30 College Friendsgiving Food Ideas in 2023 | Prepare With Ease

Friendsgiving, a warm and festive gathering of friends, has become a special occasion for students to come together and celebrate gratitude, friendship, and of course, mouthwatering food.

From traditional favorites with a modern twist to globally-inspired dishes, you’ll find that most of your friends will be looking for dishes that will leave them craving more. 

In this piece, we’ll review some of the best Friendsgiving food ideas in college. This post is everything you need to create a Friendsgiving feast that will be on everyone’s mind for years!

College Friendsgiving Food Ideas 

With so many good ideas, below are some of the best Friendsgiving food ideas in college.

1. Roasted turkey with cranberry sauce

Roasted turkey is a classic centerpiece for Friendsgiving. It symbolizes abundance and brings everyone together. 

You can season the turkey with herbs and spices, then roast it in the oven until golden brown and juicy. Serve it with homemade cranberry sauce, which adds a delightful tangy sweetness to complement the savory turkey. It is one of the best college Friendsgiving food ideas.

2. Mashed potatoes with gravy

Mashed potatoes are a comforting and universally loved side dish. They’re creamy, fluffy, and perfect for pairing with the main course. 

Boil peeled potatoes until tender, then mash them with butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Top them off with rich gravy from pan drippings or a vegetarian alternative.

3. Stuffing

Stuffing is famous as one of the best Thanksgiving dishes, but it’s also a perfect Friendsgiving food idea. Made with bread, herbs, vegetables, and seasonings, it’s a flavorful accompaniment to the turkey. 

Prepare the stuffing by combining sautéed onions, celery, herbs, and spices with cubed bread. Bake until it’s golden and crispy on top.

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4. Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole is a nostalgic and crowd-pleasing side dish. It combines crisp green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and fried onions. 

Blanch the green beans, mix them with a mushroom sauce made from scratch or using canned soup, top with fried onions, and bake until bubbly. 

Green bean casserole is the perfect Friendsgiving food idea for college students! Even if you have no experience in the kitchen, you can easily whip out a good casserole. 

5. Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a sweet and indulgent dish that can serve as a side or even a dessert. It features mashed sweet potatoes topped with buttery brown sugar and pecan streusel. 

Bake the sweet potatoes until tender; mash them with butter, sugar, and spices, then add the streusel topping and bake until golden and crispy.

6. Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a comforting and satisfying dish. Cook macaroni until al dente, then mix it with a creamy cheese sauce made from cheeses like cheddar, Gruyère, or Parmesan. Bake until the top is golden and bubbly. A good Mac and cheese can make all the difference in your Friendsgiving gathering. 

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7. Cornbread

Cornbread is a famous Southern food that adds a touch of warmth to any Friendsgiving feast. Make the batter with cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, eggs, and a hint of sweetness. Bake it in a preheated skillet or a baking dish until golden and delicious.

8. Cranberry orange relish

If you are having turkey for Friendsgiving, consider the cranberry orange relish. It’s the ultimate Friendsgiving food idea. 

Cranberry orange relish is a tangy and refreshing condiment that pairs perfectly with roasted turkey. Combine fresh cranberries, orange zest, juice, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the cranberries are finely chopped. Serve chilled.

9. Brussels sprouts with bacon

Brussels sprouts with bacon offer a delightful combination of smoky and savory flavors. Trim the Brussels sprouts, halve them, and cook them in a skillet with crispy bacon until tender. You can also season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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10. Roasted butternut squash

Roasted butternut squash brings a vibrant burst of color and sweetness to the table. Peel and dice the squash, toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast until tender and caramelized. 

If you’re planning to have a side dish for your Friendsgiving gathering, the roasted butternut squash is a perfect Friendsgiving food idea to choose from! It can be served as a side dish or used in salads and grain bowls.

11. Garlic-roasted vegetables

Garlic-roasted vegetables are a simple yet delicious way to incorporate a variety of colorful vegetables into your Friendsgiving menu. Toss vegetables like carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast until golden and fragrant. If you have a vegetarian friend, the garlic-roasted vegetable is a perfect Friendsgiving food idea to add to the menu. 

12. Creamed spinach

Creamed spinach is a creamy and luxurious side dish that adds a touch of elegance to the table. Blanch fresh spinach, then sauté it with onions, garlic, and cream. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg and a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Simmer until the spinach is tender, and the sauce is thick.

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13. Baked ham

Baked ham is a delicious alternative to turkey and can be a crowd-pleasing centerpiece for Friendsgiving. Choose a pre-cooked ham, score the surface, and brush it with a glaze made from brown sugar, mustard, and spices. Bake until the ham is heated through. It is one of the best Friendsgiving food ideas. 

14. Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup is a comforting and seasonal starter that sets the tone for a festive Friendsgiving meal. Sauté onions and garlic, and add pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, and a blend of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Simmer until the flavors meld together, then blend until smooth.

15. Corn pudding

Corn pudding is a rich and creamy side dish that celebrates the harvest season. It’s a perfect Friendsgiving food idea. 

Combine corn kernels, cornmeal, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, and spices. Bake the mixture until it sets into a golden, custard-like texture.

