10 Tips to Host the Best Friendsgiving Ever

Whether you can't get home to your family for Thanksgiving or just want to celebrate early with friends, we have 10 tips and tricks to hosting the perfect Friendsgiving. With a meal this easy and delicious, the only thing you'll miss about family traditions is crazy drunk aunts' rants.

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Emmer Schmidt

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Keep People Appy

Half of the stress of hosting Thanksgiving comes from the battle against the clock. Keep everyone happy and well-fed by mixing this dip ahead of time and popping it into the microwave when the first guest arrives.

Get the Recipe: Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Prep as Much as You Can Ahead of Time

The less you have to do the day of, the better. Make cranberry sauce a few days ahead — it takes only 15 minutes of simmering — and prep any vegetables and reheatable sides if you have the fridge capacity.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Go Small or Go Home

You don't need to be the hero here — just cook a turkey breast if you've never done a whole bird before. With a small group, you probably won't even need that much meat anyway. If you're really too scared to roast even the breast, just pick up a few rotisserie chickens at the store and focus on the sides.

Get the Recipe: Roast Turkey Breast

Make Sure Everything's Gravy

Great gravy can solve a few common turkey problems, moistening dry meat and giving flavor to underseasoned birds. Don't skimp on the homemade stuff here.

Get the Recipe: Gravy from Roast Drippings

Don’t Be Ashamed of a Few Store-Bought Items

Yes, you should make your own gravy, but if you don't bake bread for turkey day, no one will judge you. Upgrade store-bought tubes of crescent dough with homemade butter that you can shake up on the couch while binge-watching Netflix the night before.

Get the Recipe: "Grateful" Crescent Rolls with Homemade Butter

Elevate Boxed Stuffing

When you're crunched for time, reach for a box of stuffing and gussy it up with kale, cremini mushrooms, celery and sage. After the flavors meld in a nice baking dish, no one will know the difference.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom, Kale and Herb Stuffing

Divide and Conquer

The best part about Friendsgiving is that everyone contributes something to the table. It helps to assign dishes so no one doubles up, and you can even send your best pal Kelsey Nixon's mashed potato recipe to whip up.

Get the Recipe: Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Make Sure All the Bases Are Covered

Whether you assign guests' recipes or just brainstorm ideas in a group text, make sure all the important Thanksgiving dishes are covered, like green bean casserole.

Get the Recipe: Stovetop Green Bean Casserole

Fake Out Everyone with an Easy Dessert

One more of our favorite supermarket upgrades is a granola streusel topping for pumpkin pie. Look at this beauty — no one will know if it came out of the freezer or the store bakery.

Get the Recipe: Granola Streusel for Pumpkin Pie

Keep the Drinks Flowing

Make a big batch of cocktails, or assign a friend to be the bartender. When the drinks are flowing, everyone will be having fun, and no one will notice if dinner takes too long or goes slightly awry.

Get the Recipe: Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail