16 Friendsgiving Recipes Your Besties Will Love

When you’re with your BFFs, anything goes.

The holiday season can be stressful for a multitude of reasons whether you’re gearing up to see family members you don’t spend time with often or have plans to attend a high school reunion after several years. Creating your own traditions, like Friendsgiving, is one way to guarantee some light during a potentially anxiety-inducing time of year.

Friendsgiving is an informal version of the traditional Thanksgiving that is spent with — you guessed it — your best friends. You can plan a holiday with your chosen family without the pressure of pleasing that overly judgemental uncle or worrying if you’ll still have to sit at the kid’s table. With Friendsgiving, you also don’t have to worry about roasting a full turkey if you don’t want to. Fun appetizers and low-maintenance dishes can be the star of the show so you don’t get tired of the traditional Thanksgiving meal ahead of the actual holiday.

For ideas on what to prepare for your Friendsgiving meal this year, look no further. Don’t forget to bring a small gift for whoever is hosting (this will score you brownie points, even with your closest friends) and prepare to have the best pre-Thanksgiving Friendsgiving celebration ever. Below are some of the best recipes to choose from that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Opt For Bite-Sized Appetizers

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip will always be a fan-favorite, and even though Friendsgiving is about revamping tradition sometimes there’s no need to mess with the classics. User Julia’s Album on Yummly shares a recipe that uses greek yogurt *and* cream cheese for an extra-rich texture.

Baked Brie & Caramelized Onion Cups

Instead of working with the intricacies of a full-on charcuterie board, these Baked Brie & Caramelized Onion Cups combine the sweetness of brie cheese with a pop of flavor from sautéed onions and a crunch from chopped nuts. These are the epitome of fall in one bite.

Baked Turkey Sliders

It’d be remiss to not include any turkey on a Friendsgiving table, but these Baked Turkey Sliders are an easier way to prepare and serve the traditional bird. If you use a sheet of Hawaiian rolls as your base, you can bake them all in one piece and then cut up the individual sandwiches right before serving.

Air Fryer Sausage Balls

This four-part appetizer is easy not only because of the small list of ingredients but also because they can be popped into the air fryer. Combine sausage, cheddar cheese, dough, and a little bit of flour into spheres and cook them in the air fryer until the cheese is melty and the outside is slightly crispy. You can even serve these with toothpicks to eliminate any need for more dirty cutlery.

Reimagine Traditional Side Dishes

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are often the star of the Thanksgiving table so having some sort of potato-based dish at Friendsgiving is a must. Instead of boiling then mashing then seasoning a whole casserole dish of them, try a Smashed Potato recipe that results in a crispy, crunchy, and flavorful side instead.

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffing Bites

During the weekend of actual Thanksgiving, you might foresee being stuffing-ed out. Rather than making your family recipe for your friends, try Bacon-Wrapped Stuffing Bites for a taste of tradition in a whole new way.

Smoked Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls

Making true mac and cheese is a labor of love. Use up your leftovers (or make some more from a box) for these Mac and Cheese Egg Rolls. You can throw in any extra meat you might want to get rid of — this recipe calls for leftover brisket — or you can keep it simple. Note: a dipping sauce on the side is a must.

Cornbread Casserole

Ditch the hassle of scooping batter into individual sections of a muffin tin and make a Cornbread Casserole instead. Buns In My Oven uses a boxed cornbread mix but upgrades it with real corn, creamed corn, and spices.

Mix Up Drinks For A Crowd

Thanksgiving Punch

The name itself should convince you that this Thanksgiving Punch deserves a spot on your spread. This recipe is made sans alcohol — it only requires apple cider, caramel, and pumpkin spice — so everyone at your gathering can enjoy it.

Moscow Mule Punch

Make-ahead cocktails take some weight off of the host so they don’t have to be playing bartender all night long. Try a Minty Moscow Mule Punch for a flavorful cocktail that isn’t too sweet so it will delightfully complement your main dishes.

Red wine is praxis during the holiday season, but a fruity sangria can add a fun factor to a Friendsgiving gathering. You can even add seasonal spices like clove, anise, or cinnamon to make it more fall-forward.

Champagne Jell-O Shots

Who better to do Jell-O shots with than your besties? These Champagne Jell-O Shots give you all the vibes of popping a bottle without the potential sticky floors. Your host will surely thank you for this foresight.

Choose Desserts With Minimal Prep Work

Pecan Pie Cookie Bars

A full pie can be a hassle to transport — especially when there are leftovers and you have to figure out what to do with them. These Pecan Pie Cookie Bars are an easier way to accomplish the traditional taste of a pecan pie in a more bite-sized format so guests can try a little bit of everything on the dessert table without filling up their whole plate with one slice.

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters

Perhaps one of the simplest holiday desserts you could make, these Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters are still guaranteed to impress. They only require pomegranate seeds and the chocolate of your choice, but if you want to make them a little bit fancier you can mix together dark, milk, and white chocolate for a multi-colored drizzle.

Pumpkin Pie Twist Cookies

If you think the crust is the best part of the pie anyway, these Pumpkin Pie Twist Cookies need to be on your radar. They use refrigerated pie crust and premade pumpkin pie mix so require hardly any work, though you wouldn’t be able to tell by how gorgeous they look.

Dirt Dessert

Remember those “cup of dirt” desserts from when you were a kid? Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to relive that nostalgia with a big-batch version of the treat. You likely won’t see this on your actual Thanksgiving table so Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe is a great option to make for your friends.