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Ideas And Recipes Of Appetizers To Try On New Year’s Eve

Ideas And Recipes Of Appetizers To Try On New Year’s Eve

By Sharon MacGregor, Fed Well  

Although we all know some good things did happen in 2020, it is safe to say we are looking forward to turning the calendar page and seeing new opportunities for celebration in 2021. New Year’s Eve, a day of hope and promise for new beginnings, an evening of celebration, champagne toasts, resolutions, staying awake for midnight, noise makers, a bit of glitter or shimmer, and set up a simple buffet with some great New Year’s Eve appetizers! 

Planning for some easy New Year’s Eve appetizers will only take a few minutes and putting it all together will be a breeze. 


When thinking about meatballs as NYE appetizers – size does matter. These are not your grandma’s softball size, Sunday dinner, fill you up meatballs. A cocktail size meatball is about the same diameter or just a little bit bigger than a large cherry tomato. They can easily fit on the end of a toothpick or skewer, can be politely eaten in one bite, and cook quickly. 

Using a basic meatball to build on, the opportunities for memorable and delicious New Year’s Eve appetizers are only limited by your creativity. Here are some inspirational ideas for you to begin building on. 

The Meat

Ground meats to use for New Year’s appetizer meatballs include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and vegetarian options include premade store bought, or try ground cauliflower or cooked brown rice. 

The Insides

For each pound of meat, you will need 1 beaten egg, ½ cup breadcrumbs or substitute crumbled day-old bread, and then a list of seasonings you can customize for your New Year’s Eve snacks are: parmesan cheese, parsley, minced or powdered garlic, dried or diced onion, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients together and use a teaspoon, melon ball scooper, or small cookie dough scoop so the size of the meatballs is consistent. Want to skip this step? Store bought frozen meatballs are a great base for all these easy New Year’s Eve appetizer ideas. 

The Options

Traditional Cocktail Meatballs: Grape jelly and chili sauce (ketchup or barbecue sauce are great substitutes for the chili sauce) – combine 2 cups of grape jelly with 2 cups of chili sauce. Cook meatballs in the sauce either in a crockpot/slow cooker on low for 3 – 4 hours or in a 350 F oven for 20 – 30 minutes. 

Taco Meatballs: Replace the breadcrumbs with one packet of taco seasoning mix to meatball mixture listed above. Fry on the stove top or bake in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes. Serve meatballs with taco sauce. 

Buffalo Meatballs: Use ground chicken with 1/3 cup hot or buffalo sauce in the basic meatball recipe listed above. Omit garlic and onion. Bake in the oven at 400 F for 20 minutes. Remove meatballs and roll in additional buffalo sauce before serving. You can also serve with a side of bleu cheese salad dressing. 

Asian Inspired Pork Meatballs: Use ground pork for the meatballs and prepare for cooking. Combine  ½ cup hoisin, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of Sriracha chile sauce (if you do not like heat, substitute with prepared Teriyaki sauce). Mix ingredients then coat meatballs before baking in a 400 F oven. Option to sprinkle sesame seeds on meatballs before cooking. 

Stuffed: If you are making your own meatballs from scratch, fill the inside with mozzarella or cheddar cheese with the taco meatball recipe. 

Roasted Peppers  

Prep the Peppers

Roasted peppers are an underutilized edible vessel for easy New Year’s Eve snacks. They can be filled with meats, cheeses, other vegetables, or used as serving bowls for dips and sauces. In my experience, it seems the peppers take longer to soften then whatever I am filling them with, so I roast them prior to filling. 

If using bell peppers of any color, slice into quarters if possible and make wide boats. Mini peppers can be halved lengthwise and seeds removed. Season lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the peppers on a sheet pan and roast at 400 F until the peppers are fork tender. 

The Options

Philly Peppers: In the style of a Philly Cheese Steak, line each pepper with thinly sliced roast beef from your grocery store or deli, then top with grilled onions, mushrooms, and a slice or two of provolone cheese. Place filled peppers back in a 400 F oven or under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Goat Cheese and Honey: Fill pepper boats with goat cheese then drizzle with honey. Place the filled peppers back in a 400 F oven or under the broiler until they are warmed throughout. 

Sausage and Peppers Boats: Brown sausage (links sliced lengthwise or ground sausage or ground pork will all work), sauté onions, then fill peppers. Place filled peppers back in a 400 F oven until hot. Serve with marinara sauce. 


No NYE celebration is complete without a little something sweet and after the year we have had you can call these New Year’s Eve sweet treats an appetizer if it makes you feel better. 

Chocolate Melting Tips

For those who are lucky enough to already own a chocolate fountain that has been sitting in the back of a closet unused it is a perfect time to drag it out, clean it off and set it up. 

Have a fondue pot? Get ready to repurpose it for sweet and easy New Year’s appetizers and melting chocolate. 

Looking for a quick and easy recipe for chocolate dip using the microwave? Simply mix 2 cups of chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet or dark chocolate – your choice) with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Yes, vegetable oil. The oil will allow the chocolate to melt easier and add a bit of glossiness. Use a glass bowl if possible, heat on high for 20 second increments, and stir each time until chocolate is completely melted. 

Dip it in Chocolate

A quick list of items you can dip in melted chocolate to complete your New Year’s snacks with something sweet: 

  • Cookies 
  • Orange segments 
  • Banana slices 
  • Strawberries 
  • Pineapple slices 
  • Cherries 
  • Marshmallows 
  • Graham crackers 
  • Animal crackers 
  • Cubed pound cake 
  • Pretzels 
  • Potato chips 
  • Bacon 
  • Churros 
  • Brownies 
  • Cereal crispy treats 

Keep your New Year’s Eve appetizers simple and easy to give you more time to enjoy the moment, dream for all the good things to come in 2021, and say goodbye to 2020. 

Sharon MacGregor

Writing from her desk in New York, Sharon MacGregor is a contributing reporter, freelance writer, and blogger with a passion for human interest stories as well as meals shared with friends and family. Her blog, Fed Well includes recipes with upcoming tips to prepare foods for infants and toddlers, simple and seasonal cocktails, and easy modifications to create dishes respecting dietary restrictions including dairy and gluten intolerances. She loves entertaining for the ones she loves including her new grandbabies!

About The Author

Casey Christiansen

Casey supports the PR team at Zulily.

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