Casual and Festive Recipes We’re Making For a Friendsgiving Brunch
Forget your elaborate holiday dinner—do this instead.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:28 AM
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Come November, finding the time to sit down with all the people you love for a festive evening can be a challenge. Because we believe you shouldn’t have to choose between a night with friends and dinner with family, we’re embracing a new kind of celebratory sit-down meal: Brunch.
Holiday brunches aren’t just for Easter anymore. In fact, mid-afternoon fêtes have slowly and quietly been taking over the Friendsgiving scene. Whether you have too many plans or simply wake up with a strong appetite, a low-key gathering that puts you in the holiday mood but doesn’t totally fill you up (hey, you’ve got a lot of eating to do this season!) is the kind of get-together we’re craving for this year.
While there’s no one way to host a calm, cool, and casual holiday brunch, carefree dishes and light, bubbly drinks are a good place to start. Looking for simple ways to serve your guests? Here are the ideas worth trying at your next gathering.
Cottage Cheese, Kale, and Smoked Salmon Frittata
Savory meals feel especially festive on a chilly winter morning. Packed with herbs and plenty of flavor, this healthy frittata offers a nod to Nordic cuisine with the inclusion of smoked salmon. Because cottage cheese leans toward the low end of the fat spectrum, each slice comes in at under 200 calories—thus leaving your friends totally satisfied, but still willing and able to devour dinner later on. Get the full recipe for this light breakfast option on Super Golden Bakes.
Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosa
Bringing together the quintessential flavors of cozy mornings at home, this is one fizzy way to start the day. While this specific recipe uses Martinelli’s sparkling cider (an ideal non-alcoholic substitute if you have kiddos at the table), the drink can easily be construed into an adult-approved cocktail by exchanging the cider for champagne. When topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and small apple slice, this red hot concoction will look as good as it tastes. You can find all the details on this cranberry mimosa on Honey and Birch.
Butternut Squash Pot Pie
For your gluten-free and vegan buddies, give this healthful pot pie a try. Made with a coconut oil base and filled with butternut squash, leek, cranberries, sage, and thyme, this dish can be left as-is with chickpeas for protein or finished with chicken and bacon if there aren’t any vegetarians gathered ‘round the table. Get the full recipe on Our Four Forks.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Come brunch, you can never go wrong with pancakes. For this year’s feast, however, ditch your standard box mix for a heartier base: Sweet potato. If you’re really tight on time, this hassle-free option is a wise choice, as these pancakes can easily be made in advance and frozen until you’re ready to eat. All you need to get started is sweet potato puree, eggs, almond milk, and maple syrup. Get the recipe for this sweet snack on Jar of Lemons.
Smoked Chorizo, Maple, and Sweet Potato Hash
Honestly, you could add “hash” to the end of any recipe and it’s bound to be delicious. This savory mash up comes in the form of sliced smoked chorizo, sunny side up eggs, and chopped sweet potato, topped with cracked black pepper and Stracchino cheese. A perfect fit for the amateur chef, this one-dish recipe is hard to get wrong. You can find the recipe from Donna Hay.
Plum and Thyme Prosecco
The secret to a kickass brunch? Wow-worthy booze. While we love a good Bloody Mary, this concoction really screams wintertime bliss. A happy amalgamation of breezy fruits (who doesn’t love plum?!), a bubbly base, and touch of thyme, your guests will feel refreshed before the clock strikes 11:00 a.m. Discover the complete recipe on My Diary of Us.
If you have a troop of guests joining you this season, stick to smaller bites—like these berry turnovers. Rather than whipping up a giant pie, these tiny, picnic-approved treats make it easy for people to snag and snack while still engaging in conversation. Get the recipe on A Cozy Kitchen.
Spinach and Portobello Mushroom Hash
Another quick hash that will surely impress your brunch-snob friends, this delectable mix of portobello mushrooms, spinach, eggs, and bacon brings together the ultimate breakfasts foods in the most appetizing way possible. Get the how-to on Fed and Fit.
Croissant Bread Pudding
This instant crowd-please not only comes together fairly quickly, but the French-inspired treat can also feed your entire extended family—and then some. When tucked between the croissant layers, the bits of raspberries turn into decadent pockets of jam, while the soft, pudding mixture creates a show-stopping contrast between the crispy texture of the flaky edges. Get the full recipe on Style Sweet CA.
Apple Cider Champagne Margarita
A light and autumnal twist on a classic cocktail, this buzzy booze option mixes together champagne, tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, and apple cider for ultimate seasonal splendor. For added intrigue, garnish with a lim slice and mix of cinnamon and sugar around the rim. Bonus? This drink takes less than five minutes to prepare! Get the recipe on The Adventure Bite.
If you’re planning on hosting your party earlier in the morning, give your guests a caffeinated kick with this vodka-based cocktail that combines espresso and Kahlua. Believe us, no one will be making a pit stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for their usual iced coffee once you tell them that this Insta-worthy libation is on the menu. Get the know-how for this coffee cocktail on A Beautiful Mess.
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