Do-It-Yourself Reveillon Dinner Ideas

The Creole tradition of Reveillon dinners is most often associated in the New Orleans area with decadent prix-fixe restaurant offerings, but the tradition actually has its roots in home-cooked meals. To beat the costs of eating out and to honor the beginnings of a wonderful holiday tradition, here are some suggestions for do-it-yourself Reveillon at home.

1. Starters

Think Seafood.

Seafood dishes are typically a big part of New Orleans Reveillon dinners. Since fresh seafood can get pricey, consider utilizing it sparingly … such as done with starters, salads and soups.

Some fun ideas include oysters — either raw or charbroiled — lump crabmeat in a bisque or other soup, or perhaps even a shrimp remoulade salad.

2. Main Course

Keep It Simple.

It would be easy to overthink it and try to go crazy when it comes to the main course, but simple works. And it’s hard to get simpler than a delicious steak.

Of course doing it right takes some level of skill. Here are some tips for competition-level steak at home.

High angle view of festive table and people eating

3. Sides

Be Strategic.

Be strategic with your sides. You don’t want to devote an inordinate amount of energy to this aspect of the meal. You also want your sides to pair well with everything else.

If you’re using a skillet or grill for your main course, you can re-purpose it for cooking grilled/sauteed veggies. The same applies to your ingredient list. If you’re using garlic or specific herbs in your starter, use them in a side dish too. (Side note: potatoes are always a nice complement to red meat if you go that direction.)

4. Drink


Get some wine that pairs with what you’re eating.

How do you do that?

Well, here are some tips for red wine drinkers. And keep in mind many wine purveyors have sommeliers on staff who can recommend particular bottles to suit your meal … and your budget.

5. Dessert

Go Savory.

This is supposed to be a feast, right? Reversing the bitter/sweet combo from a coffee/pie pairing to instead incorporate alcohol with cheese and port can be utterly delectable.

Don’t be intimidated. Like your dinner wine, the folks at your local wine/cheese shop can offer helpful suggestions. (Some of the best cheese advice you can get anywhere comes from the folks at St. James Cheese Company.)