Thanksgiving is a holiday that use to be reserved for just family. But in recent years, the week leading up to the holiday has included the friend-based Thanksgiving: Friendsgiving. The name says it all; Friendsgiving is a Thanksgiving meal shared with friends that takes place either the night before or after Thanksgiving. Hey, we’ll take any excuse to eat, drink and be merry. Here is a round-up of the best Spoon Thanksgiving recipes to serve up at this year’s Friendsgiving.

1. Drink, Drank, Drunk

You’re allowed to indulge in as many fall inspired cocktails as you’d like with out being judged when you’re with your friends! Having multiple drinks around your grandparents at Thanksgiving seems to be frowned upon in most households. Try any of these drinks from Spoon University – UIUC to get the holiday started.

Photo by Meredith Marcus

2. Not Your Mom’s Weird Canned Cranberries

Since Friendsgiving is a new and creative holiday, it’s time to rethink cranberries and put creativity into the recipes you serve at Friendsgiving. Whether you try to incorporate cranberries into your desserts, like this brownie recipe from Spoon University – Northwestern, or opt to use them in a salad, your friends will be very thankful for you that you aren’t serving them anything congealed.

Photo by Naib Mian

3. Adult Mac & Cheese

Finally you and your friends are sharing a meal that doesn’t consist of Ramen Noodles or a leftover pizza from last Saturday night. You’re actually using your oven to make grownup things, like this fall inspired butternut squash mac & cheese (so no, it isn’t in the shape of Spongebob) from Spoon University – Michigan.

Photo by Parisa Soraya

4. The Must Have Sweet Potatoes

There are so many ways to serve this Thanksgiving classic, but all that matters is that it is on the table. If you are going for quick and easy, check out these personally designed sweet potatoes from Spoon University – UIUC, or this healthy (yes, we said healthy) twice baked sweet potato from Spoon University – U Penn.

Photo by Connie Fan

5. The Bird

A disadvantage of Friendsgiving is that our master chef mothers and fathers, who have hosted many Thanksgiving dinners, are not there to help make a juicy turkey. If you want to forgo the giant turkey, and make something a little more accessible for college students, try this deconstructed turkey dinner from Spoon University – Michigan.

Photo by Parisa Soraya

6. For the Sweet Tooth

Even though you’re finally not stuck at the kids table as a twenty something year old at Friendsgiving, you can still indulge in sweet dessert like a kid does! Try these apple pie cups, from Spoon University – U Chi to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Photo by Susanna Tuan