It’s your turn to host New Year’s Eve dinner and you want to go all out with a fancy and delicious party that your friends and family will love and talk about every year down the road. At the same time, you don’t want to stress out and spend hours and hours cooking and preparing so that you can’t enjoy time with your loved ones because you’re too busy. Plan ahead and you’ll be ready to eat and laugh without being stuck in the kitchen. Your dinner party to ring in the new year doesn’t have to be hard. Grab some paper and pen and make a list so you’re ready to get started.
When your guests arrive they’ll probably be hungry for some nibbles to tide them over until the big meal is served. Passing appetizers satisfies hunger and gives you and your loved ones a chance to catch up and talk before you sit down to dinner. Many simple bites work for a New Year’s Eve dinner party, but don’t require a lot of work. Crackers spread with cream cheese and topped with a bit of smoked salmon and capers, or crusty slices of French bread topped with chopped tomatoes, diced basil and salt and pepper are ideas that come together quickly, but are fast and inexpensive to prepare. Tiny sausages speared with a toothpick and served inside a small dish with barbecue sauce covering the bottom or pita triangles spread with hummus are other simple New Year’s Eve dinner party ideas that guests will love.
A New Year’s Eve dinner party isn’t the best time to try out a new recipe. If it goes wrong, you’re stuck ordering take-out so your guests don’t have to eat a ruined meal. Instead, prepare dishes you’ve made before and know that other people like. Prepare as much before the party as you can so you aren’t stuck with your apron on while your friends and family are in the other room having fun without you. Roasted rack of lamb with baby red potatoes and grilled asparagus is an elegant meal that most people enjoy and is fairly easy to prepare and serve. Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and spinach sauteed with garlic oil is another easy and simple New Year’s Eve dinner party idea. For a less formal dinner, lay out tortillas, shredded chicken and beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole and let your guests assemble their own tacos or burritos. If you’d rather watch movies and play board games, lay out sandwich fixings and chips and dips so you can eat while you play.
If you don’t have any leftover Christmas cookies laying around, you’ll have to make some dessert to top off your meal and create a sweet end to your New Year’s Eve dinner party. Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream is a classic option that you can’t go wrong with. Or make cupcakes and decorate them with sprinkles and stick a noise maker into each. Serve slices of cheesecake drizzled with strawberry or chocolate sauce. Banana splits are another fun option that let each of your guests top their dessert with their favorites.
No New Year’s Eve dinner party is complete without champagne. Keep a bottle or two chilled for midnight, but serve up other options during the rest of the party. Keep it simple with soda, iced tea, and lemonade or offer up a few bottles of spirits and mixers as well as some beer and wine choices for a more sophisticated cocktail party.