If you don’t have a large family, or your guest list is not that big this year, there is no need to cook a whole turkey and spend a fortune on lots of dishes more suitable for a big party. These fabulous small Thanksgiving dinner recipes can help you decide on you best menu for the most awaited holiday of the Fall. 36 recipes of appetizers, main courses, sides and desserts to make your Thanksgiving the best ever!
Thanksgiving, like other important holidays, gives you the best opportunity to show off your cooking skills by creating spectacular dishes that will impress your family and guests. But, if you don’t have a large number of people at the table, better save yourself some effort, time and money by cooking smaller dishes that still look and taste great.
My family is small, so I never cook tons of dishes anyway, and I can show you my favourite recipes that are absolutely delicious, and are very easy to make with simple ingredients. Let’s have a look!
The best way to start your Thanksgiving dinner right is by choosing the perfect appetizers to spoil your taste buds and prepare you for the main dishes. Whether you go for a nice, heart-warming soup, or some fantastic bites, you know you have made the right choice here.
- Stuffed Turkey Breast Roll -a fabulous appetizer that is beautifully moist, and easy to put together, and as an added bonus, it’s low carb, high protein, gluten free and low in calories (only 473 calories the whole roll).
- Butternut Squash Risotto Balls (Italian Arancini) – filled with creamy butternut squash rice, and lightly fried to perfection, these golden bites make the perfect finger food. So easy to make, and pretty quick too, these rice balls taste of Fall.
- Easy Brie and Cranberry Bites -made with puff pastry and a touch of rosemary, these delicious bites make a spectacular appetizer for your Thanksgiving dinner. Super easy to make, ready in no time.
- Stove Top Spinach Artichoke Dip – cheesy, hot, served in a bread bowl, ready to be the star of any party. We are not talking about any appetizer here, but about THE appetizer everybody loves.
- Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – light, creamy, with a delicate texture, and a warm, earthy flavour, this soup is sure to become a family favourite. Vegetarin, gluten free, this can be made vegan by replacing the cream with a dairy free version.
- Spiced Sweet Potato Red Lentil Soup – this soup makes the perfect choice if you are looking for light Thanksgiving appetizers to ease the way to that Turkey roast everybody’s been waiting for. This soup will not disappoint; it’s healthy, nutritious, and super delicious.
- Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes– a healthy Fall appetizer that can be enjoyed all year round. Super simple to make, these stuffed sweet potatoes can also be served as a meal on their own. Top them with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and you get one delicious dish.
THANKSGIVING MAIN DISHES
So, the yummy appetizers have been demolished, now it’s time for the fun part. Hearty, delicious mains that are the star of your Thanksgiving dinner, no matter what you choose.
- Roast Turkey Crown– juicy, melting in your mouth, and a nice crispy skin, this turkey crown is a great option if you are not cooking for a large number of people, and don’t need a whole turkey. Plus, it’s so easy to make, and ready in about 2 hours.
- Whole Roast Chicken – if you can’t find a turkey breast, or would rather go for the good old roast chicken, this is the ideal size if you are cooking for less people and would rather not have so many leftovers after the big day. Learn how to roast a whole chicken to perfection and have all your questions answered, plus a delicious recipe of Roast Chicken with Lemon, Thyme and Rosemary, and lots other fantastic recipes of roast chicken, side dishes and gravy. Not sure how to defrost a whole chicken, how long to roast the chicken for, what’s the best temperature? You’ve come to the right place.
- Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe with Bread Crumbs -the ultimate comfort food for your Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine this: macaroni smothered in a rich and creamy white sauce that has 3 types of cheese: cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan, then topped with buttery breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven for the final touch. The very best homemade meal!
- Creamy Pumpkin Risotto – a delicious vegetarian recipe that is ready in about 30 minutes. Made with canned pumpkin and cooked to perfection, this risotto reminds me why Fall is my favourite season. A great option for a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
- Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara – a little twist on the classic Italian dish. It’s comforting and delicious, just perfect this Fall. It’s a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu, and it’s always a big hit with us.
- Healthy Stuffed Butternut Squash with Veggie Couscous– a delicious and healthy vegetarian dish inspired by the colours of Fall. A great dish for your Thanksgiving dinner, but also fantastic all year around. It might be simple, but it’s packed full of flavours, and can be enjoyed either as a side or a meal on its own.
THANKSGIVING SIDE DISHES
Side dishes are so underrated! But, believe me, they are the ones that make the main dishes stand out, so I whole-heartedly think they should be given the same appreciation. They are quick and easy to make, and so delicious.
- Pan-Fried Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Parmesan– a quick and easy way of cooking brussels sprouts in under 10 minutes. No more boring brussels sprouts, this is a delicious side dish, perfect for your Thanksgiving menu.
- Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash – a healthy and delicious vegan side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s such an easy side to make, but it’s so yummy, and always a big hit with kids and grown-ups alike. Roasting the butternut squash in the oven enhances the natural sweetness of the squash, and the edges are slightly caramelised. What a great Fall treat!
