How to keep it simple: Thanksgiving dinner for two

Don’t have a crowd for Thanksgiving? Then check out these recipes designed for Thanksgiving for two.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/bokan
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/Bokan

By Jae O’Connor

Just because you don’t have the time or funds to travel this Thanksgiving holiday doesn’t mean you should skip the meal. Dinner for two (or even for one) shouldn’t be depressing; you can enjoy the same traditional favorites with these smaller-portion recipes. This stress-free cooking will keep you out of the kitchen and give you time to spend relaxing on your day off. It’s a holiday for you too, after all.


Mahogany-Glazed Cornish Hen

o   1 Cornish game hen (20 to 24 ounces) split lengthwise

o   1 tbsp. butter

o   ½ tsp. grated orange peel

o   2 tbsp. apricot preserves

o   1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

o   1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

o   2 tsp. Dijon mustard

o   ¼ tsp. salt

o   1/8 tsp. pepper

o   1 to 1½ c. chicken broth, divided

Click here for the full recipe


Roasted Turkey Breast (with Creamy Gravy and Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce)

o   1 full or 2 split boneless skin-on turkey breasts

o   2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted

o   1 stick butter, softened

o   ¼ c. minced fresh herbs

o   1 tbsp. lemon juice

o   Salt and black pepper

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Easy Thanksgiving Stuffing for Two

o   12- to 14-inch loaf crusty French bread

o   1 shallot

o   1 celery stalk

o   3 cloves garlic, minced

o   1 tbsp. butter

o   Salt and pepper

o   2 c. chicken broth

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Truffle Mac and Cheese

o   1 1/3 c. macaroni

o   ½ c. dry white wine

o   1 tbsp. truffle oil

o   1¼  c. chicken or vegetable stock, warmed

o   ½ c. parmesan cheese, finely grated

o   1 tbsp. flour

o   ½ block cream cheese

o   Freshly ground pepper

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Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash

o   1 small (2lb) acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded

o   1 tbsp. clarified butter or olive oil

o   1 c. milk

o   1 egg, plus 2 egg whites

o   ½ c. fresh corn kernels (or more if you like)

o   ¼ tsp. anise seed, chopped

o   ½ c. chopped scallions

o   A tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

o   ¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt

o   1/3 c. grated white cheddar cheese

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Mashed Potatoes for Two

o   2 tsp. salt

o   1 large Yukon Gold potato per person (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound each)

o   1 tbsp. butter, or more as desired

o   1/2 c. milk or cream, or more as needed

o   1 oz. cream cheese (optional)

o   Freshly ground black pepper

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Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Fish Sauce

o   1 clove garlic

o   1 red bird’s eye chili

o   1 tbsp. sugar

o   Juice of a ¼ lime

o   ½ c. water

o   1 tbsp. fish sauce

o   1 lb. Brussel sprouts

o   2 shallots, peeled and quartered

o   2 tbsp. oil

o   Salt and pepper

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Apple Pie for Two

o   1 c. all purpose flour

o   ½ tsp. salt

o   3 tbsp. cold shortening, cut into 3 pieces

o   3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

o   2 tbsp. cold water

o   ¼ c. water

o   1 tsp. lemon juice

o   ¼ c. granulated sugar

o   1 tbsp. cornstarch

o   ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

o   ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

o   Few drops of vanilla

o   1½ c. chopped, peeled baking apples (such as Gala, Golden Delicious or Jonagold)

Click here for the full recipe


Croissant Bread Pudding with Dried Cherries, Bittersweet Chocolate and Toasted Pecans

o   ¼ c. dried cherries

o   ¼ c. pecans

o   Canola oil for greasing

o   2 c. heavy cream

o   1 vanilla bean

o   4 large egg yolks

o   1½ c. sugar

o   ¼ tsp. salt

o   3 day-old croissants

o   2 tbsp. coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate (from about 1 oz.)

Click here for the full recipe


Jae’s “Two-Thirds” Oreo Ice Cream Pie

o   2/3 gallon cookies and cream ice cream, softened

o   2/3 package Cool Whip

o   2/3 package original Oreos, crushed

o   1 Oreo pie crust

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and then pour into pie crust. Freeze overnight, slice and enjoy. You can also use the extra Oreos and Cool Whip for garnish, or crush the extra Oreos and add another layer to your pie.

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