37 New Year's Party Appetizers

Try one or two of these starters for your next party.

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Plum Good Sausage and Meatballs
Plum Good Sausage and Meatballs

    Sweet plum preserves and tangy barbeque sauce provide the unexpectedly bold taste behind these slow-cooker standards.

Crab Dip

    For a presentation that wows, serve the creamy dip in an artichoke half. Be sure to brush the cut artichoke with lemon juice so it keeps its summer green color.

Individual Ham and Cheese Quiches

    It's so easy. Start with purchased piecrusts, bake them, and then fill them with a tasty ham-and-egg mixture. This recipe can also be made in a 10-inch tart pan.

Greens with Spiced Corn Bread

    A spicy blend of greens is balanced out by the sweetness of the corn bread for a great start to an autumn dinner.

Cheese Pedestal

    Full-flavor cheeses such as cheddar and Stilton taste best at room temperature. When serving cheese as part of a dessert buffet, allow 1 ounce of cheese per serving.

Mustard-Glazed Pork Skewers

    The chutney combines savory and sweet flavors that especially complement pork.

One-Step Artichoke Bean Dip with Roasted Red Peppers

    To serve, sprinkle lightly with additional salt. Top with roasted red pepper strips and basil.

Shrimp Scampi-Style

    A traditional sauce of garlic, shallots, white wine, and lemon juice infuses the shrimp while they cook. The additional cooking of the sauce mellows the flavors and creates a nice consistency.

Roasted Vegetable Tart

    A little sleight of hand saves you kitchen time in this busy season. Use purchased piecrusts to create the charming appearance of rustic, country French tarts. Oven-roasted vegetables provide beaucoup delightful flavors.

Avocado with Prosciutto

    Avoid very ripe avocados for this appetizer; they are too soft to slice well.

Herb-Baked Olives

    Make these herb-marinated olives up to a week ahead.

Caramelized Onion and Fig Bruschetta

    Get everything ready to pop into the oven just before guests arrive. Then bake the bruschetta while the first glasses of wine are being poured.

Pepper-Glazed Pecans

    Crushed red pepper kicks up the flavor of this super-easy snack.

Triple-Cheese Torta

    Flaunting festive colors and flavors, this appetizer gains distinct personality from a choice of two toppers.

Wilted Spinach & Fruit Salad

    This lush salad is resplendent with fruits nested in wilted greens.

Peppered Herb Cheese Ball

    Another make-ahead appetizer, the base for this is cream cheese and goat cheese that can be made with a number of unique variations.

Crostini with Olives and Feta Spread

    Two, 7- to 8-ounce rounds of Brie can be used instead of the larger cheese round. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is softened. That way you can serve one round and then replenish with the second warmed cheese.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions and Hazelnuts

    Two 7- to 8-ounce rounds of Brie can be used instead of the larger cheese round. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is softened. That way you can serve one round, and then replenish with the second warmed cheese.

Chipotle Chili Salsa

    This relishlike salsa has a hot, smoky flavor that comes from the chipotle pepper. Chipotle is simply a dried, smoked jalapeno pepper.

Spanish Potato Omelet Bites

    For neat little squares, use a thin metal spatula to remove the first few omelet pieces from the baking pan. Then you can switch to a wider metal spatula and remove several of the colorful squares at once.

Mini Meat Empanaditas

    In Mexico, these meat-filled turnovers are known as empanaditas. Refrigerated biscuits replace the homemade pastry traditionally used, simplifying preparation.

Veggie-Filled Quesadillas

    A perfect appetizer, these quesadillas showcase fresh sweet peppers, red onions, and cream cheese.

Chili Powder Chicken with Cilantro Cream

    On a heat scale of 1 to 10, these chicken strips are an 8. If your palate prefers something cooler, dip them in the herbed sour cream before taking a bite.

Sloppy Joe Meatballs

    The ingredients that make the ground beef sandwich so tasty are equally delicious in a sauce for meatballs.

Chili Chicken Appetizers

    Thai garlic-chili sauce is found at the supermarket in the Asian foods section or in specialty food shops.

Pecan-Crusted Artichoke Spread

    Over the years, the simple stir-together dips of the 1950s have been joined by each succeeding decade's variation on the theme. This more current nut-topped dip is a jazzed-up version of the spinach dip so popular in the late 1990s.

Gorgonzola and Pear Focaccia

    Toasted walnuts and fresh rosemary flavor the dough, while red onion, fresh pear, and Gorgonzola decorate the top of this pizzalike bread.

Firecracker Coconut Dip

    Vary the heat of this dip with the amount of wasabi or horseradish. It's important to use unsweetened coconut milk; find it in the Asian food section of a supermarket or specialty store.

Fried Deviled Brie

    For best results, choose a wheel of Brie that's fairly firm when you squeeze it gently.

Gorgonzola Crostini

    Because blue cheese tends to be on the salty side, use unsalted butter when making this crunchy-chewy appetizer. In many supermarkets, you'll find it in the freezer case.

Parmesan-Artichoke Crostini Spread

    Cheesy and addictive, this spread features Italian parsley, also called flat-leaf parsley. The herb has a milder flavor than the curly-leaf variety.

Spinach Salad Dip

    This creamy blend of spinach, bacon, and mushrooms is also good served with your favorite vegetable dippers.

Salsa and Cheese Dip

    Create a chunky dip by combining sour cream with a bit of salsa and chunks of queso fresco -- a white, crumbly Mexican cheese. Fresh herbs and green onion add a vivid flavor. To scoop up the dip, you'll need a sturdy chip or some of the colorful tortilla chips available in most grocery stores.

Dressed-Up Onion Dip

    Sliced green and red onion power up purchased French onion dip; fennel adds a slight aniselike flavor.

Shrimp and Cheese Crisps

    Bake the puff pastry rounds and mix up the tapenade early in the day. If you assemble and bake the filled pastries a half-hour before your party begins, you can greet guests with a tray of these warm, richly flavored pastries.

Dilled Onion Cheese Ball and Variations

    This easy party recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead. We've also included tasty variations for a Prosciutto-Basil Cheese Ball and a Spicy Taco Cheese Ball.

Tricolor Peppercorn Cheese Ball

    Love pepper? This cream cheese spread uses pink, green, and black peppercorns along with fresh chives and dill.

Greek Salad Bites

    Stir up sour cream and crumbled feta along with dried tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and olives, then chill overnight.

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