We’re keeping our Thanksgiving meal super small at home again this year (just my husband, Sophie and me). I really loved our Micro Thanksgiving Menu from 2020, but now that Sophie is eating solids we want to include her! We just need to take her age-specific restrictions into consideration. Thankfully, she doesn’t have any allergies, but we have to be conscious of foods that could be choking hazards (making sure everything is cooked until soft… beyond “al dente” and I will have to cut pieces up in smaller bites for her). I don’t necessarily want to be restricted by our baby’s diet, but I also want her to be able to partake in whatever we’re eating!
All of that said, I don’t want to completely “mail it in” for this meal, but I’m probably going to outsource a few components to keep things simple and stress-free for myself. If it tastes good, who cares who made it? I’m not trying to be a hero.
We’ll pick up a package of our favorite dinner rolls from the store and I’ll just whip up some cheesy garlic butter to spread on them. This is great item to get taken care of first (in the order of cooking) on the day-of because you can then cover it in foil and just do a quick warm up as food is about to be served.
Of course this won’t be something that we share with Sophie as salads aren’t baby-friendly (basically all raw veggies / hard fruits like apples / nuts are a choking hazard). This salad sounds so crisp and fresh which will be a nice contrast to the warm, comforting dishes in the rest of the meal (plus, it looks super easy to quickly toss together — a win for me 🤣)!
I absolutely adore this turkey recipe and it’s especially perfect for us this year because we’re such a small group. Any leftovers will be used to make these turkey sliders (omg, I dream about these — they’re so delicious!). One thing of note: this recipe’s cooking method makes for a deliciously yummy and juicy turkey, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of drippings to use for making a gravy, so buying a pre-made gravy base is an element that I will definitely be outsourcing.
In lieu of mashed potatoes, I decided to make these little crispy herbed potato stacks in a muffin tin because they’re cute, flavorful, and will be fun for Sophie to pull apart (plus, she has an aversion to mushy textures right now 😅🤷🏼♀️).
I considered making these mini herb roasted potatoes, these stuffing cups, or this cheesy corn casserole as options for Sophie, but after much deliberation I decided on the potato stacks. Maybe next year I’ll try to make one of the other options if we’re with a larger group! They all sound awesome.
I’m keeping it easy and classic in flavor by choosing this traditional recipe. It’s such a simple preparation, but the roasted flavor is just incredible; I ate my entire test batch. #whoops 😅 I think the softness and tastiness of this Brussels sprouts recipe will be a hit with everyone!
In years past I have made classic green beans and bourbon maple carrots (at my husband’s request — they’re a favorite!). Green beans might be too fibrous for Sophie so I’m gonna skip them this year and even though the carrots can be nice and tender, the cooked-down booze aspect doesn’t seem particularly baby-friendly, although I may investigate this recipe alternative!
Regarding this year’s sweet dish, I chose something that (1) I could bake ahead of time, and (2) would travel well because we plan to share with a few family members that we’ll be seeing the weekend after Thanksgiving. I love that I can make them beforehand so that dessert is one less thing I have to fuss with on the day of!
I also considered making little individual hand pies with these adorable molds, but decided that the bars would probably travel better. If we were staying home I probably would have made us some mini pumpkin cheesecakes!
If you are looking for more recipe options, I have a full collection of Thanksgiving meal recipes here. But if you’re also creating a meal for a small group, for you and your partner, or just for yourself (no shame!! I’ve totally been there) I have a roundup of holiday recipes here that are specifically curated for smaller portion sizes.
I hope this helps you with your Thanksgiving meal-planning. Having a plan of action ahead of a holiday meal always helps to lower my stress levels and maybe it will do the same for you!
Happy [early] Thanksgiving, friends!
Sending hugs —