Thanksgiving, for many of us, is synonymous with hours of standing over a hot stove, too much family drama, and a ton of cleanup that somehow falls only on one or two good samaritans. Friendsgiving however, is hands down the easiest way to avoid all of the above, and spend the holidays with those you love. Doing Friendsgiving the Plated way allows you to try unique recipes that may not otherwise make it into your Thanksgiving repertoire. The recipes below are twists on your go-to classics, maintaining all the Thanksgiving vibes, and letting you save the turkey and potatoes for later.
Sausage, Squash, and Sage Stuffing
This one is a Plated favorite that has graced our menu in many different forms. Traditional stuffing is often bland, lacking texture, and could even come from a box *gasp.* Our take uses flavorful sweet Italian sausage, fluffy, slightly sweet brioche bread, and butternut squash. This recipe is sure to convert any stuffing hater very quickly.
2 slices white bread
3 ounces baby arugula
1 yellow onion
1 stalk celery
8 ounces chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
1/8 ounce parsley
1 delicata squash
1/8 ounce sage
12″ large pan
1. Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 425°F. Finely chop sage leaves, discarding stems. Rinse remaining produce. Roughly chop parsley leaves, discarding stems. Halve squash lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Thinly slice celery crosswise. Halve lemon. Peel onion. Cut into small dice. Cut bread into ½-inch cubes. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg. Cut half of butter into ¼-inch pieces. Place in refrigerator; reserve remainder.
2. Roast Squash and Toast Bread
Line a baking sheet with foil, then add squash cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil, season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, and arrange cut-side down on 1 half of prepared sheet. Roast until beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Arrange bread cubes on other half of sheet in a single layer (be careful—your sheet is hot!). Return to oven and roast until squash is tender and bread is golden, 6-8 minutes more.
3. Prepare Stuffing
While squash roasts, heat reserved butter (not the chilled cubes!) in a large pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add sage, celery, and onion and sauté, stirring, until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer aromatics to a large bowl and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Once golden, stir in toasted bread, reserving baking sheet for Step 5 and pan for cooking sausage in the next step.
4. Season Stuffing
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in pan from aromatics over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add sausage and cook, breaking up, until browned, 5-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl with stuffing, along with ½ cup chicken stock, parsley, and 1 egg. Stir gently to combine. Save remaining stock for a gravy.
5. Finish Squash
Arrange squash halves scooped-side up on baking sheet. Season insides of each with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing into squash halves and dot with chilled butter cubes, dividing evenly. Scatter any remaining stuffing alongside squash on baking sheet (there will be plenty). Bake until stuffing is golden and squash is tender, about 15 minutes (this is a great time to get a head start on cleanup).
6. Plate Roasted Delicata Squash
In a large bowl, whisk together juice of ½ lemon (save remainder to roast inside your turkey), 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Pat arugula dry, add to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Transfer roasted squash with sausage-sage stuffing and salad to serving plates. Dig in!
Enter: the twist on traditional Thanksgiving food made for beef lovers. Our recommendation would be to make the patties smaller and turn them into sliders (or little meatballs without a bun!). You will have to cook them for less time, but they’ll feed more people, and can work as a fun appetizer! Serve the salad alongside for a little something green at the table.
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
12 ounces ground beef
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 brioche buns
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 slices Cheddar cheese
1 yellow onion
5 ounces baby spinach
10 ounces butternut squash
1.5 ounces mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
potato masher (optional)
12″ large pan
1. Prepare Ingredients and Make Vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Peel onion and dice. Quarter squash cubes. In a large bowl (big enough for the salad), whisk together Champagne vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Whisking continuously, slowly add 2 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined, then set aside.
2. Roast Squash
On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Roast, flipping halfway, until tender and slightly browned, about 15 minutes total. Using a fork or potato masher, mash half of roasted squash on baking sheet, leaving remainder whole. Set aside until ready to serve.
3. Make Caramelized Onion Aioli
While squash roasts, heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browning, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are golden and very soft, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl, stir in mayonnaise, ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, and set aside.
