5 Friendsgiving Recipes to Test Out This Thanksgiving

As the weather gets colder and the holidays draw near, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving. This time of year often means busy weekends socializing and countless gatherings with friends and family; as a guest during the holidays, it doesn’t seem right to attend these parties empty-handed. However, if you find yourself in a time crunch or simply lacking the skills of an iron chef, no need to worry - here are five easy recipes for all your Thanksgiving needs. 

  1. 1. Mandarin Orange and Cranberry Salad

    This easy recipe just requires assembly, but the taste will make people think you’re quite the chef. With autumn spices and flavors, it’s an easy salad appetizer that will have everyone coming back for seconds. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    1 bag baby spinach or spring mix

    1 can mandarin oranges

    ½ cup dried cranberries

    ⅓ cup sliced almonds (walnuts or pecans also work well)

    ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate

    ½ teaspoon orange zest 

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    ¼ cup olive oil

    2 tablespoons sugar

    1 tablespoon vinegar (or apple cider)

    ½ tablespoon lemon juice

    1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)


    1. Combine spinach, oranges, cranberries and almonds into a large salad bowl. 

    2. In a separate bowl, add the orange juice, zest, salt, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice (and poppyseeds if you chose to include them). Then, mix or shake until the ingredients are well combined. 

    3. Pour your homemade dressing over the salad and toss before serving.  

  2. 2. Honey Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

    When I hear “Thanksgiving,” I immediately think of sweet potatoes. Mashed potatoes are great, but sweet potatoes take a beloved fan-favorite Thanksgiving side dish to the next level with cinnamon-y sweetness, especially when you add toasted marshmallows on top; who doesn’t love marshmallows? This is my personal favorite recipe, and fellow sweet-tooths might agree.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    4 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)

    ½ cup brown sugar

    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (with a small amount set aside for drizzling purposes)

    ¼ cup honey

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Salt and ground pepper

    Marshmallows (however many you see fit)


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2. Lay peeled and cubed sweet potatoes out on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and pepper over the potatoes.

    3. Roast for 25-30 minutes in oven until tender.

    4. Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a casserole tray.

    5. Place a layer of marshmallows over the sweet potatoes, and torch them until brown and melty. 

  3. 3. Roasted Vegetable Medley

    This recipe also involves roasted vegetables, but takes a healthier path. This savory Thanksgiving side dish is a necessary companion to the sweetness of the previous dish. This is a perfect addition for veggie lovers, as well as a delicious compromise for those who don’t like vegetables.  

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    3 medium-sized carrots cut into 1 ½ inch thick slices

    1 ½ cups brussels sprouts halved 

    4 cups red bliss potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch thick slices

    3 medium-sized parsnips cut into 1 ½ inch thick slices

    1 cup sweet potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch thick slices

    ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

    1 tablespoon dried oregano

    1 tablespoon dried rosemary

    1 teaspoon dried thyme

    1 teaspoon dried basil

    ¼ cup sea salt

    2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2. Add carrots, brussels sprouts, red bliss potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes to a large bowl. 

    3. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, dried herbs, salt, and pepper until well-coated.

    4. Evenly spread the vegetables on a large baking sheet. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.

    5. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. 

  4. 4. Apple Crisp

    This recipe is the most time-consuming of the five, but the result will definitely be worth the effort. This dessert incorporates yet another classic fall flavor combination: apples and cinnamon. This delicious recipe provides the well-loved flavor of apple pie without the stress of baking a perfect pie. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    5 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks

    ¼ cup finely chopped pecans

    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    ½ cup brown sugar

    2 tablespoons maple syrup

    1 tablespoon lemon juice


    ¾ cup all-purpose flour

    ⅓ cup brown sugar

    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces

    ¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans


    1. Mix all the ingredients together and distribute into 7 or 8 ounce ramekins. 


    2. Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.

    3. Blend the butter into the mixture until it forms small, pea-sized lumps.

    4. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over filling. 

    5. Bake crisps for 35-40 minutes.

    6. Cool 10 minutes before serving. 

  5. 5. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    This dessert recipe is a twist on classic chocolate chip cookies. These cookies make a delicious, easy pre-pie dessert or snack. Pair with warm milk and a cozy fire. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened

    1 cup white sugar

    1 cup light brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 cup canned pumpkin puree

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    ½ teaspoon ground ginger

    ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

    ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

    2 cups milk chocolate chips

    Nonstick cooking spray (or parchment paper)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray. 

    3. Using a mixer, beat butter until smooth. Then, beat in eggs one at a time, and mix in vanilla and pumpkin puree.

    4. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl. 

    5. Slowly beat flour mixture into the batter in thirds. 

    6. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

    7. Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheets.

    8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies are browned around the edges.

    9. Let cookies rest for 2 minutes before transferring them onto wire racks to cool.

These five delicious recipes will easily elevate your status as a host or guest this Thanksgiving season. All of these dishes and desserts require very little cooking experience without sacrificing flavor or taste; they’re perfect for anyone with minimal cooking experience or for those of us with busy schedules and little time to prepare.