This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Thanksgiving for Two can be just as festive and heartwarming as a large gathering. Imagine a feast that keeps the essence of Thanksgiving alive, but is tailored perfectly for you and a special someone. In this post, we’re excited to share a selection of delightful recipes, each carefully scaled to serve two. To make your holiday planning a breeze, we’ve included a concise grocery list and an easy-to-follow video guide to walk you through each step of the cooking process. Get ready to enjoy a cozy, homemade Thanksgiving meal that’s big on flavor and short on leftovers.

Looking for more small batch and single serving Thanksgiving recipes? Be sure to check out out recipes for Turkey Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, and Pumpkin Pie Bars!

Don’t let those Thanksgiving leftovers go to waste – our Thanksgiving Sliders are the perfect way to enjoy them again!

VIDEO: Thanksgiving For Two Meal

Simple Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for Two - No Leftovers

Click here to download full grocery list!

Pre-Thanksgiving Checklist: Get Ahead Of The Game With These Easy Steps

Kickstart your Thanksgiving feast by getting a head start on the day before. We’ve put together a strategic list of steps that make it easy to whip up a homemade pecan pie and mini cornbread in advance. Follow this guide to save time, reduce stress, and ensure your dishes turn out perfectly. Here’s what to do:

  1. Make Pecan Pie Shortbread Crust: Start with the foundation of your pie by preparing the shortbread crust. This is the same shortbread crust that we use in our Apple Pie and our Lemon Bars.
  2. Prepare the Pecan Pie Filling: Mix all the ingredients needed for your pie filling.
  3. Bake the Pecan Pie: Slide that pie into the oven and let it do its magic.
  4. Whip Up Mini Cornbread: While the pie is baking, use this time to prepare your cornbread batter.
  5. Remove Pecan Pie from Oven: Your pie should be ready now; take it out and let it cool.
  6. Prepare Your Cooking Vessel for Cornbread: If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, go ahead and place it in the oven to heat up. If you’re using an oven-safe baking dish, there’s no need to preheat—just have it ready to go for your cornbread batter.
  7. Retrieve Your Heated Skillet: If you opted for the cast-iron skillet, now’s the time to carefully remove it from the oven, so it’s all set for your cornbread batter.
  8. Add Butter and Cornbread Batter to Skillet and Bake: Butter the skillet, add your batter, and put it back in the oven.
  9. Set Aside Pecan Pie and Cornbread for Tomorrow: Once everything is cooled, store them properly so they’re ready to shine at your Thanksgiving meal.

By planning ahead, you can ensure that your Thanksgiving for Two will be a delicious, stress-free event!

Note: If you’re looking for a pecan pie made without corn syrup, be sure to check out our mini Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup recipe.

Thanksgiving Day Timeline: Your Step-By-Step Guide To A Perfectly Timed Meal

When the big day arrives, having a clear plan can make all the difference. We’ve streamlined the cooking steps for your Thanksgiving For Two menu to ensure you’re not scrambling last minute. You’ll be juggling cornbread dressing, turkey tenderloin, green beans, and cranberries, but don’t worry—we’ve laid it out in a way that’s easy to follow and efficient. Here’s your game plan:

  1. Prepare Cornbread Dressing: Take that mini cornbread you made yesterday and prepare your cornbread dressing mixture.
  2. Bake Cornbread Dressing: Pop the dressing into the oven.
  3. Season Turkey Tenderloin: While the dressing bakes, season your turkey tenderloin.
  4. Remove Cornbread Dressing from Oven: Once baked, take the dressing out to cool.
  5. Adjust Oven and Preheat Skillet: Change your oven’s temperature setting and if using a skillet, let it heat up inside the oven.
  6. Begin Cooking Green Beans: Start sautéing those fresh green beans.
  7. Initiate Cranberry Cooking: Get your cranberries onto the stove.
  8. Lower Green Beans to Simmer: Adjust the stove’s heat to let your green beans simmer.
  9. Retrieve Preheated Skillet: If using a skillet, take it out once the oven is ready.
  10. Add Turkey to Skillet and Bake: Add a splash of olive oil and your seasoned turkey to the skillet, then place it in the oven.
  11. Reduce Cranberries to Simmer: Lower the heat under your cranberries so they can simmer and thicken.
  12. Cool Down Green Beans: Rinse your sautéed green beans with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  13. Flip and Continue Cooking Turkey: Take the turkey out, flip it, and return it to the oven for even cooking.
  14. Remove Cranberries from Heat: Your cranberry sauce should be ready now; take it off the stove.
  15. Check Turkey and Rest: When your turkey tenderloin is done, make sure to check its internal temperature. Let it rest before slicing.
  16. Finish Up Sautéed Green Beans: Give your green beans their final sauté.
  17. Slice and Serve Turkey: Your turkey should be rested and ready for slicing.
  18. Plate and Savor: Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Plate your dishes and enjoy your intimate, flavorful Thanksgiving for Two!

By sticking to this timeline, you can look forward to a stress-free, delicious Thanksgiving meal perfectly portioned for two.

