Because a whole turkey is just too big when you're celebrating in a bubble.

By Jennifer Anderson
October 27, 2020
Credit: David M. Russell

Large gatherings and epic dinners are on hold right now, so you will probably find yourself preparing holiday meals for a smaller crowd this year. This year's celebrations will be different, but they can still feel festive. We're here to help you rethink your menu planning so you can create a memorable celebration that's just the right size.

Let's Talk Turkey… Breast

The usual giant turkey will probably yield a few too many leftovers this year. But you can still fill the house with the incomparable aroma of roasting turkey on a smaller scale. How about a turkey breast instead? If you want to go the traditional route, try the super-simple salt and olive oil preparation with our Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast. Or, spice things up a little with Chile-Citrus Turkey Breast coated in a sauce of toasty dried chiles, garlic, and orange juice. If you prefer a stuffed turkey, we've got you covered, too! Choose from Stuffed Turkey Breast bursting with a sausage and sour-cherry bread stuffing, or Stuffed Turkey Breast with Apricot Jam that boasts a filling of fresh herbs, Italian sausage, and lemon zest, and glistens with a sweet glaze.

Give Other Poultry a Chance to Soar

If you're not entirely committed to turkey, now's your chance to try out some extra special recipes for Cornish hens, duck, or goose. You can even gussy up a classic chicken to make it holiday-worthy; preparations like Roasted Chicken Breasts with Grape Stuffing, Walnut-Stuffed Chicken Roulades, and Pomegranate Roasted Chicken will do the trick.

Ham for the Holidays

If you're more of a ham family, you can still use your go-to recipe no matter the size of your party. Smaller crowd means you'll just need to get a smaller ham. Too easy! Or don't scale back at all, and make this the year you finally get your fill of leftovers. We can vouch for a ham casserole, ham calzones, ham-and-cheese sandwiches, and ham-and-egg crepes, too.

Still looking for a recipe tailored for a smaller cut? Try our Ham with Parsley-Mustard Sauce.

Break the Mold

There's nothing conventional about the holiday season this year, so feel free to break with tradition and try something completely new for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Mini Beef Wellingtons offer all the rich elegance of the classic recipe but are so much easier to execute on a single-serving scale. Or you might want to romp over to Italy for your inspiration with our simplified take on porchetta in the form of Roast Pork Loin with Pancetta and Sage. Buttery beef tenderloin will always feel special, especially when it lands on the table cloaked in a savory golden coating, as in the Leek-Crusted Beef Tenderloin.

If you're feeling extra unorthodox this year, take a crack at a rich and rustic winter dish like White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowls, Pici with Short-Rib Ragu, or Pressure-Cooker Tamales. Whatever you make for your holiday dinners this year, you can be sure it'll be memorable, and you may just start some new traditions!


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