Friendsgiving Menu, a Twist on Traditional Thanksgiving Foods

Friendsgiving Menu, a Twist on Traditional Thanksgiving Foods
Credit: Paul Hawthorne / Staff / Getty

If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your Thanksgiving, why not try out Friendsgiving? What’s a Friendsgiving, you may be wondering? It’s basically a potluck-style party for friends to get together over the holidays without eating the traditional food.

A Friendsgiving party isn’t a substitute for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s just another event over the holidays that lets you enjoy yourself; instead of one person preparing all the turkey, mashed potatoes and traditional foods, friends each bring a little something for the potluck-style event. And to make sure no one’s toes get stepped on, a Friendsgiving party should avoid Thanksgiving favorites, instead encouraging dishes like salmon, chicken, steak, or other non-turkey items. If you’re vegetarian, I’m sure you know some suitable options. Of course, you could always use Friendsgiving as a dry run to test out some Thanksgiving recipes you’re considering, giving yourself a chance to put some fun and interesting twists on the classics. Remember, it’s a party; so keeping rules to a minimum is a good policy to stick to.

Timing Is Tight

Timing might be a little tight if you want to whip up your own Friendsgiving party from scratch, because most Americans will already have plans. Because of the busy time of year, it’s best to host your Friendsgiving party a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the official start to the holiday season. Once Thanksgiving’s arrived, people are busy, and adding another party into the mix—especially one when people have to participate—won’t be practical. Aim for an early November/late October party date.

Setting It Up

Okay, so this isn’t really the kind of party you can throw together last-minute and hope it works out. You can use an e-vite service like Perfect Potluck ( that allows you to set up a menu and have people pick or make suggestions about what they will bring, or you can just do it the old fashioned way and assign something to each guest. If you know Jordan makes great brisket, Shaundra puts together great potatoes, and Fran and Margaret make those desserts to die for, then assign each person something you know they can handle.

A Healthy Party?

Look, you can’t control the recipes your friends use and you don’t want to set too many limitations on guests as to what they can and can’t bring. So, although it’s good to stick to a healthy diet most of the year, loosening up a bit for parties is recommended. A couple of days of good times and holiday cheer won’t bust up your diet or lead to long-term health problems. Enjoy your Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving dinners, your friends and family, and get back to the healthy lifestyle when it’s all over!