New Years Day Food Traditions

New Years Day. More food. Another big meal. The last calorie-fest of the holiday season.

Growing up we ate black eyed peas “for luck” on New Years day.

My husband’s family has a cool tradition. At the New Years day meal, everyone writes down their top 5 highlights from the previous year, along with 5 goals they have for the upcoming year. Throughout the meal, everyone shares their goals and highlights. My MIL keeps everyone’s lists in a box. It’s a sweet time of reflection on the past year and looking ahead at what’s to come!

Where I live now, it’s a tradition to eat pork with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. My friend Becky shares this Daytonian tradition…

Pork Loin
1 bag of kraut
10 large Potatoes
1.5 – 2 cups milk (depending on how creamy you want your potatoes)
4-6 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and Pepper

1. Place pork loin and sauerkraut in the crockpot and cook for 4-6 hours.
2. Scrub, peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil in large pot of water until tender (15 minutes, depending on how thick the pieces are). Mash. Add butter, milk, salt, pepper and garlic.
3. Slice pork loin and serve with kraut and mashed potatoes.

Leftovers Idea: Shred leftover pork and combine with kraut. Place in bottom of baking dish. Top with leftover mashed potatoes. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the potatoes. Bake 25 minutes at 350. A “New Years Shepherd’s Pie”!

What are your “New Years Day Food Traditions”? I’d love to hear what you and your loved ones do to kick off the new year!


  1. Traci says

    I’m also a fellow Daytonian. We also do the pork and sauerkraut. My in-laws make it on New Year’s Day.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Leigh says

    I don’t have one of my own, but friends of ours do the black eyed peas as well, and a prime rib. She slow cooks it on the grill…all…day…long. The best prime rib I’ve ever had!

    I do like the pork and ‘kraut idea though. Granted, I’m Polish. I’m always up for ‘kraut. :)

  3. lee says

    i had no idea that you lieved in Dayton. I was born in Urbana (tech. sprngfield because Urbana doesn’t do births). If fact all of my family still live there, except my brother and mom. That’s so neat.

  4. Danielsen5 says

    Another southerner here – LOL I do the black eyed pea’s in a “Hoppin John” and serve it with “amazing pork tenderloin” in my slow cooker.

    Blessings, Beth Ann

  5. Danielsen5 says

    Another southerner here – LOL I do the black eyed pea’s in a “Hoppin John” and serve it with “amazing pork tenderloin” in my slow cooker.

    Blessings, Beth Ann

  6. Charlene says

    Black eyed peas and cabbage for this southern gal–although in latter years it's tended to be coleslaw rather than the traditional cooked cabbage. In my family we serve the peas over rice, with a side of Mexican cornbread. Then we munch the rest of the day on chip & dip and snacky type foods.

  7. Amy says

    Another Daytonian here… assuming you’re talking about the Ohio version. 😉

    Pork RIBS and sauerkraut will be plopped into the crockpot here for DH and the kids. I can’t stand kraut, so it will be homemade potato soup for me.

  8. Mrs_Scotsman says

    New Year’s Day is my FIL’s birthday. So our New Year’s food is completely planned around his favorite foods. A roast for lunch, key lime pie and pineapple upside down cake for dessert and tuna dip for snacking.

  9. Blakely says

    My parents grew up in PA, but moved to the south before I was born. I grew up eating pork and sauerkraut. Now that I have married a southern boy we make pork, sauerkraut, mashpotatoes blackeyed peas and hog jowls for new years. We have it all.

  10. S. says

    Yes! Dayton pride! I grew up there but live in the South now. We had kraut and pork for New Years. My St. Louis-born n’ raised husband had nver heard of it though. Strange, because I thought it was a ubiquitous Midwest thing.

  11. Anonymous says

    I am from PA and grew up eating pork and sauerkraut, but now live in the south with a boyfriend who can’t stand my sauerkraut. We eat New Years Dinner at his parents how which is always some variation of black eyed peas (yuck), collard greens and ribs on the grill. Oh how I miss a good pork and sauerkraut dinner.

  12. Heather says

    I know this is late but I make this every news years

    Slowcooker Hoppin John

    1 (16 oz.) bag frozen black eyed peas
    1 (16 oz.) bag frozen chopped turnip greens
    1 C. chopped onions
    3/4 C. chopped carrots
    3/4 C. chopped celery
    2 C. ham, cut in bite sized pieces
    2 C. chicken broth
    2 tsp. thyme
    1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

    In slowcooker put ham, carrots, onion and celery as a first layer. Add black eyed peas and greens as the second layer. Mix spices into the chicken broth and pour over all. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until done. . Serve over hot cooked rice. Makes 6 servings.

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