Thanksgiving for Two Ideas

Turkey for two, and two for turkey…Maybe the thought of cooking a ton of food for the holiday is overwhelming. Maybe you’re still hosting a crowd but you’d like to streamline the menu (you don’t really need to serve yams, white potatoes, and mashed potatoes). Here are several suggested smaller menus:

A Simple Dinner: What we actually had for the 2008 holiday. We were supposed to join friends for a potluck with all the trimmings, but colds brought down our hosts. The menu was a perfectly fine meal:

  • 2 chicken cutlets, cooked in a pan while the vegetables baked.
  • The Cranberry chutney, made that morning while watching the Macy’s parade.
  • Green bean casserole, single batch, made with a 16-oz bag frozen green beans.
  • Roasted baby carrots (toss lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven on a cookie sheet at the same time as the green beans.)
  • Cornbread stuffing, store-bought (already made at the deli).
  • Apple pie, also store-bought, served about 2 hours later.

Turkey cutlets, cranberry salsa, and tossed salad with berries (link). Add a slice of pie for dessert.

Make just three or four dishes: Turkey cutlets, creamed spinach, and pecan tart (idea from; the original page is now defunct.) Note: I think this menu dinner needs another vegetable to round it out. Add carrots or sweet potato.

“Flavor Point” Thanksgiving for Two: This menu is based on ideas in the book by Dr. David L. Katz. Serve a tossed salad with vinaigrette dressing, cous-cous with pine nuts and dried cranberries, roast turkey breast (3 oz per person), and sautéed vegetables (packaged, precut, fresh, or frozen). For dessert, share a pumpkin milkshake: blend together 1 c frozen vanilla yogurt, 1/8 c milk, 1 T plain pumpkin puree, and a pinch of allspice.

Jenny’s Kitchen offers a menu with turkey breast, instead of a whole bird. Menu: Curried pumpkin soup, fruit salad with baby greens, rolled stuffed breast of turkey, fresh cranberry sauce, and a yam and apple tart (link).

The Minimalist Thanksgiving Dinner features a method to cook the turkey in two hours. Mark Bittman’s menu includes all the classic dishes without a lot of the stress. Menu: Turkey, gravy, corn bread stuffing, tossed salad with gorgonzola and beets, roasted sweet potatoes with maple butter, and an apple tart (link).

Giada’s Everyday Italian menu features three dishes: Turkey and Cranberry Ravioli, Cornbread Panzanella Salad, and Apple and Walnut Torta (link).

Italian-American Thanksgiving: link. Lidia Bastianich suggests an extensive Thanksgiving menu with an Italian accent. You could pare down her menu and serve just a few of these dishes for your feast. (Bonus: this menu includes a vegetarian main dish along with the turkey):

  • Spinach-stuffed mushrooms
  • Sweet potato soup
  • Vegetable lasagna
  • Turkey glazed with honey and balsamic vinegar
  • Sautéed cranberries, squash, and apples
  • Add a dessert from another site: Pumpkin Tiramisu, start the day before (link)

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  1. Pingback: Planning for Thanksgiving « QC Tester Hobbies: Sustainable Excellence

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