Nov 15, 2017
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This isn’t any ordinary Friendsgiving menu with recipe suggestions but a collection of hand-selected dishes and tips to help you, the host, put on a heart-warming feast with your closest friends and loved ones.
If you’ve been browsing the internet for delicious ideas to make without the hassle of an actual Thanksgiving dinner- your search is over. I’ve got just the resources you’re looking for and more.
What is Friendsgiving
Friendsgiving is almost like a pre-game to the big day and includes friends, loveable neighbors, favorite coworkers, and people you wouldn’t normally see at your family’s celebration. Basically, it’s a chance to enjoy everyone’s favorite comfort foods in a more relaxed environment with friends.
Best Friendsgiving Recipes
No need to prepare two full-out Thanksgiving meals in one month. Since it’s just you and the crew, the best Friendsgiving recipes are crowd-pleasing options that aren’t complicated or time-consuming to prepare.
No need to overthink or do all the cooking yourself; a Friendsgiving menu is meant to be shared with the group.
A good menu plan would be a couple of appetizers, one or two main courses, three to four sides, and two desserts.
Lay out which/how many dishes you want for the meal, fill in the ones you plan to prepare, then share the rest of the list with your group.
This way, everyone can sign up for the dish they’d like to bring or make a suggestion. It’s an excellent opportunity to try new things and possibly discover new favorite recipes.
Let’s kick things off with some mouthwatering recipes the crowd will love.
Any of these options will be a great start to the meal or end up on the main course plate, right next to the turkey- I’m looking at you Spinach Hummus Dip!
Baked Spinach Balls
With parmesan and Italian breadcrumb base, your friends will rave over this spinach-based recipe!
Bacon Deviled Eggs
Plan on making extra deviled eggs? Toss in some bacon bits and watch the crowd go wild.
Friendsgiving Main Courses
The neat part about Friendsgiving is you can make whatever main course you desire. Since most of the crew will be going to a Thanksgiving celebration with a turkey, why not switch it up for this occasion?
This could be roasted chicken leg quarters with my homemade turkey rub or a gorgeous pork loin roast. You could even go completely off the wall and whip up a pot of New Orleans-style gumbo- your guests will never forget that meal!
Whole Roasted Chicken
If you don’t feel like roasting an entire turkey, try a whole chicken. It’s elegant, simple, and with my recipe- easy!
Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
The juiciest roasted chicken of your life! This makes a fabulous Friendsgiving main course for smaller crowds.
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
If you’re open to new and different things, a big pot of homemade Chicken & Sausage Gumbo will become a Friendsgiving tradition for your group.
It’s no secret that the sides are the most beloved part of Thanksgiving, and once a year isn’t enough- here’s your chance to get a double dose of your favorite dishes this holiday season.
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
Make this and you’ll be the favorite of all your Friendsgiving attendees.
Sausage Apple Stuffing with Cranberries
One bite and even the corn-bread stuffing lovers will fall in love.
Southern Mashed Potatoes
A classic recipe that belongs on the table of your feast!
Sweet Potato Stacks
Layered with a brown-butter and grated Parmesan cheese, this is a new way to enjoy sweet potatoes.
This recipe is a little sneaky. It looks average, but the caramelized edges and flavor will have your Friendsgiving peeps competing for the last few pieces.
The best way to amp up a side salad? Top with tender roasted veggies and a sweet-tangy Dijon vinaigrette.
Perfect to sop up the last few drops of gravy or soup. Warning: these will be the first to go.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Soup lovers will rejoice over the rich flavors of curry spice and roasted cauliflower.
Chai Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
A beautiful addition to any Friendsgiving table- bonus points for topping it with crème fraîche.
Best Desserts for Friendsgiving
No Friendsgiving is complete without a few desserts, and this is a perfect time to indulge in some different ideas you may not see on a usual Thanksgiving spread.
From frozen treats to baking goods- any of these options would be the cherry on top of a successful meal!
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are chocked full of tangy cranberries and toasted walnuts.
Frozen Pumpkin Pie
Why do we love this option? It can be made ahead and kept in the freezer until your guests arrive.
Hosting a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving party of any size can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time.
