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!

25 Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Recipes
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.

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. 

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! 

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. 

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! 

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.

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.