30 Small-Batch Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes That Make Cooking For 2 Easy as Pie
Thanksgiving is all about food, food, food, and more food, but if you're only cooking for two this year, having a table piled high with a feast fit for your extended family and then some isn't always the most logical. And even if you love a Thanksgiving-leftovers sandwich, you can only eat them for so many days. That's why we curated a list of the best Thanksgiving recipes that can be easily tweaked for two. This way, you can still enjoy the best flavors of the season, but you don't have to worry about food waste, a fridge that's stuffed to the brim with plastic containers, or the dreaded food coma right after eating more than you can handle.
If your Friendsgiving feast or Thanksgiving gathering is on the smaller side this year, take a look at these delicious recipes that are perfect for pairs. From portion-controlled potatoes to individual desserts and an herb-roasted turkey breast that's easy to make instead of a whole bird, these Thanksgiving recipes for two are all you need to have a quaint dinner with the one you're most thankful for.
Get ready to work up an appetite, and take a look at the best Thanksgiving recipes for two, ahead.
— Additional reporting by Megan duBois
Cranberry-Brie Pastry Tarts
Quick, easy, and a fan favorite, these cranberry-brie pastry tarts are too good to be true. Creamy brie, tangy cranberries, and a fluffy puff pastry work together to make these cheese-filled tarts ready to be served in no time. This recipe makes 12 servings, but you can easily downsize it for your needs, or make extra and warm them up for days to come — we think they make a surprisingly good day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast.
Crispy Salt-and-Pepper Smashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are always good, but it can be hard to make them in smaller batches. These crispy salt-and-pepper smashed potatoes are crispy and smooth at the same time, plus it's easy to make just a few. In short, they're a perfect swap when you're prepping Thanksgiving dinner for two.
Butternut-Squash Green-Bean Casserole
Make green-bean casserole the star of the side-dish show when you add roasted butternut squash and sliced almonds to the recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it also combines two classic Thanksgiving sides, so even if you're making fewer dishes this year, you get to enjoy both veggies. This recipe for butternut-squash green-bean casserole serves eight, so our advice is to cut the ingredients in half and make enough for four people — so you can have something to nosh on for dinner the night after.
Savory, comforting, and carb-heavy, stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer) is divine in its many permutations, but none are as flat-out adorable as these stuffing muffins. Not sold on the cute factor? No matter. Stuffing muffins are also proportioned, easier to serve, have more of those delectable crispy edges, and they're easy to pop in the freezer.
Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese
Asiago, sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and gouda work together to make this cheesy slow-cooker mac and cheese one to remember. The best part: the noodles cook directly in the sauce, which means one less step for you. This recipe serves 12, so if you cut the recipe in half, you'll have just enough extra to save the leftovers for an easy-to-heat-up lunch.
You'll get the best of both worlds when you make this hearty cornbread dressing. Full of sausage, veggies, cornbread, cranberries, and spices, it'll leave you wanting more. And did we mention it's gluten-free? This hefty recipe was made to feed 12, so adjust the ingredients to the number of mouths you want to feed, and you'll be good to go.
Sweet-Potato Casserole With Marshmallows
Hands up if sweet-potato casserole with marshmallows is your favorite Thanksgiving side. Mashed sweet potatoes are paired with brown sugar and warm butter and topped with marshmallows. As long as you have a small baking dish, you can easily downsize this recipe when making Thanksgiving for two people; adjust this recipe to your liking by choosing how many servings you want to make before you start cooking.
If your family is the type that loves fried food, this recipe is for you. Bite into a warm, crunchy, and oh-so-good deep-fried stuffing ball, and watch as your mouth waters for more. We suggest making about four or five of these for two people, as they're pretty rich.
Baked Sweet-Potato Parmesan Tater Tots
Take advantage of the season's best sweet potatoes with this drool-worthy recipe for baked sweet-potato parmesan Tater Tots. These tots are crispy on the outside (thanks to crunchy Panko bread crumbs) and soft on the inside (thanks to warm mashed sweet potatoes), and will have you coming back for more. Dunk them in ketchup, ranch, or honey if you want some extra flavor. This recipe makes six servings by using four medium sweet potatoes, so if you want to make these tots for two, we suggest using two medium sweet potatoes for the best results.
Salted Honey Rolls
Light, fluffy, and topped with a dreamy honey butter, these salted honey rolls pair well with gravy, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Sorry, cornbread, but these will win the side-dish game. Feel free to make as many as you'd like for your Thanksgiving dinner for two (plus some leftovers, of course) — the recipe is easy to tweak!
Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
The star of any Thanksgiving table is the turkey, but when there are just two people, a whole turkey seems excessive. This herb-roasted turkey breast is the perfect small-batch swap and takes just a few minutes to prepare for roasting.
Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
This apple-stuffed acorn squash is a major Thanksgiving win because it can be made partially in the microwave, and the sausage in the recipe can be omitted to make the dish vegetarian. The original recipe makes eight servings, but you can easily make a smaller batch of the stuffing, and serve it in just one halved acorn squash when making Thanksgiving dinner for two.