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16. Roasted chicken

Roasted chicken is a delicious alternative to turkey, especially for smaller gatherings. Season the chicken with herbs, spices, and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast until the skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and tender.

17. Apple walnut salad

Apple walnut salad is an excellent Friendsgiving food idea for college students. Toss mixed greens, sliced apples, toasted walnuts, crumbled cheese (such as feta or goat cheese), and a simple vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and honey.

18. Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs make for a delightful finger food or appetizer at Friendsgiving. Hard-boil eggs, halve them and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, and seasonings. Spoon the filling back into the egg whites and garnish with paprika or fresh herbs.

19. Cheese and charcuterie board

A cheese and charcuterie board is a crowd-pleasing and low-effort option for Friendsgiving. Arrange a selection of cheeses, cured meats, olives, nuts, fruits, and crackers on a large platter. It offers a variety of flavors and textures for guests to enjoy.

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20. Pecan pie

Pecan pie is a classic and decadent dessert that brings a taste of tradition to the Friendsgiving table. Prepare a buttery and flaky pie crust, then fill it with pecans, eggs, sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Bake until the crust is golden.

21. Apple pie

Apple pie is a timeless dessert that captures the essence of fall. It’s the perfect dessert Friendsgiving food idea. 

Peel, core, and slice apples, then toss them with sugar, spices, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the apple filling in a pie crust, top with another crust, and bake until golden and bubbling.

22. Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie showcases the flavors of the season. Mix pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, spices, and evaporated milk until smooth. Pour the filling into a pre-baked pie crust and bake until set.

23. Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a rich and indulgent dessert that you can customize with various flavors and toppings. Prepare a graham cracker crust, then mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. 

Bake until the cheesecake is set, then chill and add your desired toppings, such as fruit compote or chocolate ganache. The fact that cheesecake can be easily prepared makes it one of the best Friendsgiving food ideas for college students. 

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24. Chocolate truffles

Chocolate truffles are bite-sized delights that make for a luxurious and decadent treat. Melt chocolate and mix it with heavy cream until smooth and glossy. Chill the mixture, then shape it into small balls. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, crushed nuts, or shredded coconut.

25. Caramel apples

Caramel apples offer a fun and nostalgic treat for Friendsgiving. Dip apples on sticks into a homemade caramel sauce, then let them cool and set. 

You can also roll them in crushed nuts or drizzle them with melted chocolate to make them fun. It’s one of the best Friendsgiving food ideas if you’re looking for dessert options. 

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26. Cider-glazed carrots

Cider-glazed carrots provide a sweet and tangy side dish that complements the savory flavors of Friendsgiving. Cook sliced carrots in a mixture of apple cider, butter, brown sugar, and spices until tender and glazed.

27. Cranberry walnut bread

Cranberry walnut bread is a flavorful and festive addition to the Friendsgiving menu. Mix cranberries, chopped walnuts, and orange zest into classic bread dough. Let it rise, then bake until golden and fragrant.

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28. Corn muffins

Corn muffins are a delightful and versatile addition to the Friendsgiving table. Prepare a batter with cornmeal, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and butter. Pour the batter into muffin tins and bake until golden and fluffy.

29. Sausage-stuffed mushrooms

Sausage-stuffed mushrooms are savory and bite-sized appetizers, perfect for your Friendsgiving gathering. Remove the stems from button mushrooms, then fill them with a mixture of cooked and crumbled sausage, breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs. Bake until the mushrooms are tender, and the filling is golden.

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30. Autumn spiced sangria

Autumn-spiced sangria adds a festive touch to the Friendsgiving celebration. Combine red wine, apple cider, brandy, sliced apples, oranges, and warm spices like cinnamon and cloves. Let the sangria chill and infuse for a few hours before serving over ice.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are there any vegetarian or vegan-friendly options for College Friendsgiving?

Vegetarian options include dishes like roasted butternut squash and green bean casserole (using mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup). Vegan-friendly options include roasted vegetable medleys, mashed potatoes made with dairy-free substitutes, and quinoa-stuffed bell peppers.

How can I accommodate friends with food allergies or dietary restrictions?

When planning the menu, ask your guests in advance about any dietary restrictions or allergies they may have. This way, you can modify dishes appropriately or prepare alternative options.

What are some budget-friendly food ideas for College Friendsgiving?

College Friendsgiving can be affordable without compromising on flavor. Opt for budget-friendly ingredients like potatoes, carrots, rice, beans, and seasonal produce. Consider potluck-style gatherings where each guest brings a dish, spreading the cost among everyone.

Can you suggest some dessert ideas that are easy to make?

Some easy-to-make dessert ideas for College Friendsgiving include apple crisp, pumpkin bread, no-bake cheesecake, chocolate-dipped fruit, and cookies.

How can I make the cooking process less stressful for College Friendsgiving?

Plan and create a timeline for preparation and cooking. Make a shopping list, organize your ingredients and cooking utensils, and prepare any dishes you can make in advance.


College Friendsgiving is a beautiful opportunity to gather with friends and enjoy a festive meal together. The list of food ideas provided offers a range of options that cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. With these food ideas and helpful tips, your College Friendsgiving celebration will be a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.



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