A Thanksgiving Menu for Two
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. So even if your Thanksgiving is small, you can still have a full holiday meal. These Thanksgiving menu ideas for two feature all the beloved classics. With these recipes, you can enjoy the holiday's best dishes without creating too many leftovers. You'll notice that some of these recipes are specifically designed to serve two, while others are easy to scale down for two people.
Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts
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.
Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary
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.
Grilled Turkey Breast with Fresh Sage Leaves
"A new favorite of my husband and mine! The sage leaves make this dish complete," recipe submitter gina.tosso says. You can adjust the number of servings down from eight — or have leftovers to look forward to.
Cranberry Sauce II
With just cranberries, sugar, and water, this five-star cranberry sauce couldn't be easier to make or scale down to a smaller serving.
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.
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!"
Pear and Pomegranate Salad
Bring fresh flavor to your Thanksgiving menu with this salad, topped with in-season pears and pomegranate seeds for crunch.
Honey Dijon Brussels Sprouts
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.
Green Bean Casserole Remix
If you're not a fan of traditional green bean casseroles, take advantage of your small-scale Thanksgiving and make this updated version. You'll taste the difference between frozen green beans, fresh mushrooms, and their canned counterparts. Parmesan and bacon elevate the casserole's flavor, too.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
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.
Grandma's Corn Bread Dressing
"This is an excellent recipe if you are familiar with Southern cornbread but never cooked it," says Jeanne Harris Parks, whose review includes several helpful tips. "My grandma told me her secret to good dressing is the vegetables, so use plenty celery and onion. Cook them only until tender and the onions are translucent so you don't lose all the crunch," she says.
Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole
Along with brown sugar and marshmallows, orange juice sweetens this indulgent side. To preserve the citrus flavor without the extra sweetness, replace the orange juice with the zest of an orange, as reviewer carma174 did.
Pecan Cranberry Butter Tarts
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.
Mini Apple Pies
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.
Mini Sweet Potato Pies
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.
Pumpkin Pie Muffins
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.
Recipe creator Jodster calls this small-scale dessert a "lighter alternative to pumpkin pie." It's easier, too! Layer fluffy, marshmallowy cream cheese and a maple-pumpkin filling before topping each serving with crushed gingersnaps and toasted pecans.