Cooking a small Thanksgiving dinner? Here’s a menu to help plan your Thanksgiving Dinner For Two including small batch recipes of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Photo collage of Cornish hen, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie

Now that it’s November 1, it’s time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving For Two dinner menu.

I’m sure by now you’ve been beaten over the head with vibrant images of turkeys and pumpkin pie.

Article after article talking about how to host a big Thanksgiving, how to roast a giant 20 pound turkey, how to survive the holidays with your drunk Uncle Bob.

But the truth is, this year you’re only cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two.

Maybe it’s only you and your significant other. Maybe it’s only you and your roommate. Or maybe you simply don’t have a huge family to invite.

Where do you even begin prepping all of this food? It’s not fair for you to skip Thanksgiving because you can’t eat a whole turkey.

Everyone deserves a plate of stuffed turkey breast, cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, and homemade gravy for the holidays.

I got you. I’ve been scaling down recipes for years. And it’s about time I put it all together as a comprehensive menu for cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 2.

I promise you from the bottom of my heart (and stomach) these recipes are indeed scaled down for two people making about 2-4 helpings.

The other Thanksgiving for two menus out there are mostly a lie. They talk about scaled down recipes but then tell you “oh btw this recipe makes a ton so just refrigerate the leftovers!”

My mashed potatoes for two will never call for 5 pounds of potatoes (and I saw it happen – twice!)

Now onto the actual, true to size Thanksgiving For Two menu. It’s not meant to be your final menu.

Rather, I’m giving you choices to pick and choose. It’s like one of those build your own adventures books but with food!

The list of recipes is at the bottom, but here is a breakdown of what to make for your Thanksgiving dinner for two:

Thanksgiving Drinks

With all of the cooking going on, drinks definitely don’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as opening a bottle of wine and pouring.

But if you do want to dress it up a bit, make my Cranberry Orange Sangria or Pomegranate Punch (which can also be made non alcoholic).

Not sure about finishing a whole bottle? Most companies now make 4-packs of wine in little bottles, which is about 1-2 glasses.

Not a wine drinker? Serve a sparkling non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling grape juice.

Thanksgiving Main Dishes

Thanksgiving dinner is practically synonymous with turkey, but when it’s only two of you, roasting a whole turkey is way too much food; the smallest whole turkey is about 10 pounds if you’re lucky.

However you can still have your turkey dinner for two by serving smaller portions, such as turkey tenderloin, turkey legs, or even turkey wings.

Love the presentation of roasting a whole bird complete with stuffing? Cook a stuffed Cornish hen, which are much smaller for your Thanksgiving dinner for two.

One hen is plenty for two people, although if you have your heart set on leftover chicken salad, you can always roast two.

If you’re looking for non turkey Thanksgiving for two recipes, make a honey glazed ham steak recipe or lamb chop dinner for 2.

Don’t eat meat? Make my Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash and Mushroom Gravy for a meatless Thanksgiving for two.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Personally I think Thanksgiving side dish recipes are the best part!

As much as it pains me to say this, the best way to keep Thanksgiving for two leftovers to a minimum is to limit the side dishes. I know, I know. Blasphemy you say!

The good news is most of these side dish recipes make roughly 4 servings (2 helpings each), so if there are any you don’t make for your Thanksgiving for 2, make them throughout the weekend.

Or save them to make Christmas dinner for two.

Mashed potatoes for two is the most traditional, but you can also make stove top scalloped potatoes or au gratin potatoes for two.

Casseroles are easy to make ahead of time, such as my sweet potato casserole for two or green bean casserole without mushroom soup.

Another recipe you can make ahead of time is small batch dinner rolls. Nothing says Thanksgiving dinner for two like homemade bread!

Don’t forget the gravy! You can make either homemade gravy without drippings, pan gravy from drippings, or mushroom gravy.

And finally, since everything is so rich and heavy, balance your meal out with fresh homemade cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Desserts

Of course no Thanksgiving dinner for two is complete without dessert!

If you love pumpkin pie, you don’t have to give it up! Make a Small Pumpkin Pie in a homemade small pie crust or mini pumpkin pies.

Or skip the crust and eat the filling with my Eggless Pumpkin Pie (my favorite part if you ask me).

Don’t want pie? Check out my Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes and Small Pumpkin Cake.

Cheesecake is also quite popular for Thanksgiving dessert. Check out my 6 inch mini pumpkin cheesecake or classic 6 inch cheesecake recipe.

Not a fan pumpkin? Apples make an excellent alternative dessert with mini apple pie and apple crisp for two.

Of course there’s always traditional Small Pecan Pie.

What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

Even though these small batch recipes are scaled down for two, you may still have leftovers from serving a mini feast.

Use leftover chicken or turkey in chicken pot pie for two

Leftover cranberry sauce can be used to make super easy cranberry baked brie.

Got fresh cranberries leftover in the bag? Use them up in Cranberry Apple Crisp.

Thanksgiving For Two FAQ

Can you prepare dishes in advance?

Yes, you can prep in advance to help save time on the actual holiday. Desserts can be baked the day before, casseroles and gravy can be made then reheated, and vegetables can be chopped then refrigerated.

How can I scale down my favorite recipe not on this list?

Not sure how to scale down your grandma’s favorite stuffing recipe? Start by halving or quartering it, rounding ingredients up or down as needed. You may also want to check on your dish about 5-10 minutes earlier than listed as smaller portions may cook slightly faster.

Still struggling? Email me at homemadeinthekitchen(at) with your recipe and I’ll give you my best guess.

How do you make Thanksgiving for two special?

Not being around family for the holidays can be emotional. Make your Thanksgiving for two enjoyable by drinking your favorite wine, cooking a new dish together, or eating your favorite dessert.

Thanksgiving Dinner For Two

Cooking a small Thanksgiving dinner? Here’s a menu to help plan your Thanksgiving Dinner For Two including small batch recipes of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

First published on November 16, 2017