Cooking for just a couple this year? Skip the turkey and prepare a pair of Cornish hens with stuffing. I’ve also scaled down the most important side dishes, and you can complete your meal with two mini pumpkin pies.

It’s a perfectly proportioned feast for you and your plus one.

A plate of roasted Cornish hen, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetable casserole, and cranberry sauce.
Table of Contents
  1. Cornish Hens with Stuffing
  2. Mashed Potatoes for Two
  3. Green Bean Casserole for Two
  4. Cranberry Sauce for Two
  5. Mini Pumpkin Pies for Two
  6. More Thanksgiving side dishes for two
  7. Big batch bread-making (freezer friendly!)
  8. Single-serving cocktails for a small Thanksgiving
  9. Thanksgiving appetizer recipes

Cornish Hens with Stuffing

Roasted Cornish Hens with Stuffing make Thanksgivings extra special. An easy apple mustard glaze takes the place of gravy, and a classic bread stuffing soaks up all the flavors.

Get the recipe: Cornish Hens with Stuffing

A whole Cornish hen on a gray plate with stuffing.

How to Truss a Cornish Hen

Cornish Hen should be trussed before roasting to ensure even cooking and supremely succulent, tender meat. Here’s how to do it; it only takes a minute and a length of kitchen twine.

3 minutes
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Mashed Potatoes for Two

My Best Mashed Potatoes recipe – scaled down for 2! They are just 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and so simple they barely even need a recipe.

Get the recipe: Mashed Potatoes for Two

A plate of roasted cornish hen, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetable casserole, and cranberry sauce.

How to Boil Potatoes

This method for how to boil potatoes gives you perfectly cooked spuds for mashed potatoes, potato salad, and all your favorite potato recipes.

55 minutes
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Green Bean Casserole for Two

Green Bean Casserole is a must-have at any holiday meal, and this scaled down version makes the perfect amount for a hungry couple. Made from scratch, just like the original recipe; every forkful is so good you might wish you had more.

Get the recipe: Green Bean Casserole for Two

Green bean casserole in a baking dish.

How to Blanch Green Beans

Learn how to blanch green beans so they are deliciously tender-crisp every single time. Then you can sauté them for dinner, add them to salads, or just snack on them throughout the day.

20 minutes
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Cranberry Sauce for Two

The best, easiest Cranberry Sauce recipe you’ll ever make flavored with fresh orange juice and just a little sugar. This classic version makes enough for two people and is ready in under 10 minutes.

Get the recipe: Cranberry Sauce for Two

Cranberry sauce in a white bowl.

Mini Pumpkin Pies for Two

Tiny and irresistible, Mini Pumpkin Pies come in handy for smaller gatherings or sharing with friends and family. They’re easy, creamy, and perfectly spiced, just smaller and cuter.

Get the recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pies

A slice of mini pumpkin pie on a white plate with a mini pumpkin pie and whipped cream behind it.

Fresh Pumpkin Purée

Fresh pumpkin purée makes an incredible pie, and it’s something you can do well ahead of time, when you have the oven space. It’s so easy, you may never go back to canned pumpkin. Every…

1 hour 15 minutes
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More Thanksgiving side dishes for two

Although not necessarily created for two, these recipes can easily be scaled down for your fun-sized feast.

Big batch bread-making (freezer friendly!)

From-scratch bread-making is always easier in a full batch (or a double batch). Luckily, the extras can be frozen for future meals.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Pillowy soft with a sweet, buttery taste, these Homemade Crescent Rolls are perfect for all the holidays or a weekend baking project. Growing up, grandma’s Homemade Crescent Rolls were always a tradition at all the…

4 hours
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Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls

When nothing but homemade bread will do, try these easy Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls. They are perfect at your holiday table, piled with any kind of meat, or on the side of Sunday Supper.

2 hours 20 minutes
View Recipe

Single-serving cocktails for a small Thanksgiving

If you’re craving something more labor-intensive than opening a bottle of wine, these delicious cocktails are made by the glass. You and your partner can each toast with your favorite.

Brandy Old Fashioned

From Friday fish fries to supper clubs, the Wisconsin drink of choice is a Brandy Old Fashioned. Here’s the authentic recipe for the Wisconsin twist on this famous classic cocktail. In 1893, during the Chicago…

5 minutes

Thanksgiving appetizer recipes

Most appetizers make way too many bites for the pair of you, so I recommend making a dip that you can enjoy with fresh vegetables, crackers, or toasted baguette slices. You can enjoy the leftovers the day after, too.

Easy Dill Dip

Easy Dill Dip is a sure-fire hit for all your parties from here on out. This super creamy classic uses only dried herbs and spices (a great excuse to raid your spice cabinet) and only…

5 minutes

I hope wherever you are, and whoever you are with, you have a wonderful, safe, and happy Thanksgiving!

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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  1. Dear Meggan, I have been scooping up your recipes for several years, and they are among the most reliably tasty of all the sources I consult. But. The Thanksgiving for Two vegetable casserole. Velveeta? Seriously? Kraft isn’t even allowed to label it as ‘cheese,’ because it is so heavily processed. The rest of the dish looks so good, can you provide me an alternative using real cheese, as opposed to slabs of ‘cheese food?’ Either a cheese sauce made separately, or a particular type of cheese which would substitute well for the… other stuff? Kids are scattered across three other states, so Thanksgiving for Two will prove a real help this year. Thanks for any help you may have in mind.