Friendsgiving Food Ideas
If you’re hosting Friendsgiving or attending one, you need to bring a dish with you! Here are 50+ Friendsgiving food ideas that can be brought along or made where you’re going to share with your nearest and dearest.
Friendsgiving Dinner season is here, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to gather with my friends around a table, share food and hang out for an afternoon or evening.
If you’re new to Friendsgiving and are hosting this year, check out my How to Host Friendsgiving guide. It has all the details and probably more than you ever wanted to know about this fun fall holiday.
Today, we’re talking Friendsgiving food.
This post includes food ideas to make or try, how to plan to have enough food and how to strategize with the food and make it work with your friends’ and your diets, lifestyles, etc.
Y’all ready to dive in?
I want to host Friendsgiving. How should it work?
While you’re not the only person who is going to be cooking for Friendsgiving, you’re the one who is planning this… which means you’re coordinating the dishes.
- Write out a list of ideal dishes you’d like to have at your Friendsgiving table.
- Decide what you’re going to cook.
- Assign other dishes to guests or let guests run their favorite dishes by you before they make them. I realize this might sound a little controlling, but it’s best to do this so you don’t have three Green Bean Casseroles at your Friendsgiving and no mashed potatoes.
Obviously, you need to take into account the number of guests that you’re hosting to ensure there is enough food for everyone.
And since every guest is going to be bringing a food or drink item, you can ensure you’re going to have enough.
How much food should I serve?
Obviously, the answer to this question is going to depend on how many friends you’re hosting for Friendsgiving. A crowd of 10 is going to eat less than a crowd of 20-30. And so on and so forth.
Generally speaking, here’s what I like to plan for each person:
- 4-6 bites of appetizers
- 1-2 dinner rolls
- ½ lb. boneless turkey (or 1 lb. of bone-in turkey)
- ½ cups of 2-3 side dishes
- 1 slice of dessert
- 2-3 drinks
The portioning is going to be different for each group, too, and everyone’s diets and likes/dislikes, too.
A note on appetizers
Obviously, serving chips and dip is going to be different, bite-wise, than making crostini.
If serving appetizers that are already individually portioned, plan for 4-6 bites of those.
If serving chips, plan for each guest to enjoy 2-3 oz. of chips along with whatever dip you’re serving. Since the “regular” bag of chips is about 8 oz., plan accordingly.
You can find some awesome appetizer ideas here: The Best Thanksgiving Appetizers!
What food should I serve at Friendsgiving?
That all depends on you and yours!
Planning your menu is especially important if you’re making traditional Friendsgiving fare because several of those dishes take some TIME.
This means you’re going to need a plan and not want to throw this together last minute.
Also, you need to consider your guests, their tastes, their allergies and sensitivities and diets, too.
If you’re hosting vegetarians or vegans, you won’t need as much turkey or turkey breast (assuming that your crowd isn’t vegetarian or vegan), but you might need to tweak some of the side dishes to ensure they can eat them.
Whenever I’m hosting an event, I reach out to all guests to confirm any food allergies or sensitivities, too.
If you’ve got a gluten free guest, you need to have a few dishes they can eat. If someone has a nut allergy, other guests need to know about this before someone brings a Pecan Pie.
It comes down to being considerate and have some food everyone can eat! Chances are, you already know this information, too.
I was invited to Friendsgiving. What should I bring?
If you’re attending a Friendsgiving this year, I suggest reaching out to your host about the food.
As I mentioned above, it’s helpful if guests and hosts chat because you don’t want overlapping dishes while missing others.
For me, when I attend Friendsgiving (or Thanksgiving, for that matter), I like to consider a few things before deciding what I’m going to cook:
- What can I make ahead of time?
- What will be easily transportable? For example, casseroles are easy to bring on the road. Sauces can be more complicated. Desserts are generally pretty easy to bring along if you package them right.
- Can I heat up the dish where I’m going, or does it need to be cooked before I leave my house?
- Does the dish need to be served warm? Or can it be room temperature or even cold? This obviously varies from recipe to recipe, but salads are great at room temperature. Homemade cranberry sauce can be kept cold or at room temp, too.
- If I don’t like to cook, can I purchase rolls or dessert from a favorite bakery? The answer to this question should be a YES because being able to cook a dish should not prevent you from attending.
The key, for me, when it comes to Friendsgiving food is to make something that doesn’t stress me out and make something that works for the occasion, too. Which means it needs to be something that I can bring along with me…
How to transport food:
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If you’re a guest at Friendsgiving, transporting your food is obviously very important, especially since you might not be able to cook on location. (Also, do you want to cook when you arrive at Friendsgiving? Probably not.)
