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Melissa Hartwig Urban’s Whole30 Friendsgiving Menu

In her new cookbook, The Whole30 Friends & Family, Melissa Hartwig Urban includes recipes for every occasion, including Thanksgiving with friends.

A picture of Melissa Hartwig Urban's Whole30 Friendsgiving meal

On a November 1994 episode of the TV show Friends, no one could go home for Thanksgiving, so they ate together in Monica’s apartment. Though the word “Friendsgiving” was never actually used, the idea of celebrating a second Thanksgiving with friends caught on.

We celebrate Friendsgiving at my sister’s house in San Diego on the first Saturday of November. It’s not so close to Thanksgiving that we’re turkeyed out, but there’s still the crispness of fall in the air.

We created a casual approach to this very traditional meal to keep it relaxed and fun. This menu features a turkey breast stuffed with mildly spicy chorizo filling, a creamy sweet potato soup, a fresh citrus and arugula salad, and awesome sides like bacon-herb mushrooms.

If not all your guests are on the Whole30, have them bring more traditional sides for those who want a dinner roll, brown sugar­–topped sweet potatoes, or apple pie. Have small menu cards for each dish, alerting guests to ingredients and allergens.

My favorite Friendsgiving tradition is to go around the table and say one or two things you’ve been grateful for in the past year. You can toast with sparkling water or cider; it will be just as festive and meaningful as with wine.

After dinner, we bust out a huge easel with paper and play Pictionary, boys versus girls. Catch Phrase is another fun game with large groups.

One last thoughtful touch is to pick up some extra plastic storage containers, so you can send guests home with leftovers.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes for a Friendsgiving feast (for the full menu, check out the sidebar, below).

is cofounder and CEO of Whole30, a certified sports nutritionist, and a New York Times best-selling author.

Photo credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

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