Celebrate Galentine's Day by Hosting a Fun Potluck Dinner with Your Best Friends—Here's How

Drinking and eating at home with the girls beats suffering through a date at an overrated restaurant.

woman hosting dinner party outside in garden
Photo: M_a_y_a / Getty Images

Typically celebrated on February 13th, the day before Valentine's Day, Galentine's Day is a time to honor our most important platonic friendships. While you could certainly head out to a restaurant to mark the occasion, we're strong advocates for gathering your best girlfriends together for an at-home celebration, complete with a tasty, stress-free potluck dinner.

Your closest friends deserve nothing but the best, so it's up to you to make (and assign) food and drinks that will guarantee your night is one to remember. Here, we have tips to help you pull off a flawless, fun gathering.

pomegranate cosmo cocktail drink
Bryan Gardner

Create a Specialty Cocktail

Wine is always wonderful, but there are so many pink and red-hued cocktails worth making for your Galentine's Day celebration. Shake up a tart Pomegranate Cosmopolitan, pictured here, or a thematically appropriate Bleeding Heart Martini (complete with a pickled baby beet that resembles the organ of love). Your friends will appreciate the departure from the norm and the extra effort put into a libation that tastes like it came from an upscale bar.

Pimiento-Cornmeal Croquettes
Justin Walker

Assign the Appetizers

The whole point of a potluck is for everyone to contribute in some way, but as a hostess, it may just be easiest to assign finger foods and starters so that you can focus on the main event. This will allow the not-so-culinarily-talented to buy frozen or pre-made, albeit delicious options, while others can try their hand at simple recipes like Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese Crostinis, Pimiento Cornmeal Croquettes, pictured here, or Creamy Deviled Eggs.

Spaghetti and Fresh Marinara with Basil
Marcus Nilsson

Master the Main

Traditionally, Thanksgiving gets a turkey and Christmas gets a ham, so we think Galentine's Day deserves a memorable main that will really knock everyone's socks off. There are a few things you want to keep in mind, though, like dietary restrictions to ensure that everyone feels accommodated, as well as cooking time and preparation so you're not stuck in the kitchen during the party. Try a vegetarian pasta like our simple Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce, pictured here, or a more nuanced Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Saffron, and Raisins. If you want to keep it healthy, go with a Baked Chicken and Onions that boasts crisp skin with balanced sweet and sharp flavors. You can even attempt a comforting Mashed Potato-Stuffed Meatloaf—anything that requires a bit of effort, but not so much that it detracts you from focusing on other party details like decorations, games, and music.


Finish on a Sweet Note

This is, after all, the holiday of chocolate, so a gorgeous dessert is practically required. Do not treat your Galentine's Day dinner as a moment to bust out fruit parfaits and guilt-free cookies. Instead, indulge in a Heart-Shaped Raspberry Napoleon, Fudgy Chocolate Brownies, a festive Valentine Cake, or personalized Valentine Cupcakes with melted white chocolate, seen here. It's an undisputed fact that carbs will never break your heart, and Galentine's Day is the night to celebrate this reality.

Linda Pugliese

Leave Guests with Something Special

The best way to leave a lasting impression on an already-successful evening is to prepare something special that guests can take home and enjoy the next morning. Not only will this remedy any potential headaches or hunger, but it will also remind them of the fun they had with their friends. Pistachio Truffles, the Espresso Macarons seen here, or even a Banana Muffin are wonderful treats to show that you care and are always willing to go the extra mile to make your friends feel special. After all, no love can compare to that of a good friend.

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