Grab your squad for a fun, spin-off of a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner celebration, Friendsgiving. Friends are family, right? On this day, it is our beloved friends that bring their own pot-luck dish to the Thanksgiving table to reduce stress and share the work. My crew celebrates Friendsgiving around a table laden with delicious dishes one week before the actual Thanksgiving holiday. We still spend the traditional holiday with family but enjoy the diversity of the dishes shared with friends.
We enjoy the DIY nature of Friendsgiving. It can be on any day of the week. Hint, a weekend works best to get more people involved. Often, we theme the meals. One year was a vegetarian meal and there was no turkey in sight. You can make the holiday whatever works best for the group. One year, an international friend was attending so we decided on a traditional Thanksgiving to give the full American experience to our guest.
Here are some Friendsgiving ideas to make a memorable meal. Let’s start with dessert. Are you like me, and want dessert first, please? One of the most delicious takes on pumpkin pie is this pumpkin dump cake. You literally just dump the ingredients in a bowl. It wouldn’t be a fall celebration if there were no pumpkin flavor. Do you agree? Pumpkin is a fall must-have at the table. Here is the recipe for Pumpkin Dump Cake.
Dessert should look beautiful and inviting. Another recipe we enjoy is an easy fresh fruit dessert pizza. Easy because no pie pan is needed. It uses refrigerated pie dough rolled out like a pizza crust, topped with a cream cheese mixture, and loaded with fresh fruit. Ours was topped with blackberries, strawberries, kiwi, and golden kiwi with a center of grapes. Everyone loved the look and taste of this beauty. Here is the recipe for Fresh Fruit Dessert Pizza.
Alright, now that we’ve digested dessert, let’s move on to the main meal. This entrée is delightful because it looks elegant, includes a vegetable, and is just as nutritious as it is delicious. Perfect for a smaller gathering, this Stuffed Turkey Recipe makes for an elegant entrée. It is stuffed with spinach and cheese.
A great meal starter is a warm butternut squash soup. Mmmm. It gives me that warm blanket feeling. What an inviting way to start a meal. Here is a sample recipe for Butternut Squash Bisque. We topped each bowl with finely diced apple chunks to make it Instagram-worthy.
What vegetable side dish is sure to be a hit? Here is our favorite side dish of Roasted Brussels Sprouts. This recipe can turn a brussels sprout avoider into a fan. All the flavors explode in your mouth for a delightful vegetable sensation.
Try an offshoot of the traditional green bean casserole and instead, sauté green beans with sliced mushrooms and onions in a pan to reduce calories and fat, but certainly not flavor.
There is usually a cocktail or two included at a meal with good friends. We might make a big batch of Apple Cider Punch which is a perfect fall drink. Or maybe a Cranberry Lime Cocktail. For the non-drinkers I we serve a champagne glass full of sparkling apple cider with pomegranate arils dropped in for a classy drink combination. Running short on time? Just serve red wine with a side dish of sliced apple, orange, lime, cranberries, and strawberries so people can make their own combinations if they choose.
Hopefully, you love Friendsgiving so much it becomes one of your new annual traditions. If you are hosting your first Friendsgiving or are a pro, make it one that creates lasting memories for all attendees.