25 Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Recipes

We gathered easy yet festive appetizers, finger foods, drinks, and desserts for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party everyone will enjoy!

Family-Friendly New Years Eve

When our two boys were little, we stayed home to watch the ball drop in Times Square and whisked them to bed by 9:15 pm (we live in the West Coast). Our now teen and tween expect a more exhilarating New Year’s Eve and I can’t agree more, especially this year. 

We plan to celebrate the end of 2021 and usher in 2022 with more pizazz! For that, we’ll need an assortment of festive yet easy recipes that everyone, including the kids, can enjoy. I'm going to set out easy finger foods, fun dips and platters, and fizzy family-friendly drinks.

For dessert, I’ll make a variety of cookies and candies for us all to munch on throughout the evening, so we can ring in the new year with full hearts and bellies.

Hope you find a recipe that your whole family will enjoy. Happy New Year!

  • Cranberry Limeade

    Cranberry Limeade
    Elise Bauer

    This five-ingredient drink will delight guests of all ages. Simple syrup sweetens the freshly squeezed lime juice and unsweetened cranberry juice. To that, just add water and ice. Want a bubbly concoction? Feel free to use club soda instead of water.

  • Winter Spiced Orange Mocktail

    Spiced bitter orange mocktail with cinnamon and star anise
    Elana Lepkowski

    Sour oranges called Seville oranges make their appearance for a short time in the winter. If you can find some, it’s worth buying them for this mocktail. Otherwise, I’ve used navel oranges with an extra drop or two of orange bitters with no problem at all.

  • Holiday Punch

    Holiday Punch
    Garrett McCord

    It’s a two-for-one recipe! One is for adults with bourbon and hot cider. The other for kids, without. I suggest making both.

  • How to Make a Cheese Board

    Cheese Board
    Elise Bauer

    Ever customizable, the cheese board has something for everyone. Choose local when possible and include dried fruit, crackers, and nuts along with the cheeses. I suggest one each of three different types of cheeses: hard, soft, and blue. This guide will walk you through it all.

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  • Coconut Shrimp With Sweet Chili Mayo

    Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo
    Jaden Hair

    This crispy fried shrimp is just sweet enough to get the kids coming back for more. The shrimp is first coated with coconut milk and then with panko and coconut flakes. So crispy!

  • Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe
    Elise Bauer

    The shrimp gets a sprinkling of chili powder and lime before being wrapped in a slice of bacon. It’s irresistible and ready in under 1 hour. 

  • Crab Dip

    Crab Dip in bowl with veggies on the side
    Elise Bauer

    Combine, stir, and chill. That’s it! I always add a dash of hot sauce and the kids don’t mind. This dip and store-bought pita chips are a match made in heaven. Want more color? Cut up some sturdy vegetables like carrots and celery. 

  • Whipped Feta with Figs, Pistachio, and Honey

    Whipped feta with figs, nuts, and honey in a bowl with bread dipped in the side.
    Karishma Pradhan

    This dip has it all: It’s salty, briny, creamy, sweet, crunchy, and looks good to boot. Make double the fig-pistachio-honey topping since I suspect folks will go back for one more dip of just that. 

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  • Slow Cooker Spinach Feta Dip

    Mediterranean spinach feta dip in the slow cooker
    Nick Evans

    Every party needs a warm and cheesy dip. This one is made in a slow cooker with spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, feta, and garlic. If you don’t love feta cheese, try Monterey jack cheese plus a little more salt. Serve with crackers and pita chips.

  • Mediterranean Mezze Platter

    Dips vegetables fruit and olives for mediterranean mezze platter
    Alison Bickel

    Set out a platter of your favorite dips (store-bought is okay), vegetables, pita bread, and olives for guests to enjoy. For this occasion, I spent a little extra to get high-quality olives. Fresh grapes are also a must! 

  • Baked Chicken Taquitos

    Homemade Taquitos with chicken

    Taquitos are one of our family favorites for parties and lunch boxes alike. For a fancier look, stack them in a platter with a sprinkle of cilantro and small bowls of salsa, sour cream, and the sriracha cream sauce. 

  • Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies

    Overhead view of extra flaky broccoli cheddar hand pies set on a platter.
    Alison Bickel

    Puff pastry is a holiday powerhouse and I always try to keep a package of store-bought ones in my freezer. Another win? The easy broccoli filling for these flaky hand pies can be made with frozen chopped broccoli! 