Bruschetta is good any time of year, but this fall-inspired recipe for roasted-butternut-squash bruschetta makes it even better in the chilly months. A fluffy baguette is topped with goat cheese, arugula, roasted butternut squash, and tomatoes to make this app practically burst with flavor. (You can adjust how many people you want to serve by typing in the number of servings at the top of the recipe and hitting "enter." The recipe automatically adjusts to that serving size. How nice is that?)
If you have a soft spot for dips (or pumpkin pie), this pumpkin-pie-dip dish will make your mouth water. With only six ingredients, this sweet appetizer can be made in minutes — and for a small group. It'll do the trick if you don't want to make a whole pie when planning a Thanksgiving dinner for two.
There's no denying it — crescent rolls are irresistible. Buttery, flaky, and melt-in-your-mouth good, this crescent rolls recipe is great any time of year but comes in handy if you're making Thanksgiving dinner for two. To customize how many rolls you want to make, simply hover your mouse over the number-of-servings section, and you're good to go!
Don't overcomplicate mashed potatoes — cream, butter, and salt are really all you need to impress even your pickiest relatives this holiday season. Trust us, this pared-down three-ingredient mashed potatoes recipe will result in simple, delicious mashed potatoes that are more than worthy of your Thanksgiving table. Did we mention how easy it is to make for only two people?
Cheesy Garlic Butterflake Rolls
Half roll, half garlic knot, these cheesy garlic butterflake bites make a standout Thanksgiving side. With hints of cheese, garlic, and herbs, you'll want to make these even when it's not the holiday season. This site allows you to customize the recipe to the amount of people you want to feed, making a Thanksgiving dinner for two easier than ever.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Give the classic casserole a makeover with this buttery and bourbon-y recipe for sweet-potato casserole with bacon and pecans. Rich bacon pecans are layered on top of hearty potatoes, offering the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Grab a smaller baking dish and cut this recipe in half, and you'll have the ideal amount of food for Thanksgiving dinner for two, plus a little extra for leftovers.
Complete with a homemade cheese sauce and a buttery cracker topping, what could be better than this hearty broccoli casserole? Every bite offers bold broccoli flavor that pairs effortlessly with the rich cheddar and cream cheese sauce. The best part about this recipe is that you can customize how many people you want to feed, and the ingredients list automatically adjusts to the number you picked.
Cheesy Southern Squash Casserole
Creamy, hearty, and comforting are just a few ways to describe this cheesy Southern squash casserole. It's topped with crispy cornbread crumbs, so you'll be scraping the bottom of your bowl for more. Adjust the amount of servings you want to make at the top of the recipe before you start cooking so you don't make too much.
This green-bean "casserole" isn't a casserole but offers up the same flavors you get from the classic dish. Plus, unlike when working with a casserole recipe, it's easy to make this Thanksgiving side in a smaller batch, so it's perfect for two.
Sweet-Potato Skins With Sage Pesto and Bacon
Usually sweet potatoes are made in a giant casserole and covered with marshmallows on Thanksgiving, but these sweet-potato skins with sage pesto and bacon are a fresher alternative that can more easily be made for just two people. The original recipe makes eight potato skins, so cut the recipe in half (or smaller) depending on how many potato skins you want to eat.
Apple-Crisp-Stuffed Baked Apples
If you don't feel like making a whole pie for just two people — but you're craving a flavorful, fall dessert for your Thanksgiving meal — consider these apple-crisp-stuffed baked apples. They have all the classic apple-pie flavors, but they're much easier to make in a small amount.
Arugula Salad With Grapes, Farro, and Black-Pepper Vinaigrette
Thanksgiving dinner can be heavy, so balance it out with this fresh and nutritious side. You'll get a surprising mix of flavors with every forkful of this arugula salad with grapes, farro, and black-pepper vinaigrette.
If you need cranberry sauce, and you need it now, this easy cranberry-sauce recipe only takes 10 minutes to make and is flavored with fresh orange juice and a dash of sugar.
Winter Roasted Cauliflower With Goat Cheese
This gluten-free vegetarian dish is a versatile side for any Thanksgiving table, even if there are just two of you. The tasty winter-roasted-cauliflower-with-goat-cheese recipe combines a few simple ingredients and makes only four servings of food.
Roasted Carrots With Curried Yogurt
This simple roasted carrots with curried yogurt side dish requires only five ingredients and is vegetarian. While the original recipe serves six, you can cut the recipe in halves or thirds to serve about two people.
Fall-Harvest Roasted-Butternut-Squash-and-Pomegranate Salad
The best of fall produce is mixed together in this fall-harvest roasted-butternut-squash-and-pomegranate salad. And while salad might not always seem like a Thanksgiving staple, this one is definitely worth adding to the menu. The recipe makes six servings, which you can cut down if needed; however, it makes a great next-day lunch that doesn't feel too heavy, even after a big meal.
Cheesy Cauliflower Au Gratin
If you don't want to make both a veggie and a potato dish for your small Thanksgiving table, this cheesy cauliflower au gratin can act as a two-for-one that satisfies a bit of both flavors. The recipe serves six, so cut all of the ingredient measurements in half to make a more manageable amount for two.
Butternut-Squash-and-Kale Quinoa Stuffing
If rice or bread isn't for you, then this quinoa-based butternut-squash-and-kale stuffing might fit your needs better — especially if you're vegetarian and/or gluten-free. This recipe serves six, so cut it in half if you don't want leftovers for days.