14 Recipes Perfect For a Small Thanksgiving Gathering
Gluten-Free Greek 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 Greek-inspired 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 is impressive for a crowd—but in a more reasonable portion size for a small Thanksgiving menu.
Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins with Cherries and Pancetta
This is the ultimate small Thanksgiving entree recipe, no bones about it. Literally! With the smaller size and boneless nature of turkey tenderloins, you can have your six-serving centerpiece on the table in a fraction of the time (just about an hour). The cherry-sage couscous stuffing and pancetta topping elevate this main dish to gourmet territory.
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. The vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe will make meat-lovers and vegetarians happy when it makes its debut at dinner. And leftovers the next day will be just as good!
Sticky Roasted Carrots with Citrus
Every Thanksgiving dinner needs vegetable side-dishes, and this serves-four carrot recipe will make a great addition to your table. (Not to mention it calls for just 15 minutes of prep time!) With a sweet-spicy punch from honey and chiles de arbol, plus the refreshing kick of citrus, everyone will be asking for seconds.
Buttered Stuffing with Mushrooms
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers of this buttery, herb-scented small Thanksgiving recipe, reheat the next day and put an egg on it for brunch. It's the perfect addition to your small Thanksgiving gathering menu.
Test Kitchen Tip: Don’t have—or don’t prefer to use—white wine for this stuffing recipe? Simply trade in an equal amount of broth.
The Anything Green Chopped Salad
Here's a great idea for holiday potlucks: Prep cut-up vegetables separately in resealable bags, then unpack them 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!
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 semi-homemade buttery, cheesy rolls are definitely deserving of a spot at your Thanksgiving table, even if you're making a small meal.
Pressure Cooker Mac and Four Cheeses
Save precious oven real estate and time, and still savor a side of cheesy mac. This reasonably-portioned side dish is your solution! It calls for four kinds of cheese (cheddar, gouda, Parmesan, and Swiss) and zero oven room since it practically preps itself in the pressure cooker.
Mushroom Salad with Soy Vinaigrette
If you're looking for a pretty salad to round out your holiday menu, try this spinach combo with its Asian-inspired sesame-soy dressing. It'll also bring some unexpected umami to your classic Thanksgiving gathering, thanks a full pound of sliced mushrooms (AKA a quarter pound per person) in the mix of veggies. Toss together this salad just before your turkey comes out of the oven so it hits your table at the peak of freshness.
Pumpkin Soup with Lentils
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, especially when you warm things up with a complex mix of seasonings including curry powder, cumin, fresh ginger, and freshly-grated nutmeg. Chicken broth and olive oil add body to the soup's flavor, while canned pumpkin keeps it smooth and creamy.
Cinnamon Roll Sweet Potato Pie
Put extra sweet potatoes to brilliant use in this eye-catching Thanksgiving pie recipe that feeds eight. (Or likely, a few less, if it’s at our house.) The cinnamon roll topping looks intricate and impressive but is actually a cinch to recreate. Brush one refrigerated pie crust with melted butter, dust with cinnamon-sugar, and roll into a spiral. Slice rounds and you have stunning “shingles” to layer atop your small Thanksgiving dessert.
Don't choose just one fruit to be the star of your Thanksgiving pie—choose two! Apples and cranberries nestled in a flaky piecrust are an unbeatable pairing, and a great finish to any Thanksgiving dinner. Opt for a sturdy, tart apple variety such as Granny Smith to play nicely with the sweet-tart cranberries.
Caramelized Pear Skillet Cake
If you want to take a break from Thanksgiving pie, this skillet cake is the tastiest substitute you'll find. While it serves 10, we think the cast-iron recipe is the ideal dessert for a small Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebration. Everyone will be anxious to enjoy round two of the caramel-bourbon sauce-topped treat for brunch the next day!
Bourbon Stout Cocktail
Round out your small family Thanksgiving menu with a creamy bourbon-based cocktail. Finish the fall cocktail with sweet chocolate stout, vanilla, and milk. As one reviewer shared, the drink makes "a great dessert beverage".