Easy, Last-Minute Friendsgiving Food Ideas
Most people shy away from hosting Friendsgiving because – let’s face it – making a multi-course meal for a large group of people (especially in a small kitchen!) can be daunting. Luckily, we’ve rounded up 5 quick and easy Friendsgiving recipes to help you pull off a memorable menu without breaking a sweat.
- Roasted brussels sprouts with apples. In recent years, Brussels sprouts have earned a permanent spot on restaurant menus and in our hearts for good reason. Simply roast or fry them in a good oil, and they’re delicious all on their own. Our favorite fall preparation is to roast them with fruit -- especially apples. To make them, halve or quarter the Brussels sprouts (whatever your preference), and chop the apples to a similar size. Toss them together in a liberal amount of olive oil, with salt and pepper to taste, and roast them in the oven. For that irresistible caramelized taste, leave them in until the edges start to crisp. This version includes onion and a hit of lemon for an added twist.
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- Pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is the quintessential Friendsgiving food. If you own a slow cooker, pumpkin soup is a low-maintenance, festive first course. You can probably throw a simple version together with what you have in your pantry. But the beauty the slow cooker is that even a more complex recipe, like this dairy-free version, has a quick prep time (around 10 minutes). Leave it stewing while you’re at work or as you can prepare the rest of your meal, and it will be done by the time you come back to it.
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- Autumn harvest salad. Salads are a great last-minute addition because they don’t require much planning and people tend to appreciate having something healthy and green on their plates. Instead of the tired lettuce-cucumber-tomato combo; opt for dried fruits and nuts, like cranberries and roasted pecans, which you can sprinkle directly from the bag onto the salad. Most people have them in their cabinets already, and they don’t go bad, so you won’t be stuck wondering what to do with leftovers. These pair well with goat or blue cheese, and a light apple cider vinaigrette. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious or are looking to replace some other more filling sides, this recipe calls for the addition of rice and butternut squash.
- Green beans with garlic. The easiest -- and in our opinion best -- way to include your veggie side is to keep it simple and let the flavor shine through. For us, it doesn’t get better than green beans with garlic. The key to making these a standalone item is to avoid overcooking them. Just chop the garlic (or buy minced) and cook it for 60 seconds in your saucepan or skillet. Once you add the green beans, they should take no more than five minutes to reach that bright, rich green color -- that’s when they’re done. They should still have a slight crunch when you bite into them. Finish with a good EVOO, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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- Pumpkin pie. No Friendsgiving dinner is complete without pumpkin pie. Luckily, the iconic Thanksgiving dessert can also be one of the easiest to make if you use canned pumpkin and a premade pie crust. It will take less than 10 minutes to prep; pop it in the oven and tend to the rest of your cooking until it’s done. Bonus: Pretty all of the ingredients, except for the eggs, can be purchased well in advance -- you may even have some leftover from last year. Try Pillsbury’s Easiest-Ever Pumpkin Pie recipe, and always serve with a side of whipped cream.