Who could use a little good luck next year? Couldn't we all?! These New Year's Eve food traditions might do the trick. Either way, all these foods are delicious with a capital “D,” so what do you have to lose?!

a charcuterie board for New Years Eve from Shelf Cooking

Any holiday that revolves around food is a favorite around here. And while most folks probably think of Christmas and Thanksgiving as the best days for a big feast, don't sleep on New Year's Eve! You guys are going to love the recipes and traditions we're about to share.

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From veggies to main courses and even desserts, we've got something for everyone! Try whipping up these dishes for health, wealth, and happiness in the year ahead. You ready?


plate of fish, quinoa, and salad, from Shelf Cooking

We all associate turkey with Thanksgiving and ham with Easter, but what in the heck should you serve up for NYE?! If you're looking to start new traditions for your family, here are some oh-so-yummy entrees to serve:

  • Fish – All around the world, fish is a symbol of abundance. So, if you want more health, wealth, and happiness, try serving this smothered tilapia for New Year's Eve dinner. It only takes 10-minutes!
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches – Want good luck? According to southern grandmas, you should eat some pork! If you want to keep it simple, then you might be our spirit animal. And you should totally try this slow cooker pulled pork because it doesn't get any easier!
  • Pasta – We're always down for some pasta, but guess what? In many countries, noodles are the traditional New Year's Eve food thought to add years to your life. That's good news for carb-lovers, huh?! Try one of these pasta dishes!
  • Pork Chops – If you want to serve up something a little fancier than sandwiches, try pork chops instead! Plus, they taste like a million bucks, but these foolproof pork chops are as frugal as they are juicy.

Now, what should you serve with these entrees? Let's keep the traditions alive! We've got some ideas.


a bowl of pea and ham soup for New Years Eve, from Shelf Cooking

We're always up for side dishes good enough to stand on their own! Make a big batch and freeze some for later. We've even got tips about what you can freeze and how to freeze it. Try one of these New Year's Eve side dishes:

  • Split Pea Soup – Oh hey, comfort food! Good news: split pea soup is rumored to bring wealth and good fortune, too. Serve it with a little rustic bread and toss in some ham for extra luck!
  • Black-eyed Peas – This one is a classic! Not only are black-eyed peas said to bring luck, but they are also thought to bring wealth. We'll take an extra bowl, please!
  • Collard Greens – Money = green, and supposedly, eating greens will bring you financial prosperity in the new year. One can hope, right? Either way, collard greens are SO yummy alongside some pork chops.
  • Cornbread – You can't have collard greens without cornbread, but don't worry, you don't have to spend a ton of time on it! We think the Jiffy mix is pretty darn good, and it costs less than a buck.
  • Rice – Is there food more versatile than rice?! It's filling, it's cheap, and it's also thought to bring wealth if you eat it on New Year's Eve. Toss some in the Instant Pot for dinner!

Well, now we're hungry! But, let's keep moving right along to some sweet treats. Is it even a party if you don't serve dessert? We don't think so!


plate of donut holes with chocolate dip, from Shelf Cooking

Calories don't count on holidays, right? Plus, legend has it these desserts just might bring your family good luck. So, why risk bad luck? Go ahead and indulge. Here are a few ideas:

  • Donuts – We'd eat donuts seven days a week if we could! In many countries, doughnuts are a New Years' tradition because they're thought to bring good luck. Try these super easy donut holes!
  • Cake – Fun fact. Round cakes bring good luck for the new year because they symbolize the circle of life. As far as we're concerned, any excuse to eat cake is a good excuse. Try a simple bundt cake topped with a little vanilla frosting and serve it up with this homemade ice cream.
  • Pomegranate Crisp – Modify this apple crisp recipe to include some pomegranate! Why you might ask? Pomegranates symbolize life and abundance. They also contain vitamin C and antioxidants, so that's a win.

If all else fails, here's a quick and easy dessert idea. These birthday cake mix cookies scream “celebration!”


queso and chips on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

No party is complete without finger foods! You've got to have something to much on while you try to stay awake until midnight, right? Try one of these snacks:

  • Grapes – Rumor has it these tiny fruits bring good luck for a whole year. In Spain and Mexico, they eat twelve right at midnight. Here's an idea! Pop a few in the freezer and drop them in a glass of sparkling grape juice. Oh, you fancy, huh?
  • Ham Dip – Ok, here's a quick and easy app idea! Grab a can of ham and mix with 8 ounces of cream cheese, half a cup of sour cream, some shredded Swiss cheese, and the seasonings of your choice. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
  • Crockpot Cheese Dip – We're not aware of any superstitions associated with this one; we just really love nachos. 🤷‍♀️ Queso is the perfect party food, so what the heck?! Try this slow cooker cheese dip recipe.
  • Mini Ham Biscuits – Try our 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe, and add some ham for good measure!
  • Charcuterie Board – No one will ever be mad about some cheese and crackers! Don't forget to add ham to that plate for extra good luck!

Now we've got a four-course feast in the making! Who's excited?!

We hope your family loves these dishes just as much as ours. We can't wait to hear about your holiday plans!

Speaking of which, what is your family doing for New Year's Eve this year? Do you have any food traditions you love? Fill us in! Leave a comment below.

Image with text that reads "New Year's food traditions to bring you luck," from Shelf Cooking

Need a little more holiday food prep help?

Happy New Year!