new years eve side dishes

13 Classic New Year’s Eve Side Dishes You Must Try

Worldwide, people greet New Year’s Eve by decking tables with scrumptious delicacies, like ham, dips, salads, grazing boards, and more. It’s one of the few occasions people don’t shy away from a full-course meal. Thus, from appetizers to desserts, you will surely find something for each category in this holiday smorgasbord.

If meal planning for such a grand moment stresses you out, let this article give you a hand. It compiles 13 of the most classic New Year’s Eve side dishes you must try. Pick one or two recipes, and you’d have one thing off your plate.

1. Hoppin’ John

In the US south, black-eyed peas are almost a prerequisite to unraveling a new calendar. Thus, dishes like hoppin’ john are classic for New Year celebrations. This tradition stems from the belief that peas are a good-luck charm because they symbolize coins. As hoppin’ john is packed with black-eyed peas, what tastier way to welcome a new chapter? Besides the peas, this dish has veggies, meat, and rice.

2. Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas

These slow-cooker black-eyed peas are similar to hoppin’ john in many ways. It has meat and peas, is flavorful, and tastes great on top of warm rice. However, this black-eyed peas dish tastes much more decadent than hoppin’ john because of its creamy, tangy, and savory sauce. Moreover, it is less chunky because there are no veggies in the recipe – just meat, peas, and flavorings.

3. Black-Eyed Peas Salad

As flavorful as the previous black-eyed peas dishes are, they can be too rich for some. Thus, here’s a healthier and fresher alternative: black-eyed peas salad. This salad has many elements, like peas, corn, cucumber, mango, onion, lime, and red pepper. Thus, it appears textured and colorful. The zesty dressing also makes it taste brighter and juicier than it already is.

4. Southern-Style Collard Greens

While peas stand for coins, greens are served during New Year because they’re associated with dollar bills. Thus, during this occasion, you can expect verdant, leafy side dishes like cabbage, kale, or these Southern-style collard greens. As you can see in the recipe, the collard greens are combined with ham hock, onions, garlic, chicken stock, and bacon fat. Those extra flavorful ingredients make this simple side taste delicious and heartwarming.

5. Homemade Cornbread

As you might have gleaned, many New Year foods symbolize wealth, and cornbread is another such item. Its golden color is hoped to attract, as you might expect, gold or prosperity. Whether it is an actual gold magnet or not, the sweet, delicious flavors are enough to qualify cornbread for your holiday table. It’s a fantastic side dish to rich, saucy main courses, as it sops up the flavors nicely.

6. Longevity Noodles (Yi Mien)

Do you hope to live a long life? Increase your chances by serving savory dishes with long noodles, like yi mien or longevity noodles, during special occasions like birthdays or holidays. Yi mien is typically served during Chinese New Year, a date different from the usual New Year’s Eve. However, it’s still worth a try to have this on January 1, don’t you think?

7. Sauerkraut

The US south has peas, greens, and cornbread, while the Chinese have noodles. Along that trend, get to know what Germans serve during New Year: pork with sauerkraut. Such tradition is also done in other cultures, but it’s most associated with Germany. Like the other foods, it’s hoped to be lucky and attract affluence. Besides that, sauerkraut helps cut through the pork’s richness, making them an impeccable duo.

8. Deviled Eggs

Many people like to serve deviled eggs for big holiday parties, like New Year’s Eve celebrations. The recipe is straightforward – boil eggs, take out the yolks, make a delicious yolk filling, and refill each egg half. Each deviled egg is impressively delicious and creamy, despite the simple look. Moreover, it can serve many roles: appetizer, side dish, or a tasty snack while you wait for the clock to strike midnight.

9. Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus is the go-to side dish because its crisp-tender textures and simple flavors suit many other foods. But if you want to make it a bit fancy, which is only fitting for New Year’s Eve, follow this prosciutto-wrapped asparagus recipe. Prosciutto, which is a thin slice of cured meat, adds a touch of flavor and elegance to the green spears. Moreover, it does so in the most effortless way.

10. Southern Candied Yams

Sweet flavors are often limited to desserts, but you can have sweet side dishes, like these Southern candied yams. To clarify, though, the yams in this recipe aren’t true yams; instead, they’re sweet potatoes. Thus, you may also recognize this recipe as a version of candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole. Whichever name you know it by, they all stand out for their caramelized, buttery, and spicy flavors.

11. Potatoes Au Gratin

With so many recipes you can make out of them, potatoes are the king of side dishes. The classics, like wedges or mashed, would be excellent for New Year’s Eve. However, if you want a more effortful, flavorful, and elegant side, prepare au gratin! It’s a lot like scalloped potatoes but creamier and cheesier. It also has a gorgeous golden color, which might attract wealth, don’t you think?

12. Potato Salad

Potato salad is also one of the many potato side dish recipes. Usually, it’s served during BBQs, potlucks, or picnics because of its creamy and refreshing flavors. But there are no limitations, of course. Thus, if you want that cool, rich salad for your New Year’s Eve, follow this recipe a few hours before serving. Yes, a few hours because you’ll need the extra time for refrigeration.

13. Kale Salad

Kale, like collard greens, is treated as a New Year’s good luck dish because of its color. While many opt for tender and savory sauteed kale, you can also have this vegetable as a salad. This kale salad is bright, easy, and delicious, combining kale with broccoli, almonds, carrots, red onions, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and a homemade lemon dressing. You can also consider add-ons like goat cheese, raisins, or apples.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.