Is it OK to eat shrimp on New Years Eve?

Quick Answer

Yes, it is perfectly OK to eat shrimp on New Years Eve. Shrimp is a popular party food any time of year. Many cultures consider shrimp to be good luck when eaten on New Years Eve. There is no rule prohibiting or discouraging eating shrimp on New Years Eve.

Is shrimp considered bad luck on New Years Eve?

No, shrimp is not considered bad luck to eat on New Years Eve in any culture. In fact, many cultures specifically promote eating shrimp as part of New Years celebrations for good luck in the coming year.

Here are some examples of cultures that associate eating shrimp with good luck on New Years Eve:

  • In the Southern United States, shrimp is considered lucky to eat on New Years Eve. This may come from the resemblance to coins, which represent prosperity.
  • In Spanish and Portuguese cultures, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Years Eve to bring 12 months of good luck. Shrimp is often served alongside the grapes.
  • Eating shrimp dumplings is a Chinese New Year tradition to bring luck and prosperity, as the dumpling resembles a gold ingot.
  • In Vietnam, a shrimp and noodle dish called mì cay is eaten on Tet (Lunar New Year) for luck and prosperity.

So not only is shrimp not unlucky on New Years Eve, it is widely considered to be an auspicious and lucky food to eat as the new year arrives in many cultures around the world. There are no cultures or traditions that prohibit eating shrimp or consider it bad luck on New Years Eve.

Is shrimp expensive around New Years Eve?

Shrimp prices do not necessarily increase around New Years Eve. Here are some factors that impact shrimp prices this time of year:

  • Wild-caught shrimp availability depends on seasonality which varies by region. Some wild shrimp like Gulf shrimp may be less available in winter months.
  • Farmed shrimp supply is generally stable year-round as it does not rely on seasonal wild harvests.
  • Holiday demand for shrimp may drive prices up slightly around special occasions like New Years Eve, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.
  • Marketing promotions and sales on shrimp are common in December to attract holiday shoppers, which may offset any holiday price increases.

While shrimp prices can fluctuate throughout the year due to supply factors, any increases around the holidays are generally modest. The high demand for shrimp makes it readily available at major grocery stores and fish markets even during busy holidays at competitive prices. Talk to your local seafood supplier to find the best shrimp deals for your New Years Eve feast.

How much shrimp should you buy per person?

The amount of shrimp to buy per person depends on whether shrimp is being served as an appetizer or main course. Here are some guidelines:

For shrimp cocktails and appetizers:

  • Jumbo shrimp – 5-8 pieces per person
  • Extra large shrimp – 8-10 pieces per person
  • Medium sized shrimp – 10-12 pieces per person

For shrimp entrees and main dishes:

  • Jumbo shrimp – 6-8 pieces per person
  • Extra large shrimp – 8-10 pieces per person
  • Medium shrimp – 12-15 pieces per person

These amounts provide a general guideline per guest, but you may want to buy extra shrimp depending on your menu and tastes of your particular guests. It is better to have leftover shrimp than not enough. Shrimp leftovers can easily be used in shrimp salads, tacos, pasta dishes and soups.

What are the most popular shrimp dishes for New Years Eve?

Here are some of the most popular shrimp dishes typically served on New Years Eve:

Cold shrimp appetizers:

  • Shrimp cocktail – boiled shrimp served with cocktail sauce
  • Shrimp ceviche – shrimp marinated in citrus juice
  • Shrimp rolls – shrimp salad served in a hot dog bun

Hot shrimp appetizers:

  • Bacon wrapped shrimp
  • Shrimp tempura
  • Garlic shrimp scampi
  • Coconut shrimp
  • Shrimp egg rolls

Shrimp main dishes:

  • Jambalaya – Cajun rice dish with shrimp, sausage and chicken
  • Shrimp scampi pasta
  • Shrimp tacos or fajitas
  • Gumbo and etouffee – Seafood stews over rice
  • Shrimp skewers or kabobs

The options are endless! Shrimp is universally loved and works well in a variety of global cuisine styles. Consider a shrimp focused menu for your New Years Eve dinner or party.

What are good shrimp cocktail recipes?

Shrimp cocktail is a classic and easy shrimp recipe perfect for serving as an appetizer on New Years Eve. Here are some tips for making great shrimp cocktail:

1. Use chilled jumbo shrimp

Peel, devein and cook shrimp just until pink. Immediately shock in an ice bath to stop cooking. Jumbo shrimp around 16-20 count per pound are ideal for cocktails.

2. Make a flavorful court bouillon poaching liquid

Cook the shrimp in a court bouillon liquid infused with herbs, spices and citrus for maximum flavor. Try ingredients like lemon, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, parsley and Old Bay seasoning.

3. Chill the cooked shrimp thoroughly

Once cooked, keep shrimp stored on ice or refrigerated at 40 F degrees or less until ready to serve.

4. Serve with a high-quality cocktail sauce

A great sauce pairs perfectly with chilled shrimp. Use a high-quality ketchup or make your own sauce with ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Garnish with lemon wedges.

