Thanksgiving for Two: Turkey + Trimmings

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Having a Thanksgiving for two doesn’t mean missing out on turkey dinner! Make our recipes for boneless turkey roast and all the trimmings!

Some people enjoy sharing a holiday meal with their entire extended family. Depending on the dynamics of your family members, this might sound seriously fun or seriously stressful to you.

If you fall into the latter category and just want to enjoy a quiet turkey dinner for two to four people, you’re not alone. Or maybe you don’t even have an extended family, and it’s just you and your loved one.

Having a small Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t mean sacrificing roast turkey, gravy, green beans, and all of your other traditional Thanksgiving favorites. Heck, even yeast rolls can be made for two just as easily as for a house full of people.

Thanksgiving for Two

It isn’t hard to cook Thanksgiving recipes for two when they’re easy to scale down to your preferred size!

All of the recipe cards on Kevin is Cooking are scalable. With a simple click, you can change the serving size up or down, and the ingredients will automatically change to match! This allows you to make the exact number of servings you want.

platter of thanksgiving turkey slices

Turkey for Two

Start by purchasing and dry brining a boneless turkey roast. While not everyone brines their turkey, it really does make a huge difference in the juiciness of the meat.

One nice benefit of making a turkey for two is that a turkey breast only needs to marinate in the brine overnight. Even better, it only takes 40 minutes to cook in the oven!

A plate of sliced glazed boneless turkey roast

Maple Glazed Roast Turkey Breast

A brined turkey breast is perfect for serving 2-4 people, with plenty of leftovers! Make this recipe for tender, juicy boneless turkey roast.
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Turkey gravy from scratch

If you’re a holiday recipe purist, you might be wondering how you’ll make gravy for two people. After all, you won’t have all of the pan drippings that you’d have if you were roasting and carving a turkey for a larger group.

This is perfectly okay; you can still make creamy homemade gravy. You’ll just make a roux and use that to make the gravy from scratch. Check out this recipe post for instructions on the roux and for making gravy.

whisking flour into melted butter
Kitchen Basics

How to Make a Roux + Video

Roux is an essential thickener in sauces, soups, and casseroles. Watch our video to learn how to make a roux; bookmark the instructions too!
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Easy Thanksgiving sides for two

Potatoes for two

I think Thanksgiving turkey without mashed potatoes and gravy just wouldn’t be the same. Thankfully, making potatoes for a small group of people isn’t difficult at all.

Whether you want plain mashed potatoes or fancier potato dishes, I’ve got you. Your Thanksgiving dinner for two is covered!

close up of roasted mashed potatoes
Side Dishes

Roasted Mashed Potatoes

Roasted mashed potatoes have elevated flavor over stove top cooking. Make this recipe for creamy baked mashed potatoes for a holiday side dish that everyone will love!
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Brown butter and crispy sage with our favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Yes, please!

overhead photo: bowl of brown butter mashed potatoes with fried sage leaves
Side Dishes

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Brown butter mashed potatoes are a rich, creamy twist on the classic side dish. Make this recipe for dinner or your next holiday gathering!
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Twice baked potatoes are perfect for a small holiday meal. You don’t need to make a big casserole dish full unless you want to.

These Loaded Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes have sweet brown sugar streusel and marshmallows to savory bacon all mixed with buttery mashed sweet potato.
Side Dishes

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

This baked sweet potato is loaded with bacon, marshmallows, and a streusel topping — the perfect balance of savory, sweet, and comforting.
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If you love scalloped potatoes, but prefer sweet potatoes, make this dish for your Thanksgiving for two!

close up of sweet potatoes au gratin on serving spatula
Side Dishes

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Scalloped sweet potatoes is a creamy, cheesy potato casserole with layers of flavor. Make this recipe for a make ahead holiday side dish!
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Other vegetable sides

Everyone’s favorite way to eat brussel sprouts is roasted until they’re crispy, then covered with balsamic glaze. Yum!

