While Thanksgiving is typically thought of as an occasion to spend time with your family, in the past decade a new phenomenon has taken over the season. “Friendsgiving” aka having a Thanksgiving dinner (which is 99% of the time not on the actual holiday) with your core group of friends. This is a way to make time to see those you love who are not family, catch up with them, and give thanks that you are all in each other’s lives. Though the menu for a traditional Thanksgiving with family is pretty cut-and-dry, Friendsgiving allows for some more creativity and leeway. If you need some inspiration for your own celebration with pals, check out OFFSITE’s Friendsgiving menu ideas.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Turkey doesn’t need to be the only poultry served on Friendsgiving. Spice things up (pun intended) with some buffalo chicken dip. This recipe is not only relatively easy and affordable, it is also a total crowd-pleaser. A mix of shredded chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch, and blue cheese? How could you possibly go wrong. The great thing about serving this dish at Friendsgiving is that it can either be used as an appetizer before the main meal or as a side on your smorgasboard. For a traditional take, follow this classic recipe and serve with tortilla chips. For a twist, make it submerged in a pull-apart bread bowl with the help of this video.
For some reason, pasta seems to get left out of the party on Thanksgiving, as more people are focused on the turkey, mashed potatoes, and string bean casserole. However, pasta dishes are pretty much universally-liked, can be vegetarian and gluten-free friendly, and have cost-effective ingredients. Since Friendsgiving is the time to break the traditional Turkey Day menu rules, put a twist on this dinner by bringing in baked ziti. This dish is easy to make in bulk and can easily be taken as leftovers and frozen for long periods of time, providing you and your guests meals for the weeks to come. Try this recipe for a traditional take on this dish with meat or this one with vegetables as a vegetarian option. If there are gluten-free people in the mix, this can easily be made with gluten-free pasta to accommodate more dietary restrictions.
Spinach Artichoke Bread Bowl
When you tell your friends to bring a food item to Friendsgiving, most people’s minds go straight to a main course. While that is definitely necessary, you do not want to forget about appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, since these are a critical aspect of a successful Friendsigving. Who wants to be standing around hungry with no food in the beginning of the night when everyone is arriving, catching up, and pouring some drinks? Making spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl is a great way to ensure that will not happen. This warm, hearty dish is filling, delicious, and vegetarian-friendly. Follow this recipe to appetizer greatness. Depending on how many people are going to your Friendsgiving, you may want to double the recipe, as this dish is sure to go fast.
Though turkey and cranberry sauce can be great, switch things up this season with these Friendsgiving menu ideas.