Best Thanksgiving Recipes for Small Gatherings

Posted by Paige Rose on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 3:41pm

Let’s be honest - the holiday season looks a lot different this year. Not being able to gather the way we’d like to can put a damper on big thanksgiving plans. How do we make sure we still find the joys of the season, even when we can’t ALL be together? Well, we know one way: Food! 

We’re here to help you prepare for Thanksgiving with these classic recipes featuring delicious and unique twists.

Small gatherings with your immediate family and quarantine bubble may be the only option, but we still have lots to be thankful for when we gather around the table. Spice up your menu this year to add some fun to your season! 

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

We love this sweet potato dish because it has the flavors of fall, with an extra southern style flare featuring bacon, bourbon, and of course, pecans. 

This dish can be assembled the night before, then baked the day of serving.

Sweet Potatoes 

Photo: Half Baked Harvest


SWEET POTATO MIXTURE

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (4 cups)

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ cup milk

  • ¼ cup butter melted

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten

  • 2 TBSP bourbon

TOPPING

  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled into pieces

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup flour

  • 1 ½ cups pecans

  • ⅓ cup melted butter 

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary

Wash and dry the potatoes, then poke holes all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet with a rim and bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Once the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife and the juices collect under the potatoes, they’re done. Peel the skins off and mash the potatoes in a large bowl with milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, butter, eggs and bourbon until combined. Spread the mixture into a greased casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, add cooked bacon, brown sugar, flour, pecans, butter, cayenne pepper, rosemary. Mix together, then spread on top of sweet potato mixture in a casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pecans are golden brown. 

 

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta

We think this is the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and tart.  This Thanksgiving recipe crosses off the essentials: cranberries and squash. Plus, it’s delicious! The addition of the feta changes the entire flavor profile, but it’s certainly for the better. If you aren’t sold on serving this to your guests yet, whip up a batch to try it first. One bite and you’ll know - this definitely needs to be on your Thanksgiving table.

Squash 

Photo: Skinny Ms.

  • 3 lb large butternut squash, peeled and cubed

  • 1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

  • 1-2 cups fresh cranberries (or dried, but note those are often sweeter)

  • 2-3 TBSP honey plus extra to taste

  • 1/4 cup finely crumbled feta

  • Ground cinnamon to taste 

  • Fresh or dried parsley for garnish

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

  • Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil

  • Add cubed squash to the sheet along with another drizzle of olive oil

  • Season squash lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, per taste preference

  • Roast at 400 F for 25 minutes on the center rack

  • Pull out the oven rack and add your fresh cranberries to the roasting pan

  • Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cranberries have started to soften and burst 

  • Remove from oven, season lightly with cinnamon (approx. 1/8-1/4 tsp depending on preference) along with feta and honey

    • Use less honey if using dried cranberries

  • Garnish with parsley

  • Serve while hot

 

Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs Thanksgiving Recipe

Here’s the deal: adding ranch dressing to deviled egg filling just makes sense. Why haven’t we thought of this sooner? Add some bacon and wow are you in for a treat. If you’re a fan of the classic deviled egg, we urge you to try this recipe and let us know if you’re in love!

Deviled Eggs 

Photo: Cooking With Curls

  • 12 eggs

  • 1/3 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 4 slices precooked bacon, microwaved

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place 12 eggs in a large pan and cover with cold water. Then, bring your water to a boil and immediately remove pan from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, let the eggs cool and peel.

  • Slice eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks. Place yolks in a medium bowl and mash with Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and mayonnaise. Mix in the cream cheese.

  • Microwave a few slices of precooked bacon until crispy, crumble, and set aside.

  • Fill the hollowed egg halves generously with the mixture, then top with black pepper and crumbled bacon.

 

Conclusion

Yes, your Thanksgiving gathering will look different this year. It should also taste a little different - step it up in 2020 and make the holiday special with new recipes!

  1. Take your appetizer game up a notch with bacon ranch deviled eggs!

  2. For a fun take on sweet potatoes, try the Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole.

  3. Check two Thanksgiving staples off the menu with the Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta dish.

 

What thanksgiving recipes are you looking forward to making and eating this year? Did we miss your must-have side dish?

Share with us in the comments below!

 

 

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