Not only do you want to choose the right recipes, but there’s also the unnerving idea of fitting everything in one oven or feeling lost when it comes to cooking all. That. Food.
Been there, done that.
And it’s the reason why I created an entire menu and guide to help anyone master the art of hosting a Thanksgiving, or in this case, a Friendsgiving feast.
In my Thanksgiving Meal Plan, you will find various recipes for every course with directions and tips so anyone can prepare them with delicious results.
It gets better- the meal prep guide directs you step-by-step on which elements to prepare ahead and how to organize the oven the morning of the big day, so every dish is hot and ready to serve when guests arrive.
Grab your copy so you can host this Friendsgiving like a pro!
Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Plan & Guide
Inside this eBook, you’ll find 23 Thanksgiving recipes for easy entertaining. PLUS, done-for-you daily holiday prep, helpful kitchen notes, and hour-by-hour timing instructions for Thanksgiving day.
This digital download is like hiring a kitchen assistant to plan out an incredibly delicious menu for your family.
My most memorable thanksgiving was ten years ago now. Our first born was just three months old and the family thought we should host since our new apartment was so spacious. I remember feeling nervous, it would be my first thanksgiving for so many things. The house was filled with love and laughter and I was so happy to have my own little family. I will never forget that thanksgiving :-).
My most memorable Thanksgiving was when we smoked our first turkey. It was delicious! We cook it that way every year now.
I always watched the Macy’s Day parade on tv and would call my grandma to talk about each float.
My most memorable Thanksgivings were when I was younger and we would go out to my grandma’s where all the cousins came and we played all day long and had wonderful food.
Helping my mom in the kitchen, making pies and gravy. I know do this with my little ones passing on the traditions and recipes.
Just participated in the 2nd annual Friendsgiving last week…I think it’s great to spend time with friends that we wouldn’t typically see around the table and share in laughter. Truly thankful for the group of friends that I have and to get the opportunity to share a holiday with them.
I just love cooking, eating, and spending time with my family.
Thanksgiving has always been a small affair, mostly because the family is small.
I am the baker in the family. Every year I love going to my Parents home and getting to bake pies and make my favorite salads and side dishes. Last year I completely flopped on the pie crust! It was as if I had never made a crust in my life and I have been doing this since I was a teenager, I’m older than 38 but younger than 42. At least the inside was very nummy! I always make extra crust for my Mom to use later when I’m not around. She did. I had forgotten to throw the horrible failed crust away and she made pie with it but couldn’t figure out why She was struggling with it, lol. The occasion was for my Aunt and Uncle. At least, they enjoyed sharing stories of all of their kid’s, collectively, and The Not So Joys of Cooking food that they have had to eat. Well, this year my Mom has already bought costco pies. I am thankful that I can safely travel and not need to be anxious about pies. Are they going to let me in the kitchen at all? Lol. Happy Thanksgiving!
Our tradition is to keep a thankfulness calendar the whole month of November. We always do something different every year for Thanksgiving Day but the calendar is something all 6 of us share and I keep them to look back on years past.
I love this tradition!
Every year we cook a whole chicken for Thanksgiving instead of Turkey. I help my mom out making the other dishes and at the end of the day, my grandmother and my aunt and uncle and cousin come over to my house. I remember how there were so many leftovers, that I’d take some of it to school for lunch in my pyrex container.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s a great holiday to spend with the ones you love. I enjoy eating with my family and catching up on old times. I love seeing the kids gather and play.
I love my husband’s stuffing! I need to learn how to make it 🙂
Love all your recipes Laura!
The past couple of years we have gone to our friends’ ranch for Thanksgiving. Everyone brings their horses and a dish to share. We ride in the morning and then eat! It’s a lot of fun!
My favorite tradition is each having the opportunity to put into words what we are grateful for! This tradition started as I child and now as a mom, with children of my own, it feels my soul to hear my kids express gratitude for family, friends, good food and so many other heartwarming sediments.
each year, everyone gets to say what they are thankful for and it is special to me because it helps to show what other things I can be thankful for.
My family always invited “strays” to join us for dinner. I didn’t realize til the kids started asking this year, but apparently watching the parade has become an important tradition to the them :).
