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Best Appetizers for Your New Year's Eve Party

Four simple snack recipes will help you tastefully ring in the New Year and enjoy the company of your guests.

Whether you’ll be celebrating with one or several people on New Year’s Eve, sensational snacks and appetizers always play a key role in the festivities. Here are four appetizers—plus a couple of quick cocktails—to help you get the party started and stay out of the kitchen so you can enjoy your friends and family.

bruschetta with cheese, grapes and chicken on a board
Smoked Chicken and Grape Brushetta (photo and recipe courtesy California Table Grape Commission)

1. Smoked Chicken and Grape Brushetta

Yield: 24 pieces/Recipe courtesy California Table Grape Commission

Beautifully elegant yet deceptively simple to make, Smoked Chicken and Grape Brushetta should be in your arsenal of appetizer recipes. Why this one's a winner: You can buy shredded smoked chicken at your grocer’s deli, assemble the brushetta ahead of time and then pop it in the oven when guests arrive.


spinach and ham dip in a bread bowl with torn bread on the side
Spinach and Ham Dip/Recipe and photo courtesy Family Features

2. Spinach and Ham Dip/Recipe courtesy Family Features

Yield: About 12 servings

I think a bread bowl with some type of dip will be at most New Year's Eve parties across the Midwest. But Spinach and Ham Dip is a nice switch from the familiar dilly dip we usually find in the bowl. And because it's warmed in the oven, it's especially comforting on a cold evening. Why this one’s a winner: You can use leftover ham from Christmas! Make the dip ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator; about 45 minutes before the party, pop it in the oven.


ground meat and cheese melted on 5 small pieces of rye bread
Mini Rye Bread Pizzas

3. Mini Rye Bread Pizzas

Yield: 24 pieces/Recipe by Katie Reinhardt

This was a favorite of my family and was part of many New Year’s parties. Every time I take a bite of this appetizer, I'm brought back to the 1970s and I'm in our basement "rathskeller" dancing with my friends to KC and the Sunshine Band. Groovy, man. This is one of many family recipes featured in my cookbook. Why this one is a winner: Assemble the pizzas ahead of time until you’re ready to bake them. The pizzas are totally delicious as they cool to room temperature, so you don’t need to worry about keeping them warm.


baked chicken wings with a glaze and sesame seeds in a brown casserole
Best Glazed Chicken Wings

4. Best Glazed Chicken Wings/Deborah Reinhardt

Yield: 25 to 30 wings This is a recipe featured in a book I co-authored this year about Missouri's culinary history. I tweaked a recipe from Ott Foods to create these irresistible glazed chicken wings. I took these to a recent party, and guests really liked them. Why this one is a winner: Who doesn’t like chicken wings? The wings will stay warm in a slow cooker turned on the warming (or lowest) setting. Just be sure to treat the crock with non-stick spray so glaze doesn’t stick. These also are fine to eat at room temperature.


Easy cocktail recipes

Boozy Champagne Squares. Here's a cocktail you can eat! Sure, you can chill and pop open a bottle of bubbly on New Years Eve, but here’s an idea from Schnucks, a Midwest grocery chain, that puts a new spin on a classic.

  1. Boil 12 ounces of ginger ale and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a medium saucepan.

  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in 2 cups Champagne and 4 packs of unflavored gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved (about 3 minutes).

  3. Pour into a 9-inch square pan that’s been treated with non-stick cooking spray and refrigerate until firm (about 4 hours).

  4. Cut into squares and divide among 4 Champagne coupes. Pro tip: wet the glass rim and dip in black and white edible sprinkles found at party supply stores or even turbinado sugar.

Orange or Cranberry Mimosas

This is one of the world’s simplest (and prettiest) cocktails. All you need are equal parts chilled Champagne and cold fruit juice (2½ ounces each). Simply pour the wine into the glass first and then top with cranberry or orange juice. Pro tip: Cut a small slit into the narrow end of a strawberry and place on the rim of the glass.


For additional appetizer and drink recipes, just click here! And from my kitchen to yours, all the very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022! Happy New Year!

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