20 Thanksgiving Recipes for a Small Gathering

mini pumpkin pies or tarts


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mini pumpkin pies or tarts

Scale Down Recipes, Not Flavor

Just because you decided that your Thanksgiving gathering will be a little smaller this year doesn't mean your feast will be any less scrumptious. With a few simple hacks found in these Thanksgiving recipes for a small gathering, you can have your pumpkin pie and eat it too.

Related: 15 Ways to Spice Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

roasted sheet pan meal

Thanksgiving on Two Sheet Pans

Maybe you'd prefer to get all the prep over with in one fell swoop. Behold: A way to end up with four servings of turkey, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce without having piles of dishes to clean later.

Recipe: Food Network

Related: 40 Cheap and Easy One-Pot Meals

Spoon Bread with Guanciale
Mark R Coons/istockphoto
mini pumpkin pies or tarts
Roasted duck breast
Polina Shurygina/istockphoto
herb turkey breast
Butterless Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes for Two

For many, mashed potatoes are an essential Thanksgiving dish. Luckily, they're easy to prepare and take just 30 minutes.

Recipe: Kitchn

turkey breast with pan sauce
sweet potatoes with marshmallows
Frank Angeletti/istockphoto

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

If sweet potatoes are an important part of your Thanksgiving table, the slow cooker is an easy way to keep up the tradition. For a smaller group, it's easy to scale down — simply cook fewer potatoes.

Recipe: The Magical Slow Cooker

Cornish Hen with Homemade Classic Stuffing
Zoe Life Photography/istockphoto

Cornish Hen with Homemade Classic Stuffing

Or maybe you love the theater of pulling a whole roast bird out of the oven. A Cornish game hen, sometimes called a broiler chicken, will be just the thing. It's as easy as a roast chicken while still feeling elegant. This recipe includes a great scaled-down stuffing recipe too.

Recipe: Homemade In The Kitchen

Braised Rabbit with Polenta

Braised Rabbit with Polenta

Another main that feels elegant without being a whole ton of work. The main ingredient may make you feel like you're vacationing in Italy, but the sage, rosemary, and bacon in this recipe from Lidia Bastianich provides the flavor of Thanksgiving.

Recipe: The New York Times

Glazed Green Bean Salad
Fig Crostini

Fig Crostini

These fig crostini come together in under a half-hour and will look lovely on your Thanksgiving table. To ensure these are at their best, make sure to use high-quality balsamic.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Savory Pumpkin Hummus
Crock-Pot Cranberry Meatballs
Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

Crock-Pot Cranberry Meatballs

This recipe relies entirely on pre-prepared ingredients, so it takes just minutes to throw together. It serves 12, but you can simply freeze the leftovers. Consider it meal prep for the next week.

Recipe: Spicy Southern Kitchen

brussels sprouts salad

Salt-Wilted Brussels Sprout Salad With Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese

The magic of this dish is in its textural play — half of the sprouts are shredded and left raw, while the other half are wilted by tossing them in salt. The toasted hazelnuts and tang of tangerine juice are a perfect complement.

Recipe: Serious Eats

A Cheese Platter

A Cheese Platter

The great thing about making a cheese plate is that it will look stunning and taste wonderful despite being just things you already bought, arranged. Just make sure to buy three to six cheeses with a range of flavors and textures. For an extra seasonal accompaniment, buy some  cranberry relish.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Cranberry Mimosa

Cranberry Mimosa

A great way to make your holiday feel special without much extra work is a custom cocktail. This Cranberry Mimosa is festive and takes 10 minutes.

Recipe: Delish

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie for Two

Pecan pie is another iconic Thanksgiving dessert that can, it turns out, also be scaled down quite easily. This is homemade pie with 15 minutes of prep and 35 minutes of baking.

Recipe: Taste of Home

pumpkin mousse

Butterscotch Pumpkin Mousse

This low-fat, low-sugar recipe is still very autumnal while being a little less traditional, and it comes together in 15 minutes or less. Dress it up a bit by serving in pudding glasses.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Apple Galette

Country Apple Galette

Galettes are a favorite of lazy chefs everywhere — they feel like something you'd order at a fabulous little French country café, but take no time at all to put together. This version takes 30 minutes of active time and will seriously wow your guests. It yields eight servings, making for plenty left over for breakfast with coffee.

Recipe: Food & Wine