20 Friendsgiving Recipes to Show Your Gratitude for Your Chosen Family

Because you love your friends and you want them to have nice things.

Nov 1 2018, 7:15pm

Photo by Heami Lee.

The whole point of Friendsgiving is that we all want to set aside time to celebrate and be with our chosen families, the people we’ve collected over the years who make our lives better, more fun, and less stress-inducing. It’s for the people who know that their own families’ real Thanksgiving gatherings are going to be one long exercise in keeping your blood pressure in check and not flipping the table even when your grandmother once again asks about whether or not you’re seeing anybody. Or pretending that the youngest member of the family’s hysterical wailing about not sitting at the “big kids table” doesn’t create the feeling of an ice pick being inserted directly behind your eyeball. Friendsgiving is for spending some precious pre-holiday time with the people you’d invite to your family’s dinner if your family wouldn’t potentially embarrass the shit out of you. So that on the actual Thursday of the holiday, when we’re all in our own individual hells, we can think fondly back to the time we spent with all of our favorite people who are probably our favorite people because we are not related to them. (If any of the MUNCHIES staff’s family members are reading this, of course we are not talking about you, we love you all dearly.) But you know the only way to make a dinner party, even with the best of the best of your friends in attendance, not stressful? 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. Peruse our collection of holiday recipes fit for a festive Friendsgiving.

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.

Or go the classic route, as our pal Matty Matheson instructs you to do here.

Take Naomi Pomeroy’s advice, and let everybody see how beautiful this bird is before you fuck it up with a carving knife.

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 meatball in your mouth than balance a paper plate on your knee to use a knife and fork to cut a slice of turkey.

This is your party, and you can bastardize holiday traditions any way you damn well please, like with a turkey pizza.

And on that note, if you are simply diametrically opposed to what is often an unavoidably dry and bland turkey but have to choke it down at your family’s traditional supper, go birdless altogether and glaze a ham for Friendsgiving.

Just because family’s not invited doesn’t mean you can’t use 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.

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 sweet potato casserole.

Salty, creamy, and ever so slightly crisped up on top, these mashed potatoes are Friendsgiving perfection.

These 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.

If your family just can’t let go of the Stove Top stuffing box, take the opportunity to make things a little more exciting for Friendsgiving and get a little crazy with sausage, apple, and fennel.

If your group of friends is anything like ours, there’s some gluten-free folks in the mix. Everybody wants stuffing! So be nice and offer a GF alternative.

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.

Same goes with green bean casserole. It’s a tradition for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you have to be wedded to the Campbell’s soup version, even if making that one would be a lovely homage to it’s creator’s recent passing. (Go vegan for your plant-based friends, too.)

This is the dish that will make all of your friends say, “You’re such a better cook than my mom,” and on the holidays, there is really no higher compliment even if we all sort of know our parents’ cooking sucks anyway.

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? Mix it up with a little goat cheese.

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.

The easiest way to pretend you’re a host or hostess who has it all together and 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.

Make a big bowl of this, 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.