Thanksgiving for two

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Be thankful for a nice, filling meal with just one special someone.

Thanksgiving for two

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what we have and to be sorry because of how much we have eaten. That’s why the holiday can be daunting when you’re only cooking for two people. At one level, there's the desire to cook a bunch of food, but there aren’t many mouths to feed. However, with a little planning and the following menu, you can stuff yourself silly and not have too many leftovers (at least not many more than you would have normally).

The turkey

If you only have two people dining for Thanksgiving, your best bet is to buy a split turkey breast. Unlike a chicken breast, turkey breasts are huge things that can easily feed three or four. (Good thing you want some leftovers, right?)

The turkey breast is definitely the right size for a two-person Turkey Day feast, but it does present one problem. Because it’s not a full bird, it can dry out. Therefore, you’re going to have to watch it so it doesn't overcook. If you can do that, you will have a great meal.

The sides

Every family has their favorite sides for Thanksgiving, and you can feel free to use yours. However, mashed potatoes and dressing are the norm; if you only have two people, throw in some bread and that may be all you want.

For two people, about two to three pounds of potatoes are all you need, though the general rule about mashed potatoes and turkey is that people always want more than they think they do. Making four or five pounds (or more) isn’t a bad plan, since mashed potatoes are as good cold as they are fresh.

For dressing, you’ll need about two cups of bread, one onion, two stalks of celery and a carrot. Sauté the vegetables, pour them into a baking dish with the bread, add some broth, bake for 15 minutes and you'll have dressing. Don’t try to stuff the split breast -- it won’t work.


Mashed potatoes and dressing both scream for gravy. The problem: The turkey breast won’t produce all the little bits that baking a full bird will. The answer: Buy a few extra containers of broth, make a roux (a flour and butter mix) and make your own gravy. Don’t buy gravy from the store. It’s all salt.


It’s hard to advise on dessert. All you really need is a pie (or two personal-size pies.) Then again, Thanksgiving isn’t exactly known as a time for moderation, so buying two (or more kinds of desserts) probably wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Either way, happy Thanksgiving!