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23 Lucky foods eaten around the world on NYE

Every culture believes in a food item that, when consumed on New Year’s Eve, will fill them with luck in the new year. Today we’re exploring these lucky foods and recipes to eat before the new year rings in.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve is a chance to put past struggles behind and look toward the future. Some of us just throw caution to the wind and stare at the new year straight in the face, with no preparation, while others prefer the comfort of those “lucky” foods our culture has instilled in us to consume before the clock strikes 12. Here are some recipes showcasing your future luck in the new year.


In Spain, Portugal and other Spanish-speaking countries, 12 grapes are consumed before the new year begins in hopes that luck will find its way to you. You can eat the grapes fresh, as tradition dictates, or you can add them to your NYE dinner recipes, like below.

1. Rosemary martini with frozen grapes recipe

rosemary martini

Image: Set the Table

Welcome your guests into your home with this rosemary martini with frozen grapes.

2. Green grape spritzer recipe

grape spritzer

Image: La Fuji Mama

Great for the kids and those adults staying away from booze, this lucky green grape spritzer is just delicious and refreshing!

3. Roasted grape margarita recipe

grape margarita

Image: Sweet Life Bake

Roasting grapes brings out their natural sweetness, so it’s a natural idea to make this roasted grape margarita.

4. Blue cheese and pan-roasted grape tartine recipe

grape pan roasted

Serve this blue cheese and pan-roasted grape tartine as a pass-around appetizer or as a sit-down meal with a side of fresh greens.

5. Mini phyllo cups with whipped goat cheese, grapes and thyme recipe

grape phyllo cups

Image: A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

These mini phyllo cups with whipped goat cheese, grapes and thyme are the perfect party treat!

6. Roasted grape, blue cheese and honey crostini recipe

grape crostini

Image: Two Peas & Their Pod

Another great crostini, this roasted grape, blue cheese and honey crostini is gorgeous when served around your cheese platter.


In Greece, it’s considered good luck to smash a whole pomegranate on the ground. The more seeds, the more luck you’ll see in the new year. But instead of wasting a gorgeous and perfect fruit, why not cook with it and serve it to your guests for good luck?

7. 5-Ingredient pear-pomegranate salsa recipe

pomegranate salsa

Image: Gimme Some oven

Try this five-ingredient pear-pomegranate salsa for good luck and good times — salsas are total party food!

8. Sweet potato-pomegranate salad recipe

pomegranate salad

Image: Two Peas & Their Pod

This sweet potato-pomegranate salad makes a gorgeous salad side dish for your NYE dinner.

9. Beet, carrot and pomegranate salad recipe

beet pomegranate salad

Image: Foodie Crush

Start the year with this refreshing and fresh beet, carrot and pomegranate salad.

10. Miso roasted acorn squash and pomegranate salad recipe

acorn squash and pomegranate salad

Image: Half Baked Harvest

Have vegetarian guests? This miso roasted acorn squash and pomegranate salad is just the hearty dish for them.


In Japan and other Asian countries, slurping long noodles before the new year arrives is said to be good luck. Long noodles represent long life, so be sure to just slurp them. Don’t cut them up or even bite them!

11. Sesame soba noodles recipe

soba noodles

Image: Damn Delicious

Slurp on some sesame soba noodles for good luck in the new year.

12. Toshikoshi soba recipe

soba recipe

Image: La Fuji Mama

Toshikoshi soba, a classic Japanese noodle dish, would be a fantastic way to warm up on a chilly Dec. 31.

13. Hoisin caramelized salmon and sesame soba noodle bowls recipe

hoisin noodles

Image: Half Baked Harvest

Oh, how we are loving these hoisin caramelized salmon and sesame soba noodle bowls. Serve your friends their own noodle bowls, which they can top with their favorite condiments.

14. Soba noodles with leeks, sweet onions and egg recipe

soba and egg noodles

Image: Running to the Kitchen

Put an egg on it! These soba noodles with leeks, sweet onions and egg would make a delicious lunch before the new year arrives.

15. Spicy soba noodles with kale and shiitake mushrooms recipe

kale soba noodles

Need a quick dinner idea? These spicy soba noodles with kale and shiitake mushrooms are just the thing to slurp on!

Black-eyed peas

Make a big pot of “Hoppin’ John,” a traditional New Year’s Eve recipe in the American South. Black-eyed peas and rice are served all over the South, from Louisiana to Georgia and beyond!

16. Hoppin’ John recipe

hoppin' john

Image: Foxes Love Lemons

Hoppin’ John will make you feel like you’re in the warm South this New Year’s Eve.

17. Black-eyed pea hummus recipe

black eyed pea hummus

The best dip to welcome the new year with: black-eyed pea hummus.

18. Black-eyed pea dip recipe

black eyed pea dip

Image: Skinnytaste

A fresh dip, this black-eyed pea dip balances out the rest of the calories you’ll be consuming.


In countries like Cuba, Spain, Portugal and those in the Caribbean, consuming pork for the new year is considered lucky. The pig never moves backward, always looking ahead for his food. Pork and pig-shaped baked goods are also lucky items to eat.

19. Puerto Rican peril with crispy skin recipe


Image: Always Order Dessert

Puerto Rican peril with crispy skin — basically the best pork you’ll ever have. That skin is amazing, and the flavors of orange, garlic and cilantro shine.

20. Roasted pork leg recipe

roast pork

Image: Laylita’s Recipe

Another gorgeous pork dish, this roasted pork leg makes not only the perfect recipe but an even better centerpiece at your table.

Whole fish recipe

Another Chinese tradition is to eat whole fish on NYE. It’s said that the word “fish” sounds like the word “abundance” in the Chinese language. Plus the symbolism of eating the entire fish from head to tail ensures a good new year from start to finish.

21. Japanese salt-grilled sea bream recipe

japanese fish

Image: La Fuji Mama

Japanese salt-grilled sea bream, a traditional Japanese recipe, will welcome the new year from head to tail.

22. Colombian-style fried whole fish recipe

fried Colombian fish

Image: My Colombian Recipes

Colombian-style fried whole fish is typically served at beach parties and get-togethers. A fantastic dish to serve on NYE.

23. Whole baked trout with herb salsa recipe

whole herb fish

Image: The View from Great Island

A more elegant take on whole fish, this whole baked trout with herb salsa is a great dinner party recipe.

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More New Year’s recipes

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3 New Year’s appetizers under 100 calories
New Year’s Champagne brunch menu

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