If you are looking for a festive, small-batch Thanksgiving menu, that won't break the bank, this is it! This is the perfect menu for 6, but also works well for 4 people if you're looking for leftovers! It uses pantry basics, most of which you may already have on hand!
Thanksgiving 2020 will look a bit different this year for most of us than in years past. But that doesn't mean we still don't deserve a delicious Thanksgiving meal, with all the trimmings!
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Thanksgiving is a heavy meal, so I usually go lighter on the appetizers. These melt-in-your-mouth cheddar cheese coins are the perfect cocktail nibble to kick things off. They are crispy and cheesy, with a delicate, crumbly texture that is oh so good with a glass of port, wine, or something bubbly like champagne!
You can also make the dough a few days before, then all you have to do is slice and bake! Or bake them a few hours ahead and leave at room temperature.
The Main Course & Sides
What you'll love most about this menu is the Sheet Pan Turkey recipe. The fact that Turkey and two sides all roast together on a sheet pan makes things so much easier!
What makes this work so well is buying a double turkey breast on the bone, or with "ribs" as it's typically labeled. The bones keep the turkey moist and will prevent it from drying out. And during the cooking time, the vegetable juices mingle with the turkey drippings and the garlic butter to create a wonderful pan sauce that acts as a delicious gravy for the turkey.
The Hasselback potatoes roast with the turkey and are such a simple thing to do to create a holiday WOW factor. In the last few minutes of roasting, you can opt to brush them with my sage butter recipe or spoon the pan sauce over the top. Personally, I do both and the results are fantastic! They also look so pretty on the plate, making anyone you serve these too, feel special.
Extra Credit: The Stuffing Cups
Now your Thanksgiving Menu would be perfectly lovely with just the two sides, but if you want to kick this dinner up a notch then you'll keep going and make the stuffing cups too! They are the perfect small-batch portion of stuffing, without sacrificing on flavor. I make 6 in a jumbo muffin tin but you can also make 12 in a standard muffin tin too. The recipe is included in the sheet pan turkey recipe above.
Thanks to the compact size of the muffin tin they also slide in perfectly under the sheet pan allowing them to bake right along with the turkey during the last 40 minutes of cooking time.
Let's face it, Thanksgiving is the holiday for carbs! And one of the easiest homemade bread to make is focaccia. My Focaccia with Caramelized Shallots and Thyme Recipe is a fantastic addition to your Thanksgiving Menu. The texture of the bread is light and springy, and the caramelized shallots mixed with the thyme is such a great flavor combination.
And the nice thing about a small-batch Thanksgiving is you'll have leftover bread for your Turkey sandwiches the next day! Slice half the pan and cut on the diagonal for smaller triangular servings and then keep the rest as squares for your Turkey sandwiches the next day! I wrap the leftover bread in foil and refrigerate it, then slice it in half and toast for the sandwiches to freshen it up. So delicious!
If the thought of making a full apple pie this year feels like too much, try my Cinnamon Apple Crepes instead! You can make the crepes and the salted caramel sauce a day ahead, then all you have to do the day of is sautee the apples and serve!
You get all the similar flavors of an apple pie such as the syrupy apples, the cinnamon, the starchy goodness of the crepes, but personally, I think they are less work than pie! There's also something fun about doing things a bit differently this year, and perhaps starting a new tradition.
The Game Plan
If you are ready to tackle this Thanksgiving Menu, here's my step-by-step Game Plan for managing the prep across 3 days!
3 Days Before
- Do your shopping! There’s nothing worse than going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving!
- The nice thing about this menu is all the produce is hearty and will keep for days before you need it.
2 Days Before
- You can make the caramel sauce for the crepes, place it in a pyrex pitcher so it will be easy to reheat moments before serving.
- You can also make the cranberry sauce, ahead of time. This sauce gets even better the longer it sits in the fridge since the flavors of the orange peel, cloves, and fresh ginger will become more pronounced.
- You can also make the dough for the cheddar cheese coins, roll it into a log and wrap it in parchment paper, and place it in the fridge
The Day Before
- You can make the crepes for the dessert, cover, and refrigerate.
- You can caramelize the shallots for the focaccia and cover and refrigerate
- You can make the stuffing cups, place them in the muffin tin, cover and refrigerate
The Morning of Thanksgiving
- You can make the focaccia bread, bake it, and allow it to cool. Then store at room temperature on your countertop.
3 Hours Before You Serve Dinner
- Slice the cheese coins and bake. Allow them to cool completely then transfer to a container and store at room temperature.
2 Hours Before You Serve Dinner
- Prep the turkey with the garlic herb butter, mix the carrots, and add them to the sheet pan, and do the same with the potatoes. Place your tray in the oven
- Serve your cheese coins with some wine or cocktails knowing your dinner is roasting away in the oven!
- 40 mins before the turkey is ready, place the stuffing cups in to bake.
When Turkey is Ready
- Once the turkey is done, remove the breast and transfer it to a carving board covered with foil.
- Place the tray of vegetables back in the oven with the stuffing cups and reduce the oven to 200F.
- Place the focaccia bread in the oven to reheat as well.
- Carve your turkey, assemble the plates, use the pan sauce as a delicious gravy.
- Have a helper slice the bread and transfer to a bread basket
- After dinner, while guests are lingering at the table, make the apple sauce for the crepes.
- Reheat the caramel sauce and the crepes in the microwave.
- Assemble the crepes on a long platter, spoon the apple sauce on top, and drizzle with the caramel sauce.
- Serve 1 crepe to each guest and don’t forget to bring the caramel sauce to the table to drizzle on top of the vanilla ice cream!
I hope this Thanksgiving Menu ticks all the boxes for you this year and provides you with a festive, fun, and delicious holiday! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!