Simple & Fun Friendsgiving Party Ideas

I created this dish when I was craving Thanksgiving dinner, and it was still over a month away. You get all the bells and whistles of Thanksgiving dinner in no time, Add a vegetable, some mashed potatoes and you’re done. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida

This is my family’s absolute favorite dish on my holiday table. What’s not to love with the mixed aroma of garlic, onions, bacon, and blue cheese floating through your home? —Jana Gooding, Carlsbad, California

I love that I can make these biscuits and have enough left over to freeze for another meal. They’re a healthier version of a classic American staple. —Amanda West, Shelbyville, Tennessee

These spiced, spiked gelatin squares always get the party started at fall get-togethers. If you’re going for the more traditional shot-style look, pour the mixture into 2-ounce plastic cups and refrigerate until set. — Rachel Seis, Senior Editor, Taste of Home

I created this dish after my father had triple bypass surgery. He loves comfort food and I wanted him to be able to enjoy a rich and tasty dish like mac & cheese without all the fat and butter. It’s also a great way to sneak in some veggies for children. —Megan Weiss, New York, New York

For a simply delicious side dish, I often prepare these potatoes. I like the fact that there are few ingredients and they take such little time to prepare.—Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas

My grandfather loves these pumpkin-flavored treats. They remind him of a cookie his mother made. They’re fun to eat no matter what your age. —Amber Wahl, Acampo, California

We have an apple-picking party every year. It’s a bushel of fun, and I look forward to cooking a batch of this easy applesauce seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and allspice. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington

After making little bacon-wrapped sausages for years, I needed a change! I had an extra sweet potato and half a package of bacon on hand, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with this treat. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey

My favorite stuffing uses a slow cooker, which helps when your oven’s busy. It goes with everything from turkey to game hens. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio

I adapted a recipe I saw on public television to create this caramel-coated pumpkin bread. It makes an impressive hostess gift or bake sale contribution. My young ones love to help roll the dough and cream cheese into balls.—Angela Coffman, Kansas City, Missouri

Warm or cold? Take your choice of how to serve this colorful autumn beverage. It’s such a pretty color, and the spicy sweet-tart flavor is delightful with a meal or snack.—Dixie Terry,Goreville, Illinois

This is a very unusual salad that’s easy to prepare in a hurry. The combination of red onions and oranges is delicious and unique. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah

On holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania

For a change from the usual toasted tomato appetizer, try this baked crostini recipe. If you like, slice the baguette at an angle instead of making a straight cut. —Leondre Hermann, Stuart, Florida

Every year my Mom made cream cheese mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I tailored the recipe to my family’s taste and carried on the tradition. I make them a day ahead and use my slow cooker to free up oven space for other dishes. —Ann Nolte, Tampa, Florida

This green bean casserole has always been one of my favorite dishes—it’s so easy to put together! You can make it before any guests arrive and refrigerate it until it’s ready to bake. —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington

I learned to bake turkey in a brown paper bag, but now I use an oven roasting bag for perfect results that keep white meat moist. —Marla Hyatt, St. Paul, Minnesota

These bars are rich and delicious – just like pecan pie! They’re perfect for taking to potlucks and other gatherings…I always come home with an empty pan. —Carolyn Custer, Clifton Park, New York

I love indulgent cream soups but not the fat that goes along with them, so I came up with a healthier version. The velvety texture of this cauliflower soup makes it feel so rich, and the spicy kick warms you up in a flash. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan

Cheese and sage go well with apples, so why not put them all in scones? These mini ones make a fall brunch, tailgate or party even more fun. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Grown-up treats that feature canned pumpkin and butterscotch schnapps will lure guests back for more. The gelatin shots are made ahead, so they’re a great party starter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Preparing the pulled turkey in a delicious teriyaki sauce for these snack-size sandwiches is a breeze using a slow cooker. Serving them on lightly-toasted sweet dinner rolls is perfection made easy.—Amanda Hoop, Seaman, Ohio

Mom likes to make sure there will be enough stuffing to satisfy our large family. For our holiday gatherings, she slow-cooks this tasty sweet potato dressing in addition to the traditional stuffing cooked inside the turkey. —Kelly Pollock, London, Ontario

Pumpkin pie does not have to be difficult to make. This recipe has a wonderful taste and will be a hit at your holiday meal. —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington