Thanksgiving is all about the food, so of course, it’s hands-down our favorite holiday here at Hamilton Beach. So why only celebrate it just once when you can do it twice? If you’ve got family obligations on the real Thanksgiving Day, think about inviting all your friends over for a Friendsgiving. Here’s how to make it a feast to remember.
Make the turkey
If you’ve volunteered to host Friendsgiving, it’s a given you’ll be in charge of the turkey and gravy. It might seem intimidating, but there’s a few ways to make it that are practically foolproof. If you have a roaster oven, making the main course is fairly simple and only takes about 2 hours for a 15 pound bird. If you’re unsure of how much turkey you’ll need, we’ve charted it all out here.
And if you really have turkey-roasting anxiety, there’s a few turkey hacks you can resort to instead. Sous vide turkey is virtually impossible to overcook, and since you’re using a breast instead of a whole turkey, it takes far less effort to prep since you don’t need to thaw, stuff, brine, baste and bake a 10-plus pound bird.
Alternatively, you can make turkey in a slow cooker. Both options give you the advantage of not having to splurge on a huge turkey for a smallish gathering (turkey leftovers are great, but remember, this will just be one of many turkey-centric meals this month!).
Extra credit: It’s super easy to slow cook a honey-glazed spiral-cut ham while the turkey is in the oven.
Let your guests bring the sides
The beauty of throwing a Friendsgiving is that you don’t need to spend all day cooking a bunch of different side dishes, but you should make sure to coordinate with your guests ahead of time.
Encourage your guests to buck tradition and cook outside of the box. No doubt you’ll be eating Grandma’s famous green bean casserole at your family Thanksgiving. Make this meal memorable by suggesting some non-traditional but still easy-to-make sides, like Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Sweet Potato and Sage Soup.
Also, be sure there’s a variety of foods to suit everyone’s dietary needs. Plan to have a few vegetarian or vegan dishes, like Spicy Honey-Glazed Carrots or Warm Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad, so everyone at the table has plenty to eat.
Don’t forget about oven space
In a perfect world, everyone will bring their dishes prepped, cooked and ready to eat. But sometimes people drive in from out of town so foods need a quick reheat, and some items, like Baked Brie and Cranberry Bites, taste best served immediately after cooking.
Poll your guests on who will need to finish up their dishes in your kitchen and prepare accordingly. You may want to make the turkey in a roaster oven to free up the oven for the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, or borrow an extra slow cooker to keep the mashed potatoes warm. A countertop toaster oven or convection oven is also ideal for reheating side dishes.
Want more Turkey Day recipes? Check out our full collection of Thanksgiving ideas here.