November 22, 2019
Last Updated:
February 18, 2021

Healthy Friendsgiving Ideas

Community is an important part of what we teach in the Health Coach Training Program and, ultimately, our mission at Integrative Nutrition. There are few things that represent community more than sitting around a table with your closest friends while enjoying a delicious meal. This representation of community is why Friendsgiving has become such a popular tradition over the past few years.

While Friendsgiving might not be a recognized holiday, the term is being watched by Merriam-Webster, and we support any tradition that embodies community and gratitude.

Hosting Friendsgiving and stumped on what to make? Or don’t know what to bring to someone else’s house? Either way, we’ve got you covered with the perfect Friendsgiving recipes with healthy twists from our very own graduates! The turkey may be the main event, but these healthy dishes are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Butternut Squash Soup
By Julie Katerine Turcotte, HCTP May 2016

Soup is a great dish to bring to a Friendsgiving dinner as it works well as a course before the turkey showstopper. Plus, there is nothing better than a velvety butternut squash soup on a crisp fall night. This soup is filled with immune-boosting ingredients, including onions, ginger, turmeric, and garlic, so it’s perfect for the upcoming “sneezing season.”


  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded pistachios
  • Himalayan pink salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Fresh-squeezed lime juice


  1. In a deep pot over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in melted coconut oil. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add squash, curry, and turmeric and stir.
  3. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, and pistachios.
  4. Bring to low heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every 2 minutes or so.
  5. Once cooked, transfer mixture into a Vitamix or blender and puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve in shallow bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro or parsley, and a splash of lime juice.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
By Kim Nelson, HCTP September 2013

Looking to skip all the questionable canned stuff this year? This homemade cranberry sauce is made with real cranberries and just a few simple ingredients to make it sweet. It even makes enough to enjoy after Friendsgiving (hello, leftovers!). This sauce is sure to become a holiday essential in your house!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup stevia and cane sugar blend
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries, washed
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced pineapple
  • 5 ounces Truwhip
  • 1⁄2 cup walnuts (optional)


  1. Combine water and stevia blend in pot and bring to boil.
  2. Add cranberries to pot and bring to boil again.
  3. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the berries have burst open. Remove from heat.
  4. Add bananas and pineapple and stir.
  5. Add Truwhip and stir.
  6. Place in large square dish and add walnuts on top if desired.
  7. Freeze mixture for about an hour.

Mashed Cauliflower
By Emily Nachazel, HCTP March 2014

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be made to resemble many of our favorite dinner staples, including mashed potatoes, at the Friendsgiving dinner. This nutritional dish is a great option to accompany the turkey without the typical heavy carb load from mashed potatoes.


  • 1 small to medium head cauliflower
  • 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
  • Splash plain unsweetened almond milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (optional)


  1. Wash and chop cauliflower into florets. Steam until cooked through (fork can easily pierce).
  2. Add cooked cauliflower, coconut oil, and almond milk to high-speed blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add salt, pepper, and optional herbs to taste as desired.
  4. Enjoy!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
By Keriann Bellamy, HCTP March 2017

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This Brussels sprouts salad is seriously addictive, and it works well as an appetizer or side dish! Sweet, crunchy, and a bit nutty, the texture and flavor combination is perfect for a Friendsgiving dinner. Brussels sprouts are full of fiber that helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. Lightly cooking them in this recipe allows for easier digestion, ensuring your body is able to absorb all the vitamins and nutrients this dish has to offer!


For the salad:

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, ends cut off
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, ghee, or organic butter
  • 1 red apple, thinly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tahini


  1. Place Brussels sprouts in food processer and pulse until chopped.
  2. Cook garlic and onion in oil over low heat until translucent – about 2 minutes. Add chopped Brussels sprouts and lightly cook until soft.
  3. Transfer mixture to large salad bowl. Add apples and walnuts and stir.
  4. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in small sealable jar or container and shake until combined. Pour evenly over salad.
  5. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve slightly warm, or pop in fridge for five minutes to serve cold.

Sweet Maple Pumpkin Pie Filling
By Denise Bullen, HCTP July 2017

After the turkey comes the sweets! This delicious pumpkin pie dessert has all the flavor and none of the guilt. Your guests won’t even know that it’s a dairy-free and refined sugar–free dish. From the beautiful aromas in the oven to a slice with your favorite hot drink, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your Friendsgiving! It can be served hot or cold and even freezes well.


  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree (fresh is best)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Pie Shells


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine maple syrup and eggs.
  3. Add in salt and spices.
  4. Use a fork or whisk to mix in pumpkin.
  5. Add milk and mix well. The mixture should be smooth, but a few pumpkin chunks are also yummy.
  6. Pour mixture into pie shells.
  7. Place pie in oven on middle shelf for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes, lower temperature to 350°F. Do NOT open oven or touch pies – just turn down temperature.
  9. Continue to cook for another 25 minutes or until pie is golden and fork comes out clean.

Gluten-Free Brownies (VIDEO)
By Lucila Gamburd, HCTP May 2015

On dessert duty? These brownies are an amazing option. Made with organic, unprocessed, and quality ingredients, they bring a healthy flare to a beloved, staple dessert. And the best part? They’re dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and can be made vegan as well!


  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 packets Stevia
  • Sprinkle sea salt
  • 1/2–1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips


  1. Combine all ingredients, except almond milk and chocolate chips.
  2. Slowly add almond milk until mixture becomes smooth while still maintaining a thick consistency overall. (Note: I don’t always use the full cup of almond milk – it depends on how thick the consistency gets.)
  3. Once everything is combined, mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Place mixture in a greased pan and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Interested in learning more about community and nutrition? Check out our Curriculum Guide for a peek at an education that will empower you to transform your health and happiness.

Author Biography
Kimberly Steinkopf
IIN Content Writer

Kimberly holds a bachelor’s in media studies with a concentration in creative writing and journalism from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Her experience ranges from creating patient-focused content for a lupus nonprofit to managing marketing efforts for a health-supportive cooking school.

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