How To Prepare A Thanksgiving Dinner For Two

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on gratitude and a time to eat, eat, and eat some more. How do you handle a food-centered holiday when there are just two of you celebrating, though?

Many think of this time and picture people spending days ahead of time in the kitchen, preparing an array of different dishes, as well as a packed table full of loved ones and plenty of food to go around. However, many also celebrate Thanksgiving with just a child, a significant other, a parent, or a friend.

Don't stress just yet: You can still enjoy all the traditional foods that are associated with this holiday by cooking smaller portions and mixing things up a bit. Follow the tips that are listed out down below, in order to serve up a Thanksgiving dinner that is perfect for just two people (or even just for you + some leftovers).

Consider portions of a turkey or a smaller bird, rather than an entire bird

Usually, the main attraction of a Thanksgiving feast is a turkey, and as pointed out by The Kitchn, there is no need to cook an entire turkey if only two of you will be partaking in the meal. A small turkey is still 10 to 12 pounds, which adds up to quite a bit of meat. If you are set on having turkey sandwiches as leftovers, that could work.

Some more options, though, are to buy, cook, and eat only portions of the bird, such as breasts or legs, or to opt for a smaller bird, such as a chicken or cornish hen. This will be easier for you to handle while preparing the meal, will cut down on your time in the kitchen, will help cut down on the age-old problem of ending up with a dry turkey, and will be a more appropriate serving size for just the two of you.

Get creative with side dishes and desserts

A Thanksgiving meal is not complete without side dishes and sweet treats, but once again, you don't want to spend the time, energy, and money required to make enough for an entire extended family, friendsgiving, or holiday work party. That being said, consider getting creative, in order to come up with smaller portions and unique ways to enjoy these classics.

For instance, instead of an entire sweet potato casserole, you could do one baked sweet potato for each of you (via Delish). Instead of several, whole pies, you could do mini ones and/or muffins (via allrecipes).

Another fun way to get in some go-to sides and desserts is by drinking them! As reported by Delish, regular ol' cranberries can be upgraded to cranberry mimosas, and a pecan pie can become a pecan pie martini. That sounds even better than the originals, right?!

Feel free to go with the classics — just opt for smaller portions

Of course, there are certain foods that just seem to complete a Thanksgiving meal, and just because your dinner party is smaller does not mean that you have to skip out on these completely.

In fact, rolls, mashed potatoes, and gravy are three of the most popular and beloved Thanksgiving foods, as stated on Spoon University's website, and they can definitely make an appearance at a party for two.

The Spruce Eats is one of many sites that has recipes for things like stuffing, so feel free to continue on with your plan ... just think about, perhaps, halving the recipe, making it fit better with a menu for two people. You could also plan on eating leftovers for a while, which many enjoy, since it means less cooking, or you could donate extra food to others, as well.