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Potluck Party Ideas to Ring in the New Year

Updated November 6, 2019
For a low-key way to ring in the New Year with your friends that doesn’t involve drinking far too much and scrambling to find someone to make out with at midnight, you can’t beat a NYE potluck party. Here are some tips on how to get your three Ds covered: dinner, drinks and dessert.

We're convinced the best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is at home. Forget expensive venue tickets and long lines for drinks and food—not to mention those bathroom lines. And don’t even get us started on trying to find an Uber after the ball drops. Partying at home with friends is cheaper, easier and probably safer than being out on the town.

Not convinced? Here are three more advantages to bringing the party to you:

  • You don’t have to figure out what to do with your coat and bag
  • You can play the music you actually like, at whatever volume you want
  • There’s no “last call!”

To make your New Year’s Eve soirée as stress-free as possible, make it a potluck. Ask each friend to bring something and assign an appetizer, main dish, side dish, dessert or drink. This spreads out the work and means all of the bases are covered. As the host, make sure you have enough plates, napkins, utensils and cups to go keep the party going.

New Year’s Eve Appetizers

Bacon Spinach and Artichoke Pinwheels

Delegate apps to the friends you can count on to show up early, so no one is left waiting to start munching. We love these easy recipes because they’re a breeze to make, travel like a dream and taste great at room temperature.

  1. Bacon, Spinach and Artichoke Pinwheels
  2. Maple Sausage-Cheese Balls
  3. Pancetta and Mushroom Phyllo Cups
  4. Goat Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Pepper Poppers
  5. Cranberry-Blue Cheese Ball

New Year’s Eve Dinners

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream

Roasts, casseroles and anything prepared in a slow cooker are all solid options to bring to a party. These five ideas are low-stress, highly impressive and most importantly, they feed a lot of people.

  1. Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Loin with Cherry Mostarda
  2. Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili
  3. Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream
  4. Million-Dollar Manicotti
  5. Slow Cooker Root Beer Pork Sandwiches

New Year’s Eve Side Dishes

Brussels Sprout and Bacon Mashed Potatoes

The key to a good potluck side dish is that it’s easy to transport and doesn’t require much fuss once you reach the party. These five recipes all hit the mark and are ones you’ll be proud to admit you brought.

  1. Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Gratin
  2. Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
  3. Easy Mini Cornbread Puddings
  4. Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Gratin
  5. Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Mashed Potatoes

New Year’s Eve Desserts

Crème Brûlée Cookie Bars

When it comes to dessert, skip anything that could melt, sink or fall apart. Our top picks are sweet treats that can be made and served in a 13x9 dish for ultimate convenience.

  1. White Russian Cheesecake Cookie Bars
  2. Hot Chocolate Dump Cake
  3. Peppermint Schnapps Brownies
  4. Crème Brûlée Cookie Bars
  5. Donut Tiramisu

New Year’s Eve Drinks

Jingle Juice

Stage a bar with ingredients for fun cocktails. Don’t forget a cocktail shaker, lots of ice and garnishes like cherries and citrus slices. Here are five recipes that make for a delicious toast:

  1. Jingle Juice
  2. Cranberry Moonshine Punch
  3. Christmas Sangria
  4. Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate
  5. Maple Old Fashioned

And of course, assign a few guests to bring champagne for the traditional midnight toast. If you ask us, there’s no better way to ring in the New Year than at home surrounded by good friends, fabulous food and delicious drinks. Cheers!