Friends, food and festivities. What more could you want?
Friendsgiving is one of our favorite ways to kick off the holiday season. As a stand-alone holiday where you get to set the rules, it’s a fun way to try new, unique foods and spend time with some of your favorite people.
There’s no need to repeat the traditional Thanksgiving meal, since most of your friends will likely be enjoying those foods with their families. Keep it fun, creative and easy, and encourage your friends to bring some of their own dishes for a potluck-style feast.
Read on for some of our favorite tips, recipes and shortcuts, and have a happy Friendsgiving!
Feast Mode – Our Friendsgiving Favorites
Whether you’re hosting or attending a Friendsgiving gathering this year, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top five favorites for Friendsgiving, from traditional dishes to unique finds, that will to take your celebration up a notch from start to finish!
1. New Holiday Turkey Pie Recently featured in Delish, our new (and exclusive!) Holiday Turkey Pie contains all the traditional Thanksgiving foods in one, so you’ll have more time with friends and less time in the kitchen. We’ve combined layers of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberries into a flaky crust for a mouthful of Thanksgiving in every bite. This savory standout can be found in our deli starting on November 6.
2. Take & Bake Brie A guest favorite and hands-down best-seller for the holidays, our Take & Bake Brie is the supreme, easy entertaining appetizer to kick things off for Friendsgiving. Prepared in store and wrapped in a buttery puff pastry, this creamy imported brie serves 4-6 people and is topped with a combination of fruit preserves and almonds or walnuts and is available in flavors including Apricot Almond, Strawberry Walnut or Raspberry Almond.
3. NEW Cream Pies Friendsgiving dessert is as sweet as cream pie with our new decadent, made-from-scratch cream pies. Available flavors include Pumpkin Praline, Bananas Foster, Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter and French Chocolate Silk (which is the actually the third most popular Thanksgiving pie flavor). These 9” cream pies are decorated by hand and topped with real whipped cream. You can share the love when you buy our Cream Pies in November – The Fresh Market will donate $1.00 from every cream pie sold to our national charitable partner, Feeding America, until November 30th. Sweet!
4. Keogh’s Roast Turkey and Secret Stuffing Chips Save the traditional stuffing for the family affair – these chips are as fun as your friends and make for an easy side or pre-meal snack. Made in Ireland and only available during the holidays, they cram all your favorite stuffing ingredients and flavor into a crispy potato chip. Each chip is seasoned with herbs and spices picked from the maker’s farmhouse garden.
5. Turducken Bring on the birds! Perfect for those indecisive and meat-loving friends, turducken is the ultimate, un-traditional entrée for Friendsgiving. It’s handmade in store and consists of a boneless duck breast stuffed inside a boneless chicken breast stuffed inside a boneless turkey breast. It’s also packed with garlic and herb dressing and Andouille sausage throughout for even more flavor. Our Turduckens are made fresh in store so see your neighborhood butcher for availability. Want to try it but not sure how to cook it? Try our recipe for Turducken with Bourbon and Thyme Gravy.
Sips Worth Sharing
A good Friendsgiving calls for a festive cocktail. Try mixing Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale with full-bodied bourbon. The spicy, sweet, rich flavors complement each other beautifully. Finish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and orange peel.
The Fresh Market Friendsgiving Menu
Need some menu inspiration? We’ve put together some of our favorite creative appetizers, mains, sides and desserts. Each section includes something you can make yourself, along with an item that’s ready-made—no prep required.
While you and your friends sip on cocktails, it’s a good idea to have some snacks on hand. Try these lighter bites on for size. We recommend avoiding heavy dishes so your guests don’t fill up before the main event.
Make It: Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Lemon and Parmesan This easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing appetizer comes together in just 30 minutes. Simply fill seasonal stuffing mushrooms with our popular Ultimate Lump Crab Cakes, Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest and crushed red pepper for a little kick. These mushrooms can easily be made ahead of time and reheated when it’s time to eat.
Take It: New Goat Cheese Logs and Goat Pearls Our rich, creamy goat cheese is best served with crusty baguette slices, candied nuts and dried fruit.
Friendsgiving is a great excuse to serve something a little different. Try Spatchcock Turkey flavored with harissa chili paste and maple syrup, or an all-in-one Thanksgiving Pie.
Make It: Maple Harissa Roasted Turkey Add layers of flavor to your Turkey with a unique combination of ingredients, like harissa chili paste, garlic, maple syrup and brown sugar. Our Maple Harissa Turkey recipe
Take It: Thanksgiving Pie Make all your Thanksgiving dreams come true with this all-in-one pie. It’s fully cooked and ready to bake, complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries and gravy. Available by the slice in our Deli.
