31 New Year's Eve Recipes for Intimate At-Home Celebrations During the Pandemic
If you're celebrating the holiday with a small group of close family or friends this New Year, these recipes will still make the occasion feel as spectacular as ever.
While this year's New Year's Eve festivities may look a little different due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are plenty of ways to make the evening feel special for you and your closest family members and friends. Whenever we dream of a celebration, it always involves lots of delicious food. From serving individual desserts such as Martha's Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes to preparing an easy one-pot dinner with minimal clean-up, like the Baked Chicken Legs with Chickpeas, Olives, and Greens pictured here, we have 31 recipes that are perfect for an intimate and memorable night.
If you want to wow your guests without spending too much time in the kitchen, try our recipe for Chicken-and-Polenta Puttanesca Melts. Chicken cutlets and polenta are seared in a skillet, then nestled in marinara sauce made with pitted olives and capers; everything is topped with mozzarella cheese and baked until bubbling and golden brown. While it's absolutely delicious, the best part of this recipe is that it takes only 25 minutes to prepare. Looking for a festive side dish to complete the meal? How about our recipe for Broccolini with Peperoncini? Italian red chile peppers and plenty of garlic gives the mild relative to broccoli a flavorful, spicy finish.
For dessert, go for something spectacularly chocolate-flavored. Everyone will save room for a slice of our Mile-High Triple-Chocolate-Espresso Mousse Pie, which features a delicious cookie crumb crust, double chocolate mousse filling, and luscious espresso cream smoothed over the top. Another, more humble, option is to serve bowls of old-fashioned rice pudding, but with a very modern twist—a sea-salt caramel sauce drizzled over the top.
Ring in the New Year with 31 recipes that are perfect for a small celebration.
Chicken-and-Polenta Puttanesca Melts
Broccolini with Peperoncini
Looking for an elegant side dish for a smaller New Year's Eve celebration? Try this simple recipe, which lets sweet broccolini shine. It's sautéed with thinly sliced garlic, dried Italian chiles, and lemon.
Martha's Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes
Butter-Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk and Herbs
Poached Pears with Saffron Whipped Cream
Mile-High Triple-Chocolate-Espresso Mousse Pie
This showstopper of a dessert is made with two layers of chocolate—a chocolate wafer cookie crust and an indulgent mousse made with bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate. It's topped off with a perky espresso whipped cream that perfectly complements the chocolate.
Roasted Chicken Breasts with Grape Stuffing
End 2020 on a high note with this spectacular chicken recipe for New Year's Eve. Serve bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts with a hearty, autumnal stuffing made from torn ciabatta bread, grapes, and plenty of herbs.
Chicken-and-Gnocchi Bake with Broccolini
Drunken Mussels with Chorizo and White Beans
While steamed mussels often feel like a dish that is best enjoyed seaside, hearty white beans and spicy chorizo instantly bring it into winter territory.
Mini Pistachio Bundts
Sautéed Black Sea Bass with Capers and Herb-Butter Sauce
Red Wine Pasta
Serving pasta for New Year's Eve may not feel particularly special, but this version certainly is. Spaghetti is twirled in a flavorful sauce made from red wine, pancetta, shallots, garlic, and Pecorino Romano.
Herby Shrimp-and-Feta Bake
This simple Mediterranean seafood recipe is nothing short of spectacular for New Year's Eve. Shrimp is tossed in an herb mixture made from lemon zest, saffron, garlic, fresh parsley, and oregano. It's then baked with plenty of olive oil and feta cheese until cooked through and bubbly.
Pork Tenderloin with Kale Salad
You don't need to spend all day cooking a New Year's Eve dinner for it to be special. In under one hour, pork tenderloin, kale salad, and roasted sweet potatoes become a delectable meal.
Rice Pudding with Sea Salt-Caramel Sauce
Celebrate New Year's Eve during the pandemic with this haute take on a humble, comforting dessert. Our version calls for short-grain rice, which is starchy and will help to make the pudding even creamier.
Cream-Free Shrimp Alfredo
Bitter Greens with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs
Bitter greens like escarole and dandelion greens, avocados, shaved celery, and fennel bring bright green color to this spectacular side salad that will serve a small group for New Year's Eve.
Pepper-Crusted Lamb with Roasted Vegetables
Lamb is the ultimate special occasion meat, which is why this recipe—which comes together in just over an hour—is perfect for serving to your closest loved ones on New Year's Eve.
Easy Fudge Bites
If you're hosting a smaller celebration this year, you don't need to go all out for dessert. These individual fudge bites are easy to prepare but make a big impact.
Persimmons and Roasted Chicories with Shallot Vinaigrette
Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake
This one-pan dinner can serve as an appetizer or main course for a small New Year's Eve gathering. Mix ground pork with crushed fennel seeds and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for the meatballs; they're seared in a cast-iron skillet, then finish cooking with marinara sauce, bell peppers, and plenty of mozzarella cheese.
Pomegranates are at their peak in winter, so let their tart flavor and vibrant red-purple hue shine in this marvelous trifle that will wow your quarantine pod. Whipped cream and toasted coconut are just the right festive, finishing touches.
Skillet Cod with Bulgur, Zucchini, and Tomatoes
Stuffed Cabbage with Beef and Rice
Green cabbage is filled with a combination of long-grain white rice and ground beef chuck for a hearty main course for New Year's Eve.
Turkey-Pesto Meatball Soup
Swiss-Chard and Almond Pasta
Upgrade your pasta dinner for an extra-special New Year's Eve. Hearty, colorful rainbow Swiss chard takes center stage alongside raw almonds and lots of Pecorino Romano.
Chocolate-Chip Oat-Coconut Skillet Cookie
Radicchio Salad with Chopped-Lemon Dressing
Don't hide the color or flavor of bright red radicchio. Instead, accent it with a simple lemon-mustard vinaigrette that's packed with fresh mint leaves for a fragrant contrast.