Get the party started with 6 must-try New Year's Eve appetizers

A tray holds a tart made of puff pastry topped with artichoke hearts and fresh herbs.
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)

Small bites for all-night grazing is the name of the game.


You don’t need to stress out about New Year’s Eve food. Rather than setting out a big dinner that may leave folks lethargic or hungry — again — before the ball has dropped, invite them to graze. Serve a few finger foods that people can eat as the evening progresses. You’ll only have to replenish serving platters here and there, and you won’t be saddled with the burden of planning, cooking and timing a full-on meal. Here are six of our favorite appetizers that will carry you through the evening.

Deviled eggs are always a treat. Dress them up with a garnish of caviar or smoked salmon with fennel and capers. And, continuing the “deviled” theme, try these deviled crab cakes with their intensely flavored, robust — yet light — spicy creole mayonnaise.

This beautiful, vegetarian Roman-style artichoke tart can sit on a table for hours and still taste fresh, the pastry giving a satisfying crunch. Comté and sesame twists are also vegetarian and a great all-night nosh. Make them a day or two before so you’re not doing all of the cooking in one day.

For meat-eaters, succulent Grilled Asian Beef Short Ribs are sure to be a hit. They are delicious piping hot — or at room temperature.

Any or all of these will make for a delicious way to exit 2021 and welcome the new year.

Deviled eggs with California white sturgeon caviar

Sustainably raised California white sturgeon caviar is extremely high quality. Serve it in a way that will show off the quality, such as using it as a topping for deviled eggs.
Time40 minutes
YieldsMakes 12 deviled eggs

Deviled eggs with smoked salmon, fennel and capers

While also a good source of protein, iron and vitamins A and D, a deviled egg—or just half a deviled egg is a wonderful treat, well worth the splurge.
Time35 minutes
YieldsServes 8

Deviled Crab Cakes With Spicy Creole Mayonnaise

These crunchy two-bite deviled crap cake appetizers can be shaped into larger full-sized portions. Both versions are delicious dipped in this spicy sauce.
Time45 minutes, plus chilling
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Carciofi alla Romana Tart

Inspired by the classic Roman dish, artichokes are mixed with fresh herbs then baked in clusters on puff pastry until golden brown and crisp.
Time1 hour 15 minutes
YieldsServes 8 to 12

Comté and Sesame Twists

Comté cheese and sesame seeds blend together in store-bought puff pastry to make the easiest appetizer.
Time45 minutes
YieldsMakes 32 twists

Grilled Asian beef short rib appetizer

The soy marinade is flavored with brown sugar, red wine, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. The beef ribs are charred over a hot grill and served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.
Time25 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8