Like several holidays that have gone by this year, Thanksgiving will look quite different from our traditional celebrations. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when planning a Thanksgiving get together. If you’re planning to celebrate with people who live in your household, the usual safety precautions should be practiced. However, if you are expecting visitors from other locations, you must consider hosting it al fresco in your backyard and think about using single-use options for plates and utensils, as well as other containers. According to the CDC, it’s best to avoid potluck style gatherings. Also, assign a single person to serve all the food and ensure that he or she is wearing a mask. This avoids multiple people touching or handling serving utensils. For scaled-down celebrations, check out some recipes and ideas on what to cook for a smaller Thanksgiving dinner this year.

What to Cook for a Smaller Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

Barbara Kafka’s Simplest Roast Chicken

Recipe by Genius Recipes, photo by James Ransom of Food52

This Thanksgiving, scale down without compromising taste by going for a smaller bird, like a chicken. A roast chicken main is easy to make, especially with this recipe from Barbara Kafka (Genius Recipes). The rule of thumb is that for every pound of chicken at room temperature, make sure to roast it for about 10 minutes. As for stuffing, go for items you already have in the kitchen such as herbs, shallots, a small onion, celery, orange juice, or blood orange wedges. Get the recipe at Food52.

What to Cook for a Smaller Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

Roasted Vegetables with Bright & Crunchy Herbed Topping

Recipe by Ali Sagle, photo by Rocky Luten at Food52

Let’s be honest, this year has been terribly tough. So no one would hold it against you for going for easier to make menus this Thanksgiving. In fact, this roasted vegetable recipe is so easy to make, all you need to do is grab some root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets, squash, and others, chop them up, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, add some finely chopped shallots and parsley, lemon zest, and red quinoa or sesame seeds, and toss it in the oven! Get this recipe at Food52. If you’d like a greener alternative, Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli is another lovely choice.

What to Cook for a Smaller Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Almond Vinaigrette

Recipe and photo by DDVSG at Food52

Add some greens to your table with this extremely easy kale salad featuring a Fall-appropriate cranberry almond vinaigrette. With a prep time of just 2 minutes and cook time of 8, this gorgeous and super healthy salad will be ready to serve in no time. You’ll need live oil, a shallot, garlic, dried cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey, a lemon, black pepper, almonds, kale and some optional blue cheese or goat cheese. Grab the recipe at Food52.

What to Cook for a Smaller Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

Brown Butter Stuffing

Recipe by Emma Laperruque, photo by Rocky Luten at Food52

This is, hands down, the easiest stuffing you’ll ever make in your life. All you need is some cubed challah, unsalted butter, minced sage, vegetable stock, and eggs. Grab the recipe at Food52.

What to Cook for a Smaller Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

Pumpkin Pie Crumble

Recipe by Bonbonmarie, photo by James Ransom at Food52

If you still want to make an impression this Thanksgiving, give a little more effort in making this amazing Pumpkin Pie Crumble a reality. It’s relatively easy to make if you’re one who’s had experience baking pies before. What you and your family will love about this pumpkin pie crumble is its soft, cake-like crust and traditional taste. Get the recipe at Food52.

Thanksgiving Themed Kitchen Accessories to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit

1. Design Imports Fall in Love Ruffle Apron

Add a touch of whimsy to your kitchen style with this apron that features a flattered dress-like design that features a huge front pocket that’s stitched down the center to make for two pockets, a charming Fall leaf prints, and extra-long adjustable straps to wrap around the neck and waist. Get up t o 40% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

2. Martha Stewart Collection Pot Holder & Oven Mitt Set in Red

Brighten up cooking time with this oven mitt featuring a silicone grip for secure handling and 100% cotton for easy care. Customer Maggie gave it a 5-star review, “Never thought I’d say this, but this mitt and potholder look amazing hanging in my kitchen! Sharp lines and well made.” Get 50% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

3. Design Imports Assorted Check Fall Be Thankful Printed Dishtowel Set

Functional and decorative, these dish towels are ultra-absorbent, durable and handy for any cleaning job in the kitchen or dining. These fast-drying towels produce minimal lint for easy maintenance. They feature a festive design that’s perfect for the Thanksgiving season. Get 40% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

4. Le Creuset Heritage 9″ Stoneware Pie Dish

Crafting your pumpkin pie this season became even more interesting with the Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Pie Dish, which lets you achieve a perfectly flaky, browned crust every time. It features a durable enameled exterior and stoneware construction so you can use it for years to come. Get 30% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

5. Glitzhome Wooden Thanksgiving Wall Sign

Inspired by the lids of old, wooden shipping barrels, this Thanksgiving sign features an artistic and weathered design in a whimsical sentiment that makes for great kitchen decor this season. Shop at Macy’s.


The Most Charming Thanksgiving Serveware and Home Decor

1. Thirstystone Harvest Collection

This charming Thanksgiving collection features richly grained acacia wood serveware staples such as the “Give Thanks” serving board and turkey ceramic salt and pepper shakers with plump pumpkin shapes and brushed gold accents. It also includes handmade felted wool and glass beaded coasters and trivets to add a pop of Fall color to your tablescape. Shop the collection, which offers up to 61% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

2. Glitzhome 20-Inch Harvest Table Tree Decor

Filled with artificial pumpkins, berries, pine corn, and maple leaves, this harvest table tree decor adds a vibrant burst of color to your Fall tablescape this Thanksgiving. It is made of foam, iron, paper, medium-density fibreboard, and linen, and features a cement base for stability. Get 30% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

3. Mills Floral 20-Inch D Fall Sunshine Wreath

Welcome loved ones into your home with this artificial fall sunshine wreath that is covered in colorful, seasonal maple leaves and burnt orange flowers and a grape vine base. It’s a great accent to any main door this Fall with its gorgeous yellow, gold, and brown tones. Get 30% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

4. Glitzhome Striped Glass Large Pumpkin

From Halloween through Fall, this gem glass pumpkin is an eye-catching conversation piece that is truly fascinating. It features red, green, and yellow color combinations that are made to look spotted, striped, round, misshapen or gourd shapes. Get 30% off for a limited time at Macy’s.

5. Aromatique Pumpkin Spice Textured Candle

Add another layer to your Thanksgiving ambience with the Aromatique Pumpkin Spice Textured Candle, which creates a warm Fall fragrance with a blend of spice candied pumpkin accented with ribbons of vanilla, maple and cherry. It is crafted from the highest quality fragrance oils and features a gourmand fragrance. This hand poured candle is custom blended in Heber Springs, Arizona and has a burn time of about 40 hours. Get 50% off for a limited time at Macy’s.


If you enjoyed this story on what to cook for a smaller Thanksgiving dinner this year and would like to explore more ideas for the upcoming holiday, check out the stories you missed from our archive below. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter for the latest deals and discounts from your favorite retailers as well.

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10 Useful Thanksgiving Presents You’ll Actually Be Grateful For

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Teelie Turner

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