The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Menu for Your Smaller Celebration
Hosting fewer guests this holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic? Then try our go-to menu. All the essential dishes are here, just on a smaller scale.
With social distancing guidelines and limited travel, it's very possible that our Thanksgiving tables might not be filled with all of our friends and family. But that doesn't mean that it can't—or shouldn't—be filled with an abundance of food and gratitude. If you're cooking for a smaller crowd this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic, try this Thanksgiving menu that feeds four to six. Though it's not as lavish as a big feast, you and your guests won't miss a thing. There is turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, Brussels sprouts, and dessert. Plus, we've added in simple strategies for getting the meal on the table with ease. As for the amount of food, expect enough for everyone to indulge and the perfect amount remaining for the coveted Thanksgiving leftovers. Read on for our menu and tips.
Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage Pecan Stuffing
Who says you can't stuff a bird if you don't roast a whole one? This gorgeous rolled turkey breast comes with stuffing intact and a pretty circular pattern that looks beautiful sliced and arranged on a platter. Cooking just the white meat allows you to focus on getting it cooked just right. Dark meat lovers will be surprised that the meat is as juicy and rich as their usual selection.
Pro Tip: Prepare the stuffing the day before. Spread it on turkey, and roll, cover, tie, and refrigerate.
Those drippings in the bottom of the turkey pan are too good to go to waste, and it just isn't Thanksgiving without a plate smothered in gravy. Transform the drippings into this smooth and delicious pan gravy—switch out the giblet stock called for in the recipe for store-bought or homemade turkey or chicken stock.
Pro Tip: Get your ingredients measured while the turkey roasts. Then make the gravy right in the roasting pan, while the meat rests.
You'll need a boat for that gravy, so plan to indent dollops of these super creamy mashed potatoes with a spoon and fill them up with your delicious pan sauce. This classic recipe comes from Martha's mother Mrs. Kostyra, and there's a good reason why our founder's family has made it for years: The right balance of creamy and rich is achieved by melting part cream cheese and part butter into the smooth mashed potatoes.
Pro Tip: Make the mashed potatoes while the turkey roasts and keep them warm; you could also make them the night before. To reheat from cold, just place them over a double boiler and stir occasionally until warmed through.
Brussel Sprouts with Oranges and Bacon
Brighten up the table with this colorful side that pairs Brussels and bacon with tart and sweet oranges. The whole dish is made on one sheet pan with minimal effort, making it a perfect side for when you are pulling off a bigger meal.
Pro Tip: Prep the ingredients directly on the sheet tray ahead of time. As soon as the turkey is done roasting, turn the oven to 425 and roast the sprouts. This side will be hot and ready to go when the turkey is done resting.
Virginia Peanut Pie
When you can't decide between pumpkin, pecan, or apple, the answer might just be something entirely different: peanut. This out-of-the box Virginia Peanut Pie, has a pecan-like filling with crunchy, peanut buttery peanuts studded inside instead. Perfect with a scoop of ice cream, a slice of this pie is the just the right ending to a smaller Thanksgiving meal.
Pro Tip: Get your baking done ahead, pies are best made the day before allowing them time to cool completely before slicing.