Here are some ideas about transporting food and some tools that can assist you.
- Keep it warm. If your dish needs to be kept warm, I suggest making a casserole and carrying it with you in an insulated casserole carrier so you can ensure the dish stays toasty during the transportation.
- Keep it cool. If your dish needs to stay chilled, invest in a cooler.
- Package it in a food-safe travel container. This particularly comes in handy for things that can be kept cold because all you have to do when you arrive is plate, and then you’re done.
- Bring your serving dish and utensils, too. Decide on what your dish is going to be served in ahead of time and bring that with you, especially if the dish doesn’t cook in it and will be kept cold.
What to do with Friendsgiving leftovers:
I always plan to have some leftovers because Thanksgiving leftovers are the best!
Ask guests to bring their own food storage containers along so they can bring home leftovers.
My friend, Ginger, provided us all with to-go containers* (affiliate link) when she hosted Friendsgiving. It was brilliant and so helpful!
Friendsgiving food ideas:
Now that we’ve talked through logistics, let’s talk about the actual food and recipes!
From sweet potato casserole to turkeys of all shapes as sizes; from brussels sprouts to butternut squash to mac and cheese to a classic stuffing recipe; from apple pie to pumpkin pie and everything in between, we’ve got some recipes for you.
Here are some ideas of various dishes to make and serve at Friendsgiving:
Friendsgiving Food Ideas
If you're hosting Friendsgiving or attending one, you need to bring a dish with you! Here is a list of 50+ Friendsgiving food ideas that can be brought along or made where you're going to share with your nearest and dearest.
Friendsgiving Appetizer Ideas
If you're looking for appetizers to serve, here are some ideas:
Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
Creamy, gooey Brie is baked inside Puff Pastry, then slathered with a tart homemade Cranberry Chutney to make the perfect holiday appetizer!
Cornucopia Cheese Board
Make this gorgeous snackable spread featuring fall-flavored cheeses, as well as fruits, veggies, nuts and more to serve to get the party started.
Garlic Herb Cream Cheese Dip
Zesty Garlic Herb Cream Cheese Dip is a delicious, simple appetizer recipe that’s perfect for sharing and ready in 5 minutes!
Caramelized Pear Baked Brie
Take the previous baked brie and turn it on its head with this Caramelized Pear Baked Brie! Serve with bread or crackers for the perfect bite.
Baked Brie With Fig Jam
This easy brie recipe a delicious app and the perfect addition to any charcuterie board or holiday gathering.
Crunchy Green Bean Casserole Bites with Creamy Dipping Gravy
These Crunchy Green Bean Casserole Bites with Mushroom “Gravy” is a fun twist on a classic that's handheld and ready in less than an hour.
Thanksgiving Cheese Board
This seasonally-driven cheese board includes a homemade Orange Cranberry Compote and pairs beautifully with white wine.
Apple Chutney Bruschetta
This Apple Chutney Bruschetta appetizer the perfect fall nibble that's quick and simple to make for any gathering.
If you need a centerpiece for your Friendsgiving gathering, we've got some ideas for you!
Browned Butter Sage Turkey
This decadent Browned Butter Sage Turkey makes a flavorful entree for Thanksgiving or ANY holiday celebration.
Smoked Beer Brined Turkey
This juicy, brined SMOKED turkey doesn't take up space in the oven and is smoked low and slow for the perfect crispy skin!
Herb Butter Turkey Breast
Bursting with herb garlic flavor, this smaller cut of turkey is great for a more intimate crowd. It’s ready in less time than a whole bird, too!
Grilled Turkey Breast
This Grilled Turkey Breast recipe is bursting with flavor AND has crispy skin. It's ready faster than a whole turkey and doesn't take up space in the oven.
Friendsgiving Side Dishes
Most of us bring seasonal side dishes to Friendsgiving gatherings, so I'm including a LOT here to choose from!
Green Bean Bacon Bundles
Green Bean Bacon Bundles make the BEST side dish because they involve fresh green beans, bacon and an easy homemade mustard vinaigrette!
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Farro
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Farro and toasted walnuts is a hearty fall salad with perfectly roasted squash.
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
A twist on the classic, Fresh Green Bean Casserole is made with fresh ingredients and also vegan.
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon
This delicious side comes together in less than 30 minutes and has a lovely pop of acidity!
Roasted Acorn Squash Fall Salad with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese
This naturally gluten free roasted acorn squash fall salad with pomegranate, goat cheese and pecans has all the flavors of fall!
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is a new family favorite that takes very little time and doesn't require space on the stovetop or in the oven.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Roasted garlic mashed sweet potatoes are made with simple ingredients and make an easy and flavorful side dish.
