Cheap and Easy Friendsgiving Recipes

Now that I live on my own in a city far from my mom’s house, Friendsgiving has become a very important tradition for me. This year, I won’t be traveling home for Thanksgiving dinner with family because I have to work on the holiday. But thankfully, I have a close circle of wonderful friends and we’re always looking for an excuse to gather and celebrate something.

It’s important to not take Friendsgiving too seriously because if you’re obsessing over every tiny detail as if Martha Stewart were invited, it’s not going to be fun anymore. November is a stressful month for college students, so who has time to slave away in the kitchen for an entire day? These sides and desserts are quick and easy to make, and you can even prepare some of them a few days ahead to really make your life easier. Each recipe requires ten ingredients or less, and they’re inexpensive ingredients that aren’t hard to find. You may even have a lot of them in your kitchen already.

  1. All you need for this stuffing recipe is three loaves of the cheapest bread you can find, celery, onion, poultry seasoning, broth and butter. The cook time is about an hour, but you’ll only be actively cooking for less than half of that time because it bakes for 35 to 40 minutes. To make it vegetarian, all you need to do is sub vegetable broth for the chicken broth (poultry seasoning is vegetarian despite the name!)

  2. This sinfully good mac and cheese is incredibly easy to make. All you have to do is combine a box of cooked macaroni noodles with cheese, milk, eggs, butter and cream cheese in a casserole dish, and then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. It definitely beats a box of Kraft. 

  3. Want something lighter and more flavorful than creamed corn? This is it! Plus, it’s so quick and easy, you could probably whip it up right before you leave for Friendsgiving if you realize at the last minute that you have nothing to contribute to the table. All you have to do is bring a pound of corn (thawed frozen or canned) to a boil in water, let it simmer for five minutes, then add some butter, parsley, dill and garlic. It’s really that simple.

  4. You could just go buy a box of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix, but there’s nothing like making something delicious from scratch and basking in the compliments from your friends. Especially if it only cost you eight ingredients and about 20 minutes of your time. This is another recipe where the dish spends the majority of its cook time in the oven, so the biscuits can bake while you finish getting ready for Friendsgiving. Who doesn’t love the convenience of multitasking?

  5. I know there are people out there that actually prefer canned cranberry sauce over homemade, and that’s something that I just can’t understand. If you share my aversion to canned cranberry sauce, here’s a super easy recipe that only needs three ingredients! All you have to do is bring cranberries, orange juice and sugar to a boil, simmer on low for three to five minutes, and then you’re done. What’s even better is that you can prepare this sauce up to a week before Friendsgiving if you know you’ll be too busy to make something closer to the date.

  6. If you know you're going to be eating pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner, you could try this fun twist on the classic dessert for your Friendsgiving dinner. It won't take you long to mix together some pumpkin puree, cream cheese and brown sugar, and then all you have to do is pour it in the crust and leave the pie in the fridge for 24 hours while resisting the urge to eat it (which might be difficult.) And if you want to make the recipe even easier, you can skip the crust-making step and buy a premade one at the store.

  7. Pecan pie is another classic Thanksgiving dessert, and the full-size pie itself is actually really easy to make, but these mini tarts are perfect shareables for a large Friendsgiving crowd. They're also vegan and gluten-free, so this dessert is a much healthier option than a traditional pecan pie, which is made with a hefty amount of corn syrup. The recipe does call for the use of a food processor, but I've found a nice blender to work just fine in these situations. And don't be intimidated by the two-part ingredients list because most of the things you need for the crust, you also need for the filling. So despite the long list, you'd only be buying eight different ingredients. They'll stay good in the fridge for two weeks, but I doubt there'd be any leftover after Friendsgiving.

Have a delicious and fun Friendsgiving, Rams! Celebrate good friends and good food, and don't forget to remind your pals why you're thankful for them.