Whether the airplane tickets were too expensive, or you like turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing enough to eat it for multiple meals, or if you are celebrating Thanksgiving “Friendsgiving” style and looking for some easy Friendsgiving dishes to bring to a potluck dinner, we have you covered. Be the hit of the party no matter your skill level thanks to these simple yet satisfying recipes that are great for a crowd. All serve 6–8 people!
noznoa and Arugula Salad with Cranberries and Pecans
This salad is the perfect friendsgiving side. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, and has flavorful bites of chewy dried cranberries and crunchy pecans. It’s basically Thanksgiving in salad form and it’s delicious!
2 cups quinoa
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 packets Dijon mustard
10 ounces baby arugula
3 ounces dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
In a small pot, combine quinoa, 4 cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until water is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, still covered.
While quinoa cooks, mince shallot. In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and shallot. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Whisking continuously, slowly add 4 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Add arugula to bowl with dressing and toss to coat.
Add cranberries, pecans, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pot with quinoa and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Add quinoa to bowl with arugula and stir to fully combine.
Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese
Mac n’ cheese is a Thanksgiving staple, and one that everyone looks forward to seeing on the table. This one, filled with sweet roasted butternut squash, puts a seasonal (and healthy) twist on the classic.
4 cups butternut squash cubes
1 bunch lacinato kale
4 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
2 sprigs sage
1 pound pasta (penne, rigatoni, or other tubular pasta)
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup whole milk
1 cheese mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
Preheat oven to 425F. On a baking sheet toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
While squash roasts, mince garlic. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Roughly chop sage leaves, discarding stems. Remove and discard kale stems and thinly slice leaves crosswise.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add kale and cook until bright green and tender, 5-8 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and as much pepper as desired. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions – remove 2 minutes before done. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
While trumpet pasta cooks, heat butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add garlic, onion, and sage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add squash and cook until coated, 1-2 minutes.
Carefully transfer squash mixture to a blender or food processor. Add milk and pulse until smooth. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and lots of black pepper. Return to pan and stir in all but ¼ cup cheese mixture.
Add pasta and kale to pan with sauce and stir to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is thick and clings to noodles (see Recipe Tip). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Transfer pasta mixture to an ovenproof baking dish. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Bake until cheese is bubbling.
Greek Yogurt Cauliflower Gratin
This gratin is a great light side for Friendsgiving. The Greek yogurt filling keeps it fluffy, and the cauliflower-gruyere combo is hard to beat!
4 pounds cauliflower heads (not florets)
1 sprig thyme
16 ounces Greek yogurt
12 ounces Gruyère cheese
4 ounces milk
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season pot of boiling water generously with salt. Cut cauliflower into .5-inch florets. Add cauliflower to boiling water and blanch until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat very dry with paper towel.
Strip thyme leaves and discard stems. In a large bowl whisk together yogurt, Gruyère, milk, thyme, and 4 eggs until fully combined. Add blanched cauliflower, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired to bowl with yogurt mixture and stir.
Transfer to a baking dish and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle over bread crumbs and Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and topping is crispy, 20-25 minutes.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
This is the ideal dish to bring to Friendsgiving. You can prepare it ahead of time and then throw it in the oven at the last minute to melt the top and warm the potatoes through. It even gets more flavorful as it sits!
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
6 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon t butter
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse potatoes and slice as thinly as possible. Place in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Blanch until almost tender and a knife slid through meets a little resistance, 4–5 minutes. Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towel. [NOTE: They shouldn’t be completely cooked, they will finish cooking in the oven]
While potatoes boil, pick thyme leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic. Heat butter in a small pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add garlic and thyme and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic mixture to bowl with gruyere and parmesan cheese.
Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Arrange ¼ of potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of a baking dish. Top with ¼ of the garlic-cheese mixture. Arrange another layer of potatoes, then garlic-cheese mixture. Repeat until ingredients are finished. Carefully pour cream over top. Cover loosely with foil and bake until cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30–40 minutes more.
Perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Friendsgiving would be incomplete without crispy, caramelized, roasted Brussels sprouts. This dead simple recipe will get you the perfect crunch every time.
2 pounds brussels sprouts
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Halve brussels sprouts through roots.
Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
Arrange brussel sprouts a single layer, cut side down, on 2 baking sheets. Roast until caramelized and tender, about 25 minutes.
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