Group of friends celebrating New Years Eve with food and drinks

With the days of 2018 dwindling, the team at Basket is getting fired up for 2019. A fresh start for more savings, better budgeting, and a slew of brand new recipes, we’re ready to ring in 2019 with a bang. So, of course, we bring to you the New Year’s Eve Basket Budget Menu – packed full of flavor and light on the budget.

We don’t know about you, but our team likes to snack all night long during New Year’s Eve. As opposed to bulky dishes which require proper utensils and a place setting (gasp), we prefer smaller hors d’oeuvres that can be eaten with the hands and carried from guest to guest. For this New Year’s Eve, we’re sticking with one theme: A Sweet and Spicy Finger Food Frenzy!

Whether you’re hosting a party or hunkering down with the kiddos to count down to 2019, these easy-to-make and affordable dishes will provide something everybody will love. Using a small basket of affordable ingredients, you can whip up 4 dishes and a sparkling cocktail that will have everyone loading their plates with more. Plus, you can leave messy cleanups in 2018. Let’s get started!

The Beverage: Sweet and Spicy Mango Sparklers

We’re setting the tone for this New Year’s Eve with a sweet and spicy cocktail that will surprise all of your guests with a burst of flavor. Just as New Year’s Eve is full of excitement for the year ahead, the joy of loved ones all joined together to celebrate, and the warmth of sharing memories new and old, this drink echoes all of those bright and cozy flavors. But of course, we couldn’t celebrate without some bubbly!

Mango and prosecco cocktail topped with jalapeno slice

What You Need:

  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 1 can mango juice (9.6 ounce)
  • 4 slices jalapeno, cored and seeded
  • Standard bottle of prosecco (750 mL)

Yields 4 servings

What to Do:

This cocktail couldn’t be easier to throw together before guests arrive or just before the clock strikes midnight. Begin by placing mango juice and crushed ice in a blender, blending on high for 2 minutes. Place the mixture in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes to get nice and cold.

Next, add 3 ounces of the mango slush to your wine glass – approximately one third of the glass. Top with 5 ounces of your prosecco of choice, or until the glass is nearly full. Garnish with a slice of jalapeno to bring the heat and enjoy!

Pro Tip: For an added dash of sweetness, rim glasses with brown sugar!

The Dip: 5-Minute Crab Dippers

You have better things to do on New Year’s Eve than waste all of your time in the kitchen. That’s why these three-ingredient, five-minute crab dippers are perfect! Here’s how to make them.

Spicy crab dip surrounded by toasted bread and lemon

What You Need:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives, to garnish
  • 1 package imitation crab meat (14 ounces)
  • 2 1/2-3 tsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend

What to Do:

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, adding seasoning blend to taste. If you want to look super fancy, garnish with chopped chives. Serve with your favorite cracker or Melba toast. Voila – that’s it!

The Roll: Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Let’s get these bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers rolling! These easy handheld treats have everything that will keep guests grabbing for more. For this dish, you’ll be utilizing the jalapenos from your beverage recipe and the chives that garnished your dip.

Jalapeno poppers filled with chive cream cheese and wrapped with bacon

What You Need:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, scooped and seeded
  • 12 wooden toothpicks, soaked in warm water

Yields 12 poppers​

What to Do:

Begin by heating the oven to 375°F. As the oven heats, soak toothpicks in warm water to prevent burning once placed in the heat. Next, line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Mix cream cheese and chives in a small bowl, then spoon the mixture evenly into jalapeno halves.

Cut each bacon slice into thirds and wrap one piece of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno half. Secure with a soaked toothpick and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the jalapenos are tender. Serve warm for ultimate deliciousness.

Pro Tip: The spiciness of jalapenos comes from the seeds and the internal membrane, not the skin that we’re using for this recipe (as well as the beverage recipe). If you want to leave a little more heat in the dish, leave some of that membrane in when you scoop out the jalapeno.

The Protein: Spicy Maple Chicken Wings

No party would be complete without a hearty dish to keep everyone fueled until the New Year hits. For this dish, we’re using a fan-favorite finger food – chicken wings! And not just any chicken wings, spicy maple chicken wings.

We’ll be repurposing the spicy seasoning blend from our crab dip and combining it with a sweet maple syrup to balance the heat. These wings perfectly echo the balance present in the beverage of the evening, with a sweetness and spice that everyone will love. Let’s dive in!

Dish of chicken wings flavored with maple syrup and spices

What You Need:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 package 10 chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend

What to Do:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and seasoning blend. Brush over all wings, or simply toss each wing in the mixture. Arrange the chicken wings on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour, or until crisp and cooked through.

The Slider: Sweet Potato Sliders with Bacon and Avocado

To round out the night, you’ll be repurposing a few other ingredients from this budget menu. Get your chives, seasoning, and bacon – that’s right, three repurposed ingredients! We told you that this budget menu would seriously be light on the wallet. Plus, if you find all ingredients using a grocery price comparison app like Basket, you’ll be saving major coin on major flavor.

Sliced and baked sweet potato topped with bacon and avocado

What You Need:

  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend

Yields roughly 20 sliders

What to Do:

Begin by preheating the oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and brush sheets with 1/2 tbsp olive oil each. Slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2- to 1/4-inch slices and arrange in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet. Brush tops with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown underneath. Remove pans and flip the slices over. Place back in the oven and roast for an additional 8 to 11 minutes, until golden on top. While the potatoes cook, cook the bacon. This can be done in a pan or cast iron skillet on the stove, or the bacon can be baked prior to the sweet potatoes if that is your preferred cooking method. Either way, bacon should be crisp, patted free of excess oil, and diced once cooled.

Peel, pit, and dice the avocados and place them into a small bowl. Combine with lime juice, remaining salt, and a dash of seasoning blend. Mash the mixture lightly with a fork, leaving small chunks.

Remove the sweet potato slices from the pan and place onto a serving plate. Top each potato with a small scoop of the avocado mixture, a sprinkle of chopped bacon, and chives for garnish. Serve at room temperature or warm depending on how much time you have to prepare.

*Image and recipe courtesy of Well Plated.

Happy New Year, Basketeers!

There you have it! An affordable and savory way to ring in the New Year. By incorporating the key ingredients of spice seasoning, jalapenos, bacon, and chives, we were able to create fresh dishes that breathe new life into classic finger food options. Use the free Basket app for handheld grocery store price comparison to ensure that you’re buying your ingredients from the most reasonably priced retailer to save even more coin.

We hope you spend this Sweet and Spicy New Year’s Eve with the warmth and joy of friends, loved ones, and those that make you laugh! Cheers to 2019!