Post # 1
So it’s just going to be the two of us this year. How the heck do I make a Thanksgiving dinner for two people without ending up with a truly insane amount of leftovers?
I’m guessing that quite a few of you might be in the same boat this year (since we’re all just starting our little families, and not all of us can afford to travel over the holidays), so I’m hoping some of you other ladies might be able to benefit from this thread as well.
For me, Thanksgiving dinner is all about the sides. I’m not really into turkey, but I can’t imagine Thanksgiving dinner without sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. But if I make all the side dishes I want to eat, even if I halve the recipes, we’re going to end up with eighteen thousand times the amount of food we could reasonably eat before it goes bad.
So far, here’s what I’m thinking might be a reasonable meal for two:
- Turkey sandwiches
- Sweet potato casserole (halving the recipe)
I’d love to make real stuffing instead of just getting a box of Stove Top, but my understanding is that stuffing is kind of expensive to make on your own because it has so many ingredients. Anyone have a good, simple recipe they’d like to share?
I’d love any suggestions for ways to make some or all of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes without loading up our freezer well into 2012 with Thanksgiving leftovers. So share your creativity! Give me your favorite recipes for smaller side dishes! I am in serious need of some help this year!
Post # 3
My favorite Thanksgiving food is pie 🙂
You can make mini pies, either individual sized or big enough for 2-4 servings. You can usually find mini pie tins at a store, or you could use muffin tins for individual ones if necessary. You just make a fraction of your normal recipe for the crust, filling, etc.
Post # 4
@Mrs. Honeybee: I say just choose your favorite 3 or 4 side dishes and calculate the measurments for 4 people rather than 12. (It’s not so bad to have some leftovers, right?)
I make homemade stuffing too, and I don’t think it’s expensive- you can make a great one with bread, celery, onions, carrots, some chestnuts or whatever you prefer. 🙂
I’m not sure if I would make turkey sandwiches since the bread may be really filling and you wouldn’t have as much room for bready stuffing and mash potatoes! 🙂
Post # 5
@Mrs. Honeybee: My SO made Thanksgiving dinner this past thursday just because he felt like it lol. He made turkey (15 lb because he apparently forgot it was only the two of us!) Sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing and cranberry sauce it was really good. The only thing we had massive leftovers of was the turkey (surprise!).
He’s going to make turkey pot pie out of the leftover turkey and any veggies we have.
The cornbread stuffing was soooo good. He cut up cornbread muffins and put….something in it. It was really good though 🙂 If you would like, i can ask him what he added to it.
Post # 6
We make a roasted turkey breast in the oven, baked sweet potato fries, green beans, etc. Kind of the same ingredients we’d use in casseroles but by themselves and more appropriate for 2.
Post # 7
It’s just the 2 of us this year. I bought a 3lb turkey and we’re doing mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing. We chose those 2 because stuffing is DH’s favorite and mashed potatoes and gravy is mine.
Post # 8
This is the second time I will be making Thanksgiving for just the two of us.
I have sides that I like and my husband has sides that he likes so I have to make both.
I actually don’t mind the leftovers because we eat it for a good week straight.
I will be making…
- Turkey (I bought a 22 lb turkey. I know it’s huge but last year, I bought a 19lb turkey and I froze a whole cooked turkey breast and pulled it out a couple months later. It was so good. It was so moist when I had it in March. Anyway, I got my turkey for free so I might as well get my money’s worth, so that’s why I went with a 22lb turkey. )
- Husband’s sides
- Mashed Potatoes and gravy
- My sides
- cranberry sauce
- cut corn
- candied yams
- We both like
- Green bean casserole. I like to add brocolli, cauliflower and carrots to it.
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Bread
Last year, I did all of the cooking on Thanksgiving.
I’m going keep myself from going insane by making as much as I can the day before. I can make the casserole the night before, the desserts and maybe, the stuffing.
Oh, saw that you don’t really care about the Turkey. I know some supermarkets sell just the turkey breast. That way you don’t have to buy the whole Turkey. My supermarket also sells cooked turkey breast. You could do that.
As for the sides, you could halve them, too. Like I said earlier, you could bake some of them the night before and just put them in the oven before you serve to warm them back up.
Post # 9
We have the same problem too…all I really care about is the sides and I’m pretty indifferent to turkey, but I feel like some sort of bird needs to be on the table. I was thinking of making cornish hens since they are so small, and then just scaling all the sides down to 4-6 servings so we still have some leftovers. I’m trying to keep it affordable though, so I’m not sure how this will work out. Great post!
Post # 10
I’m in Canada, so we had our Thanksgiving in October, and like you, it was just Fiance and I this year. Instead of a whole turkey, we just made a turkey breast – if you like stuffing, you make it the same way, but put it underneath the breast instead of inside the turkey.
Post # 11
Love some of these ideas! Especially the one about making mini-pies!
I’m actually thinking about modifying the mini-pie idea a bit and instead using the little pie tins to make two individual servings of pumpkin bread pudding as our dessert!
pumpkin bread pudding
At first I was like, “Oh, no! We can’t have any dessert!” because I didn’t want to make a whole pie and have leftovers. (This is just not a good idea for me. If there is any leftover pie, I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it is gone. My husband will have one piece after dinner and that’s it.) But for some reason it hadn’t even occurred to me that I could use little tart-sized tins! Genius!
Post # 12
I’m making Thanksgiving for just the two of us. We’re cleaning out the fridge today to prepare for the food and leftovers. I’ll probably cut all the recipes way down and enjoy the leftovers for a few days. I’ll make a few other things from the turkey leftovers (the suggestions for pot pie was a great one).
We plan to make:
A whole turkey
Sweet potato souffle
Sauteed Green Beans
Cranberries (this is just for me since Fiance hates them)
Banana cream pudding (FI’s request – he doesn’t like pumpkin very much)
If anyone is in So Cal and needs a place to enjoy Thanksgiving – we’ll have plenty of food for sure!
Post # 13
Post # 14
It’ll just be me and Fiance this year, but we still bought a decent size turkey. He loves Thanksgiving leftovers, we can freeze turkey, etc.
We will have:
- Mashed potatoes
- Sweet potato casserole
- Apple pie
- Chocolate chip cookies
Post # 15
@ttn133: Me and your husband are alike. I only care about the stuffing and mashed potatoes really. Hahaha. =)
Post # 16
We already had our Thanksgiving and we had 12 for dinner. We rented a cabin beside Harrison Lake and had a great weekend.
If I were doing dinner for two I would do a turkey breast and place the stuffing under the breast.
A simple bread and herb stuffing is not expensive and doesn’t take that many ingredients.
The night before I tear white bread (it’s the only time of the year we buy white bread- if you don’t want to buy a whole loaf you can use a few dinner rolls) into small pieces. I leave it out overnight in a bowl to air dry a bit. Saute onion and celery in butter . Pur this mix over the torn bread . Season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning. Add a small amount of chicken stock if it seems to dry. Taste the stuffing to see that it is nice and flavorful. Mound it under the turkey breast or bake in a casserole dish. Add more chicken stock later if you prefer a moist dressing as stuffing baked in a casserole dish doesn’t get moistened by the turkey juices.