luckryfoodcollageSo you’ve read our New Year’s Lucky Foods post, and are planning your menu.  Here are some lucky food ideas to help you get started.

New Years Appetizers:

No chicken wings or mini meatballs on this menu!  Remember that chickens scratch backwards and cows stay still, so avoid both New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day.  Plan appetizers with eggs, veggies, bacon, ham, pork, fish, shrimp or cheese.  Figs, grapes and pomegranate are also good options. 

So just think of your favorite appetizers that include at least one of these lucky foods.

Here are some popular appetizer options that include 1 or more New Years lucky foods:

Vegetarian appetizer options include:

  • Bean dips
  • Cheeseballs
  • Caked brie
  • Guacamole
  • Stuffed cherry tomatoes
  • Kale chips
  • Stuffed dates
  • Bruschetta
  • Stuffed portobello mushrooms, peppers or cabbage
  • Soba noodles with veggies & tofu
  • Baked onion dip
  • Grape & ricotta crostini with roasted hazelnuts
  • Quinoa & kale phyllo cups with pomegranate seeds

For a main dish:

In our house you typically get a bowl of white rice with black eyed peas (made with both ham and pork,) along with a side of greens and corn bread.  Remember anything made with corn meal is believed to represent good fortune because of it’s golden color.

Hoppin’ John is a popular choice because you can mix in rice, pork, greens and beans – all on the approved lucky foods list. In a Spanish household, another dish would be Congri which is white rice, black beans and pork.  If you don’t like black eyed peas, lentils are also popular due to their green color.  Any rice, including risotto are all good options as well, since they swell when you cook them, which represents abundance in the New Year.

Don’t forget about noodles.  There are tons of recipes that call for noodles – just don’t cut the noodles – boil and serve them whole which represents long life.

Fish…all fish are a good main course except for catfish since they are bottom dwellers. Remember that the fish scales represent silver and fish swim forward good symbols for the new year.  If you are only cooking for 1 or 2 people, fish tacos are quick and easy.  Remember no turkey, chicken, steak, lamb, lobster or crab.

collage of mixed traditional christmas food

So to recap, here are some New Years lucky foods dinner and side dish ideas:

  • Warm kale and lentil salad
  • Pork Tenderloin with sauerkraut
  • Honey baked ham
  • Shrimp stir fry (with long noodles such as soba)
  • Fish tacos with slaw
  • Enchilado de camarones (shrimp in Cuban tomato sauce)
  • Shrimp or pork lettuce wraps
  • Soy and ginger glazed salmon
  • Black eyed peas with collard greens
  • Cuban style lentils
  • Lentil and rice salad
  • Hoppin John
  • Texas Caviar
  • Black beans
  • 15 bean soup
  • (Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s) Black Cod with Miso
  • Kielbasa with sauerkraut
  • Roast pig
  • Corn bread
  • Southern style collard greens
  • Shrimp and grits
  • Portobello mushrooms stuffed with kale and rice
  • Pork chops with onions, apples and cabbage
  • Oven roasted whole red snapper
  • Mushroom risotto
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Tuna stuffed peppers
  • Spicy chili lentils
  • Sauerkraut
  • Braised pork with apples, onions & cabbage
  • Shrimp noodle bowl with kale

Soups:  In the mood for soup? Make a fish stew, seafood boullabaisse or minestrone soup with lots of beans and veggies in it. You can also include Italian or Andouille sausage. Ribollita is a popular bean and veggie stew in Tuscany.  Perhaps a meatless chili with several types of beans or a hearty mushroom soup. In Romania, they make Ciroba de Varza, which is cabbage soup.

Want to order out? For Chinese order a pork fried rice or pork lo mein.  BBQ – have ribs or pulled pork.  Italian – have pasta with sausage, cheese lasagna or a pepperoni and sausage pizza.  Of course cheese pizza works too, I just try to keep sneaking that pig in there, since so many cultures believe it brings good luck both because it roots forward, which we all want to progress in the New Year, and also because their fatty meat is said to be symbolic for a fat wallet.


Round cakes, cookies, donuts and pies all work. If you want to impress, make some chocolate truffles. Looking for more healthy, try Almond Butter Balls.


If you didn’t eat enough at the stroke of midnight and are in the mood for breakfast, stay away from omelets and go for round shaped items like donuts, crepes, pancakes or bagels. (round representing coins again.) Of course smoked salmon or white fish on your bagels combines the good luck from fish along with your round bagel.

We hope you enjoy these fun ideas, and wish you good fortune in the new year!

Other New Year’s posts that may interest you:

New Years Traditions and Superstitions

New Years Lucky Foods

New Years Eve Around the World – It’s 12 O’clock Somewhere

New Years Lucky Food Recipes (on Pinterest)