It’s no surprise that Friendsgiving feasts have become so popular in recent years. Since this gathering is all about celebrating the loved ones we chose—and less about being thankful for those we simply tolerate—it's a chance to give ourselves a chance to relax and be merry with our inner circle. At the same time, you can’t show up to this party empty-handed, or with a dish that doesn’t speak to the season, so what exactly do you bring to eat on Friendsgiving?
To answer that question as simply as possible, we found 10 Friendsgiving food ideas that you can whip up without much hassle. From smaller sides like vegan baked apples topped with cinnamon and crunchy green beans sprinkled with brown sugar, to showstoppers like golden stuffing and a roasted turkey, these options will allow you to decide just how much effort you’d like to devote to the occasion. But let us put it to you this way: Even though these recipes vary with their individual time commitments, they’re all equally delicious. No matter which one you choose to bring to a Friendsgiving, everyone in your group will dig in.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
If your friends don’t want to see the exact same dishes they’d eat at a family Thanksgiving during your gathering, then serve up this recipe for artichoke dip from Natalie Mortimer of The Modern Proper instead. Thanks to minced garlic and basil, cream cheese and mayo, and garlic powder and parmesan, this dish will still wow the crowd—even if it was unexpected. “All you have to do to make this winning dish is throw all the ingredients in a bowl (or straight into the pan), mix well, and bake for 30 minutes. That’s it,” Mortimer writes.
Harvest Cranberry, Persimmon, and Burrata Salad
Now, if you’re on salad duty this Friendsgiving, don’t show up with wilted leaves and store-bought dressing. This recipe from Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest is easy to put together and will make a serious statement. It features toasted walnuts and pepitas mixed with maple syrup, which are then tossed with kale, persimmons, and clementines. Freshly torn burrata is added right before the cranberry balsamic dressing. “It’s a salad you can throw together in literally minutes and has very minimal ingredients, but yet is still full of flavor and so healthy too,” Gerard says.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
There’s a casual elegance to roasted Brussels sprouts, and that’s why it makes for such a great addition to a Friendsgiving feast—it looks like just the sort of thing you’d throw together to yield maximum results. This recipe from Abbey Rodriguez of The Butter Half features the vegetable flavored with chopped garlic, bacon, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic vinegar for a rich finish. “If prepping early, omit the pomegranate seeds until ready to serve,” Rodriguez notes.
This stuffing recipe from Creme de la Crumb accommodates even the pickiest eaters among your friend group. Blogger Tiffany Azure has ensured that this hearty dish—which comes together using soft bread, celery, onion, garlic powder, and the optional additions of fresh herbs and dried cranberries—isn’t too mushy, crunchy, or bland. In other words, it’s just right. “This stuffing is quick and simple, and you can tell all your guests that you made it from scratch, which will leave them impressed and you laughing to yourself because you know it was incredibly easy,” she says.
Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey
Let’s say that you pulled the straw to make a turkey for your crew—don’t sweat it. This recipe for an herb and butter roasted bird from Half Baked Harvest is as simple as they come and will leave everyone wondering how you pulled it off so effortlessly. Fresh parsley, lemon, and turkey broth flavor the main attraction, which is covered in a white wine pan gravy topped with fresh sage. “Did you break out the stretchy pants yet, cause I think it may be time,” Gerard jokes.
If you’re in charge of bringing cranberry sauce to a Friendsgiving this year, don’t let guests think that you’ll show up and empty a can into a bowl. This recipe from Pickled Plum gives the expected color and flavor of cranberry sauce a twist with the addition of lemon and orange juice, cloves, and cinnamon for a tangy and sweet spoonful. “Throw all the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, lower and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes,” blogger Caroline Phelps says. “Then transfer half of the mixture into a blender and blend.”
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole will always be a welcome addition to a Friendsgiving feast, and this gorgeous option from The Modern Proper serves up the namesake veggie surrounded by candied ginger, pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans, and maple syrup. There’s also a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg, too, of course. “As the sweet potatoes bake, they soak up the extra sweetness from the maple syrup and the warm spices that I tossed into the coconut oil,” Mortimer continues. “They come out soft and tender in the middle with slightly crispy edges.”
Brown Sugar Green Beans
Green beans are a must-have side for a reason—especially considering all the starch on the buffet table—and this recipe ensures that they’ll be scooped up in a flash. Creme de la Crumb coats her green beans in chopped bacon, brown sugar, dijon mustard and minced garlic for a taste that’s sweet and spicy. “I took the idea from one of my mother’s famous green beans recipes and spun it my own way with the addition of garlic, brown sugar, and dijon mustard,” Azure notes.
Roasted Nuts and Pretzels
When you’re looking for a snack for guests that won’t ruin their appetites, turn to this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It features mixed raw nuts and pretzel twists that have been tossed in chili powder, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, rosemary, salted butter, and soy sauce for a treat that’s perfect to eat during the big game. “These are spicy, hinted with flavors of rosemary, touched with just a little sweetness, and extra salty—which is how all snack mix needs to be,” Gerard says.
Vegan Baked Apples
If you’re on dessert duty for your Friendsgiving, then serve up this inclusive favorite of vegan baked apples from The Butter Half. Not only does this recipe include the fall-appropriate flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, but it layers them inside fresh apples and tops them with coconut oil. “These vegan baked apples make a great alternative to apple pie,” Rodriguez says. “What makes them vegan? I simply substituted butter for coconut oil, but I swear you’d never know the difference.”