Liven up your NYE party with these festive appetizers

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The most festive holiday of the year. New Year’s Eve! Parties abound. Whether you are staying in, throwing a big party, or attending one we have some delicious and fun appetizers to liven up the night. Everything from super simple, no-bake recipes to elegant hot noshes. We have your NYE party covered!


Lemon feta cheese dip

Looking for a versatile, tasty and fresh appetizer for your NYE party? This recipe for lemon feta cheese dip is the perfect option. Rich and tangy feta cheese paired with bright acidic lemon is exceptional when spread across a toasty baguette. Ricotta cheese helps round out the recipe and add a touch of creaminess. Add this cheese spread to bread sticks, bruschetta, crackers or fresh veggies. As if this couldn’t get any better, this is incredibly easy to make, too. Just add all of the ingredients to the food processor and you’re done!

Lemon Feta (c) Rebecca Sanabria
Photo credit: Rebecca Sanabria

Bacon jalapeño cheese ball

Finger foods are an essential holiday party item. They are easy for your guests to snack on while they mingle with cocktails in-hand and you finish up last-minute dishes. These easy bacon jalapeño cheese balls are absolutely essential and are loaded with tons of flavor. Savory smoky bacon, spicy jalapeño and rich creamy cheese make up the heart of this cheese ball. Finally, they’re coated in pecans for a sweet, crunchy contrast. But the best part is they don’t require any baking on your part and you can assemble these at the last minute or days ahead of time.

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Instant Pot copycat Applebee’s artichoke and spinach dip

We all know the Applebee’s artichoke and spinach dip has a cult following. But why go through the hassle of going to a restaurant every time the craving strikes? This recipe tastes pretty darn close to the original. Ooey gooey cheesy goodness with chunks of artichokes and spinach, this dip is loaded with flavor your guests will love. Made with the richness of Parmesan, mozzarella, sour cream and cream cheese, this dip can’t help but become your new party favorite, and it only takes minutes to make in your Instant Pot.


Charcuterie: The ultimate meat and cheese board

Nothing says “let’s celebrate” quite like a well-put-together meat and cheese board. Here we have some pro tips for the ultimate meat and cheese board that will have your guests thinking you had the party catered. Having some of the usual suspects like mild cheddar, brie and salami is always wise. But where you really become a star is complementing those flavors with more exotic and bold ingredients, such as Gruyère and blue cheese, capicola and prosciutto. Adding a variety of contrasting flavors — such as salty nuts, sweet preserves, acidic capers and olives — will round out the board and elevate it to pro status.


Turkey meatballs with an Asian-style dipping sauce

Skewered meatballs, like this recipes for turkey meatballs with an Asian-style dipping sauce, are an excellent party appetizer choice. Combining white and dark turkey meat adds a richness you crave with meatballs, with all of the lean protein you want from the turkey. Add just a little fresh garlic and ginger, and you’ll see how flavorful and moist these meatballs are. But what’s a meatball without a savory dipping sauce? A perfect balance of soy sauce, sake and ginger make a luscious and tangy sauce that will keep your guests coming back for more.


Cranberry pistachio goat cheese bites

Cranberry, pistachio and goat cheese bites sound fancy, but they are surprisingly easy to make and involve no cooking at all. Last-minute guests walking through the door? A batch of these cheese bites can be on a tray and in your guests’ hands in no time. Simply roll the goat cheese into several bite-sized balls, roll to coat in chopped pistachios and cranberries, and skewer. The red and green colors of the nuts and berries are a festive touch, while the sweet and salty play nicely against the tangy goat cheese.

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Crab-stuffed mushrooms

An elegant and sophisticated appetizer that will dress up any party, we have put a spin on the standard old stuffed mushrooms and have added meaty chunks of crab, cream cheese, onions and red pepper. Talk about decadent. It’s always nice to have a few hot items out for appetizers, so these crab-stuffed mushrooms are a wonderful option. Once the cheesy crab filling is prepared, all that’s left to do is stuff the mushroom, bake and garnish. They really are that easy.

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Spinach-artichoke deviled eggs

Deviled eggs just got a whole lot fancier. As if the classic appetizer wasn’t already perfect, we’ve added artichokes and spinach to the mix, along with a little Greek yogurt and cayenne pepper. These aren’t your grandma’s deviled eggs (although those were delicious, too). These spinach-artichoke deviled eggs are a perfect vegetarian appetizer option, and they will convert anyone into a deviled egg fan. Creamy and tangy with a little heat, there is no shortage of flavor here. The artichokes add a meaty substance, while the spinach is a pretty pop of color. Garnished with chopped chives and a pinch of paprika, they make for a pretty dish as well.


Soft pretzel bites and cheesy beer fondue

Even if you’ve never made bread from scratch before, this is a great recipe to try. Making your own soft pretzel bites will be so satisfying and delicious, you’ll only wish you had done it sooner. Like most breads, the pretzel dough requires a little prep time, as it has to rise. But if you put in the time, you will be rewarded with the warmest, toastiest, softest pieces of bite-sized heaven. After the couple hours of rising time, you will cut, shape and boil your pretzel bites in a baking soda bath, all before baking them to a beautiful golden brown. Warm pretzel bites right out of the oven are perfect on their own, but for that special occasion or party, pairing them with cheesy beer fondue will knock your guests’ socks off. The best part is the fondue is super easy to make. Just combine Gruyère and cheddar cheese with garlic and your favorite beer.


Spicy mini bacon cheese balls

If you are a jalapeño popper fan (and who isn’t?), you are going to fall in love with these spicy mini bacon cheese balls. We have taken all of the same flavors, but we’ve made the appetizer much more user-friendly. Very simple to prepare, these can be done on the fly and don’t require baking. Instead of stuffing a jalapeño with cream cheese, we decided to stuff cream cheese with jalapeños and loads of cheddar cheese. When the mixture is scooped out into bite-sized balls, the balls are then rolled in crispy bacon, chives and pecans. Not only are these festive, but they are packed with incredible flavor. Smoky and salty bacon, sweet pecans, creamy cheese and the jalapeño heat all make for one perfect appetizer.

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Spanish queso fundido dip

A true comfort appetizer if ever there was one. This Spanish queso fundido dip is a dish of hot, melted cheese, spicy chorizo, diced tomatoes, chilies, garlic, onions and spices with a hefty splash of beer will have your guests begging for more. The spicy chorizo and tomatoes are served atop the melted cheese for a fun presentation. Serve alongside hot fresh tortilla chips, toasted baguette slices or even raw veggies. Make this dip as spicy as you like and feel free to get creative and put your spin on it.