Celebrating Thanksgiving with friends is not new—but it’s on the rise. And it’s easy to see why. There’s a lot to love about the holiday, from the food to the quality time spent with loved ones, including friends. Friendsgiving can be less formal, accommodate diverse groups of friends, and even allow for more creative freedom in the planning.
In that spirit, here are some tips for how to host a simple and, hopefully, stress-free Friendsgiving dinner.
Make a Plan Ahead of Time
Hosting a party is hard work. If you want less stress for your Friendsgiving, the trick is to plan ahead and spread the tasks out over time.
Here’s a breakdown of what to do in advance and when to do it:
- 4 weeks ahead: Make a guest list
- 3 weeks ahead: Send out invitations
- 2 weeks ahead: Choose recipes and plan decorations
- 1 week ahead: Buy non-perishable or freezable food
- The weekend before: Clean the kitchen and main living area; decorate
- The day before: Buy perishable food; make freezable dishes; arrange seating
Completing these tasks in advance should set you up for a seamless Friendsgiving Day.
Easy Recipes for Friendsgiving
As the host, you’ll be expected to make at least a few dishes on-site. With big groups, vegan and vegetarian recipes are a safe way to ensure every guest can enjoy the meal.
Nutritional yeast is our secret weapon for easy vegan and vegetarian Friendsgiving food. You can mix it into juices, soups, smoothies and sauces or sprinkle them on foods to punch up their natural flavors and give them a savory, slightly nutty finish. It works great in:
- Vegan gravy, such as this great recipe
- Roasted vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
- Delicious pumpkin mac and cheese that’s vegan and great for Thanksgiving
KAL Nutritional Yeast Flakes are a great option for groups because they’re free of many major allergens, including wheat, soy, milk, eggs, and preservatives. Our recipe is also fortified with vitamin B-12, so you can get extra dietary support while making your Friendsgiving meal even more delicious.
How to Create a Cozy Friendsgiving Atmosphere
The aroma of turkey and mashed potatoes cooking in the kitchen goes a long way towards creating a holiday atmosphere. But there’s more you can do to set the mood.
Consider making a playlist of upbeat songs that celebrate friendship. (We recommend “With a Little Help From My Friends'' by The Beatles and “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.) You can also curate the aesthetics of the space with an emphasis on plants, warm tones and natural lighting; textured blankets are a great way to make your space cozy and warm.
Make it a Potluck!
If you want to have a less stressful dinner party, you can’t be expected to make all the food yourself. Many party planners recommend making it a Friendsgiving potluck. You’ll end up with an eclectic Friendsgiving menu, but there should be something for everyone to enjoy.
You should send out a sign-up sheet a week or two in advance. Food Blogger Jelisa Castrodale created this simple template that’s free to use.
Family is everything, and friends are the family you choose. We hope these tips make your Friendsgiving a day your chosen family will remember. For more tips on nutrition and supporting physical and mental well-being this holiday season, follow us on Facebook @kalvits and Instagram at @kalvitamins!