Favorite tradition was watching the parade in the morning and then after eating watching movies.
Now that my two eldest are in college, I love having them home for the holidays and sharing our day with their girlfriends.
I have a thankfulness journal. Each year I write down what everyone is thankful for and go back and read the best from previous years.
Our Thanksgiving traditions are all about the food. I have recipes handed down from aunts, mothers, and grandmothers that I love to recreate. It makes it feel like we’re honoring our family by enjoying these foods they so lovingly prepared for us years ago.
When I was a child we had an enormous extended family Thanksgiving… in February. The holidays were so hectic among everyone’s families, it made a lot of sense to have our big multi family get together once the rush, bustle and stress of the holiday season had ended. My great aunt and uncle would host in their beautiful home in Portland, Oregon and we would all drive from hours away around the northwest to come together.
We started our Friendsgiving tradition 6 years ago. At the time there was only one child among our group of friends, and this year there was more than ten!
My family tries to maximize the number of cranberry items we serve. One year we had 10 different cranberry sauces, not to mention baked goods and beverages.
It’s not Thanksgiving without the Macys Day Parade, that was my favorite as a kid! And also the food! It’s not just eating the food but the cooking of it together as a group. That’s my favorite. The first year my after my stepmother died my Dad hosted Thanksgiving at his house and both my brothers were there. We had no power due to a storm but we still made it work! There was the gas grill for the turkey, the camping stove and the oven in the RV. We all talked more than ever and helped prepare the food, there was no TV (not even a parade but I don’t think anyone noticed) but it was the most fun I had ever had at Thanksgiving.
My memories of Thanksgiving are not of just one in particular, but of the love and laughter as family share food and precious time together. One expectation is Mom’s cranberry salad!
I wake early in the morning and start. Turkey goes into the oven first. The fabulous smell wakes the others as it did many for so many years. Mom has been gone now for 20 years but in those still and quiet early thanksgiving mornings she is there by my side. I still use some of the same bowls for mixing, making and serving. The wooden rolling pin that was her mother’s and the dishes. The thanksgiving dishes. Depression glass, mostly orange with hints of magical iridescent swirls are stacked at the edge of the counter in the kitchen waiting to be filled to capacity. It’s cafeteria style (because that’s how mom did it). A chaotic procession of plates in hand, sounds of spoons scooping delicious goodness and lots of voices… lots of voices fill the kitchen until everyone finds a place to sit. Dad still says the blessing, although he now has help from his great grand children. And then there is silence. That certain proof that everything is delicious. We will have 17 or 20 this year but no matter the number, there is always one more. We feel her. Mom is always close by. Many people have asked, “why not go the easy route? Paper and plastic and buy some of the food already prepared?” I just shake my head as we are washing endless mounds of dishes and simply smile. Wishes to all that we allow the spirit of God, the simple quiet moments and chaotic bustle of family and tradition to grace our tables and homes this thanksgiving.
I remember always having Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house growing up in AZ. We always had so much food and she would cook everything and made homemade pies and her famis ambrosia salad. Those were good memories with loved ones.
My favorite Thanksgiving memory was always eating my grandmother’s cornbread dressing. Everyone loved it and thought it was fabulous. As a young mother, I put the recipe in a cookbook and now we can still enjoy grandmother’s dressing. (Some people call it stuffing.)
We get together with family for Thanksgiving lunch. It’s one of the few times a year we see everyone. After we eat, we talk, play games, and take pictures around the Christmas tree.
My most memorable Thanksgiving memory was when I was an exchange student in Russia. I went with a group of American students (about 20 of us) and lived in a dorm. We put our desks in the hallway and lined them up like one big long table. We all made one dish, sat around the table and said what we were thankful for. All in Russian. It was special to me because living in a country where they didn’t celebrate that holiday, made me realize you didn’t need a holiday to be thankful!
My favorite thanksgiving tradition….leftovers!
I’m looking forward to making new memories this year! On December 2nd I will be hosting my family for our very first “Thanksmas” – after Thanksgiving and not quite Christmas. We haven’t been able to get together on an actual holiday in years. So, I’ve decided to start a new tradition on a weekend, when everyone is available! Thanks for the awesome recipes!