Roasted Green Beans
Roasted Green Beans are tossed in a balsamic-mustard mixture before roasting to perfection.
Creamed Cornbread Casserole
This from-scratch Creamed Cornbread Casserole is a Southern classic and a decadent casserole for the holiday table.
Caramelized Onion, Apple, & Sausage Stuffing
Caramelized Onion, Apple and Sausage Stuffing is packed with flavor and easy to make in advance!
Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
This slightly sweet Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole, covered with a crunchy streusel topping is the perfect twist on a Thanksgiving classic.
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
These Homemade Mashed Potatoes are the easiest, most comforting side dish that are made on the stovetop and done in about 30 minutes.
Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts are an awesome 5-ingredient side dish that's perfect for a small batch holiday celebration.
Easy Cranberry Fluff
Cranberry Fluff is a make-ahead sweet and slightly tart fruit salad made of fresh cranberries, miniature marshmallows, crushed pineapple, and whipped cream.
Mediterranean Scalloped Potatoes
Transform classic Scalloped Potatoes into a Mediterranean-inspired one with mountains of fresh parsley, thyme, oregano and rosemary.
Spinach Madeline is a spicy twist on traditional creamed spinach that's great for sharing! It can be made ahead of time, too.
Toasted Pine Nut Green Beans
Vegan Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts look fancy but are incredibly simple to make, taking very little time and effort.
Stovetop Sausage Stuffing
Stovetop Sausage Stuffing is made on the stove, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up room in your oven and calls for just 5 ingredients.
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potato Casserole
This make-ahead Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potato Casserole is the PERFECT side dish that's also easy to bring on the road.
Italian Brussels Sprouts
Italian Brussels Sprouts are roasted with prosciutto, then topped with Parmesan cheese for wonderful flavor.
Drunken Cranberry Sauce
Sweet and spicy, Drunken Cranberry Sauce pairs perfectly with a traditional holiday dinner of turkey, gravy and stuffing. Ready within 15 minutes, this lightning fast side dish adds sweetness to a meal. Fresh cranberries cook with spiced rum, orange juice and brown sugar to make this delightful recipe. Drunken Cranberry Sauce is what you'll want to serve at the Thanksgiving, Christmas and holiday party tables!
Kale Cranberry Quinoa Salad
This gluten free and dairy-free side salad is colorful, easy to make and bursting with seasonal flavor!
Baked Sweet Potato Cubes with Butter and Bourbon
Bourbon Butter Sweet Potatoes make a DELICIOUS, flavorful side and are on the table in 45 minutes!
Southern Old-Fashioned Cornbread Dressing
This classic Southern cornbread dressing is out-of-this-world delicious!
Friendsgiving Dessert Ideas
Because no Friendsgiving gathering is complete without dessert, here are some ideas of dishes made for sharing!
Bourbon Pecan Pie
A twist on the classic, this Bourbon Pecan Pie captures the sweetness of pecans with a little spice from the bourbon.
Creamy Cranberry Tart
Brighten up your holiday dessert game by making colorful and perfectly balanced Creamy Cranberry Tart!
The BEST Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie
This creamy, smooth Pumpkin Pie is the best dairy free pumpkin pie recipe around—and chances are, your guests won't even know it's dairy free!
Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze
Apple-filled and bursting with cinnamon, ginger and allspice, this Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze is sure to be adored.
Dutch Apple Pie (aka Apple Crumble Pie)
Dutch Apple Pie is filled with cinnamon-spiced homemade apple pie filling and topped with a buttery streusel topping
Upside Down Cranberry Cake
Upside Down Cranberry Cake is a twist on a classic upside down cake features a fluffy, tangy cake and a perfectly balanced homemade cranberry topping.
Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake
Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake is the ultimate decadent dessert for sharing, with bourbon praline topping and a fluffy pumpkin cake.
Lemon Meringue Pie
This sky-high pie looks impressive for entertaining, and the combination of tangy filling and fluffy meringue is heavenly.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars combine a gorgeous, smooth pumpkin cheesecake with a dense, rich brownie base.
Chocolate Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
Chocolate Pudding Pie, topped with homemade whipped cream, chocolate shavings and raspberries, is a decadent dessert that’s perfect for sharing.
Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars
Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars taste like the pie with a buttery homemade crust and amazing pecan flavor.
Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Recipe
This pie is the combination of two classics and is full of warming spices!
So many wonderful recipes and tips for Friendsgiving, I don’t need to look anywhere else! Thanks for always making my hostess jobs so much easier!
Thanks so much, Michaela! I hope these really help you out, and I hope you got some ideas for awesome food here, too. You’re so welcome! It’s a pleasure.