This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our affiliate policy.
Cooking for just a couple this year? Skip the roast 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.
Thanksgiving for Two was a big deal during the pandemic, but long before that, cooks were preparing a small Thanksgiving meal. Maybe you work on the holiday (as so many do), or your family isn’t close by, or you’re in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all.
There are so many reasons why a table for two at Thanksgiving makes sense (and it might even be a table for one with ample leftovers). My passion (and my job) is to connect you to your favorite food memories or help you build new ones. And if a 20-pound turkey or a bone-in roast turkey breast isn’t on the menu, perhaps a couple of Cornish hens could be.
Table of Contents
- Cornish Hens with Stuffing
- Mashed Potatoes for Two
- Green Bean Casserole for Two
- Cranberry Sauce for Two
- Mini Pumpkin Pies for Two
- More scaled-down mains
- More Thanksgiving side dishes for two
- Big batch bread-making (freezer friendly!)
- Drinks and cocktails for a small Thanksgiving dinner
- Thanksgiving appetizers for two
This recipe was designed for two and features a pair of Cornish hens, a generous amount of stuffing, and a delicious savory apple glaze. And even though the hens and stuffing have different cooking times in the oven, I did all the work to ensure they cook at the same temperature and finish at the same time.
Cornish Hens with Stuffing
Creamy mashed potatoes make the perfect moat to hold all that butter and turkey gravy on the plate, plus they taste great with everything. Even cranberries! For some, it’s a canvas to add flavors like fresh herbs, garlic, or rosemary, for others, it’s the best part of the dinner. Of course, there are a million recipes out there, but in case you’re looking for an old-school, classic mashed potato recipe with a creamy texture that really lets the flavor of the potato shine, make this one.
Mashed Potatoes for Two
I didn’t grow up eating Green Bean Casserole at Thanksgiving, but based on the recipe I see in Campbell’s magazine ads, I’m not sorry about it. Canned green beans with canned mushroom soup? I’m not a food snob, but that just doesn’t sound like my kind of thing.
So when I made Green Bean Casserole the first time, I kicked the cans. I make Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole too, but this version with fresh beans is the absolute best.
Green Bean Casserole for Two
Tart, sweet, and spiced, my Grandma’s “famous” homemade cranberry sauce brightens up the plate and cleanses your palate in between bites of mashed potatoes and gravy. And it cooks fast! No long simmering is required.
Cranberry Sauce for Two
Did you know that one standard 9-inch pie crust can be broken down into two 6-inch smaller pies? How great is that? Eat one pumpkin pie all by yourself for dessert, and give the other to someone you’re thankful for. And keep scrolling for a whole slew of scaled-down Thanksgiving recipes designed just for two.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
More scaled-down mains
These recipes are smaller than a full-size turkey for cozy gatherings with friends and family.
More Thanksgiving side dishes for two
These recipes can easily be scaled down for your fun-sized feast (just use the servings slider in each recipe card).
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.
Drinks and cocktails for a small Thanksgiving dinner
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.
Thanksgiving appetizers for two
I hope wherever you are and whoever you are with, you have a wonderful, safe, and happy Thanksgiving!
Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.