Nov 10, 2016 • By

PODCAST: Ingredients for a great Friendsgiving

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1863, but in recent years a new food-filled November tradition has carved its way into American culture.

It’s called “Friendsgiving.”


As the name suggests, it’s a Thanksgiving feast that you celebrate with friends any time in November. For some people its a good reason to get together with friends. For others, it’s because they won’t be able to go home to be with their immediate family, who live hours away. And it could be a less-stressful replacement for Thanksgiving, free of those relatives you are not eager to see.

Friendsgiving is becoming more mainstream, even making its way into a Pillsbury commercial inspiring people to make the gathering their own.

While your Friendsgiving dinner guests may stray from the traditional holiday way, so too can the dinner menu.


“Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday and one thing that is very cool about America is that we don’t have to eat the state-mandated food on holidays,” says Food Network chef and cookbook author Justin Warner. “We can do whatever we want and celebrate however we want. That means we can do things 100 percent traditionally or we can go non-traditional. I encourage people to put together a feast, whatever that may be.”


He told us he’s a big fan of breaking away from the regular Thanksgiving meal and making an untraditional meat recipe the centerpiece of his Friendsgiving. Beef Wellington is one of his favorites and this year he might do a barbecue-themed feast.


Chef Justin Warner

There is one Friendsgiving rule Warner won’t break though, there has to be enough food for all guests to be able to take food home. He suggests having inexpensive to-go containers on hand so everyone can leave with leftovers.


I’ve celebrated Friendsgiving with a group of my friends for three years now. Each year, after we’ve piled our plates high with our culinary creations, we go around the dinner table and talk about what each of us is thankful for – of course food and friendship always make the list.


While I’ve got my own Friendsgiving traditions, I wanted to learn how other groups celebrate the unofficial holiday.

In the November episode of our “A Taste of General Mills” podcast you’ll hear from Warner, as well as a two of my colleagues at General Mills, for the recipe to an unforgettable Friendsgiving. They had a cornucopia of insights.

Among other things, you’ll learn:

-The rules of Friendsgiving and how to break them

-Trends Warner foresees being incorporated into Friendsgiving feasts this year

-Advice for first-time Friendsgivingers

-Why a Friendsgiving meal is worth hosting

It’s easy to listen to our show when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for A Taste of General Mills) or through iTunes or right here on our blog.

Listen (27 minutes)

SHOW NOTES – Episode 15: November 10, 2016

Link: National Cereal Day with Justin Warner

Link: Chef Warner on Twitch

Link: Recipes for easy Friendsgiving sides

Link: Pillsbury’s 20-minute appetizers to bring to Friendsgiving

Video: “Make It Your Own

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