The whole point of Friendsgiving is making time for our chosen families: the people we’ve collected over the years who make our lives better, happier, and more fun. It’s for the people who know that other Thanksgiving gatherings are going to be one long exercise in keeping our blood pressure in check and not flipping the tables, even when grandma asks yet again why we're not married yet.
No, Friendsgiving is the calm before the storm. It's for spending precious pre-holiday time with the people we love but aren't related to, so that on the Thursday of the actual holiday, we can think back to more chill holiday gatherings. (If any of the MUNCHIES staff’s family members are reading this, of course we are not talking about you.) Plus, it's the time to try out fun, new riffs on Thanksgiving classics that might not fly at the family dinner.
But you know the only way to make a dinner party—even one with your friends in attendance—even more relaxing? A little planning. Ward off any potential disasters with a little forethought now, and have time to truly enjoy the company of your best mates later. With this collection of potluck-worthy holiday recipes, it's time to ring in the most festive Friendsgiving.
Spatchcock Turkey Recipe
Invest in a good, sharp set of poultry shears for cutting the spine out of your turkey and then press down on the breastbone, cracking it and flattening your bird. Now it will roast infinitely faster, and will make your day-of preparations that much more stress-free.
Classic Roast Turkey Recipe
Or take the traditional crispy and golden roast turkey route, just as our pal Matty Matheson instructs you to do here.
Crispy Brined Turkey with Truffle Butter Recipe
Your chosen family deserves to be spoiled sometimes, too, so show off a little by rubbing this turkey with homemade truffle-infused butter.
Thanksgiving Meatball Recipe
Is your Friendsgiving usually more of an everybody-sitting-on-the-couch-and-floor vibe than a formal sit-down affair? It’s much easier to pop a turkey meatball in your mouth than it is to cut a slice of turkey with a fork and knife on a paper plate balanced on your knee.
Turkey and Sweet Potato Pizza Recipe
This is your party, and you can bastardize holiday traditions if you want to. Play around with Thanksgiving flavor any way you damn well please, like with this turkey and sweet potato pizza.
Gochujang-Glazed Ham Recipe
On that note, if you're simply diametrically opposed to the dry and bland turkey that you might have to choke down your family’s traditional supper, take Friendsgiving as an opportunity to go bird-less altogether and glaze a nice ham.
Simple Homemade Gravy Recipe
Just because family’s not invited to Friendsgiving doesn’t mean you can’t borrow their recipes. This here is chef Julia Ziegler-Haynes’ great grandma’s super simple gravy recipe, and it’s been passed down through the generations for a reason.
Sweet Potatoes with Maple Sage Brown Butter and Marshmallows Recipe
When you’re the Friendsgiving host, there’s no one in the kitchen to stop you from eating all the marshmallows you want while you make this extremely autumnal, brown butter-infused sweet potato casserole.
Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Salty, creamy, and ever so slightly crisped on top, Matty Matheson's baked mashed potatoes are worthy of Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving.
Honey-Glazed Carrots Recipe
These easy honey-glazed carrots are as pretty as they are quick and easy to make, so you can wow your friends while maintaining some of your sanity.
Sausage, Apple, and Fennel Stuffing Recipe
Maybe your family just can’t let go of the Stove Top stuffing box, but make things a little more exciting for Friendsgiving with this simple sausage, apple, and fennel stuffing.
Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe
If your group of friends is anything like ours, there are some gluten-free folks in the mix. Everybody wants stuffing, so be nice and offer a tasty gluten-free wild rice stuffing, too.
Deep-Fried Stuffing Balls Recipe
Get even more unconventional—something your family is far too stuck in their ways to let you do—and make deep-fried stuffing balls like the maverick you are.
Green Bean Casserole with Smoked Gouda and Fried Shallots Recipe
Green bean casserole is a tradition for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you have to be wedded to the Campbell’s and French's version. This casserole uses shallots and Gouda, but you could also try this vegan version for all your plant-based friends.
Caramelized Onion and Potato Gratin Recipe
This cheesy potato gratin is the dish that will make all of your friends say, “You’re such a better cook than my mom. On the holidays, there is really no higher compliment, even if we all sort of know our parents’ cooking isn't as good as we might have once thought.
Goat Cheese Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Your family would be scandalized if you served them anything other than your grandma’s traditional pumpkin pie, but your friends are a little more adventurous, right? For them, mix it up with this creamy goat cheese pumpkin pie.
Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe
This bourbon pecan pie is rich and luxurious and exactly the kind of dessert you should treat your friends to, because you love them and want them to have nice things.
Big Batch Rum Punch Recipe
The easiest way to pretend you’re a host or hostess who has it all together—and that no, you’re not stressed or probably burning several side dishes as you speak—is to make a big batch cocktail that can be ready as soon as your guests walk through the door.
Whiskey, Cider, and Rosemary Punch Recipe
Make a big bowl of this autumnal punch, or keep the whiskey separate and let your friends add as much as they want according to their taste, leaving the apple cider un-spiked for your non-drinker friends.
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