Thanksgiving Dinner For Two Recipes

slices of turkey tenderloin medallions on a white plate next to a bottle of red wine

Turkey Tenderloin

5 from 20 votes
Quick and easy recipe for tender and juicy turkey tenderloin. This lean and flavorful dish is perfect for a weeknight meal or a small Thanksgiving feast.
Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
a baking dish filled with cornbread dressing on a silver tray next to carrots and onions

Small Batch Cornbread Dressing

5 from 8 votes
This small batch cornbread dressing is a traditional Southern staple for the holidays. It's buttery and moist, perfectly seasoned, and incredibly delicious!
Cornbread Dressing Recipe
a pink bowl filled with cooked green beans topped with almonds.

Sautéed Green Beans For One

5 from 6 votes
These single serving sautéed green beans are a simple, yet delicious side dish that goes well with just about any entrée. They're hot and buttery, with a hint of garlic and a fresh, crisp-tender texture. The green beans are seasoned simply with just a bit of salt and pepper and are tossed with slivers of almonds.
Sautéed Green Beans Recipe
a gray bowl of cranberry sauce next to a red napkin

Cranberry Sauce For One

5 from 7 votes
Quick, easy single serve Cranberry Sauce recipe: Fresh cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon blend for a sweet, tangy flavor in just 15 minutes.
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
a small pecan pie in a red baking dish.

Mini Pecan Pie

4.78 from 72 votes
This Mini Pecan Pie has all the flavors you love in a classic pecan pie. This single serving dessert is made with a buttery shortbread crust and a rich, pecan filled filling.
Pecan Pie Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Is tradition essential for a Thanksgiving meal?

While a classic turkey dinner is the Thanksgiving norm, you’re not bound to it. Feel free to get creative with other delicious main course options, especially if turkey isn’t your thing. Some tasty alternatives include:
Chicken Caprese
* Pork Tenderloin
Baked Stuffed Fish
Pumpkin Soup

What vegetarian options can I cook for Thanksgiving?

If you’re steering clear of meat this holiday, you’re still in for a treat. Here are some vegetarian-friendly dishes that are perfect for a smaller, intimate Thanksgiving:
Vegetarian Chili
Chickpea Curry
Mini Eggplant Parmesan
* Sweet Potato Casserole
* Carrot Souffle

Do I need any special cookware if I’m cooking for two at Thanksgiving?

Not at all. A good-quality skillet and a few small baking dishes will suffice for most recipes.

What can I do with leftover ingredients?

We’ve included links to single serving and small batch recipes that utilize any leftover ingredients below and in each recipe post.

Expert Tips When Cooking A Small Thanksgiving Meal

  • Plan Your Menu Early: The sooner you decide on your menu, the easier it’ll be to gather all the ingredients. This early planning can help you avoid the last-minute scramble and the disappointment of finding key items out of stock.
  • Prep Before You Start: Before diving into the actual cooking, read through all the recipes you’ll be tackling. Assemble all the ingredients you’ll need for each dish so you’re not searching through cabinets while the clock is ticking.
  • Divide and Conquer with Dessert and Cornbread: Making your dessert and a small batch of cornbread the day before can be a lifesaver. By taking care of these elements in advance, you’ll streamline your cooking on the actual day, getting everything done in under 90 minutes.
  • Set a Special Table: Don’t skimp on the presentation. Even though it’s a meal for two, break out your best linens and plates. You’re celebrating, after all, and you both deserve that extra touch of elegance.

Your Complete Grocery List For Thanksgiving For Two

Navigating the grocery store aisles before a holiday can be overwhelming. To make your prep as smooth as possible, we’ve compiled a comprehensive shopping guide that covers all the ingredients you’ll need for every dish in this Thanksgiving For Two recipe roundup. Trust us, this list is a game-changer.

Click here to download full grocery list!

For step-by-step cooking directions, just click on the individual recipe links above. Armed with this shopping guide and our detailed recipes, you’ll have everything you need for a memorable, stress-free Thanksgiving feast for two.

For Pecan Pie 

Shortbread Crust Ingredients

  • 2 ½ tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients

  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter , melted

For Cornbread

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cornbread Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 slice white or wheat sandwich bread
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Sautéed Green Beans

  • 1 cup fresh green beans
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Turkey Tenderloin

  • 1 (12-ounce) turkey tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

This checklist format is easy to read and great for on-the-go shopping. You can even take screenshots of each section and tick them off as you fill your shopping cart!

Additional Small Batch Thanksgiving Recipes You’ll Love

Looking for more delicious options to complete your cozy Thanksgiving for two? From scrumptious pies to mouth-watering casseroles, we’ve got a curated list of additional small-batch recipes to complement your festive feast. These are perfect for adding variety or catering to specific dietary needs.

Click the titles to find the full recipes and cooking instructions. Feel free to mix and match to create your ideal Thanksgiving menu!

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried any of these Thanksgiving recipes or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!

Red 5-inch square baking dish with One Dish Kitchen branded paper sleeve around it.

Make 80+ Recipes With This Dish!

Ideal for home chefs, this individual square ceramic baking dish is safe for oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. Simple to use & easy to clean!


I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *