The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it is focused purely on food and loved ones. Christmas, for example, has you worrying about the presents as well as all the food, and is usually reserved only for family. 

Thanksgiving is about spreading the love to everyone, friends and family alike: no gifts, just food, and good company. The word ‘Friendsgiving’ refers to Thanksgiving when you’re only celebrating with friends. This could be due to a number of reasons, not being near family or perhaps wanting to opt out of family drama!

The food served at Friendsgiving is similar to Thanksgiving, but of course with a bit more freedom when you have no family traditions to adhere to. Or perhaps, everyone brings their own traditional family Thanksgiving foods. 

If you need some suggestions on classic and new Friendsgiving food ideas, check out the 24 recipes we have listed below:

1. Crock Pot Turkey with Garlic Butter

While roasting a turkey is traditional, dumping it in the crock pot is so much more simple. And your friends won’t judge like family does, right? Slow-cooking meat is known to leave it juicer and much more tender than when cooking it in the oven, leaving you with a delicious turkey. The Recipe Rebel gives you all the best tips for making it work.

2. Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

So if you do want to roast your turkey in the oven, Sugar and Soul claim to have perfected the recipe. They go so far as to inject the marinade into the turkey so you really get that lemon, onion, and garlic flavor in every bite of meat. They also advise skipping the stuffing and instead, popping apples, onion, lemon, and herbs inside for an even more flavorful meat.

3. Cajun Turkey

JZ Eats offers an alternative to the traditional lemon and herb flavors usually used on the Thanksgiving turkey. Another benefit to a Friendsgiving is that it’s okay to be a bit more experimental with the food and try out new recipes. This is still a roast turkey, but it’s rubbed with a delicious Cajun seasoning for a crispy kick on that skin. 

4. Jalapeno Popper Creamed Corn

Lord Bryon’s Kitchen tweaks the usual creamed corn recipe inspired by spicy appetizer jalapeno poppers. It would go great on the side of the Cajun roast turkey above, but also leftovers work really well spooned on top of tacos. With three types of cheese, it’s not necessarily good for the waistline but it’s definitely good to enjoy with friends!

5. Scalloped Corn

Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen’s recipe for scalloped corn will make any friends from the South feel more at home. It’s creamy, it’s buttery and it’s cheesy – meeting all the requirements for a Friendsgiving side dish!

6. Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

Is anyone actually a fan of green bean casseroles? Why not ditch that tradition and roast them with cheese? If in doubt, always roast with cheese. I Am Homesteader recommends always using fresh green beans for a more fresh and crunchy result, as frozen beans just don’t roast to the same texture.

7. Green Bean Casserole

For those who actually do love a traditional Thanksgiving green bean casserole, here is a great recipe from The View From Great Island. It’s a big undertaking as it’s a completely ‘from scratch’ recipe, but the end flavor is very worth it. While you’re whipping up cream of mushroom soup from scratch, you can always double the recipe and freeze half for dinner another night.

8. Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is another love-it-or-hate-it traditional Thanksgiving dish. Gauge your friend’s contempt or love for it before embarking on this quite surreal dish. If you decide to go all in and bake up this classic dish, this recipe from Dinner Then Dessert takes less than 10 minutes to prepare before baking it for 50 minutes. Cubed yams are tossed with brown sugar, butter, and warm spices before being topped with marshmallows and broiled until gooey.

9. Sweet Potato Crunch Casserole

If you want sweet potatoes, want them in a casserole but the marshmallows are just too much, this is a great alternative. It’s still baked sweet potato but it’s topped with brown sugar, butter, and chopped pecans so it’s more crunchy than gooey, and doesn’t have the synthetic taste that marshmallows do.

10. Parmesan Herb Roasted Sweet Potato

This is an all-out savory sweet potato side dish. If you’re just not into the sweet and savory thing, check out this delicious recipe from Pumpkin N Spice and save the sweets for dessert. These are basically cubed sweet potatoes, which are roasted in garlic and parmesan. They are soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside. Perfection!

11. Homemade Stuffing

Simple Joy shares their joyful recipe for classic homemade stuffing. It can be made the night before, and includes sausage, bread, celery etc… Everything you’d expect from a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. Sometimes the best way is to go classic.