4. Form Burgers
Pat beef dry with paper towel and place in a large bowl. Add spice mix and mustard and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Using your hands, mix well, then form into 2 equal patties, about 1-inch thick. Using your thumb, create a dimple on top of each.
5. Cook Burgers
Wipe pan from onions clean and add 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add burgers and sear, without flipping, until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip burgers, top with Cheddar, and reduce heat to medium. Continue searing until burgers are browned and medium rare, 3-4 minutes more. Transfer burgers to a plate, loosely cover with foil, and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
6. Plate Cheeseburgers
Wipe pan from burgers clean and return to medium heat. Halve brioche buns crosswise, place cut-side down in pan, and toast until light golden and warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, cranberries, and whole squash to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Layer bun bottoms with burgers, then mashed squash, then caramelized onion aioli, then bun tops. Dig in!
Rosemary Chicken with Butternut Purée and Roasted Red Onions
Do you have any friends who only eat chicken? *Raises hand* This warming dish has all of the flavor components of your Thanksgiving turkey but uses a different bird. Loaded with fall flavors like butternut squash, nutmeg, roasted garlic, and rosemary, this dish is perfect for a semi-traditional entree.
9 ounces baby spinach
1 pound butternut squash
2 red onions
3 cloves garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄4 ounce chives
1⁄4 ounce rosemary
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 baking sheets
12″ large pan
blender or food processor (optional)
Searching for the perfect wine pairing? We suggest cru Beaujolais, a vibrant red wine from 1 of 10 designated regions (or crus) in France. The wine’s classic flavors of ripe raspberry are an excellent match for the butternut purée, while its earthy, herbal notes bring out the rosemary in the dish.
1. Prepare ingredients
Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse all produce. Pat spinach dry with paper towel. Cut butternut squash cubes to 1⁄2-inch pieces, if needed. Thinly slice chives. Peel onions, quarter, and separate layers. Place garlic on a small piece of foil and drizzle over 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring edges of foil together and seal to form a pouch.
2. Roast vegetables
On a baking sheet, toss butternut squash with nutmeg, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer. On a separate sheet, toss onions with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired; arrange in a single layer. Add garlic pouch to 1 sheet; roast, rotating sheets halfway through, until vegetables are tender and garlic is golden and soft, 15–18 minutes total.
3. Make rosemary oil
While vegetables roast, thinly slice chives. Strip rosemary leaves, discarding stems, then mince. In a small bowl, stir together rosemary and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and season all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
4. Cook rosemary chicken
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil
is shimmering, add chicken skin-side down. Sear, working in batches and adding oil as needed, until skin is golden and easily lifts from pan, 6 minutes. Flip chicken and pour over rosemary oil. Continue cooking, spooning over rosemary oil repeatedly, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside to rest.
5. Make purée and salad
While chicken cooks, in a blender or food processor, combine butter, sour cream, roasted squash, roasted garlic, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and pepper; blend until smooth, then transfer to a medium bowl. Alternatively, purée ingredients in a medium bowl; using a fork or potato masher, mash until smooth. Cover with foil to keep warm. In a large bowl, toss roasted onions with sherry vinegar, spinach, chives, and 11⁄2 tablespoons olive oil.
6. Plate rosemary chicken
Thinly slice rested chicken. Divide butternut purée among serving plates and top with rosemary chicken. Serve with salad. Pour yourself a glass of wine (see recipe tip), and enjoy!
Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Thanksgiving always comes at a chilly time of year. This soup will not only warm you up temperature-wise, but it’ll warm up your soul, too. It’s thick and creamy from the coconut milk and squash and has added crunch of sweet and spiced pumpkin seeds. You can pour it into lovely small cups as an appetizer, or serve it as your first course. Either way, you’ll be the hit of Friendsgiving for serving up a warming fall soup with new flavors and textures. Not to mention, this dish is very instagrammable.
1 1⁄2 pounds butternut squash
1 1⁄2 pounds cauliflower florets
1⁄4 ounce cilantro, divided
3 cloves garlic
2 cans lite coconut milk, divided
2 tablespoons vindaloo curry paste
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 vegetable bouillon cube
10″ large pot
8″ small nonstick pan
blender or food processor (optional)
Coconut milk solids naturally separate from the liquids during transit. Vigorously shake the can before opening, or pierce the solids with a spoon before pouring into the pan to avoid a messy splatter.
