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Friendsgiving: What is it and What do you Eat?

Last Updated on November 23, 2021

Thanksgiving means something different to all of us. For some, it’s an event marked by close family, giving thanks, and sharing stories and laughter while slowly teetering towards a food-induced coma. For others, it’s screaming at Grandma for not being “woke,” fighting to get your share of cranberry sauce before your obnoxious nephews slurp it all up, and explaining to the extended family why your career or relationship is in a transition (for the best, of course). 

Family is forever, and we’re stuck with them. That is the beauty of Thanksgiving, yet also part of the horror. 

On the other hand, Friendsgiving is a celebration that acts as both a holiday respite from family and a source of solace for those away from family during the holiday time. As you might guess, Friendsgiving is a blend of “Friends” and “Thanksgiving” and refers to a meal or celebration among friends on or around the Thanksgiving holiday. 

What Do You Eat at a Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving was invented as a chance to enjoy a light social environment without the heavy stressful burdens of tradition.  

However, as the name suggests, an underlying Thanksgiving theme is usually at the heart of each gathering. While there is not the strict structure of a traditional turkey meal, creative Thanksgiving-inspired food and themes are fun to incorporate.  

Here we have you covered with a list of the best Friendsgiving food ideas that blend Thanksgiving tradition with millennial culinary efficiency and creativity.  

Keep it Simple with a Potluck

If you are the type of person who enjoys making a plan and putting it in action, Friendsgiving is an event where you can shine bright. It could also be the case that you are the only one of your friend group capable of planning anything, so keep it simple to avoid any holiday resentment from building. 

We highly recommend delegating a potluck-style dinner among friends or crafting a simple food plan that won’t take too much time or effort. Come up with a list of appetizers, mains, and desserts that are easy to prepare.

If you need some Friendsgiving potluck inspiration, here is a short list of creative and efficient ideas that are creative enough to call hip but traditional enough to support the theme. 

If your friends need some extra guidance and structure and you’re willing to take on the brunt of the organization, consider starting a Friendsgiving registry where friends can claim a food idea and run with it. 

Use a Crockpot

Cooking technology was invented for a reason, so time to break tradition and use it accordingly. Using a crockpot to prepare a feast is convenient, clean, and delicious. 

Even though we miss out on having the full turkey bird on display at the center of the table, we save ourselves the stress of serving it dry and chalky. Cooking turkey, chicken, or other meats in a crockpot ensures that the dish will remain moist and tender. The time normally spent checking and rechecking the tenderness of the meat while cooking in the oven can be used to cook those delicious sides or order them in. There’s nothing wrong with smart cooking. 

Delivery Friendsgiving

The idea of ordering in a Thanksgiving feast might get some eye rolls from the more traditional crowd, but that’s precisely why Friendsgiving became a thing. It breaks tradition and instead focuses on a stress-free approach. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get a smorgasbord of creative thanksgiving food delivered right to your doorstep.  

Millennials are known for thinking outside the box, and Friendsgiving is no exception. Even ideas that deviate heavily from the norm, such as a taco buffet or pizza and salad bar, can be creatively decorated and accessorized with a Thanksgiving theme. Even Pizza Hut now appears in the Friendsgiving space, sponsoring creative fast food ideas full of holiday pizzazz.

Don’t Make it Stressful

There is plenty of room at Friendsgiving for creatively themed food ideas, but be sure not to stray too far away from the central theme. Friendsgiving should be a stress-free version of the traditional family Thanksgiving. It can incorporate similar themes, but they shouldn’t bind it. It’s a time to celebrate being together with friends and loved ones, breaking free of tradition, and doing what feels fun. No more nightmares of a dry turkey or a tasteless pumpkin pie. Focus on enjoying more time with friends and less time toiling away in the kitchen. 


“How to organize Friendsgiving: The top do's and don'ts”. 19 Nov 2019 USA Today. Web. 18 Nov 2021

Manaker, Lauren. “15 Delicious Dishes to Bring to Friendsgiving That Are Made For Sharing”. 26 Nov 2019. Web. 18 Nov 2021

“Where Does 'Friendsgiving' Come From?”. Web. 18 Nov 2021

“Make your Friendsgiving fast-food chic – here’s how”. Web. 18 Nov 2021 <>


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