Indulge in Thanksgiving for two this holiday season. Our carefully curated menu features all the classic dishes you love, perfectly portioned for an intimate celebration. Create cherished memories with your loved one without the hassle of cooking.

The annual tradition of Thanksgiving brings with it the warmth of gratitude, the joy of togetherness, and the aroma of delicious feasts. While this holiday is often associated with large gatherings and extended family, there’s something truly magical about a Thanksgiving dinner for two. In this intimate setting, the focus shifts from the hustle and bustle to a deeper connection, allowing you to savor the essence of the holiday. Whether you’re sharing the day with a partner, a close friend, or a cherished family member, a Thanksgiving dinner for two promises a special and unforgettable experience.

The beauty of a Thanksgiving dinner for two lies in its simplicity and intimacy. It’s an opportunity to step away from the chaos of life and relish in each other’s company. You can create cherished moments, reflect on your blessings, and share in the delight of a carefully crafted meal without the pressure of hosting a large gathering. The smaller scale allows for more personal attention to detail, from setting a cozy table to preparing a menu that perfectly suits your preferences.

Whether you’re planning a romantic candlelit dinner or a laid-back gathering with a dear friend, a Thanksgiving dinner for two can be as unique as your relationship. It’s a time to appreciate the smaller, more meaningful moments and to express your thankfulness in a way that feels right for you. This Thanksgiving, we invite you to embrace the beauty of simplicity and connection by enjoying a special dinner for two and making memories that will be cherished for years to come.

What’s Included in This Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

A Thanksgiving dinner for two typically includes a selection of dishes that capture the traditional flavors and spirit of the holiday, but with smaller portions to suit the smaller gathering. Here’s what you might find included in this special meal:

  • Roast Turkey (or Turkey Breast): The meal’s centerpiece is often a roasted turkey or turkey breast. For a small dinner, a turkey breast is a more manageable option.
  • Stuffing (or Dressing): A side dish made from bread, herbs, vegetables, and sometimes sausage, typically seasoned to perfection and baked until golden brown.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes, often enriched with butter and cream, provide a comforting accompaniment.
  • Gravy: Rich turkey gravy is drizzled over the turkey and mashed potatoes, adding a savory touch to the meal.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Sweet and tangy cranberry sauce is a classic Thanksgiving condiment that complements the turkey.
  • Green Vegetable Dish: Options may include green bean casserole, sautéed green beans, or Brussels sprouts with bacon, adding a touch of freshness to the plate.
  • Sweet Potato Dish: Sweet potatoes or yams, prepared in various ways, such as mashed, roasted, or in a casserole with marshmallows and pecans.
  • Dinner Rolls: Soft dinner rolls or breadsticks are perfect for sopping up any remaining gravy.
  • Dessert: A traditional Thanksgiving dessert, like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or apple pie, provides a sweet conclusion to the meal.
  • Beverages: You can pair the meal with your choice of beverages, such as wine, sparkling cider, or even a Thanksgiving-themed cocktail.

What kind of equipment and tools do I need?

To prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for two, you’ll need a range of equipment and tools to efficiently cook and serve the meal. Here’s a list of essential items you should have on hand:

  • A large, high-sided sheet pan – I like to use one that measures 18″ x 13″ x 2″, and it’s the perfect size for two or three people.
  • Aluminum foil – if your baking sheet is non-stick you don’t have to use foil, but it sure makes cleanup a breeze!
  • Thermometer – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we love our meat thermometer makes everything so much easier
  • Medium saucepan
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife

Tips for making thanksgiving for two

  • Plan a Scaled-Down Menu: Start by selecting a smaller turkey (or turkey breast) and focus on side dishes that are simple to prepare. Choose your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes but in smaller portions to avoid excessive leftovers.
  • Use Smaller Cookware: Smaller pots, pans, and baking dishes are your best friends for a small Thanksgiving. They are easier to handle and save time and effort.
  • Prep in Advance: Plan your menu and prep as much as possible in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Chop vegetables, prepare pie crusts, and even make some side dishes in advance to save time on the day of the feast.
  • Consider Make-Ahead Dishes: Select dishes that can be made ahead and reheated, like stuffing, casseroles, or even mashed potatoes. This reduces the stress on the day of the dinner.
  • Cook the Turkey Breast: Roasting a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey is a great option for a small group. It cooks faster and is easier to manage.
  • Small Desserts: Consider making individual desserts or smaller portions to avoid an overwhelming amount of leftovers. Mini pies or dessert tarts are perfect choices.
  • Set a Cozy Table: Create an intimate and inviting atmosphere by setting a beautiful table with candles, flowers, and seasonal decorations.

