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If you're far from home or family and want to enjoy a good Thanksgiving meal, it's pretty easy to make a Thanksgiving dinner for two and just as easy to make it scalable for a slightly larger group! I typically cook a much larger Thanksgiving dinner but last year it was only Tyler and me since we had just moved to Oakland. This year I'm cooking for Nicole and her husband too. Hooray!

While you can always go all out and make a ton of food, I find that I often get tired of the leftovers pretty fast, and not everything freezes well.

In this instructable I'll go over how to pick your courses, how to time your meal, and give an example of a typical Thanksgiving dinner I make when it's just two of us at home.

Step 1: Plan Your Menu

Thanksgiving Menu For Two You will notice that this is still quite a bit of food. CAUSE IT IS THANKSGIVING AND YOU NEED TO GAIN AT LEAST TWO POUNDS

The most important part of any Thanksgiving is to plan your menu! Check out my larger "How to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner" collection for more ideas on what you can make. Try to create a balance between what you're making in the oven and what will need to be cooked on the stovetop.

Don't try to cook four different things in the oven that all need different times and temperatures. It'll only stress you out!

First, decide on the meat! In this case, we're making roasted turkey thighs, because they're fairly fast to cook and the thighs have more flavor than any other part of the bird. I did a roasted turkey breast (on the bone) last year, and while it was yummy, it just does not compare to the thighs.

Secondly, choose sides! My favorite are mashed potatoes, biscuits or rolls and stuffing. You'll want to choose sides that can be kept warm in the oven without drying out, or those that can prepped ahead and warmed the day of. If you want roasted vegetables, you can roast them along with the turkey to save time.

Lastly, choose a dessert. I almost always go for pie or cobbler. Chocolate cream pie is what I'm using for this example.

Step 2: Night Before Prep Work

On Wednesday night, you can make the stuffing and the chocolate cream pie.

Stuffin' muffin recipe found here.
Chocolate cream pie recipe found here.

Prepare the stuffing as described - mix everything together into a large bowl. If making it into muffins, just leave the mixture in the bowl overnight and place it into the muffin tins in the morning. If you just want regular old stuffing, store it in a 9x13 casserole dish in the fridge overnight.

The chocolate cream pie should be made exactly as described, no extra steps needed!

Step 3: Cooking the Thanksgiving Dinner

The day of Thanksgiving you'll be cooking lots of things at once so it's good to schedule things appropriately. I started cooking this meal at around 2 PM and was able to finish everything by 4 PM.

Here are the recipe for the things we'll be making: The only thing from the previous night that will need to finish cooking today is the stuffing - we'll do that toward the end. :)

Here's the complete schedule of how things will go:
  1. preheat your oven to 400 F
  2. prep the butternut squash for the Thanksgiving salad - peel it and chop it up, toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. prep the turkey breasts by seasoning them with salt and pepper, butter and sage.
  4. put the butternut squash and the turkey into the oven (the squash will take 25-30 minutes, the turkey thighs up to 45 minutes)
  5. peel and cut the mashed potatoes, cover them with water, and and bring to a boil
  6. while the mashed potatoes are cooking, saute some seasonings/garlic with butter and then cover with milk or cream. Let this simmer on the lowest heat until the potatoes are done.
  7. Deseed the pomegranate.
  8. Cook the bacon for the salad.
  9. Pull out the butternut squash and turkey when they're done. The turkey needs to rest.
  10. Turn down the oven's heat to 350 F and pop in the stuffing. (15 minutes is needed for muffins, 30ish for a casserole dish)
  11. Drain the potatoes, mash them and season well. Cover them so they'll stay warm.
  12. Assemble the salad.
  13. Once the stuffing is cooked through, cover and set aside.
  14. Turn the over up to 450 and make the biscuit dough. Bake the biscuits. When done, set aside in a bowl and cover with a towel to keep them warm.
  15. Broil the turkey thighs (if needed) to warm them and crisp up the skin a little.
  16. EAT!

<p>Hi Jessy, just a note of thanks for your recipes. They saved my Thanksgiving. My wife recently passed away after over 40 years of marriage. This was my first Thanksgiving without her and I didn't know if I could hold it together in public. I decided to stay home and make dinner for one. I made your stuffing in the muffin pan as well as the biscuits. No pictures needed, everything came out looking just like yours. A turkey breast was cooked in a browning bag. That together with a sweet potato and corn made a great meal. The biscuits and stuffing muffins, along with the turkey will freeze great and I will have many more meals. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I did under the circumstances.</p>
<p>I am so sorry to hear that - I cannot even begin to imagine! I don't blame you for wanting to go it alone. </p><p>I'm happy all the recipes worked for you! That sounds like a fantastic meal to me. :D </p><p>And thank you! Our Thanksgiving was really nice, though I admit I cheated and did pot roast and mac and cheese so I could spend some time sitting around. :)</p>
<p>I will use a two pound Jennie-o turkey loaf, boxed stuffing one the side, boxed sour cream and chives potatoes, one half of a large danish squash which can all be baked together. Just check the boxes for time. Add a store bought pie for desert.</p>
I'm big on using a brine, and not limited to big birds, would that be redundant for this recipe?
This is awesome. Sounds like it would be easier to plan for less - but sometimes it's not. So this is very useful! Luckily I went to an Aunt's house so I didn't have to worry about this. :) And I like the name Tyler :) I almost named my son that...instead he got that as a middle name! Love your Instructables Jessy!
Yay! Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner made by Jessy!!!
The schedule of what order to do things in is really helpful... almost makes this seem doable :)

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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