Friendsgiving is the ultimate holiday reboot. A hybrid of new and old, the holiday-replacement brings together friends for a giant feast of whatever. There might be a turkey, there might not. There could be a sea of pies or a platter of cookies and brownies. Unlike a traditional Thanksgiving meal, there doesn’t seem to be any real standard for a Friendsgiving menu freeing you and your best buds to get wildly creative with it.
It’s not just the festive food we love around the holidays. We can’t deny the draw of sitting around the TV every holiday season, so we’ve come up with a few ideas for your Friendsgiving menu inspired by some of our favorite shows.
Cran-Barry Sauce – Barry
It’s a staple. You have to have it every year but it doesn’t mean we can’t shake things up a bit. We’re done with the canned days of yore, you’re reinventing this classic side and yourself. Put it in a mold, decorate with some citrus garnishes. It’s all about appearances.
Gin & Tonic & Courgette Canapes – Fleabag
The holidays are not about being healthy. Get that goddamn sparkling juice out of there, cut down on your alcohol intake on your own time, on a stupid, not special Tuesday. For a great cocktail that requires zero prep, bring a pack of canned G & T. It’s the perfect drink for sitting around for a chat with your normal, uncool mates. Lighten up the onslaught of heavy starches and carbs with some lovely courgette (aka zucchini) canapes to pass around. No time to cook? No worries, they’re stolen!
Fully-Loaded Nachos & Mudpies – I Think You Should Leave
The holidays are all about sharing. What better sharable is there than some fully-loaded nachos? A large plate piled high with meat and cheese, they’re relatively easy to throw together. Just watch your portions, everybody deserves some meat and cheese and not just chips, like, just chips. Chips sans loaded components does not a serving of nachos make. Of course, it’s not Thanksgiving without pie. Not everyone loves pumpkin, so opt for a classic mudpie. Provide plenty of napkins.
Six Almonds – Veep
We can’t, as a society, move forward until we settle on agreeable Thanksgiving dinner time. Whoever is hosting your Friendsgiving might be one of those fools who goes by a standard, regular weekday dinner start time (like 6:30 or some other nonsensical bullshit). You might need to pace yourself through a few stressful hours until chowtime. Might I suggest six almonds?
Scones – Derry Girls
What flavor are they? Maybe a wee bit of cinnamon, maybe a wee bit of… something else. Regardless, it’s a lovely, crumbly snack that’ll put everyone in a good mood.
Yogurt – The Mandalorian
Just a small amount, like a baby-sized cup of yogurt. Yo-gurt, Baby Yo-da. Whatever, get off me.
Sara Lee Texas Toast – Saturday Night Live
Destroy me, king.
Osso Buco – The Office
For those who want to show off. It’ll need about three hours to braise so you’ll have plenty of time for playing games and dancing with your friends while you wait.
Country Fried Chicken – Stranger Things
Again, it’s the food that’s important not necessarily the cook at a Friendsgiving and poultry has always been the star. Drum up a good ole bucket of bird at your local KFC. It is finger-licking good, after all.
Lemon Pepper Wet Wings – Atlanta
Lemon pepper wet?! Yes, sir. You’ll probably need some help procuring these delicacies but don’t let that deter you.
Mystery Meat – Game of Thrones
Look, none of you have any idea how to cook a turkey even though you had all year and countless resources at your disposal to learn how. You need some sort of protein and here it is. What is it? Who knows. We’ve gone completely off-recipe. It’s burnt yet frozen still in the middle. It looks terrible, it tastes terrible, it’s a waste of space on the table. Game of Thrones.
Seriously, what the fuck is this?
Trifle – Friends
Name a more iconic Thanksgiving dessert. It’s got something for everyone: ladyfingers, custard, jam (made from scratch), beef sauteed with peas and onions, bananas, and whipped cream. It’s so tasty you’ll want to call everyone you know to tell them just how good it is.
Chouquettis – Tuca & Bertie
Get creative at your Friendsgiving these crunchy little hybrid pastries covered in rich ganache and pearl sugar. It’s good, it’s different, and they’re going to go fast. Too fast.
Chocolate & Cookies – Los Espookys
A little treat for little hands. A small pop of sweetness here and there, these two work great together or alone and will keep your spirits alive all day.
Cinnamon Rolls – Schitt’s Creek
Freshly baked from a local shop, they go great with vodka because like we said, now’s not the time to pass on alcohol.
Olivia Cathcart is Paste’s assistant comedy editor.