These are a few of our favorite small holiday dinner ideas. Because it’s 2020 out there, and it’s a good idea to keep holiday gatherings small.
This year just won’t quit.
Where I live, an emergency order has banned inter-household gatherings ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
I had already canceled it, though, because the pandemic is worse than ever.
Small Holiday Dinner Ideas
I think a lot of folks out there are making the smart decision to keep their holiday celebrations to their immediate families.
So, it seems like a perfect time to share some small Thanksgiving dinner ideas.
You could simply buy a smaller turkey and maybe omit a couple of the sides in my Work-Ahead Holiday Dinner Meal Plan.
But here are some “out-of-the-box,” relatively stress-free dishes to make your small holiday dinner extra special.
1. Holiday Turkey Roulade with Sausage Stuffing
This is a delicious, festive dish that captures the feeling of Thanksgiving dinner, but with a much shorter roast. The stuffing is rolled up inside the butterflied turkey breast and also served on the side. Pair with my Orange-Ginger-Spice Cranberry Sauce, Easy, Rich Turkey Gravy, or both! Leftovers are fabulous sliced thin and eaten in a sandwich. Get the recipe here.
2. Herbed Roast Duck
This is a perfect holiday meal for a small group, or even a great dinner for two with tasty leftovers for soups and more.
The duck roasts topped with fresh herbs and browns up beautifully.
Served with a tangy, delicious sauce.
3. One-Pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice
An impressive holiday dinner doesn’t get any easier than this!
The rice cooks right in the pan with the chicken, soaking up its juice.
This dish is deliciously flavored with dried herbs and citrus notes from the meyer lemons.
Serve right in the pan and eat family style at the table.
Then, enjoy having only one pan to clean! Find the recipe here.
4. Herb-Roasted Rack of Pork
This is a super-easy meal that’s fancy enough for any special-occasion dinner. The roast comes out juicy every time, with wonderful flavor from a rub made of Dijon mustard, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper.
Cut into gigantic chops: one chop is more than enough for one person (I usually eat half of one). You can get the recipe here.
5. One-Pot Cornish Game Hens with Mushroom-Barley Pilaf
This is a beautiful all-in-one holiday meal. If you serve half hens with the barley pilaf, you’ll have enough to feed four. Also consider an additional side dish, like Green Beans with Bacon and Onions or Arugula-Shaved-Fennel Salad. Get the recipe here.
6. Date-Night Prime Rib
This Prime Rib puts expensive steakhouse prime rib offerings to shame. The roast takes on amazing flavor from a rub with chopped fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with au jus, if you’d like. You’ll find the recipe here. Any leftovers are ahhhhmazing in Open-Faced Prime Rib Sandwiches.
I hope that your small holiday dinner will be a happy memory, many years from now when you look back on the dumpster fire that was 2020.
Stay safe. Stay well.