If you’re like a lot of Americans in 2020, your Thanksgiving is going look different this year. Most of us will be having smaller gatherings, and therefore we need to adjust our menus. I put together some Thanksgiving dinner ideas for a small crowd and I hope this helps as you plan. Even with the stretchiest pants, we can’t have our normal feasts or we’ll just have way too much food!😜
Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas for a Small Crowd
Main Dish Ideas
If you want to stick with turkey for your main dish, a turkey breast is the way to go for a smaller gathering. If you cook a full turkey, be prepared for lots of leftovers! I suggest this Turkey and Wild Rice Soup if you do have leftovers.
For the vegetarian and vegans out there, this stuffed acorn squash makes a beautiful and delicious main course for your holiday menu.
Since this year is different anyway, maybe veer from your traditions and make something totally different. These stuffed chicken breasts are elevated from your standard weeknight dinner, yet are super easy to prepare and the individualized portions make them perfect for a small Thanksgiving dinner.
Side Dish Ideas
If I was planning a holiday meal for a small crowd, after the main dish, I’d add a delicious homemade dinner roll, a salad, and then choose 2-3 of your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes to round out the meal.
These dinner rolls have a place at every holiday meal I prepare, whether it’s a big gathering or a small one. The directions include instructions for making these with or without a bread machine. Trust me, they are worth the time!
Choose one of these delicious salads to add to your Thanksgiving dinner.
This salad is perfect for Thanksgiving and doesn’t take lot of time or effort to make. The flavors and colors lend itself well to your holiday menu.
This is a holiday-worthy salad that gets rave reviews! You can roast the vegetables ahead of time and toss the salad together just before the meal.
Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Depending on how many people you’ll have, I would choose 2-3 of these traditional side dishes to round off your meal for a smaller crowd. Choosing just 2-3 is the hard part!
Most families agree that stuffing is a must-have for any Thanksgiving dinner. This is my favorite one! It’s a vegetarian stuffing that can easily made vegan by using a vegan butter alternative. It’s delicious! Oh, and it’s easy!
If mashed potatoes are on your “must-have” list, give these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes a try. They turn out perfectly every time and using the Instant Pot frees up your time and stovetop. If you end up with leftover mashed potatoes, plan on making this delicious Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie!
It’s so easy to make homemade cranberry sauce and it pairs so perfectly with turkey. Choose one of four easy recipes I have!
I’ll admit, I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without Sweet Potato Casserole. If you’re like me, this is a healthier, less sweet version of a sweet potato casserole and I love it. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.
If Green Bean Casserole is a staple on your Thanksgiving menu, give this healthier, from-scratch version a try. It’s vegan and gluten-free, and is made without the condensed soup and processed crunchy onions on top. It’s still delicious and satisfying!
Choosing two to three of these sides will make a perfect dinner menu for your smaller gathering. Of course, we can’t forget about dessert! Let’s look at our choices.
Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas
The silver lining that comes with the way COVID-19 has shifted our holidays is that it’s less work to put together a small Thanksgiving dinner versus something for a large group. When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, you can pick one and it’ll be great! I personally love bars vs pie, and if that’s you, too, here are some great recipes to choose from.
I love this nutty crust more than traditional pie crust, and this recipe happens to be dairy-free and gluten-free, too.
Oh, these luscious bars are a must-try and why not make them a part of your holiday?! They happen to be vegan, and that caramel sauce is amazing.
If you have kids at home, these are a fun project to make together! Aren’t they so cute? And a healthy option, too!
I hope these ideas are helpful as you plan for a smaller gathering for your Thanksgiving dinner this year. Need ideas for a bigger dinner? Check out my Stress-Free Thanksgiving Menu. If you have more ideas, I’d love to hear them below! Links are welcome in the comments. Also make sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook for healthy living ideas all year long.