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Small Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Tips

Scaling down Thanksgiving this year? Having a smaller Thanksgiving Dinner can be just as special as a large feast! I am sharing the best small Thanksgiving Dinner menu for two or more people. Create a basic menu and follow these tips for an intimate Thanksgiving Dinner to cherish!

table setting with wine glasses and red wine

Having a smaller Thanksgiving can make it hard to know what to cook. It’s a struggle between having all of the traditional thanksgiving dinner items and a realistic amount of food that can be consumed.

If you are used to a more lively celebration with family members filling the halls and chowing down wherever they can post up, a small Thanksgiving dinner may seem a bit empty. But, a more intimate gathering with your immediate family or a small group of friends can be just as special as a large feast!

These tips will help you merge tradition and simplicity for a cozy meal everyone can be thankful for.

Small Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

If you are serving 2-8 people on Thanksgiving Day, opt for a more simple menu.

Tips for Creating a Small Thanksgiving Menu:

  1. Choose one appetizer, like a simple Thanksgiving Cheeseball to hold guests over.
  2. Choose a few easy thanksgiving side dishes that can be divided in half, or choose sides where you can repurpose leftovers or freeze portions to reduce waste.
  3. Instead of a large whole roasted turkey, make a turkey breast or Cornish game hens.
  4. Stick to 1-2 desserts to avoid an abundance of leftovers.

There are several more options to choose from in my holiday category! A more intimate holiday gathering means a smaller celebration with meaning and gratitude!

Small Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Scaling down Thanksgiving this year? Having a smaller Thanksgiving Dinner can be just as special as a large feast! I am sharing the best small Thanksgiving Dinner menu for two or more people. Create a basic menu and follow these tips for an intimate Thanksgiving Dinner to cherish!

Basic Thanksgiving Menu

Minimize the stress and chaos with a smaller, basic Thanksgiving menu. Choose a few items from the list below to make an intimate Thanksgiving Dinner extra special this year.

Helpful Thanksgiving Tips

If you need help preparing for Thanksgiving, these links are great resources.

Alternatives to Turkey on Thanksgiving

How to Make Thanksgiving Special

Set a pretty space.

A small guest list is no reason to skimp on the décor. In fact, take some extra time and create a special centerpiece for this intimate gathering. Add candelabras, create place cards, pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers, and polish up the silver to make it extra special.

If you live in a warmer climate, consider an outdoor picnic. This way, you can include additional households and maintain a safe distance. For this idea, encourage your guests to bring their own prepackaged Thanksgiving feast!

Reduce Your Menu.

Instead of a giant bird fit for a king, a turkey breast is a better option for a smaller crowd, or if turkey isn’t your thing, roast a chicken or another piece of meat for a change!

Focus on a main entrée (meat) and about 3-5 sides for a smaller meal. 

Make New Traditions.

Make the best out of a smaller gathering with a few new traditions. Sign up for a virtual race, have a game night, make advent calendars, or take a hike on a nearby trail. After dinner, nap off the turkey coma with a holiday movie. Better yet, break out the rest of your holiday decorations and turn up the Christmas music!

How can I have Thanksgiving for two?

  • Reduce your menu to one entrée and 3-5 sides.
  • Make a plan for leftovers to freeze or repurpose.
  • Consider pre-made foods or pick-up options in your area.
  • Seize the opportunity to experiment with new Thanksgiving Recipes/
  • Have a Thanksgiving breakfast or brunch instead of the traditional holiday meal.

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