Of course (one of) my most memorable Thanksgiving memories is our first together as husband and wife. We were married on November 22, so Thanksgiving followed shortly thereafter. We were on a “mini honeymoon” and we had to look for an open restaurant (32 years ago!), and really scrounge for a passable meal!
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is making pumpkin cheesecake & my sister making pumpkin pie. Gives us two desserts to choose from. And love that the kids are old enough to help make them.
My most memorable Thanksgiving was my least traditional. I spent one in NYC when my now husband was going to school there. We planned to see the Macy’s parade but it started snowing, so we sat in his high-rise dorm and watched it on TV while eating takeout. Definitely my most memorable and unique Thanksgiving ever!
My most memorable Thanksgiving was spent in West Africa, opening our home and sharing our American traditions with new African friends, as well as, with several other people of different nationalities. Pumpkin was not available, so I made an amazing bananas foster bread pudding with local ingredients. Every Thanksgiving since, the tradition is that I make both pumpkin pie & the bananas foster bread pudding.
It’s funny you should mention dressing because, for as long as anyone can remember (back to my great-grandparents even), we have always had two dressings. One with oysters and one without, for those who can’t stand oysters. Both are old family recipes. There are always a few people who like the oyster dressing (myself included!) but I think, even if there wasn’t a single person who wanted it, we would still make it because it is such a tradition! 🙂
Being with family is a great treasure.. Our traditions are ever evolving but the appreciation remains the same.
Being with family is a great treasure.. our traditions are ever evolving but the appreciation remains the same.
My favorite thanksgiving “tradition “. Is gathering on thanksgiving day with the whole family from my moms side, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and now our children. And playing football during the day (kids and adults) then Michigan rummy game after it gets dark.
My grandmother is polish so we have the original thanksgiving dishes with the whole family plus we always make a stuffed cabbage casserole for our polish tradition as well just being with the ones you love having a great meal and playing games you could never ask for more and my kids can now carry on the tradition!!
I love thanksgiving! It’s a time I look forward to spending the day with friends and family. I’ve had traditions change over the years, but all wonderful memories. Detroit football, the “kids table”, grandma and moms cooking, and now my fiancé makes the turkey every year! Throughout the years of changing traditions they’ve all created family memories to cherish. And I still refuse to put up my Christmas tree or listen to Christmas music until no earlier than after the family thanksgiving meal.
Between dinner and pie, we go to the beach and watch the sunset. It gives us some time to appreciate the people and the world around us.
Food, family and football – that’s what I enjoy about Thanksgiving each year!
Every year my family runs a local turkey trot together on thanksgiving morning so we can stuff our faces later in the day!
I get to have two Thanksgivings, so double the Thanks! The parade goes on in the morning and I am thankful to get a shower and my styled! Then it’s off to lunch with my husband’s side and then we roll on over to my side for dessert. Someone always falls asleep, and someone always gets in on camera with a quote and a post on Facebook: :)…..I feel so blessed to be part of two families where everyone gets along and I get to have my kids be part of that specialness!
Favorite memoy for Thanksgiving …getting together at Mom’s with Family and friends to enjoy the holiday and a variety of food to enjoy. memories are created each year.
One year, our Thanksgiving turkey gathering had to be rescheduled to Easter and our 22 pound turkey was all set. Sadly, illnesses hit most of our guests and we only had six family members to share. We ended up sending home large care packages for when everyone felt better.
Each year we do a friendsgiving and fall craft night to bring together everyone who is out of town or working and don’t get to see very often.
Our traditions include healthier food options, the Macy’s Day Parade and the kids helping out in the kitchen as much as is possible for little ones to help with!
I love to sit down and look at the sale papers with my family after eating Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s!
I’ve never had Friendsgiving, but it seems fun! I do love Thanksgiving with my family, though. One of my favorite times of the year.
My favorite thanksgiving was the last Thanksgiving we celebrated at my grandma’s house. Our family was expanding and my grandma’s house was getting too small for everyone. We all crammed together and had tables spread out between many rooms in a house full of memories.
When I was a child, we always spent Thanksgiving with my grandparents and their close friends. They have passed since then, and this time of year I am always reminded of the close relationship I had with them.
