14 Easy Friendsgiving Food Ideas They’ll All Talk About


Get all your best friends together for an unforgettable meal. These Friendsgiving food ideas look stunning on your dining table and taste so good everyone will be asking you for the recipe.

picture of four Must-Make Friendsgiving Recipes

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving? If not, you totally should incorporate this fun tradition. It’s a fun time for friends to get together and have their own Thanksgiving meal together. It tends to be one of my favorite events each year.

There is no wrong way to host a Friendsgiving meal. Maybe you want to have a potluck buffet where everyone brings a dish. Or maybe you want to host a themed dinner, where everyone dresses up or brings a thematic dish to add to the spread.

No matter how you do it, I have the recipes for you. Plan the entire meal around these easy ideas. I have two lists in one – traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes that are practically guaranteed to be original. You’re Friendsgiving celebration will shine!

Traditional Friendsgiving food ideas

Put these traditional Thanksgiving favorites on your Friendsgiving menu this year. These recipes are inspired by recipes you’ll remember from classic family Thanksgiving dinners. Want something that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser? Try anything on this list!

1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

Caramelized Brussels sprouts and sweet, crispy apples combine to make an irresistible Friendsgiving side dish. These roasted Brussels look and taste fancy, but they’re actually ready in just 30 minutes.

This combination of fruits and vegetables is a lighter offering at a traditionally higher-carb dinner, which helps round the meal out a bit.

roasted brussels and apples for Friendsgiving

2. Mashed Butternut Squash 

Mashed potatoes just met their flavor match! This mashed butternut squash recipe is made with roasted squash, butter, brown, sugar, and spice for a seasonal side. It’s smooth and creamy and smells like fall.

mashed butternut squash for unique Friendsgiving side ideas

3. Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

I love making this for Friendsgiving every year. This tasty side dish is so incredibly cheesy that it gets completely gobbled up every year. In fact, if you have friends that don’t usually like cauliflower, they will love this cheesy recipe – cheese makes everything better.

cheesy cauliflower gratin in a pan

4. Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese

Don’t forget about carrots this year! Step it up a level with these roasted carrots made with delicious toppings! The creamy goat cheese is the best part, although everyone raves about the candied pecans too.

candied pecans and roasted carrots side for Friendsgiving food ideas

5. Broccolini Salad

Instead of a boring chopped salad, serve your friends a tangy broccolini salad. I love how broccolini is subtly sweet – it tastes delicious with the chopped nuts.

This cold salad can be mixed together in just a few minutes or made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days (just wait to do the dressing until before you serve).

Broccolini Salad in a bowl.

6. Waldorf Salad

Yes, this traditional holiday salad has marshmallows in it! It’s super-sweet, with crunchy apples, celery, and earthy walnuts. This is a classic midwest side dish that tastes like dessert, but you serve it during dinner.

waldorf salad in a bowl on a table

7. Roasted Honeynut Squash

Looking for a tasty and unique new side? You’re going to love this Roasted Honeynut Squash. It’s sweet, full of fall flavor, and so simple to make.

Roasted Honeynut Squash with Pecans

8. Easy Butternut Squash Salad

Made with arugula, dried cranberries, goat cheese, walnuts, and a homemade apple cider vinaigrette, this Butternut Squash Fall Salad is a delicious and seasonal way to start any autumn dinner. Add grilled chicken or steak and you can turn it into a meal. 

Butternut Squash Fall Salad Recipe in bowls.

9. Hot Apple Cider

It’s not Friendsgiving without a pitcher of hot apple cider. You can spike it to give it a kick, but it also tastes perfect without the alcohol.

Plus, this beverage has a very welcome perk to it. As it simmers on the stove, your entire kitchen will begin to smell like fall – no candle compares to these incredible aromas.

hot apple cider in a glass mug for Friendsgiving food ideas

10. The BEST Mulled Wine

If you’re looking for a delicious warm cocktail, this Mulled Wine recipe is an easy and delicious recipe that is perfect for your Friendsgiving festivities.

mulled wine in a pot with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

11. Ultimate Caramel Apple Martini

Easy and delicious, this Caramel Apple Martini is one of my favorite fall cocktails. The best part? You only need three ingredients to make it! It’s perfect to pair with your Friendsgiving foods!