close up shot: roasted brussel sprouts covered in balsamic glaze
Side Dishes

Balsamic Glazed Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussel sprouts are easy to prepare and loved by everyone, even veggie haters! Make this simple side dish recipe for the holidays.
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When you don’t want a full pan of brown sugar sauteed carrots, you can make as many or as few as you want!

platter of large cooked carrots wrapped in bacon
Side Dishes

Maple Bacon Wrapped Carrots + Video

For my Bacon Wrapped Carrots, sweet tender carrots are wrapped with bacon and basted while roasting with maple and sriracha sauce. So, so good!
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This dish allows you to have traditional Thanksgiving stuffing and get in a favorite Thanksgiving veggie at the same time!

Call it stuffing or dressing, these Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash have a sausage sourdough bread stuffing with pecans and cranberries that doesn’t need a holiday to be eaten. We eat these whenever rI can get fresh acorn squash. Amazing stuffing!
Side Dishes

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash + Video

These sausage stuffed acorn squash have sourdough stuffing, pecans and cranberries. Make this recipe for an easy holiday side or main dish.
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Cranberry sauce, rolls and butter

You can forgo the canned cranberry gelatin, because this homemade cranberry sauce is better than anything from a can!

close up: bowl of whole berry cranberry sauce
Side Dishes

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce + Video

Whole berry cranberry sauce is a classic side dish. Make this recipe for fresh cranberry sauce with orange juice for your Thanksgiving meal.
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Rolls for two

Bread and butter. ‘Nuff said. Dinner rolls for your Thanksgiving for two are just minutes away. If you don’t like working with yeast, no problem; make a batch of southern buttermilk biscuits or cornbread from scratch instead!

whole wheat no knead rolls on cooling rack, one buttered

No Knead Yeast Rolls Recipe

This yeast rolls recipe combines whole wheat and bread flour to create tender, no knead dinner rolls with an appetizing, chewy bite.
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A close up of bread on a plate

Gramma’s Potato Rolls

Potato Rolls like my gramma used to serve, made with mashed potatoes, shortening and a sweet yeast dough that rises to create soft, pillowy dinner rolls.
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cylindrical roll of herb butter (compound butter)

Herb Butter (Turkey Butter) + Video

Herb butter is a delicious topping to use on poultry, beef, vegetables, and bread. Use this recipe to make a Thanksgiving turkey butter!
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Thanksgiving desserts for two

You can’t have Thanksgiving for two and NOT have dessert, right?
Instead of making an entire pie, go with slab pie, or bake a pan of bars. It’s as easy as, well, pie!

Slab pies come with all the goodness of a slice of pie, but in bar form. These Pumpkin Pie Bars are made right in the sheet pan and easily cut up for a hand held dessert bite.

Slab Pumpkin Pie Bars

Like a slice of pie, but in bar form. These Slab Pumpkin Pie Bars are made right in the sheet pan and make for a hand held dessert.
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Imagine all the richness of a slice of pecan pie but this one has a layer of melted chocolate in between that luscious pecan pie filling and flaky dough crust in bar form. Perfect for large crowds, holiday family get togethers and picnics… No dishes to clean up after either.

Slab Pecan Pie Bars

Whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas, these Pecan Pie Bars are a favorite on the dessert table here in the States and I bet elsewhere. Rich, smokey pecans mixed in with a sweet, thick filling of eggs and sugar make for a memorable treat. Prep time includes pre-baking the crust.
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Not into pie? No worries! Both of these desserts are very easy to make and they’re super delicious, too.

closeup: spoon full of french chocolate dessert

Chocolate Creme Brulee

Chocolate Creme Brulee – This classic French dessert gets a kiss from cocoa powder for a rich, indulgent chocolate version. Impress those dinner guests! 
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits – sweet and pumpkin cream cheese layered parfaits have vanilla granola and whipped cream to satisfy any sweet tooth.
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See? Whether you’re serving Thanksgiving for two, four, or more… it’s all perfectly easy with these recipes. Happy holidays to you!

sliced turkey, side dishes and desserts for thanksgiving


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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