Remember, the essence of Thanksgiving is sharing and gratitude, so even with a smaller group, the holiday spirit can be just as rich and meaningful. Enjoy the quality time and the delicious meal that you create together.

thanksgiving for two, plated dinner

How to Make Thanksgiving for Two

  • Step 1: Plan Your Menu Begin by deciding on your Thanksgiving menu. Select dishes that both you and your guest enjoy. For a smaller gathering, opt for a scaled-down version of the traditional Thanksgiving menu.
  • Step 2: Create a Shopping List List all the ingredients you’ll need for your chosen dishes. Check your pantry and refrigerator to see what you already have. Don’t forget to include any special seasonings or spices.
  • Step 3: Gather Your Kitchen Equipment Make sure you have all the necessary kitchen equipment and tools, as mentioned in a previous response. Check that everything is clean and in working order.
  • Step 4: Prepare in Advance Prep as much as you can in advance. Chop vegetables, make pie crusts, and prepare any dishes that can be made ahead and reheated. This will save you time on
  • Thanksgiving day.
  • Step 5: Thaw the Turkey (if using) If you’re using a turkey or turkey breast, ensure it’s fully thawed. A general rule is to allow 24 hours of thawing time in the refrigerator for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.
  • Step 6: Set the Table Create a cozy and inviting atmosphere by setting the table with your best dinnerware, tablecloth, candles, and seasonal decorations.
  • Step 7: Prepare and Cook the Dishes On Thanksgiving day, start by roasting your turkey (if using) and cooking side dishes. Here’s a general guideline:
    • Preheat the oven: Follow the temperature and timing instructions for your turkey.
    • Roast the Turkey: Prepare and season the turkey or turkey breast. Place it in a roasting pan and roast it according to the weight and any specific recipe instructions.
    • Cook Side Dishes: While the turkey is roasting, work on your side dishes. Start with dishes that require the most time, like casseroles, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Keep them warm in the oven if needed.
  • Step 8: Make Gravy Once the turkey is done, use its drippings to make a delicious gravy. You can do this while the turkey rests before carving.
  • Step 9: Carve the Turkey If you’re roasting a whole turkey, carve it into smaller portions. If you’re using a turkey breast, slice it into servings.
  • Step 10: Serve the Meal Plate the dishes and serve your Thanksgiving dinner for two. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce!
  • Step 11: Enjoy the Meal Sit down with your guest, express your gratitude, and savor the meal together. Take your time, enjoy the flavors, and appreciate the company.

These step-by-step instructions can help you plan and execute a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for two. Remember to customize your menu to your and your guest’s preferences, and most importantly, enjoy the special time together.

Turkey and Stuffing

turkey for two, turkey with stuffing

This turkey turns out so incredibly juicy and so much easier than roasting a whole bird. The stuffing absorbs the juices and fat from the turkey as it roasts, making it even more flavorful!

turkey and stuffing

Roasted Turkey Breast with Stuffing

Herb-roasted turkey breast and stuffing cook together for one easy and flavorful main dish in this Thanksgiving for two.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dinner
Cuisine thanksgiving
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 1 8×8-inch casserole dish

Ingredients
  

Turkey Breast

  • 2-3 lb bone-in Turkey Breast
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Stuffing

  • 1-1/2 cup cubed bread use your favorite
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ½ cup celery chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms chopped
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup chicken or turkey stock

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Prepare the Stuffing:

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, celery, and mushrooms. Sauté until they become tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the dried sage, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from heat and add the cubed bread. Toss the bread until it's well-coated with the mixture.
  • Pour the chicken or turkey broth over the bread mixture and toss to combine. The stuffing should be moist but not soggy. Adjust the amount of broth as needed.

Prepare the Turkey Breast

  • Place the turkey breast on a cutting board. Pat it dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, mix the butter, dried thyme, dried rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
  • Rub the turkey breast all over with the olive oil mixture.

Stuff the Turkey Breast

  • Carefully lift the skin of the turkey breast and stuff the prepared stuffing underneath, pressing it evenly over the meat.

Roast the Turkey

  • Place the stuffed turkey breast in a roasting pan with a rack. Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (73.9°C) and the skin is golden brown.
  • You can baste the turkey with pan juices periodically for a more flavorful result.

Rest and Carve

  • Remove the turkey breast from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat tender.

Serve

  • Carve the turkey breast into slices, and serve with the delicious stuffing and your favorite Thanksgiving sides.

Notes

*If your looking for a quick stuffing, you can purchase boxed stuffing.
Keyword Roasted Turkey Breast, Thanksgiving Menu, Turkey Breast

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

While the turkey and stuffing are roasting, begin the candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. The sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts take about 40 minutes to cook, so you can prepare them and then wait to put them into the oven until the turkey has about 40 minutes to go.

sweet potato and brussel sprouts
sweet potato and brussel sprouts

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts are a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors, making it a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 medium medium-sized sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • chopped pecans or walnuts chopped as garnish

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper for taste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Grated Parmesan cheese optional, for garnish

Instructions
 

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the sweet potato cubes to the skillet and toss them in the sweet syrup mixture to coat them evenly.
  • Transfer the sweet potatoes and the syrup to a baking dish.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Remove the foil, and if you'd like, sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts over the sweet potatoes.
  • Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the nuts are toasted and the sweet potatoes are glazed and slightly caramelized.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the halved Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic (if using). Toss until the Brussels sprouts are well-coated.
  • Spread the seasoned Brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Roast in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and have a slight char on the outer leaves.
  • If desired, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the roasted Brussels sprouts before serving.
Keyword thanksgiving