Caramel Apple Cider Martini | Inspired by Charm for Red Envelope

Non-traditional Friendsgiving food ideas

Break out of the ordinary with these fun non-traditional food ideas. These recipes might not be typical Thanksgiving recipes, but they fit in perfectly with any party that you host.

12. Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Make this twist on shepherd’s pie if you love to serve sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving. It’s a unique take on the classic vegetable side but it’s absolutely delicious.

You start out with sweet potatoes, then add ground sausage and beef, lots of veggies, and a bunch of incredible herbs and spices. It’s fantastic!

sweet potato shepherd's pie

13. Out-of-This-World Corn Dip

You can see the heat and spice in this corn dip! In fact, it’s all the peppers that elevate this dip from tasty to WOW status. Make plenty of it; this dip goes quickly.

Make sure you serve it with some scoopable corn chips. Since it’s a thick dip, you’ll need a thicker chip that’s strong enough to hold it all the flavor.

corn dip in bowl

14. Apple Pie Moonshine

Whether you pour it into tiny glasses or hand them out as party favors, apple pie moonshine will become one of your favorite holiday drinks.

It starts out with a base of apple cider, then you slowly simmer it on the stove and mix in some grain alcohol and vodka. It packs some serious punch!

homemade apple pie moonshine for Friendsgiving food ideas or gifts

15. Pepperoni Bread 

You can serve this tasty pepperoni bread as an appetizer or place it on the table with your turkey or ham. The bread is scrumptious by itself, but adding the pepperoni just elevates it to a whole new level. Slice it into small pieces for each guest or make them larger and eat them for a Friendsgiving lunch.

baked pepperoni appetizer

16. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Are your friends cheese lovers? Mine sure are! If you’re serving them lunch, put these grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is your basic boring sandwich though. Between two slices of bread three different types of cheese ooze out, including cream cheese! Add some sundried tomatoes and mushrooms for an unforgettable sandwich.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese close up.

17. Mini Beer Shots

Even if some of your friends don’t like beer, they will have fun with these little beer shots. Want to know a secrete? There’s no beer in this at all!

This fun drink is made with Licor 43 and cream, but it looks just like a foamy mug of beer in miniature. The tiny beer mug shot glasses are so cute that you can’t deny them.

If you like these, you’ll love my Baby Guinness Shots too!

beer shot in a mini mug for Friendsgiving

18. Creamy Pumpkin Tortellini

Serve cheesy pumpkin tortellini as the main course or savory side dish. It’s basically cheese tortellini in a sweet and savory pumpkin sauce. Save extras in the fridge; they taste even better the next day as leftovers.

Creamy Pumpkin Tortellini serve on plates and in a pan.

19. Cinnamon Roll Butternut Squash Pie

Do you love pumpkin pie but yearn for something new and equally delicious? Then you need to try this Cinnamon Roll Butternut Squash Pie. It has all the seasonal flavors of pumpkin pie complete with a unique cinnamon roll-inspired crust. Your friends will be impressed!

Everything Bagel Cheeseball

20. Pumpkin-Shaped Everything Bagel Cheese Ball

While I love the cute mini size, your cheeseball doesn’t have to be small. Make a larger pumpkin-shaped cheeseball, and it’ll become the centerpiece of your appetizer table. 

This cheeseball is made with a combination of cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Then, it is covered in salty and nutty everything bagel seasoning. Everyone will love it!

Cinnamon Roll Butternut Squash Pie

What to serve with Friendsgiving dinner

Of course, your Friendsgiving meal will also need some festive drinks to wash down all that food. Here are a few more of my go-to drinks for both Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving:

That’s a wrap on Friendsgiving food ideas

There you go! I hope this list gives you some ideas of things to cook and prepare for your next Friendsgiving celebration.

Now you have plenty of inspiration with these fun and tasty Friendsgiving food ideas. I hope you have a blast mixing things up this year. Let me know which recipes you try!

Love these festive dishes and want more?

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Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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