5. Arrange attractively on a platter with greens

Serve shrimp arranged neatly on a bed of crushed ice or greens along with small bowls of cocktail sauce for dipping.

See this recipe for the perfect New Years Eve shrimp cocktail:

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

What wines pair best with shrimp?

Shrimp is versatile to pair with a variety of white and sparkling wines. Here are some of the best wines to consider serving with shrimp:

Sparkling wines:

  • Champagne
  • Prosecco
  • Cava

The crisp effervescence of sparkling wines cleanses the palate and complements the sweet and briny flavors of shrimp. Bubbly is a great match with spicy shrimp dishes.

White wines:

  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Albarino
  • Vinho Verde

Dry, unoaked whites pair well with shrimp without overpowering the delicate seafood flavors. Depending on preparation method, consider lighter or fuller-bodied whites.


Dry rosé wines can complement shrimp nicely with refreshing acidity. Choose a flavorful rosado from Spain or Provence-style rosé.

Stick to more delicate whites and drier rosés to allow the natural shrimp flavors to shine. Having a few different wine options on hand lets guests choose the pairing that suits their preferences.

What are good party appetizers to serve alongside shrimp?

Shrimp cocktail and hot garlic shrimp make fantastic New Years Eve appetizers. Round out your party spread by pairing shrimp with these tasty appetizer ideas:

Dips and spreads:

  • Hummus and pita chips
  • Spinach artichoke dip
  • Crab dip
  • Tzatziki or muhammara
  • Smoked salmon mousse


  • Cheese board with assorted cheeses, nuts, olives
  • Baked brie en croute
  • Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella


  • Caprese skewers with cherry tomato, basil and mozzarella
  • Antipasto skewers with salami, olive, cheese, pickled vegetable
  • Fruit skewers with berries and kiwi


  • Tomato basil tarts
  • Onion and goat cheese tarts
  • Mushroom and caramelized onion tarts

With a variety of appetizers in addition to shrimp, your guests will have an amazing spread to enjoy before the main New Years Eve meal.

What are good shrimp dinner entrees for New Years Eve?

Impress your guests with these elegant shrimp dinner entrees perfect for a New Years Eve celebration:

1. Garlic Basil Shrimp Scampi

Buttery lemon shrimp baked with garlic, basil and white wine served over angel hair pasta.

2. Coconut Curry Shrimp

Shrimp simmered in a creamy Thai red curry coconut sauce over jasmine rice.

3. Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

A flavorful rice dish loaded with shrimp, smoked sausage, vegetables and Cajun seasonings.

4. Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Warm corn tortillas filled with spicy blackened shrimp, salsa, cabbage and avocado crema.

5. Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Plump shrimp and velvety alfredo sauce tossed with fettuccine noodles.

6. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

Jumbo shrimp butterflied, filled with cheese and spices, then wrapped in bacon and baked.

7. Shrimp and Grits

Creole style shrimp served over cheesy stone ground grits with andouille sausage.

Any of these shrimp entrees would be sure to impress your guests while also feeling festive for New Years Eve. Serve with sparkling wine or Champagne!

What are good ways to serve leftover shrimp?

With shrimp appetizers and entrees, you may have leftovers. Luckily, shrimp is very versatile and lends itself to being reinvented in lots of dishes. Here are some delicious ways to use up leftover shrimp:

  • Shrimp salad – Toss chopped shrimp with mayo, lemon juice, diced celery and onion for sandwiches or over greens.
  • Shrimp tacos – Sauté shrimp with Cajun seasoning and serve in warm tortillas with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and Mexican crema.
  • Shrimp fried rice – Stir fry shrimp with rice, eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil and frozen peas and carrots.
  • Shrimp pasta – Sauté shrimp with garlic, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, spinach and lemon juice and toss with penne or farfalle.
  • Shrimp omelet or frittata – Add chopped shrimp to egg dishes for brunch.
  • Shrimp skewers – Thread grilled shrimp onto skewers with cherry tomatoes and pineapple chunks for an easy grilled appetizer.
  • Shrimp soup – Simmer shrimp shells and tails to make stock then add shrimp meat back to the soup with veggies.

With endless possibilities for leftovers, don’t be afraid to buy extra shrimp for your New Years Eve feast!


Shrimp is a fantastic choice for both appetizers and main entrees on New Years Eve. It is festive, easy to prepare in advance, not prohibitively expensive out of season and tailored to celebrating special occasions. Plus cultures around the world even associate eating shrimp with good luck for the new year!

With so many great shrimp cocktail recipes, tempting hot shrimp appetizers and elegant shrimp dinner entrees, you can design a menu to please all your guests this New Years Eve. Just be sure to buy enough per person, have wine and cocktail pairings selected, and be prepared for possibly having tasty leftovers the next day.

Eating shrimp on New Years Eve provides good cheer, delicious flavors and fun memories to kick off your new year in style. You really can’t go wrong serving this crowd-pleasing seafood specialty!

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