We Asked the OneTable Community to Share Their Last-Minute Shabbat Hosting Tips. Here’s What They Told Us.

You’re hosting a Shabbat dinner, and unless you have supernatural powers (and hey, maybe that’s you) things might be getting a little stressful. We got together with our newest nourishment partnership to ask the OneTable fam about how to welcome Shabbat with a little more ease. (For starters, check out the super chic [recyclable, reusable, or compostable] place settings from lentramise.com.) Here’s what we learned:

Overhead image of challah, vegetables, and plates on the table.

Start with your head (or your vacuum) in the right place

Tidy up the dining/living area first! preparing dinner is much less stressful when the house looks nice and clean 🙂 – @rebgal

Friday doesn’t have to be the only prep day

Prep in advance, leaving only what must be cooked the day of, for the day of. – @natirabinowitz

Thursday = time to get that table lookin' fine

Set your table the night before so it’s one fewer thing to do at the time of the event! – @rayymae

And “fine” can be as simple as this:
Disposable white tablecloths classes any dinner up and makes clean up so much easier! – @margaritab_vill

Or this:
Add more candles to the table & serving tables!! – @lilbean77

Or this:
Fresh flowers make any last-minute meal look buttoned up! – @taylordavidman

When it comes to food, it’s all about teamwork

Come up with essentials that are needed for dinner and then ask friends to bring easier things like chips and sauces or even a bottle of wine. – @cherie_renee

And teamwork often means balance.
When hosting, don’t feel bad about telling people what to bring instead of letting it be a free for all. That way you get a balance of what people bring ant not just chips and dessert. – @rabrams91

Take it easy and keep things simple

Fewer ingredients = faster prep & less clean up! Big batches of veggies, quinoa, rice, etc don’t take long to make, don’t require a lot, and ensure there’s an extra dish/plenty to go around! – @hilarybokoff

But simple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think big.
Always make a salad and entree that are 25% bigger than you think you need. Worst case scenario: you’ve got leftovers. – @havayah513

Save time by mixing things up a little

Mix homemade with store bought by adding garnishes and homemade touches to store bought things. For example, serve store bought hummus with a sautéed mushrooms or sautéed onions garnish. – @immigrantstable

And take advantage of what you’ve already got around.
You can pull almost anything out of the freezer for small appetizers! Leftover bread can be smeared with cheese dip, frozen vegetables can be thrown in a cold pasta salad! – @jenniferkrosen

Nothing like a night at the (potato) bar

When in doubt, always go with a baked potato bar. Your guests will love to bring their favorite topping to share. It’s affordable, filling and fun! – @shainakass

Or any other kind of bar. (Read: Everyone’s crazy about dem desserts.)
Keep it healthy with a side of unhealthy treats. Like veggies but also brownies, salad but also chips and fried food 🙂 – @todo_muy_cyn

And obviously, we’ve all GOTTA get our hands on that challah

Always have extra challah as some guests can’t get enough of it. – @eradbil

People come hungry, so keep some snacks on hand

Have a dip and chips/crackers laid out for early comers who are hungry, and to hold people until the late ones arrive! – @shawnacalfondesign

Don’t be afraid to let guests take part in the whole process

Keep it interactive! Let your guests help with finishing touches, bring food to the table and lead different parts of the ritual. – @lil_epstein

And make sure there’s someone to keep ‘em busy so you can finish up all that prep.
Find a friend to be the entertainment and welcome crew while you finish last minute preparations! – @conniex72

There’s no shame in the game if that process involves wine…
Start wine early – @rebekahjbarber

No, really.
Always keep two extra bottles of wine around! – @getreadyjetsetgo

Entertainment doesn’t stop when the appetizers do

Have a game to play! – @rocksanne_

And if people stay late, keep those snacks coming.
Keep extra chocolate on hand for late night snacks if people stay! – @breezygfreezy

At the end of the day, take a deep breath and relax a little. Shabbat’s all about being restful and having fun!

Always remember to have fun, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Remove yourself from the hectic week and focus on elevating your Friday night – @peacockr

You’ve worked hard to host, and you’re way ready for that Shabbat dinner chill. Shabbat Shalom!

Brocha is excited to be a summer intern for OneTable in NYC, mostly because the concept of OneTable is incredibly meaningful to her, but also because her hometown of Chicago suburbia is the Audrey Hepburn of the season: overwhelmingly hot and dishearteningly dead. Her favorite part of Shabbat is sitting around the Friday night dinner table with friends, singing songs together after indulging in maybe a little too much yummy food.

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