you can have it on the table in around a half-hour.
Serve with some juicy grilled chicken, or take it up a notch with some melt-in-your-mouth steak.
And if you want to make it even better, try adding a side of Korean garlic bread!
Salmon has such an excellent color and flavor, and I don’t think we give it enough credit.
Any dish is brighter when you pair it with perfectly pink fish.
I like it with fries, salad, in curry, or breaded in my tacos.
And unlike chicken or pork, you can marinate it in a matter of minutes.
All you’ll need is honey and soy and an extra drizzle of lime to make this the best salmon you’ve ever made.
The flour will help give the finished fish a lovely crust and allow the glaze to stick all over.
This dish looks intimidating, and most people don’t think they can achieve that fall-off-the-bone-tender beef you get in restaurants.
The key is to cook it low and slow.
It’s always a good idea to sear your meat before adding it to a pot. It helps to keep it juicy and provides so much extra flavor.
Start after lunchtime, and by dinner, you’ll have a pot full of rich, hearty beef and vegetables that pairs with pasta, potatoes, or even cheesy polenta.
Making pizza at home is always a blast.
Sure, it’s messy, but that’s all part of the fun!
What better way to spend your New Year’s than getting your hands dirty and trying out something a little different?
I love the lighter crust on this, and the breadcrumbs are amazing!
There are a lot of onions on this pizza, but feel free to cut that amount in half.
And I did add some bacon, too, for a touch of salt.
Raising a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year is so last year.
But clinking some champagne cocktails? That’s how I plan to start my next 12 months!
The angostura bitters add something so warm and comforting to the drink that it is only enhanced further by the added sweetness and citrus twist.
When you give it some love, brisket can be the most tender cut of meat around.
But don’t expect to have this dish ready in an hour.
It needs a low-and-slow cook to help break down the proteins and create a butter-like texture.
I like to use my slow cooker for this, cooking it all day until it’s so soft, you don’t need a knife.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend New Year’s in a lot of different places.
But when I’m home in the cold weather, there’s nothing like a blanket over your knees and a bowl of stew to keep you warm.
This recipe is vegan-friendly and bursting with all kinds of goodies, from beans and veggies to some beautiful spices and nutritional yeast.
Hands down, this is my favorite soup!
It’s so simple in theory and includes onions, beef broth, bread, and cheese.
And when you make it in these adorable mini-cast-iron dishes, it just steals the show!
Beef broth is the base that gives this soup its hearty flavor, and I would recommend adding extra bread and cheese to the top.
The key to nailing this excellent soup is to follow the steps to the letter and keep an eye on it.
I’m not saying you can’t have a glass of champagne cocktail while you cook, though!
The ingredients are added in a specific order to enhance all those unique flavors and create just the right amount of thickness.
And don’t use low-fat cream! This is a creamy bisque that needs every last calorie.
Lamb has such a unique flavor, and I’ll admit that I don’t cook with it often enough.
Since it tends to be firmer in texture than a cut of beef, I love this slow-cooked stew.
Much like a traditional beef stew, this will get cooked gently until the meat is absolutely perfect.
Can I tell you a secret?
Coq au vin is just a fancy chicken stew with bacon and onions.
It’s true. And it’s nothing to be afraid of!
Much like with a beef stew, you will need to cook the chicken until the skin is lovely and crisp.
Once the vegetables are soft, you’ll be adding red wine, broth, and brandy, allowing it to deglaze the pot and start to thicken.
After a little time in the oven, the dish needs some time on the stove before serving with extra bacon and pearl onions.
Not only is this delightfully colored with sweet peas, it makes for such a lovely, mellow flavor that isn’t usually the star of the show.
If you’ve never made risotto before, there are a couple of extra steps involved.
The first step is to lightly toast the dry rice in the onion and oil.
Second, you’ll need to add the liquid in steps. Add it a little at a time, allowing it to absorb completely before adding any more.
This is the key to getting that fabulous creamy texture.
And don’t skimp on the parmesan! It’s a must in any risotto!
If you can, I highly recommend getting your pork chops from a butcher.
The ones you find in the supermarket tend to be relatively thin, and I think they’re just so much better when they’re thick and juicy.
Having them thicker also helps to ensure they don’t dry out. We’ve all been there!
Filet mignon can be a fantastic cut of meat when cooked properly.
And let’s be honest, this is one impressive looking dish!
One thing I do differently is to sear my bacon a little after searing the beef. This ensures a nice crispy texture after the bake.
You’ll ideally want to use a cast-iron skillet so it can get nice and hot for the first cook.
Then you can transfer right into the oven for the longer roast.
Having a selection of sides is essential at any feast.
I especially love cornbread since it’s great finger food and pairs well with almost anything.
And what’s better than a speedy Bisquick version to keep your prep time low?
Since it’s so easy to make, why not make a couple of batches, adding jalapenos to one and lots of mature cheddar to the other?
Prime rib is a showstopper; there’s no doubt about it.
It’s also a little expensive, which means it should be saved for special occasions.
I don’t know of a more special occasion than saying, “So long!” to the year.
So, how do you ensure this pricy piece of beef is perfect?
Use reverse searing! Cook it low and slow until it’s just right, and then give the edges some love with high heat.
Oddly, you will need to rest the joint after the long cook, allowing it all to relax before blasting in a hot oven to help brown the edges.
I’ve always been a massive fan of gnocchi, but this recipe with ricotta is something else!
Unlike traditional mashed potato gnocchi that can be a little finicky, this recipe is so easy. Even the kids can join in on the fun!
Once the five ingredients are mixed into a dough, you can roll it into logs and cut your portions.
Gnocchi needs to be boiled and will rise to the surface when ready.
This southern classic is a must-make on New Year’s.
Full of bacon, Andouille sausage, peppers, chilis, and cajun seasoning, it hits all the right notes to spice up your night.
This dish holds really well, so you could even make it up a day or two in advance and let the flavors marry in the fridge.
Sometimes all you want is a comforting plate full of nostalgia, and meatloaf has that in spades.
Cracker Barrel has everyone beat when it comes to meatloaf.
Adding Ritz crackers instead of breadcrumbs? Absolute genius!
It might not be Michelin star food, but it’s homegrown and always delicious.
New Year’s wouldn’t be complete without something sweet, and this cake is perfect for helping you celebrate.
The wonderfully light cake is flavored with orange, making it a great partner to those champagne cocktails.
Separating the eggs ensures a light and fluffy cake, and always beat the butter and sugar until lovely and thick.
All this cake needs is a simple glaze, which you can jazz up with some candied citrus curls.
I don’t think any feast is complete without a bowl of mac and cheese.
Kids love it as much as adults, and you can eat it with everything from roasted chicken to brisket and even seared scallops.
I especially love this recipe because it uses butternut squash.
It gives a lovely color that the kids might mistake for the boxed stuff they love so much!
But it also adds a sweetness to the dish and a helping of veggies on every plate.
It’s a win, win!
Overcooked scallops can become rubbery and are enough to deter you from making them at all.
But when they’re done right, they’re light little bites of buttery goodness.
Be sure to peel the muscle from the sides, which can be super chewy and unpleasant.
And be sure that they are super dry before going into the pan! You’ll want them dry and ready to create a crust, rather than steaming in the pan.
Then, just like with a good steak, you’ll want the pan nice and hot.
Melt the butter and oil until it starts to foam and cook the scallops without moving them, to let the crust form.
All you’ll need is a couple of minutes on either side, and they’ll be done!
Let them rest while you add some herbs to the butter, which you can pour over to serve.
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