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Years ago while studying in Iowa, it looked like I might be on my own for Thanksgiving until my sister flew over to spend the holiday with me. The trip was as memorable as the meal we shared, and there was much to give thanks for. If you find yourself in a similar situation, whether visiting a stranded family member or simply avoiding the crowded highways and the hustle and bustle of the airports, sharing a Thanksgiving meal for two can be an enjoyable, stress-free experience that allows you to step outside family traditions, try new dishes, and focus on what you are most thankful for. Some of these recipes are designed to serve two, while others are easy to scale down for two people.

No need to defrost the whole turkey and spend hours roasting it in the oven. With this excellent recipe, you get both the stuffing and the turkey in one elegant dish. If you have a favorite stuffing recipe, feel free to substitute it for the stuffing mix.

Photo by lutzflcat

Take a detour from roasted turkey altogether and serve individual game hens this Thanksgiving. Halve the recipe to make two, one for you and one for your dinner companion. The aroma of garlic, rosemary, and lemon, will beautifully permeate your kitchen as the hens roast in the oven in under 90 minutes.

Photo by Jean Ann

As much as one might love mashed potatoes, this method for roasting whole potatoes will earn you extra points for presentation. To prepare these potatoes, you'll start by making thin cuts across each potato without cutting all the way through. When roasted, the slices will fan out slightly and get super crispy. Skip the cheese and breading, and instead spoon your favorite gravy into the crannies of the potato.

Hasselback Potatoes | Photo by lutzflcat

Perfectly designed to serve two people, the acorn squash halves are used as vehicles for stuffing. Keep these vegetarian by using vegetable broth, or boost the savory character by adding sautéed crumbled sausage.

Photo by hungryallweighs

This Thanksgiving, we encourage you to embrace the love affair with muffin tins and use this trusty kitchen item for stuffing. Allrecipes community member Sheila LaLonde who shares this from-scratch stuffing recipe says, "A traditional stuffing served in fun, individual muffin shaped servings, so you and your guests can enjoy more of the yummy crunchy outsides!"

Photo by Swanson

In this recipe, Brussels sprouts are flavored with honey, Dijon mustard, and dill. You can quickly cook these in water until tender as written in the recipe, or roast them in the hot oven. We recommend adding fresh lemon zest to the Brussels sprouts right before serving.

Photo by AllieGeekPie

If you're keeping your menu short and sweet and skipping cranberry sauce, these tarts are the perfect combination of one our favorite Thanksgiving dessert (pecan pie) and cranberries. As much as we love individual desserts, we bet you won't be able to eat just one. If you plan on sharing these with children, leave out the brandy.

Photo by Rob Tanner

The apple pie filling for these mini beauties is made from Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon and thickened with instant tapioca. If you have a hard time finding instant tapioca, use all-purpose flour in its place. If you are short on time, skip the step of creating a lattice top for the pies and use a crumble topping instead, or simply bake as double-crusted mini pies.

Photo by footballgrl16

You didn't think we'd forget pumpkin, did you? The beauty of this recipe is that it can double up as dessert and breakfast for the day after Thanksgiving. The muffins are baked with pumpkin pie filling, which is a great shortcut for incorporating the traditional pumpkin pie flavor without adding individual spices.

Photo by naples34102

The bite-size sweet potato pies are a sweet ending to any dinner. To make them especially festive, top with mini marshmallows and toast under a broiler or with a kitchen torch.

Photo by YVega78

For more Thanksgiving inspiration:

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