Menu for a Small Thanksgiving Gathering

Ginger Crème Brulee in white bowls with spoon
Just because you're cooking for a smaller crowd doesn't mean you can't serve up a classic Thanksgiving meal to remember. These 10 recipes will help make your small Thanksgiving dinner an intimate affair, but you'll still have some tasty leftovers to dig into the next day.

Hazelnut-Crusted Turkey Breast

If you don't want the friends at your small Thanksgiving dinner to miss out on the turkey experience, try serving a turkey breast instead of an entire bird. This hazelnut-crusted recipe will fit right on your classic Thanksgiving menu, but it only serves six so you won't be overwhelmed with leftovers if you're cooking for just a few. This turkey breast recipe offers all the classic holiday entrée flavors—but in a more reasonable portion size for a small Thanksgiving.

Cornish Game Hens with Artichokes and Potatoes

If you want a main dish that's just like turkey but much smaller and easier to cook, turn to these Cornish hens. Each plump bird makes two servings with both light and dark meat, so everyone's favorite will make an appearance on the table. To serve, simply use kitchen shears to halve each hen lengthwise.

Cheesy Wild Rice Casserole

So creamy, tasty, and easy to make! This delicious side dish can be assembled and refrigerated up to two hours before baking, then just add a few extra minutes to the baking time. This vegetarian Thanksgiving dish will make meat-lovers and vegetarians happy when it makes its debut at dinner. And leftovers the next day will be just as good!

Glazed Carrots

Every Thanksgiving dinner needs a vegetable side-dish recipe, and this easy carrot option will make a great addition to your table (not to mention it only takes 15 minutes to make). Look for a jar of ginger preserves with other preserves, jams, or jellies in the gourmet section of the supermarket. If it's unavailable, the combination of orange marmalade and fresh ginger makes a tasty alternative.

Spinach Salad with Dates and Jicama

If you're looking for a pretty salad to round out your holiday menu, try this spinach combo with its peppy balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It'll also bring some unexpected spice to your classic Thanksgiving gathering, thanks to slices of jalapeño pepper sprinkled in with the veggies. Toss together this salad just before your turkey comes out of the oven so it hits your table at the peak of freshness.

Chopped Holiday Salad

Here's a great idea for holiday potlucks: Marinate and tote the cut-up vegetables separately in resealable bags, then unpack them in rows on a platter just before serving. We're always looking for ways to make our holiday meal prep easier, so this salad is a surefire winner. It's also a tasty and pretty dish to bring if you're attending a Thanksgiving potluck this year!

Parmesan Rosettes

These rolls are so easy to make, you can bake them right before dinner. Or give yourself some extra time for last-minute preparation by baking and freezing them ahead of time. No matter which route you choose, these rolls are definitely deserving of a spot at your Thanksgiving table, even if you're making a small meal.

Perfect Pumpkin Soup

You don't have to wait until dessert for pumpkin recipes to make an appearance at Thanksgiving. Savory golden-orange soup is a festive first course. Chicken broth and olive oil add body to the soup's flavor, while canned pumpkin keeps it smooth and creamy.

Peachy Cranberry Pie

Don't choose just one fruit to be the star of your Thanksgiving pie—choose two! Peaches and cranberries nestled in a flaky piecrust are an unbeatable pairing, and a great finish to any Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure the peaches are packed in heavy syrup—it's the sweetness from the syrup that helps tame the tartness of the cranberries.

Ginger Crème Brûlée

If you want to take a break from Thanksgiving pie, this ginger crème brûlée is the tastiest substitute you'll find. The trick to caramelizing sugar for the topper is shaking, not stirring, until the sugar begins to melt. Then stir with a wooden spoon so the sugar cooks evenly. Don't let it get too brown because the melted sugar will continue to darken after it's removed from the heat.

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