12. Soft Pretzel Stuffing

If you happen to live in New York or have a friend who is from there and want to give them a taste of home, this is a fun recipe to try out. It has the basis of a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, but remember the beauty of Friendsgiving is that you can mix it up a bit! If you really want to go all out, the recipe for making your own soft pretzels is included on Handle The Heat.

13. Cranberry Apple Stuffing

Of all the different flavor combinations for stuffing, cranberry and apple has got to be one of the best. Fox and Briar recommend never ever buying pre-cubed and dried bread to use when making stuffing, insisting that plain country white sandwich bread is the ultimate best bread for stuffing. 

14. Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Feel Good Foodie takes mashed potatoes but changes them up so they are a bit more exciting than a mountain of plain mashed potatoes. Each potato is baked, then smashed (rather than mashed) topped with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. They are lovely and tender inside but super crispy on the outside. 

15. Duchess Potatoes

These are super fancy potatoes, to be used if you seriously want to impress your friends. Or if you have royalty dropping by! They are essentially whipped potatoes but are piped into fancy spirals and baked so they hold their shape. Small Town Woman suggests adding some cheese to the mashed potato to ramp up the flavor.

16. Bacon Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

This is possibly the most incredible mashed potato recipe you’ll ever make. By all means, have the option of plain mash for those who desire it, but I’d 100% recommend having a dish of this amped up mashed potato from This Is Not A Diet Food. Bacon, cheese, and potato are like the holy trinity of potato flavor combinations, you won’t regret this decision.

17. The Best Crispy Roast Potatoes

While mashed potatoes are the traditional way to serve potatoes at Thanksgiving, roast potatoes go well with turkey too. This recipe from Serious Eats shows you how to get them super crispy, because who likes a soggy roast potato? It’s packed full of tips, like which potatoes to buy, how long to parboil them, and the different flavors that come with using different animal fats.

18. Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Of course, you can roast them with bacon and/or parmesan cheese, but this recipe is a more unusual combination that will wow your guests. Taste of the Frontier has you pairing the balsamic glaze with cranberries for a beautifully tangy flavor. You can always go ahead and throw some bacon in too…

19. Turkey Gravy

No Friendsgiving dinner would be complete without the accompanying gravy to drizzle all over your meal. The key is the browned turkey drippings, or liquid gold as Diethood refers to them as. You’ll need butter, fresh herbs, and broth too. 

20. No Bake Apple Pie Cheesecake

Moving onto dessert, why not combine two tasty desserts into one? An actual pastry pie can be overly filling, especially if you want room for multiple slices of pie… This cheesecake from Brunch With The Brittains isn’t too heavy but gives you the traditional apple pie flavor you’ll be craving at this time of year. The cheesecake part is like the accompanying ice cream, but all rolled into one slice!

21. Chocolate Pecan Pie

Why not make pecan pie even sweeter and add chocolate? Save the bourbon for drinking! Eating On A Dime gives you pretty much a traditional recipe, but throws in chocolate chips for good measure. Oh, and insists upon it being eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

22. Practically Perfect Pumpkin Pie

It’s practically a legal requirement to serve up a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, whether it’s friends or family or both. Premeditated Leftovers gives us a nice and easy recipe, with extra spices and brown sugar making it even more delicious than usual.

Mini S'mores Pie on table
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23. Mini S’Mores Pies

If you have any kids coming (or any friends who have yet to grow up…) these mini s’mores pies are great. Dessert has to be a pie, it just seems wrong to serve anything else. These are really cute, delicious, and fun. A graham cracker crust filled with chocolate pudding and marshmallow fluff.

24. Thanksgiving Margaritas

A signature drink when hosting a holiday event can be a fun and cute idea, and who doesn’t love margaritas? To make this cocktail related to the season, The Soccer Mom Blog has used apple cider and pear juice as the mixer instead of the traditional lime flavor. Cinnamon sticks are also added for a fun garnish.

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24 Fantastic Friendsgiving Food Ideas

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Wow your friends with these Friendsgiving recipes.
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Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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