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  • Sausage Rolls

    Sausage Rolls Recipe
    Sheryl Julian

    This is an upscale version of pigs in a blanket. It uses fresh sausages and rolls them in strips of pizza dough. I’d enlist the help of guests (ehem, the kids!) as part of the festivities. You could also use chicken or vegan sausages instead of pork.

  • Vegetable Samosas with Mint Cilantro Chutney

    Vegetarian Samosas on a bed of herbs with one samosa filled with potato and peas alongside a cilantro mint chutney or dipping sauce in a small wooden bowl..
    Prerna Singh

    These flavor-packed handheld treats can be as spicy as you'd like. Removing the seeds and white veins inside the jalapeños make them less spicy.

  • Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

    Pepperoni Pizza Hand Pies
    Nick Evans

    Here is another not-fancy, but perfect-for-a-party recipe. Your kids will love you for it, plus make them ahead of time and freeze them so that all you have to do bake them right before serving. 

  • Cheddar Cheese Puffs

    Gougeres Cheddar Cheese Puffs
    Elise Bauer

    So light, airy, and tasty, you won’t remember how many you’ve popped into your mouth. Quick tip: Make sure you cool the batter slightly before adding the eggs to prevent them from curdling. 

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  • Curried Chicken Salad With Endive

    Curried Chicken Endive Salad
    Elise Bauer

    It’s not often that a salad is considered finger food, but these little endive boats require zero utensils. Each leaf is filled with a curried chicken salad and topped with toasted almonds. Poach the chicken the day before and assemble them right before the party.

  • Cheesy Slow Cooker Sausage Balls

    Cheese-stuffed sausage balls on a plate
    Nick Evans

    Use your favorite store-bought marinara and keep the meatballs in the slow cooker so that they are warm throughout the evening. Sure, it’s not super fancy-looking, but you’ll be glad once the cheesy meatballs melt in your mouth.

  • Caramel Corn

    Caramel Corn in serving dish
    Elise Bauer

    Caramel corn is a satisfyingly crunchy snack that is easy to make ahead of time. Package them in individual bags as a take-home party favor or just munch on them while waiting for the ball to drop.

  • Homemade Almond Roca

    Side view of roca candy piled on a plate.
    Annika Panikker

    Almond Roca is one of our favorite holiday treats and setting out a platter of a homemade version would be a sure win for New Year's Eve. Besides being delicious, this candy can be made weeks ahead of time and either refrigerated, frozen, or kept at room temperature. Easy! 

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  • Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

    Hot Cocoa Mix
    Sally Vargas

    What about setting up a hot cocoa bar with warm milk and a variety of hot cocoa mixes: standard, Mexican chocolate, and peppermint. Provide a variety of milk and dairy-free options and keep them warm in thermoses. Set out cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, and whipped cream and let everyone make their own perfect cup of hot cocoa to ring in the new year.

  • Mexican Wedding Cookies

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin

    Whether you call them snowballs or Russian tea cakes, these Mexican Wedding Cookies are crumbly, buttery, and so irresistible. Use your favorite nuts whether it’s pecans, walnuts, or almonds. 

  • Ginger Pennies

    Mini Easy Ginger Lemon Cookies placed in a footed serving bowl.
    Sally Vargas

    Bite-sized ginger cookies pack all the holiday cheer of gingerbread cookies, but without the complicated cut-outs and icing decorations. These icebox cookies need a couple hours to chill before baking so it’s best to make them ahead of time.

  • Cocoa Coconut Macaroons

    Cocoa Coconut Macaroons
    Cindy Rahe

    Coconut and chocolate are one of my favorite combinations. Adding cocoa to the macaroon gives it a fudgier texture that I find very satisfying. A piping bag makes is easier to form these. From start to mouth, these chocolate-y treats take 30 minutes.

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  • How to Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles

    Overhead view of chocolate truffles covered in cocoa and chopped nuts.
    Eliezer Martinez

    If you knew how simple homemade truffles are, you’d make them all the time for parties, gifting, and just because.  Have fun with the coatings. Chopped nuts, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, sprinkles, and crushed candy are all great choices.