Thanksgiving is a family tradition for most, bringing loved ones together to celebrate what they’re thankful for with good food and great company. But Thanksgiving celebrations can often be stressful with the whole family together, and some may live too far. In comes Friendsgiving!
Whether you celebrate with friends because of distance, circumstance, or just as an extra celebration beyond family time, it’s an opportunity to gather with the family you’ve chosen. It’s also the perfect time to mix up the Thanksgiving traditions with more modern choices! Ditch the typical turkey dressing and cranberry sauce for these fresh new Friendsgiving dishes. Have each friend whip up one, then come together – in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains – for a one-of-a-kind Friendsgiving in the Smokies!
Radicchio Salad with Sour cream Ranch | bonappetit
Fresh and creamy, this modern side is perfect for a Friendsgiving dinner.
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 5 garlic cloves, 1 finely grated, 4 crushed
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ½ lemon
- 2 medium radicchio, preferably Castelfranco, leaves separated
Mix sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, grated garlic, honey, and 5 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season dressing with salt.
Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add crushed garlic and scallions and cook, stirring often, until golden brown around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add panko and season with salt.
Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Finely grate lemon zest directly into pan and toss a few times to incorporate. Transfer breadcrumbs to paper towels to drain; let cool. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Place radicchio in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and scatter breadcrumbs over.
Shingled Sweet Potatoes with Harissa | bonappetit
Whip up a twist on the Thanksgiving staple – the sweet potato – with this earthy and unique dish!
⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons harissa paste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
3¼ lb. medium sweet potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons raw pistachios
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Rosemary Turkey Breast | Taste of Home
Traditional with modern yet simple seasonings, this turkey breast will pair perfectly with your Friendsgiving sides!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 3 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1 bone-in turkey breast (5 pounds)
In a food processor, combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, paprika, and pepper; cover and process until garlic is coarsely chopped.
With your fingers, carefully loosen the skin from both sides of the turkey breast. Spread half the garlic mixture over the meat under the skin. Smooth skin over meat and secure to underside of the breast with toothpicks. Spread remaining garlic mixture over turkey skin.
Place turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° until a thermometer reads 165°, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.) Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Discard toothpicks.
Pretty Duchess Potatoes | Taste of Home
What’s a Friendsgiving dinner without the potatoes? Enjoy this fresh take on the classic side this Friendsgiving.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Over very low heat, stir potatoes 1-2 minutes or until steam has evaporated. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400°. Press potatoes through a potato ricer or strainer into a large bowl. Stir in the egg yolks, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Using a pastry bag or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and a large star tip, pipe potatoes into 6 mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Pumpkin Truffles | Delish
Finish off this Friendsgiving with the perfect bite of pumpkin deliciousness!
- 2 oz. full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 oz. white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 10 oz. semi-sweet or white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Optional for topping
- Extra graham cracker crumbs
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and beat on high until combined. Add graham cracker crumbs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and melted chocolate, and beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 minutes. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Chilling is mandatory.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set them aside.
Begin rolling chilled mixture into balls (about 1 teaspoon per ball) and place balls on baking sheets. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Begin melting chocolate when balls are just about finished chilling, using a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl and melt in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Let warm chocolate sit for 5 minutes to slightly cool before dipping.
Remove balls from the refrigerator and dip them in chocolate. Place balls back onto the baking sheet after you dip each one, then top dipped truffles with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, or sugar (if desired). Allow chocolate to completely set in the refrigerator.
A Friendsgivng Cabin to Remmeber
Now that you have your menu for the celebration, be sure you have somewhere memorable to enjoy it. How about a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains? We have hundreds of options, packed with amenities to ensure you have the best time ever. All of our cabins offer fully equipped kitchens, so creating the meal will be a breeze. Choose one with a great dining space (mountain views are a bonus!), a cozy living area, an awesome deck for fresh air, and some entertainment for after the meal! Here are just a few of the awesome amenities you’ll find across our cabins:
- TV Sports packages for watching the game
- Big screen TVs for the Thanksgiving parade
- Theater rooms for movie night (it’s not too early for Christmas classics)
- Game rooms – shuffleboard, pool, foosball, air hockey, arcade games, and more!
- King-size beds for post-meal naps
- Hot tubs