By Melanie Fincher

Let's raise a glass to less time spent in the kitchen this New Year's!

This year, New Year's Eve falls on a Tuesday, which means your celebration will take place right smack dab in the middle of the work week. So heading into 2020, a low-key celebration may be in order. Whether you're planning to host a swanky gathering or an intimate get-together with friends — keep the menu simple. Laboring over the stove for hours after a full work day is not my idea of a good time, but sharing a meal with friends and family is. This is the only menu you need for your low-key New Year's Eve celebration. These easy recipes are low on prep time and ingredients, but no one will be able to tell.


Really Simple Bellinis | Ready in 5 Minutes

Recipe creator MAGNOLIAWENCH says, "Just 2 ingredients and a blender is all that is needed for a nice cold peach beverage! You can adjust the ratio to your liking. Add a dash of grenadine for a more colorful drink! Enjoy!" This can be enjoyed with sparkling grape juice instead of champagne for the non-drinkers too!

Photo by Raven

Nonalco Punch | Ready in 20 Minutes

This is a great alternative to champagne punch using cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and ginger ale. You can even use a festive ice ring to keep your punch cool well into the New Year. Reviewer Momster says, "This combo of ingredients is the perfect blend of slightly tart, sweet and bubbly."

Photo by Paula


Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts | Ready in 27 Minutes

This snack mix can be made in advance, and it will give your guests something to snack on as soon as they arrive. Chef John says, "I find this technique much easier than the stovetop pan method. You'll get beautiful, perfectly frosted nuts that are roasted evenly, with no bitter burned spots."

Artichoke Bruschetta | Ready in 20 Minutes

These elegant hors d'oeuvres are perfect for feeding a crowd. Reviewer Jenny says, "These are so good! We made them last night and have vowed to take them to the next party or event so we can impress everyone."

Photo by SunnyByrd

Main Course:

Steamed Lobster Tails | Ready in 10 Minutes

Tradition has it you should eat lobster before midnight on New Year's Eve because they move sideways — and after midnight, it's all about moving forward! If you've never cooked lobster before, this easy recipe will become tradition. Reviewer Robert62 says, "As a cook just a little beyond beginner stage this was an easy recipe to follow and it came out great."

Side Dishes:

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe | Ready in 20 Minutes

This classic Italian dish can be made in no time with ingredients you have on hand. Reviewer rachelc says, "It's a great weeknight hack for when you don't have time (or patience) to make mac n' cheese. Super easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand."

Parmesan Asparagus | Ready in 20 Minutes

Reviewer ReneeW says, "So yummy! I brushed them with olive oil and used fresh minced garlic and fresh grated Parmesan. I think this is the only way we will ever eat asparagus again!"

Photo by naples34102

Herbed Mushrooms with White Wine | Ready in 25 Minutes

This simple side is the perfect pairing for the spaghetti and asparagus dishes. Reviewer marywether07 says, "I just finished eating a plate full and I am still a little dizzy from how delicious they were! They had all the incredible flavor you'd expect from some fancy restaurant and yet I made them in my own home for about two bucks and in about five minutes."

Photo by OkinawanPrincess


Strawberry Trifle | 15 Minutes of Prep

Ring in the New Year by digging into this light and fluffy trifle that can be made ahead of time and chilled until you're ready to serve. It's an easy dessert to serve to a crowd, and it only requires 15 minutes of prep! "I made this recipe to take to a dinner at a friend's house and the three of us polished off about half the dessert...Very easy and very little effort."

Photo by lcaruso