No blender? No problem! Using a fork or potato masher, mash roasted vegetables on sheet, then add to pot with aromatics, along with bouillon cube, remaining coconut milk, and water, and stir to combine. The soup won’t be as smooth, but it will still be delicious.
1. Roast squash and cauliflower
Preheat oven to 450F. Rinse all produce. Cut butternut squash cubes to 1⁄4-inch pieces, if needed. Cut cauliflower into 1 inch–wide florets, if needed. On a baking sheet, toss squash and cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer and roast until golden and tender, 20–22 minutes. Then, remove from oven and set aside to cool, 5 minutes.
2. Prepare ingredients
While vegetables roast, pick cilantro leaves and roughly chop stems, keeping separate. Peel shallots and mince. Mince garlic. Open coconut milk (see recipe tip); place 1 tablespoon in a small bowl for garnish, reserving remainder for Step 5.
3. Sauté aromatics
Heat 21⁄2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallots, garlic, and cilantro stems and sauté, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Then, add curry paste and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring constantly to combine, 1 minute more. Remove pot from heat and set aside until Step 5.
4. Toast pumpkin seeds
Heat a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Carefully hover your hand a few inches away—when you can easily feel heat, add pumpkin seeds. Toast, stirring, until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar begins to melt and cling to pumpkin seeds, 2–3 minutes. Add garam masala and cook, stirring vigorously, 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
5. Finish butternut squash soup
In a blender or food processor, combine vegetable bouillon cube, half of roasted vegetables, and 21⁄2 cups water and blend until smooth (see recipe tip). Add soup to pot with aromatics, along with remaining coconut milk (not 1 tablespoon reserved) and remaining roasted vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium high and simmer until flavors have melded, 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
6. Plate butternut squash soup
Remove and discard cinnamon stick from pot with soup and season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Divide curried butternut squash and cauliflower soup among serving bowls. Drizzle over reserved coconut milk. Break spiced pumpkin seeds into bite- size pieces and sprinkle over bowls. Garnish with cliantro leaves and dig in!
Kale and Farro Salad
This is a great dish for those people already working on their New Year’s resolutions about 6 weeks too early (by that we mean eating salads sooner than necessary). The kale and farro are a super hearty and will keep you full into 2019. This salad feels indulgent without being too heavy, and, it’s vegetarian! It’s a great side dish to change-up the usual sweet potatoes and squash.
2 ounces walnuts
1/2 cup farro
1/8 ounce thyme
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons currants
8 ounces dinosaur kale
12 ounces sweet potato
2 ounces goat cheese
1/8 ounce chive
8″ medium pot
10″ medium nonstick pan
1. Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Rinse all produce. Cut sweet potatoes into ½-inch dice. Roughly chop walnuts. Thinly slice chives. Peel shallot and thinly slice. Unwrap goat cheese, place on a plate, and refrigerate until ready to use. Stack kale leaves, trim and discard stems, and thinly slice crosswise. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt over kale and, using your hands, massage until kale begins to soften, 1-2 minutes.
2. Roast Sweet Potato
On a baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with whole thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs after roasting.
3. Cook Farro
While sweet potatoes roast, season boiling water generously with salt and add farro. Cook until tender but still chewy, 12-14 minutes. Drain farro, return to pot off heat, and stir in currants, walnuts, chives, and kale. Once roasted, stir sweet potatoes into pot with farro.
4. Make Dressing
While farro cooks, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, then whisk in white balsamic and 1 teaspoon of mustard. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Stir half of dressing into pot with farro and vegetables and set remaining dressing aside.
5. Crust Goat Cheese
Place breadcrumbs on a plate and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together 1 egg and remaining mustard. Remove goat cheese from refrigerator and season all over with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Dip cheese in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.
6. Sear Goat Cheese and Plate
Wipe pan from shallots clean and add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add goat cheese and sear until bottom is golden, 4 minutes. Flip and sear until crust is browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Plate salad, top with goat cheese, and drizzle over remaining dressing. Dig in!
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