New Year’s Eve parties require a specific breed of NYE recipes. Because the festivities often start after dinner, but go late into the night, it’s not necessary to have a full meal prepared; snacks and finger foods are going to be your best friend.
You will, however, want to avoid finger foods that have a high mess potential—like lots of dips—and nix the foods that need utensils, like spreads and jams. Your guests are going to be walking around with a drink in their hand most of the evening, so they’ll want to satisfy their hunger with a snack they can grab with their free hand, and eat on the spot.
Sounds challenging to find yummy NYE-appropriate food, right? Wrong! Below are twelve easy-to-eat and easy-to-make recipes that will keep your friends and family satisfied when hunger kicks in at 10 p.m.
(Bonus tip—if you’re attending a work party or family gathering and need to bring a dish, try one of these!)
Prosecco Grapesicles from Delish
What says Happy New Year! better than grapes soaked in bubbly? With only a 10-minute set up time, this recipe can easily be made day-of. Just be careful—directions boast a 10-minute prep time, but you need to set aside three hours for soaking and freezing the grapes, so don’t cut it too close!
Bacon and Date Appetizer from AllRecipes
This recipe has it all—it’s sweet, savory, and salty. The best part is that this tasty snack is also mess free; because they can use toothpicks, your guests never have to touch the food itself. A party bonus!
Pine Nut and Feta Cheese Ball from bon appétit
It might be a little more complicated than the first two, but this elegant dish is worth it. Place it in the center of a serving plate, and cascade various crackers around it—instantly classy! Just be sure to provide small plates for your guests; napkins won’t cut it on this one.
Baked Brie from Delish
Yes, we did say to nix foods that require utensils, but this dish is utensil free! The bread slices become the utensil for one-handed dipping, no knives required.
Fried Olives from Food Network
You really can fry anything these days! This recipe has surprise ingredients like chili powder for an added flavor dimension, and they’re bite sized for easy eating at your NYE party. Mix the olives in with a fruit platter and you’ve got yourself a fun plate of finger foods.
Cheddar Biscuits from Country Living
Bring a taste of the South to your celebration with these cheddar biscuits. Delicious on their own, you won’t need any jam or butter to enhance their flavor.
Spicy Pecans from Martha Stuart
Nothing says party like nuts, and nothing says wintertime celebration like spice—the perfect blend for your late-night festivities.
Upscale Sliders from Cooking Channel
Because you want to keep your foods to one-hand-only, we snuck in the mini version of a burger. It doesn’t hurt to have a main dish of sorts for the especially hungry, and these upscale treats still pass the utensil- and mess-free standards of your NYE bash.
Buffalo Cheddar Chex Mix from Half Baked Harvest
A modern twist on a classic party snack—what more needs to be said? This is a great snack to make bunches of, and keep refilling the bowl all night long.
Bacon-wrapped Jalapeño Thingies from The Pioneer Woman
Because bacon is, well, bacon, it made the list twice—though these thingies will assuredly taste much different than bacon-wrapped dates!
Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers from Taste of Home
This light, low-carb option should be on your appetizer list year-round. It made it onto this list because it’s quick to make, but it will bring a touch of class to any party you bring it to!
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Bites from Well Plated by Erin
Festive colors and flaky dough—what more could you ask for in a NYE appetizer? One recipe yields 30 bites, so doubling it will be the perfect amount for partying late into the night.