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice – the best sauce to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey. Ready in just 10 minutes from scratch if you use fresh cranberries, or 20 minutes if you use frozen ones. So easy, and so flavourful, with only 3 ingredients.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan – the best side dish you could possibly ask for. Velvety, smooth, seasoned to perfection, the ideal side for your Thanksgiving roast. Comfort food at its best!
- Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes– the best side dish for any roast. Slices of potatoes smothered in a garlicky creamy white sauce, then baked in the oven until tender, hot and bubbly; pure heaven! This is a classic homemade recipe that sums up what comfort food is all about.
- Crispy Roast Potatoes– a side dish after my own heart. Are you looking for the best side dish for the Thanksgiving dinner? Well, here you have one of them. And if you want to take that roast to a whole new level, you need to follow a few, very easy steps which will guarantee a smashing success every single time.
- Last-Minute Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic – this simple recipe can be made with either fresh or frozen green beans. It is vegetarian friendly, but it can be made vegan by swapping butter for vegetable oil. Healthy, nutritious and delicious, a fanatastic side for every occasion.
- Crispy Roasted Garlic Parmesan Potatoes– a delicious side dish that is super easy to make, and with minimal prep. Golden brown fluffy baby potatoes with an epic parmesan and garlic crust, this is the best side for any roast, be it a Sunday Roast, the Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, or any other celebration.
- Roast Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Feta– a healthy and nutritious salad that makes a fantastic side dish for your Thanksgiving roast.A light alternative to the carb-loaded sides.
- Soy Honey Glazed Baby Carrots -a delicios side dish that is ready in about 15 minutes. It goes wonderfully well with any roast, and will surely be everybody’s favourite dish at your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Sweet Potatoes – super easy to make, and super flavourful, this dish has a festive touch. Only one tray needed, to save you time and effort. A family-favourite side.
- Garlic Smashed Potatoes – an incredibly delicious side dish that makes a great alternative to the good old roast potatoes. Crispy, heavenly flavourful, and sinfully golden, these smashed potatoes are my new favourite side dish.
- Knotted Pumpkin Dinner Rolls– made with canned pumpkin; soft and fluffy, and so easy to make. From little to big ones, your whole family will be in love with these little pumpkin beauties.
So, all those yummy dishes are gone, but there is always room for dessert, right? Nothing like a sweet treat to finish the Thanksgiving dinner in style. From classic recipes, to my favourite Fall desserts, there is a bit for everyone to enjoy.
- Easy Pumpkin Pie with Condensed Milk – one of the best Fall desserts that can be made from scratch at home. It uses canned pumpkin, which cuts down on the baking time considerably. It’s super simple to make, absolutely delicious, and always the star of the Thanksgiving dinner.
- Easy Apple Pie Recipe from Scratch– with fresh apples and a touch of cinnamon,this is the best apple pie recipe in the world. Nothing beats a homemade pie, and this dessert is ideal not only during Fall, but all year round too.
- Apple and Plum Crumble– a delicious Fall dessert made with fresh seasonal fruit. This indulgent sweet treat has a hint of cinnamon and lemon, and goes very well with a scoop of ice cream or some custard.
- Stuffed Baked Apple Halves – with walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, in a rich buttery sauce that has a hint of maple syrup, a true Fall delicacy to lick your fingers clean. Super simple, but so flavourful, these oven-baked apples are the best dessert one can get. It’s a fantastic Thanksgiving dessert that kids and grown-ups will adore.
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding – with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscoth Sauce, an exquisite Fall dessert for your Thanksgiving dinner. Easy to make, beautifully moist and a big hit with the whole family.
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Filling– a scrumptious Fall dessert. Soft pumpkin spiced cookies sandwiched together with a rich maple cream cheese filling; a treat on Thanksgiving! Quick and easy to make, perfect for sharing!
- No-Bake Mini Sweet Potato Cheesecakes – delightfully light and indulgent, these pretty little pots of yumminess will be the star of your Thanksgiving dinner. Or just make every day special by having a special dessert that is so embarrassingly easy to make.
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls– a sweet treat for all the pumpkin lovers out there. Fall wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins, and we must make the most of them before the season is over. A great choice for the Thanksgiving menu, or throughout the pumpkin season.
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins – incredibly fluffy and baked to perfection. The muffins are super easy to make, and are ready in well under 30 minutes from scratch. Fall’s favourite veggie and chocolate are definitely a match made in heaven.
- Plum Dumplings– a popular dessert across Eastern Europe. It is made with fresh ripe plums coated in a mashed potato dough and tossed into sweetened cinnamony breadcrumbs. A fantastic Fall recipe that goes well with the whole family.
These are my best Thanksgiving dinner recipes that are suitable for small families or gatherings. They are incrediby delicious, easy to make, and a hit every single year.
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