Good-Luck Recipes for the New Year

by Alexia Nader
A dash of luck is all you need to make the New Year bright. In many cultures around the world, special ingredients or dishes have been the traditional bearer of good luck for the coming year. One grape for every lucky month in Spain, lentils in Italy, pickled herring in Poland and Germany, long noodles in China and Japan, roast pork in Cuba and other Latin American countries, pomegranates in Turkey, and black-eyed peas here in the United States. To start your year off right, choose one recipe from this collection of dishes featuring lucky ingredients, or serve an entire charmed feast to ring in the new year with good food and fortune.

Grape Tart

In Spain, it’s thought that eating one grape with every strike of the clock at midnight brings good luck for the New Year. This grape tart lets you eat all 12 grapes in just a few sweet bites. See the recipe for Grape Tart »

Tainan Style Noodles

Of Fukien origins, this noodle dish is now synonymous with Tainan—thanks to the expertise of noodle cooks like those at Slow Season, who gave us this recipe.

Hot and Sweet Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts and Pomegranates

In Turkey, pomegranates’ red color denotes life and fertility. Muhammara is a hot and sweet Middle Eastern dip made from peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. See the recipe for Hot and Sweet Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts and Pomegranates »
See the Recipe Maura McEvoy

Quail in Pomegranate Sauce

A Majorcan specialty, this sweet and tart pomegranate sauce is particularly suited to quail. See the recipe for Quail in Pomegranate Sauce »
See the Recipe Antoine Bootz
See the Recipe James Baigrie

Crostini with Black-Eyed Peas, Radicchio, and Raisins

The appeal of this hors d’oeuvre, which prominently features luck-bearing black-eyed peas, comes from the bright contrast of earthy and tangy flavors.

Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Curry Leaves

In this earthy legume stew, chickpea flour serves as a thickener and adds a nutty undertone.

Hoppin’ John Soup

This soup of black-eyed peas and rice, traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day in the American South, makes good use of leftover holiday ham scraps.

Lamb and Lentil Stew (Haleem)

Wheat berries, lentils, and lamb stewed with Indian spices makes for a perfect cold-weather supper.

Salata Adas (Garlicky Lentil Salad)

This light, Lebanese lentil salad is flavored with lemon juice, cumin, allspice, and parsley.

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo)

Pork shoulder is soaked overnight in a citrusy mojo marinade in this Cuban recipe. Get the recipe for Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo) »

Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles

Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles

Layered Herring Salad (Selyodka Pod Shuboy)

In Poland and Germany, herring is considered a bearer of good fortune. In this recipe, salt-cured herring becomes a lavish centerpiece when layered with apples and a sour cream-mayonnaise dressing.