From savory curried sweet potatoes to loaded au gratin potatoes, these stellar sides make it easy to round out your Friendsgiving feast.
Make It: Curry Sweet Potatoes with Crushed Peanuts, Lime and Mint This savory dish combines traditional ingredients with unexpected flavors to create a truly unique side. Black garlic adds complexity and depth of flavor, while curry paste, coconut milk and brown sugar add sweet, savory richness. Don’t skimp on the mint, cilantro and peanut topping. It provides brightness and crunch to create the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
Take It: Loaded Au Gratin Potato Tray This dish is made with our loaded potato salad, cheddar cheese and savory bacon. It’s everything you love about a loaded baked potato, with the richness of traditional au gratin potatoes. Available in our Deli.
No need to stress over the final course. Let us take care of the sweet stuff! Our Triple Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies are always a hit. If you’re short on time, feed the whole family (and then some) with our family-sized tiramisu.
Make It: Triple Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies We love serving these festive, flavorful cookies during the holidays. They’re made with Wholesome Organic Molasses, along with fresh, ground and crystallized ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Semi-sweet chocolate chips add rich chocolate flavor that plays well with the bold flavors of ginger and spice. Bring a batch to your Friendsgiving gathering and watch them disappear!
Take It: Family Sized Tiramisu We’ve made it easy to enjoy our traditional tiramisu in a family-sized portion. This convenient tray serves 12-16 hungry guests. Available in our Bakery.
5 Tips for a Fabulous Friendsgiving
Hosting Friendsgiving should be fun. Keep it light and creative, and enlist your friends to help, too. We do recommend making a game plan, so the whole affair can be smooth sailing. With a little planning ahead, you’ll have a memorable, stress-free gathering destined to become a new tradition. Here are some of our go-to tips.
1. Keep it simple. Avoid laborious, time-intensive recipes. The easiest option is to host a potluck-style gathering. Prepare a main course and maybe a starter and let your friends handle the rest. For the table setting, keep decorations minimal and inexpensive. We like to tuck fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary in guests’ napkins, add a few unscented votives and decorate with available greenery and berries. Instead of regular butter, opt for Keller Turkey Butter Sculpture from our Dairy Department. Continue the turkey theme with our delicious Chocolate Turkeys crafted from fair-trade milk or dark chocolate. For more ideas, check out our decorating tips.
2. Start early. Whether it’s setting the table or assembling a casserole, anything you can do ahead of time will help you check one more thing off your to-do list. That means more time with your friends on the day-of, and isn’t that what this is all about?
3. Take shortcuts. We offer a variety of pre-washed, cut-in-store vegetables, so you don’t have to chop, slice, dice and clean up the leftovers. Remember, not everything has to be made entirely from scratch in order to be delicious. Discover ways you can save time without sacrificing quality or flavor.
4. Rethink the menu. This doesn’t have to be your traditional Thanksgiving meal. Chances are, your friends will be having turkey and dressing on Turkey Day, so why not mix up the menu? Try proteins, spices and preparations you wouldn’t typically employ. Keep it fun, fresh and creative!
5. Don’t forget the music! A fun gathering calls for fun music, which also helps set the tone for the meal. Keep your playlist casual and upbeat—think Motown and classic oldies with some modern tunes mixed in.
Pro Tip: Ask your friends to bring food containers so they can take leftovers home with them.
Festive Sips to Satisfy the Whole Bunch
Wine is always great to have for your meal, but while you’re mixing and mingling with friends, cocktails are the way to go. Make a big batch ahead of time so you’ll have enough to satisfy a crowd and won’t have to play bartender.
1White Sangria Punch
We love punch-bowl recipes for get-togethers with friends. Our White Sangria Punch is a real crowd-pleaser. Fresh grapes, citrus, Sauvignon Blanc and Fentiman’s Ginger Beer mingle with rosemary sprigs for a refreshing sip.
We also have a delicious recipe for Fall Sangria made with red wine, cranberry juice, The Fresh Market Sparkling Mineral Water, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranates that your friends will love.
3Cranberry Citrus Fizz
If you want something that sparkles, go for Cranberry Citrus Fizz made with sparkling lemonade, blood orange and cranberry juice. We use lemonade ice cubes in this recipe, so you won’t have to deal with a diluted drink!
4Cranberry Blueberry Smash for a Crowd
Finally, our Cranberry Blueberry Smash for a Crowd is always a smash hit. Fresh mint, lime, bourbon and ginger beer play well with tart cranberries and blueberries.