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New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and you know what that means – it’s time to party! If you’re taking on the role of party host this year, don’t be overwhelmed. New Year’s Eve dinner parties can be as minimal or flashy as you’d like. It’s totally up to you, your style, and your budget.

Regardless of the size of your event, there are a few things to include at your New Year’s Eve dinner party. Food, drinks, and even dinner party games should accompany your special night.

Keep reading to find out how to plan the ultimate New Year’s Eve dinner party!

The Menu

If you’re throwing a dinner party specifically, you’re going to need food (obviously). But what should you serve? You can stay up all night watching The Food Network for some great ideas or check out our comprehensive list of the best New Year’s Eve dinner foods.

Apps Before Dinner

All special occasion dinner parties should start with a top-notch appetizer. When it comes to delicious apps before dinner that wow, you have many options. It’s essential to add a variety of apps to suit everyone’s needs. For example, not everyone will want to chow down on meats or a 5-star shrimp cocktail. Here are some great options to choose from.

A cheese board is simple and effective. It’s also entirely customizable. So, you can mix and match crowd favorites that will entice your guests. However, the basis of a cheese board is to have various cheeses – cheddar cheese, goat cheese, bleu cheese – anything you’d like. Pair it with fruits, nuts, vegetables, and crackers of your choosing.

Lamb meatballs are also sure to be a hit. The best thing about meatballs is you can stick a toothpick on top, and guests can grab and munch on the go. Sure, you don’t have to use lamb. But lamb is an elegant and “elevated” way to serve meatballs. Why wouldn’t you?

You can’t go wrong with dips, either. Whether you go for a classic cheese dip or get fancy with artichokes, bacon, or other crowd favorites, a dip will bring guests around the table to laugh and chat while they crunch.

Main Course

There are plenty of options when it comes to the main course. We’ve got you covered whether you’re a fan of classic meats or prefer something cheesy.

This smothered pork chop recipe from The Food Network has excellent reviews. The flavor is rich and decadent, the perfect choice for a New Year’s Eve party. For a pork recipe with a bigger burst of flavors, consider the Mustard-Glazed Pork Tenderloin. If you want to go the steak route, nothing beats garlic butter steak.

We mentioned earlier that lamb was an excellent choice for a sophisticated food option for a New Year’s Eve dinner party. If you want to go the vegetarian route, here’s an exciting Vegetarian Rack of Lamb. These Mushroom Ravioli are the ideal choice for a comfort food feast.

Don’t forget about the traditional black-eyed peas, too. These Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon and Pork Recipe are guaranteed to take this classic dish to new heights.

Dessert

Don’t leave the dinner table yet, next comes dessert! No dinner party is complete without it. For New Year’s Eve dinner parties, you want to stick to decadent, truly indulgent flavors. After all, that diet doesn’t start until January 1st, right?

This strawberry chocolate cake is full of rich flavors. The chocolate is tempting, but the strawberries help to cut the sweetness and brighten it up a bit. So, so good.

Red velvet is another crowd favorite. But this red velvet cheesecake takes the classic dish to the next level. Being a cheesecake rather than a thick slab of cake, it’s a somewhat lightweight yet still incredibly alluring slice for dessert.

brownie bourbon bites with dinner party games

Why not add some booze to your dessert menu? After all, it’s New Year’s Eve! These bourbon brownie bites are incredible, combining delectable chocolaty flavor with a hint of warming bourbon. Perfect pairing if you ask us!

Cocktail Menu

The cocktail menu is just as important – if not more important than the dinner menu. Let’s face it; most people want to enjoy a drink (or two, or three) on New Year’s Eve. It’s your job to ensure you have some stellar cocktails in your lineup. Don’t worry, though – if you and your guests are alcohol-free; We’ve also added some mocktails to this must-see list.

The Boulevardier is one of the fanciest cocktail recipes out there. The perfect combination of Bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari lends way to a touch of sweetness and rich flavor. It’s also a fascinatingly dark cocktail, giving it that little bit of edge to impress.

On the other side of the cocktail spectrum is the Pisco Sour Cocktail Recipe. With pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and an egg white, the Pisco Scour contains bright flavors with a pinch of sour flavoring. Together, the cocktail is a light and bright delight perfect for those with a sour tooth rather than a sweet tooth.

You can’t go wrong with martinis, and there are about a million ways to make them. But if you want to stick to the classics this year, consider adding a Dry Martini to your menu. It’s a minimalistic drink combining vermouth, gin, and bitters. So simple, yet so thrilling with flavor.

A bellini is a fruity sensation guaranteed to get you buzzed quickly. However, if you’re going for an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve dinner party, consider this delicious alcohol-free Bellini. Simply mix peach nectar (or another flavor) with sparkling cider and enjoy something that tastes as good as the real deal.

Dinner Party Games

Don’t forget games! Before the big ball drops, have a “ball” in your home with one of these super fun and exciting dinner party games that will impress and entice your guests.

dinner party games nye photo props

A photo booth with New Year’s-themed props is a great way to get people involved in the party. Plus, they will have a memory that stays with them for a lifetime. This will be extra special if someone has too much to drink on New Year’s Eve.

The New Year’s Eve resolution guessing game is another crowd fave for dinner party games. Here, guests will share three resolutions on a piece of paper – but one will be a lie. If someone guesses the lie correctly, they win a prize (totally up to you).

Charades is another fun dinner party game that will leave everyone holding their sides. With this classic game, you can separate into teams and have everyone join in on the fun – even the kids, if kids are present at your New Year’s dinner party.

dinner party games

Last but not least, play the kissing game! Okay, not really. Guests are given Hershey kisses at the beginning of the dinner party. Whoever ends up with the most kisses at the night’s end wins. It’s such a fitting and fun game for New Year’s Eve!

For a few more options, of course, you can always whip out a few board games to play. Another go-to would always be any of your favorite card games! You could also pair one of the drinks we mentioned above with some drinking games (these would only be games for adults, sorry kids).

Final Words

Your New Year’s Eve dinner party will be a hit, whether you opt for lamb and the kissing game or black-eyed peas and the resolution game. Simply put your dinner menu, cocktail menu, and dinner party games together. Then, get ready for the fun.

What is your menu going to look like? Which dinner party games will you play?

 

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