The NFL star tells PEOPLE he'll get to meet his 3-month-old niece when he host his friends and family at his home in Buffalo this Thanksgiving
For NFL players like Josh Allen, Thanksgiving looks a little different than it does to the rest of us.
The holiday is typically slated with a handful of prime matchups in the NFL, so most of the time players aren't helping out their families in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.
This year, the Buffalo Bills won't play on the holiday and Allen, 27, will get to host his friends and family at his home in upstate New York, he tells PEOPLE.
"I'm hosting. It's going to be good because I've actually just gotten into cooking quite a bit," says the quarterback.
The NFL star says he wanted to pick up some culinary skills after watching Hulu's popular restaurant-based drama The Bear.
"I just got so inspired after watching that. It was fricking...just so cool and I really enjoyed that show. It kind of jump-started something in me," he says.
Allen says he enjoys cooking, and "typically" he'll be in the kitchen each weeknight. "I wouldn't say every night, but typically Monday nights through Thursday nights, so a good amount of the weekday is cooking and trying different things," says Allen.
But Allen knows that hosting Thanksgiving will be a bigger ask than cooking himself meals on a daily basis.
"It's too early to tell, but I may have someone come help me do it," the athlete admits. "But I am up for the challenge."
Allen says this year will be the first that he'll "get to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends in quite some time," because the Bills have played "in three of the last four years" of the NFL's Thanksgiving games.
The Firebaugh, Calif. native says he will host a handful of family and friends who will be in Buffalo for the holiday. "My family does a lot of stuff over there back in California, and it's a long trip out here," Allen explains.
Specifically, Allen says his brother Jason, his sister-in-law and their two children will celebrate the holiday with him in New York later this month. "It'll be an exciting time," says Allen. In addition to Jason, has two sisters, Nicala and Makenna.
The athlete says he's "very much" looking forward to meeting his niece, Phoebe, who was born "just about three months ago" when his brother makes the cross-country trip.
As for must-have dishes on the Allen family Thanksgiving table, the NFL star names mashed potatoes and gravy "with bread."
"If the turkey's dry, you can just throw some mashed potatoes and gravy on it, whatever else. Dipping that bread in the mashed potato and gravy...there's not much that beats it out of any meal, let alone just Thanksgiving."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
This year, Allen is grateful for many things in his life, even if "it might sound cliche," he says. "Thankful for my family and friends obviously, my teammates."
He goes on, "I'm just thankful also that we got to play a game in late October in Buffalo at night and it was 70 degrees and there was no wind or snow. And I know that's probably going to be coming soon, but I'm thankful for how the weather has been cooperating with us this year."
Allen adds another item to the list. "I'm thankful I get to play this game that I love."
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.