My family and I don’t live close so we al,l get together once over Thanksgiving and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas both and have named it Thanksgrivmas! We play lots of games and now that many of us have young children we play kids games too to incorporate them. And, our favorite part, eating lots of great food with our new favorite dessert of chocolate cream pie!
My favorite tradition is getting to host every year. We cook, watch the parade, and play games.
Thankful for years that friends and I could
create Thanksgiving memories on years we couldn’t be with family!
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is sitting around the table with family and telling funny stories and jokes, and watching A Christmas Story.
My favorite Thanksgiving meal was the year I was learning to cook and I made my first turkey. My best friend, my Busha – Polish Grandmother, allowed me to bring the turkey for 25-30 or our family members on Thanksgiving, We traditionally gathered to eat, watch football and play poker. This year was VERY special. I brought the turkey, my cousin Connie brought sausage and a honey baked ham, my cousin Christine brought roasted chicken and my Busha made a huge roast. We had the typical dressing, yams, macaroni and cheese, and salads galore. There seem to be an abundance of meal available. hmmmm – The turkey turned out great, but just incase my Busha had planned the menu to cover any unforeseen turkey disasters. This still makes me giggle. Friendsgiving is a tradition at my home now. The door is always open to share our gratitude and love with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was Dad’s holiday. We lost him last year. My favorite memory is him carving the turkey and me always trying to sneak a piece. Oh how I’ll miss that this year.
My best Thanksgiving was the first after my father died. My brother hosted it days before deploying and the house was filled with not only our family but his Navy family as well
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is hosting my family every year. We all share the task of cooking and bringing food, and we spend the day laughing together and watching football. Leftovers are divided up for those who want it and we all leave full—hearts AND bellies.
Our tradition is actually to do something “non-traditional” each year…whether that’s going to NYC for a vegan meal, attending a meditation retreat, going to a Broadway play, seeing a movie, each cooking our favorite dish (from any seasonal), or something else, the main thing is that we are together as a family, creating memories
Watching the parade with my family. My boys get so excited.
My favorite Thanksgivng memory is the fist year my husband and I were married. I was hosting and the turkey the night before was still frozen. So, my husband tied it down in the bathtub with his shoelace and checked on it all night long. Then, the garbage disposal broke and I sprained my wrist stuffing the bird, our guests were 2 hours late, but good times. I’ll always remember that Thanksgiving
We run the turkey trot 5 mike run as a family every thanksgiving morning. This will be our first Friendsgiving!!
Kristin Ritter Crysler
I’ve been making our family mashed potatoes since I was ten years old. I’m 40 now but I still get excited every year for it.
It is my favorite holiday … the gifts we give are being together and just loving on each other with stories of the past – singing – playing games and of course enjoying the new found recpies of food to add to the traditional turkey and gravy !!
Our tradition is not just dinner, but feasting on food all day long. And it’s great to see family near and far get together.
Our family has many traditions and one that I have used with my own family is that after prayer and before we eat, we all go around and tell one thing we are thankful and grateful for. It helps us to remember the true meaning of thanksgiving and why it’s important to us.
Our favorite tradition is a paper chain that we add to every year with everyone’s thankful list. It’s so fun to see how the kids have grown up and their thankful list has too!
I am grateful my mom can still make the best stuffing. She only makes it at thanksgiving buts it’s better then box.
My favorite Thanksgiving memory is when my daughter was about 9 months old (2006). It was during our delicious turkey dinner that she waved “hello” for the very first time! The whole family was so happy, we were laughing together… So memorable.
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the tradition of watching the Macy’s parade while I cook and get everything ready for our dinner. We have watched it every year since the kids were small.
This hopefully will be the best one yet. Both sets of grndparent will be celebrating with our little family after we moved back home to Texas!
All the Thanksgivings of my childhood were the same and always a day to look forward to. I miss going to the Lions game with my Dad.
It warms my heart to remember sitting at the kids table on Thanksgiving Being silly with my siblings and cousins. Now I get to enjoy watching my own kids experience the same awesome memory as their own! ❤️
It was always the grandmas who hosted thanksgiving in my family. Now that we have kids, we’re hosting and passing down all those traditions. It a lot of work but so worth it!