Mashed potatoes

You can prepare the mashed potatoes while you’re waiting to put the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven. They’re pretty quick to prepare, then they can sit on the stovetop with a lid on to stay warm while you finish the rest of the side dishes.

mashed potato
mashed potato 1

Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

This smaller batch of mashed potatoes is perfect for a Thanksgiving for Two or any quick weeknight dinner when you don't want leftovers.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb russet potato
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • tsp ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • Peel the potato then dice into cubes. Rinse the diced potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove excess starch.
  • Place the cubed potatoes in a medium pot and cover with one inch of water. Add ½ tsp salt. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and then give them another brief rinse.
  • Add the potatoes back into the pot and add butter, sour cream, garlic powder, and pepper and mash. Taste the mashed potatoes and add salt, if needed.
  • Place a lid on the pot then move it to a back burner (not turned on in less your stove has a warming setting) to stay warm while you prepare the rest of the sides.
Keyword dinner for two, mashed potato, small batch

Easy 5-min Gravy

This Easy 5-minute Gravy Recipe is perfect for turkey, chicken, or beef! It’s so flavorful and it’s foolproof too and perfect for any meal. You’re going to be so happy when you see how easy it is to make gravy.

turkey gravy
turkey gravy

Small Batch Easy 5-Min Gravy

This Easy All Purpose 5-Minute Gravy recipe is perfect for turkey, chicken, or beef. Use this method to make the most flavorful gravy ever!
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups chicken, beef, vegetable, or turkey stock
  • 2 beef or chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine the stock and the bouillon cubes in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Heat for 1 minute and stir. Repeat until the bouillon is dissolved.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour, onion powder, thyme, sage, and rosemary, and cook for 1 minute to cook the flour. Slowly whisk in the stock until smooth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, whisking, until smooth and thick, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Keyword Easy, gravy, Roasted Turkey Breast, small batch

Homemade Cranberry Sauce (small batch)

Whether you’re making Thanksgiving for two or don’t want a ton of leftovers, this small batch of Homemade Cranberry Sauce made with fresh orange juice and zest will brighten your dinner table.

cranberry sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce (small batch)

Whether you’re making Thanksgiving for two or don’t want a ton of leftovers, this small batch of Homemade Cranberry Sauce made with fresh orange juice and zest will brighten your dinner table.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 6 ounces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, whisk together the cranberries, sugar, zest, juice, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened. Cool to room temperature before serving. Store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Keyword cranberry sauce, small batch

Small Batch Dinner Rolls

These light and fluffy small-batch dinner rolls are the perfect addition to any meal and you only need to make four rolls instead of two dozen!

dinner rolls
dinner rolls

Small Batch Dinner Rolls

These light and fluffy small-batch dinner rolls are the perfect addition to any meal and you only need to make four rolls instead of two dozen!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 56 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 4 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup warm milk 105-115 degrees f
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg beaten, for egg wash

Instructions
 

  • Add oil, honey, and yeast to warm milk. Stir and let rest for 15 minutes until it begins to bubble and get foamy.
  • Add in salt and flour to the yeast mixture and put in a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough comes together and is slightly sticky but not sticking to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky add some additional flour a Tablespoon at a time. Knead for 5 minutes until soft and smooth
  • Cover and let rise for 20 minutes
  • Divide dough into four pieces and form into balls. Place into a greased pan (I use a 6-inch cake pan) and cover. Let rise for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Brush rolls with beaten egg for an egg wash.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and baked through
Keyword bread, dinner rolls, small batch

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Small-batch mini pumpkin pies with a flaky crust, delicious pumpkin pie filling, and cinnamon whipped cream, are perfect for a small Thanksgiving crowd.

tiannaskitchen mini pumpkin pies with maple syrup drizzled on t fb4a51a2 ce7c 4276 83bc 17578de62347
tiannaskitchen professional food photo of mini pumpkin pies mad 2eaadf59 8c35 4efd af61 f01ae683bf50

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie

Experience the delightful power of fall with our Mini Pumpkin Pie recipe. These bite-size wonders are a positively delicious way to elevate your fall gatherings.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 250 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 mini tart pan with 12 or more spots for mini pies

Ingredients
  

For the crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter cold and cubed
  • 4-6 tbsp ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 can pure pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the Crust: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make the Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until well combined. Gradually add the egg mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until smooth. Finally, whisk in the evaporated milk.
  • Prep the Mini Pies: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface and use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles that fit into your mini pie tins. Gently press the dough into the tins.
  • Fill and Bake: Pour the pumpkin filling into each mini pie crust, leaving a little space at the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pies are set, with a slight jiggle in the center.
  • Cool and Serve: Allow the mini pumpkin pies to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Keyword fall dessert, mini pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie recipe

And there you have it! By the time you’re finished making the gravy, the rest of the dishes should be done and waiting to be served. This meal should provide two people with generous helpings, plus a little leftover for the next day. 😉

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