Thanksgiving for Two? How to Make the Perfect Feast When You're Not Expecting 20 Guests

Thanksgiving is that time of year when friends and family come together for delicious food, good times, and to reflect upon what it is they're thankful for. That being said, you're not always in a position where you are able to celebrate with your nearest and dearest on Thanksgiving day. But even if your dinner is just you plus one, that doesn't mean your two person Thanksgiving has to be any less amazing. 

Because we believe you can still have an unforgettable holiday with just two people, we've put together a go-to guide to having the best two person Thanksgiving out there. From food to booze to attire and dessert, we've got the only guide you'll need for the best mini-Thanksgiving around. Happy holidays!

Image: Ian Freimuth/Flickr

Bring the bird to scale

Save yourself time and money (not to mention a month of turkey leftovers for every meal of the day) by scaling your bird for two. If you want to stick with turkey, pick up a breast from your butcher, and cook it the same way you would your whole turkey. And if you like having the whole bird, you can’t go wrong with roasting a duck, chicken, or individual cornish game hens for your two-person feast.

Less is more when it comes to sides

Yes, with Thanksgiving comes a mass amount of delicious seasonal sides. But when it’s just the two of you, there’s no point in going overboard and being saddled with too many leftovers than you could even eat. Pick two or three of your favorites (like these all-star roasted Brussels sprouts by The Crepes of Wrath), and spend the rest of the time you save in the kitchen with your Thanksgiving partner in crime. After all, isn’t Thanksgiving about togetherness?

Image: The Crepes of Wrath

Let yourself indulge in better/more booze

Let’s face it, cooking up a Thanksgiving dinner for you and your extended family can be quite the pricey ordeal. So because you’re saving a veritable mountain of money with your two person feast, you now have some extra cash to finally buy that unjustifiably pricey bottle of pinot you’ve been eyeing to make your celebration all the better. And if you’re more about quantity than quality, think of how many more tall boys you can afford. Small Thanksgiving: 1, big Thanksgiving: 0.


Cook together

One of the best parts about having a small Thanksgiving is that you don’t have four of your closest relatives standing over your shoulder telling you how to properly stir the mashed potatoes to avoid clumps. Cooking dinner together just the two of you is probably going to be one of the best Thanksgiving cooking experiences out there. So enjoy it.

Image: Jeff Kubina/Flickr

When it comes to attire, let yourself do you

If Thanksgiving to you means dressing up to the nines, then don’t let the fact that this year’s gathering will be small deter you from throwing on your best threads. Alternatively, if you always dreamed of having Thanksgiving in your sweats, now is the absolute perfect opportunity to have your inaugural “sweatsgiving.”  

Order in

There is no shame in ordering in for Thanksgiving dinner. I repeat, NO SHAME. Maybe cooking isn’t really your thing, or maybe you just want to take advantage of not having a plethora of people to cook for. Either way, ordering in can be the perfect way to have the most relaxing Thanksgiving imaginable. Whether it’s pizza, Chinese, or even Thanksgiving turkey dinner takeout (many restaurants and delis actually do provide this service for Thanksgiving day), give yourself a stress-free holiday by ordering in.

Image: Lucas Richarz/Flickr

When it comes to dessert, go big or go home

When it comes to Thanksgiving, there is only one thing besides the turkey that truly makes it feel right: Thanksgiving baking. So because you’re going to scale down your bird for your dinner size, or even order in and save yourself the trouble, going big on dessert helps combat any nostalgia you may be having for your big Thanksgivings. Either pick up your favorite Thanksgiving pie, cake, or cookie, or bake your own version the night before so it’s out of the way when your guest arrives, and finish your celebration on a perfectly sweet note. Looking for some inspiration? We love this recipe for brownie pecan pie by A Beautiful Mess.

Image: A Beautiful Mess