When I was a kid I remember watching the Thanksgiving parade and helping my Grandma and Mom make pumpkin rolls and eating all the filling.
Every other year we switch off between my family and my husband’s. With his family we always go around the table and say what we’re thankful for then play board games. With my family we always play bingo.
My most memorable Friendsgiving was a couple years ago with 5 of my friends. Most of them don’t really celebrate with their families, so I committed to preparing traditional dishes for them. I woke up at 4 am and cooked all 10 dishes! I was exhausted, but seeing them enjoy all the food reminded me why we celebrate Thanksgiving with those we love.
Last year’s Friendsgiving is particularly memorable for me: it was both the end and start of a new chapter. Good friends were moving away and it was our group’s last Friendsgiving together. But two new babies and a bun were in attendance – bringing the start of new traditions and transitions.
I will always remember having Thanksgiving dinner with my loves ones that are now in heaven, watching the munsters marathon, and holding hands to say the blessing and to say what we each are thankful for.
My best Thanksgiving is the last one I had with my family before moving to another state. You forget how special moments are until you no ,longer have them.
I married into a Hoosier family, and my new tradition for the last 15 years has been noodles! These yummy homemade noodles are made with flour and egg, dough rolled very thin and sliced, then cooked it homemade chicken stock with pieces of chicken added in. You must cook it way down until all the moisture from the broth has been absorbed by the yummy noodles. Here’s the kicker: the family tradition is to each these noodles ON TOP of your mashed potatoes in place of gravy. I admittedly had a hard time getting my brain wrapped around this, but now I. Love. It!!!! I made a double batch today for our church Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow!
My favorite tradition is playing board/dice/card games with family on thanksgiving. Always a lot of fun and laughter around the tabletop.
I love breaking the wishbone with my siblings. It’s always fun to have a little rivalry while making wishes for our futures.
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition has always been watching the Macy’s day parade while helping my mom cook her amazing feast. We always celebrate the holiday as a family, so my 2nd favorite would be simply spending time with my parents, brothers and their wives! There is nothing like feeling the love of your family and laughing so hard that you nearly pre your pants!
My favorite tradition is getting my extended family together, eating my grandma’s baked corn in her old blue Butterprint Pyrex casserole (which I hope to inherit!) and playing board games, then eating again later that night..
I hosted my family thanksgiving (I usually do not do this) a few years after my in-laws divorced. We invited my family and my father-in-law because he was having such a hard time. I cooked an entire meal from scratch (I’m not a confident cook) and everything turned out wonderful. He died the following spring. We had a wonderful day.
Since we moved back to our home town 3 years ago, we’ve started something called ‘Hoodgiving! (We live on Robinhood so that’s where the Hood comes from) it has been wonderful meeting new neighbors every year. Its was a big celebration this year with almost 40 guests! We all share responsibilities for the food so no one is overwhelmed. Thus years party was the best
Since moving to North Carolina, our tradition has been to smoke turkey legs for our feast’s main event! Fortunately it’s usually just the two of us, so we can get away with one bird, but this year we’re hosting three more adults, and my husband insists on three whole birds to break down. Shouuulld be interesting… Happy Thanksgiving!
We have celebrated Thanksgiving for the last several years with our friends in Utah. It has been fun to combine both of our families traditions into one big celebration. They will be moving to Texas shortly so our tradition won’t be able to continue sadly.
You can always take a road trip over here!! 🙂
My favorite Thanksgiving memory was when I was a child and my big Italian family would get together and we would all play games all day.
I will never forget my first Thanksgiving in New Hampshire. We moved from Boston, MA and we felt as though we moved to the country. On our first Thanksgiving here, it snowed! It was such a magical day for us as children.
Mine is not one thanksgiving. Its watching my boys grow each year and saying what they,are grateful for
On thanksgiving I always remember watching the parade while the whole house smelled like the turkey in the oven! Now I watch the parade with my kids!
I love Pirex!!!
This year I opened Thanksgiving up to anyone we knew who might be alone, not just family. No one should be on their own for a holiday!