How to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner for Just a Few People

Hosting a smaller group for Thanksgiving? All the recipes and guides seem to assume there will be 20 or more people at dinner. But if you have a small family or are celebrating Friendsgiving this year, we have some holiday-appropriate recipes that will serve 4 to 6 people. No matter what size your gathering, Thanksgiving is about gratitude and sharing good food. Read on for the recipes.

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Thanksgiving Mains

Turkey Roulade with Black Truffle Butter

This simple turkey breast roulade with black truffle butter elevates turkey breast to a fabulous holiday centerpiece. For something even less fussy – with the bones left in – try our simple roast turkey breast recipe which will serve six people.


Berkshire Pork Petite Crown Roast

This Berkshire pork crown roast recipe makes a show-stopping holiday centerpiece for 6. Berkshire pork is so juicy and flavorful, you need very little seasoning besides salt, pepper, and a few herbs.


Red Wine Braised Brisket

Our Angus beef brisket is slow-cooked in an entire bottle of red wine and other aromatics in this deeply satisfying recipe. Hearty and rustic, it will serve 8 (or fewer with delicious leftovers) and is the perfect dish for a holiday meal.


Fig & Balsamic Glazed Ham

Fig jam and balsamic vinegar make a crowd-pleasing sweet-tart glaze for our Berkshire pork smoked hams – available in many sizes – perfect for your holiday table. We suggest the boneless half ham, which feeds 5-7.


Thanksgiving Sides

Squash Bisque with Smoked Duck

Start your Thanksgiving dinner with this autumnal soup. An aromatic mix of carrots, celery, butternut squash, and sweet potato, it’s tasty on its own, but when crowned with smoked duck breast and pumpkin seed oil, it’s totally sublime. Can be made ahead, and kept warm in a slow cooker.

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Chestnut, Walnut & Fennel Sauté

This recipe, inspired by the cuisine of Joël Robuchon, is adapted from Patricia Wells’ book Simply French. Using our already-prepared chestnutsblack truffle butter, and demi-glace, this version is conveniently made in a pan on the stovetop, so the oven remains free for other dishes. Serve as you would a dressing, on the side. Can be made ahead, and warmed before serving.

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Wild Mushroom Potato Gratin

Black truffle butter and several varieties of mushrooms make this creamy potato gratin recipe worthy of company and your holiday table. And really, you can’t go wrong with creamy, truffley potatoes.


Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Pomegranate

In this easy recipe, Brussels sprouts are sauteed in bacon fat and brightened up with tart pomegranate arils. A drizzle of sweet pomegranate molasses and a generous helping of crumbled bacon put this dish over the top.


Duck Fat Yeast Rolls

Your grandparents may very well have enjoyed yeast rolls made extra tender with lard. In our modern update on old-fashioned dinner rolls, we use flavorful duck fat and a sprinkling of flaky salt. The rolls have a subtle savory taste and bake up as fluffy and squishy as can be.


Butternut Squash with Bacon, Blue Cheese & Candied Pecans

In this easy butternut squash recipe, we oven roasted squash in bacon fat before tossing in crispy bacon bits and spicy-sweet pecans. The optional crumbled blue cheese adds a sharp bite.


Lemony Green Beans with Bacon & Shallots

These green beans are totally addicting. They’re rich and smoky from the crumbled bacon and bacon fat but the addition of lemon juice and zest keeps them bright and balanced. Blanching is essential to keeping their vivid color and texture and makes the whole dish come together quickly – don’t skip it.


A Thanksgiving meal is all about the sides, isn’t it? What are your favorites side dishes for the holiday? Are there any that you simply must have at Thanksgiving dinner?

Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

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