Thursday, April 18, 2024

8 Friendsgiving recipes to try out at your next gathering

November 22, 2021
<p>Psychology sophomore Aryanna Dorsey and animal science junior Kendra Cournaya prepare Friendsgiving dinner on Nov. 18, 2021.</p>

Psychology sophomore Aryanna Dorsey and animal science junior Kendra Cournaya prepare Friendsgiving dinner on Nov. 18, 2021.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

It’s that time of year again — a time of joyous family fighting over a festive meal at your aunt's house (who you haven't seen in five years).

Thanksgiving is a day when families come together, despite their differences, and try to, but often fail to, put their differences aside. The food is absolutely delicious, but the sound of screaming adults and children alike? Far from it.

That’s why the past generation came up with “Friendsgiving”: A day in which one can indulge in a mouth-watering feast surrounded by the people they actually chose to be in their lives.

Our generation has not failed to continue this tradition, but cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner can be … overwhelming, to say the least. That’s why The State News has compiled a Friendsgiving recipe book for you and your friends to use in the coming days.


This is by far the most complicated and scary Thanksgiving dish to make, but this is an incredibly simple recipe. I’ve personally used it multiple times and, without fail, it turns out delicious. But if you would rather sub this dish for a rotisserie chicken, go right ahead.

What you’ll need to serve eight:

  • 10 pound turkey

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 tbsps lemon juice

  • 4 tablespoons italian seasoning (or any herbs)

  • two cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • Equipment: twine, roasting pan, small bowl, measuring utensils, spoon, oven

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.

  2. Inside the turkey cavity, there should be a bag of turkey parts. Take that out.

  3. Rub salt and pepper inside the turkey cavity.

  4. In a bowl, mix together the softened butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, italian seasoning, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons each).

  5. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey, making sure to get it under the skin.

  6. Using the twine, tie the turkey legs together.

  7. Place the turkey in the roasting pan, and pour the chicken stock into the pan.

  8. Cook for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and cook for another 2 and a half hours. Every 30 minutes, open the oven and spoon some of the juice onto the turkey.


Just buy canned or boxed stuffing. Does anyone even make their own at this point?

What you’ll need to serve six:

  • 3 cups canned stuffing mix (the brand Stove Top is one of the popular choices)

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • Equipment: saucepan, measuring utensils, stove or microwave 

How to make it:

  1. Follow the instructions on the back of the container (basically you mix everything together and cook). You can either make this dish in the microwave or on the stovetop. 

Mac & Cheese

Although box mac and cheese is less work intensive, taking time and effort to make this dish is beyond worth it. 

What you’ll need to serve eight:

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ cup flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 4 cups milk

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

  • Breadcrumbs 

  • Equipment: saucepan, spoon, measuring utensils, small bowl, casserole dish, stove, oven

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How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.

  2. Cook your pasta in boiling water according to the box instructions. It should give you a cooking length for “a la dente”--use that.

  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper for five minutes.

  4. In a couple bathes, pour the milk in. Make sure to continue stirring. Keep stirring for about five minutes.

  5. Combine the cheeses in a separate bowl. Add half the cheese into the mixture, and keep stirring on medium heat until the cheese is fully melted.

  6. Fold the cooked macaroni in.

  7. In a casserole dish, pour half the mac and cheese. Layer it with the remaining half of the cheese combination, then pour the rest of the pasta on that. Top it off with breadcrumbs.

  8. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. When it’s ready, the cheese will be bubbling and the breadcrumbs will be golden brown.


This is another dish that tastes just as good made from a box as it tastes from scratch.

What you’ll need to serve six to eight:

  • Box cornbread mix (JIFFY is a popular brand)

  • one egg

  • ⅓ cup milk

  • Equipment: measuring utensils, spoon or whisk, cupcake or muffin tin, baking spray, oven

How to make it:

  1. Follow the instructions on the back of the box (basically just mix the ingredients together).

  2. Spray the tin with baking spray. Distribute the batter in each cup.

  3. Bake according to the directions on the box.

Mashed Potatoes

A Thanksgiving classic that everyone is sure to love.

What you’ll need to serve eight:

  • 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 4 tbsp butter

  • 2 cups milk

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Equipment: measuring utensils, pot, saucepan, stove, electric beater or potato masher

How to make it:

  1. Boil salted water and add potatoes to cook for about 15 minutes, or until soft.

  2. In a saucepan, combine butter and milk and heat on low until the butter is melted.

  3. Pour the milk mixture onto the cooked potatoes, and use a beater or potato masher to blend them together.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potatoes

Undoubtedly the most perfect, angelic, delicious, beautiful Thanksgiving dish there is.

What you’ll need to serve eight:

  • 12 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup butter

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup milk

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

  • Equipment: pot, potato masher or fork, measuring utensils, oven

How to make it:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes in it on medium heat until they are fork-tender (about 15 minutes).

  2. Drain the water, and then mash the potatoes with a masher or a fork.

  3. Add half of the butter so that it can melt into the potatoes, and combine.

  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, and combine.

  5. Cut the remaining butter into chunks and let it melt on top of the potatoes.

Green Beans

We have to make sure to get some veggies in our diets.

What you’ll need to serve eight:

  • 2 pounds green beans

  • 6 tablespoons butter, chopped

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • Salt to taste

  • Equipment: pot, stove

How to make it:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the green beans in it.

  2. 1-2 minutes into cooking, add the chopped butter in.

  3. Once the green beans are cooked to your liking, drain the water.

  4. Coat the beans with lemon juice and salt.

Apple Pie

If you choose to make anything off this list, this dish needs to be the one you pick. Take it from someone who is not a pie person and comes from a family of pie haters who cannot get enough of this dutch apple pie.

What you’ll need to serve 8-12:

  • Pie crust dough

For the filling:

  • 8 cups granny smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ¾ cup White sugar

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1 cup flour

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ cup butter

  • Equipment: oven, pie pan, mixing bowls

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

  2. Roll out your dough and place it on the bottom of the pie pan.

  3. In the mixing bowl, mix the slides, peeled and cored apples with the other filling ingredients. The lemon juice is there to keep the apples from browning too much.

  4. In another bowl, combine all the topping dry ingredients. Once combined, add the butter (cut into a few pieces) and combine/ knead with your hands. This will create a slightly clumpy sand-like texture. There should not be any large butter chunks in the mixture at the end, though.

  5. Transfer the apple slices into the pie pan, and top with the butter mixture.

  6. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes.


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