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 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? We found 20 Friendsgiving food ideas that you can whip up without much hassle. From smaller sides to showstopping mains, these options will allow you to decide just how much effort you’d like to devote to the occasion.
Read on for our favorite easy Friendsgiving food ideas.
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, basil, cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, and parmesan, this dish will 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
If you’re on salad duty this Friendsgiving, don’t show up with wilted leaves and store-bought dressing. This salad 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 they make a great addition to a Friendsgiving feast. This recipe from The Butter Half features the vegetable flavored with chopped garlic, bacon, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic vinegar for a rich finish.
If you're prepping this dish early, omit the pomegranate seeds until you're ready to serve.
This stuffing recipe from Creme de la Crumb accommodates even the pickiest eaters in 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.
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 cranberry sauce a twist with the addition of lemon and orange juice, cloves, and cinnamon for a tangy and sweet spoonful.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole will always be a welcome addition to a Friendsgiving feast, and this gorgeous recipe 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 says. “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 from Creme de la Crumb ensures that they’ll be scooped up in a flash. Coats the green beans in chopped bacon, brown sugar, dijon mustard, and minced garlic for a taste that’s sweet and spicy.
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.
Vegan Baked Apples
If you’re on dessert duty for your Friendsgiving, then serve up these 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,” recipe creator Abbey Rodriguez says. “What makes them vegan? I simply substituted butter for coconut oil, but I swear you’d never know the difference.”
Thanksgiving Roasted Vegetables
If you're indulging in turkey, potatoes, and pie, you need one healthy dish on your Friendsgiving table. We love these roasted vegetables from A Couple Cooks because they're low on calories and carbs, but high on flavor. Even non-vegetable lovers will be fans of these.
Herb Butter Rotisserie Turkey
Save the oven-roasted bird for your family and try this rotisserie turkey from Foodie Crush. The herb butter bird is made on the grill, and it tastes even better than your favorite rotisserie chicken.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but not everyone eats dairy. To make mashed potatoes vegan-friendly, make this recipe from A Couple Cooks. It subs olive and coconut oil for butter and skips the milk, and you'd never know the difference.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies are an ideal Friendsgiving dessert. They're easy to make and great to share with a crowd of people. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies by Foodie Crush are soft, pillowy, and add your favorite fall flavors into an old classic.
Delicata Squash Salad
This light, healthy side dish from A Couple Cooks is a great addition to a Friendsgiving spread. Caramelized roasted squash is mixed with pomegranate seeds and a tangy vinaigrette atop a bed of greens. It's easy to prep and can feed a crowd.
You can't have a Friendsgiving without drinks, so whip up this big-batch Thanksgiving sangria from Half Baked Harvest. White wine is mixed with cider, brandy, pumpkin butter, citrus, spices, and ginger beer. Trust us—it'll be the hit of the party.
On side dish duty? Show up with these glazed carrots by Foodie Crush and you'll be golden. They're sweetened with brown sugar, orange juice, and butter, so they're about as decadent as a vegetable can get. Best of all, these are easy to make—you can even cook these in the microwave!
Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie
Thanksgiving is about the classics, while Friendsgiving is the opportunity to switch things up a little bit. This turkey tamale pie from Half Baked Harvest is a fun way to incorporate turkey in a non-traditional dish, and it's made in one pot, so it's ideal for serving to a group of people.
Forbidden Rice Stuffing
You might not typically associate rice with stuffing, but this recipe from The Modern Proper not only switches up a classic, but it also makes it gluten-free. Forbidden rice is mixed with squash and mushrooms for a hearty, earthy dish that everyone will love.