8 Shortcut Recipes That Were Practically Made for Friendsgiving

It doesn’t get easier than Ree’s spiked cranberry sauce.

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Overhead shot of carved Make Ahead Thanksgiving Turkey on floral platter

Photo by: PACIFIC TV

PACIFIC TV

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait for Friendsgiving. Any holiday that allows for tons of eating is a win in my book, but it’s always better when you can chow down with your friends (no obligatory small talk with distant relatives necessary). Unfortunately, most of my friends are — to put it nicely — inexperienced in the kitchen. So, to avoid the inevitable beer and potato chips potluck, I’ve put together a list of Friendsgiving shortcuts: easy, stress-free recipes that won’t destroy the kitchen. If my most disaster-prone pals can master these, so can yours.

Let’s be real — you probably shouldn’t assign a Thanksgiving turkey to a takeout aficionado. That being said, anyone with basic cooking knowledge can tackle Ree Drummond’s make-ahead version. She has the butcher divide a turkey into pieces, then bakes it on a sheet pan the night before. On the big day, she sticks her turkey back in the oven to warm it up.

FNK_MakeAheadSausageStuffing_H

FNK_MakeAheadSausageStuffing_H

Food Networks Kitchen’s Make Ahead Sausage Stuffing for THANKSGIVING/BAKING/WEEKEND COOKING, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

This stuffing can be made up to two weeks in advance, so prepare it next time you have a few free hours. Come Friendsgiving, all you need to do is toss, cover and bake.

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

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

These rich, creamy mashed potatoes are deceptively impressive: just peel and chop the potatoes, throw them in the slow cooker and walk away. Once fully cooked, mash the potatoes with a bit of milk and sour cream, plus some chives for an elegant touch of green. No one has to know just how easy they really were to make.

Food Network Kitchen’s Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Chances are, someone in your friend group has an Instant Pot. Task them with preparing the green bean casserole this year — it’s ready in just 30 minutes and also clears up valuable oven space. Plus, there’s minimal cleanup afterward. Win-win-win.

FNK_MakeAheadTurkeyGravy_H

FNK_MakeAheadTurkeyGravy_H

Food Network Kitchen Make Ahead Turkey Gravy for THANKSGIVING/BAKING/WEEKEND COOKING , as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Meal-preppers, this one’s for you. Using store-bought chicken broth (or turkey stock, if you have it), whip up this simple gravy and allow it to cool. Next, pour the gravy in a bag and freeze. When it’s time to eat, just heat it back to temperature with a microwave or saucepan.

FNK_FourInOneThanksgivingPie_H

FNK_FourInOneThanksgivingPie_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Four In One Thanksgiving Pie, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Trust us, you definitely want to volunteer for dessert. Thanks to your sheet pan, you can prepare four crowd-pleasing pies in a fraction of the time. And, with four flavors, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone. Just be prepared to fight over the middle piece.

Portrait close up side shot of Spiked Cranberry Sauce in glass dish, with teaspoon for serving

Photo by: PACIFIC TV

PACIFIC TV

Have a friend who absolutely can’t cook? Send them Ree’s recipe and hope they own a can-opener.

This make-ahead cocktail serves a dual purpose: it tastes delicious and fills your home with the cozy scents of the holidays. Simply pour the cider in the slow cooker, allow the spices to steep and add the liquor just before serving. My advice? Make a double batch — I’m willing to bet any extra won’t go to waste.

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