Having a smaller holiday get together this year? Not sure how to downsize your favorite dishes? Don’t want to make a huge meal? I hear ya! And, I have a crazy idea: don’t make them!
This year has been anything but typical. So why does the food you serve at Thanksgiving have to be the same ol’ stuff? Especially if you are tired of dishes like green bean casserole, or have been eating so many mashed potatoes during quarantine that you just no longer get the warm and fuzzies when thinking about them.
2020 is the year you can just ditch any Thanksgiving ritual that isn’t “bringing you joy” or “in your zone” or “aligning with your inner chakra.”
Today’s holiday recipe guide is packed with new twists on your favorite holiday dishes. A smaller T-day meal is the perfect opportunity to try a fun new recipe. If you don’t get it 100% perfect, who cares? Prepare to feast!
Appetizers and Sides
Let’s start with tasty spins on the side dishes and appetizers holidays are known for. Here are some new ways to enjoy your favorite holiday food.
“Hummus is always a go-to in our house. My husband would really prefer eating snacks for most meals and my son is constantly hungry, so hummus helps solve both problems. The addition of pumpkin in this recipe makes me love it even more because it adds a hidden vegetable that my son doesn’t even realize he is eating. This is the perfect addition to any holiday get together, after all, how doesn’t love pumpkin?” – Alane from BurgerFit
Get the steps to make pumpkin hummus.
Babe’s Chorizo Sausage Stuffing
“This is my husband’s recipe. Whenever he makes it for a Friendsgiving or family gathering, he gets requests for a copy of the directions. Chorizo is a wonderfully unique ingredient to use, but you can also try an Italian sausage, Cajun andouille sausage, or chicken sausage, if you’d like. It’s very adaptable and you’ll be thrilled if there are leftovers.” – Jenna from Sip Bite Go
See how to make Babe’s chorizo sausage stuffing.
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Casserole
“I absolutely LOVE my pumpkin sweet potato casserole recipe. This classic recipe is even better with Gina’s Gourmet Pumpkin Spread. The pumpkin adds an extra layer of flavor with warm spices and delicate sweetness, a perfect complement to your Thanksgiving table.” – Gina from Gina’s Gourmet
Get the recipe for pumpkin sweet potato casserole.
Sous Vide Asparagus
“Here’s an asparagus dish you just can’t mess up! Veggies come out 100% perfect and tender cooked this way – never chewy or tough. The best part is this recipe only takes ~15 minutes to make. If you haven’t been making the most of your sous vide machine, or haven’t yet used the “sous vide” button on the Instant Pot yet, this is a dish you have to try!” – Jenna from Sip Bite Go
See the recipe for sous vide asparagus.
In 2020, anything goes for your Thanksgiving main dish. Here are some alternatives to the traditional 12-20 pound roast turkey.
Buttery Roasted Turkey Thighs
“These thighs are roasted until the skin is nice and crispy, then coated and baked in a glaze made from honey and spicy African Harissa paste. It’s a great twist on classic turkey, especially for smaller gatherings this year. Plus, cooking just the thighs prevents you from getting that over dry turkey breast!” – Danielle from Went Here 8 This
Get the recipe for buttery roasted turkey thighs.
Sous Vide Turkey Breast
“This is one of my favorite recipes to make as a main dish for a holiday. Turkey always comes out perfectly juicy with the sous vide cooking technique. It’s perfect for anyone with food allergies because you can prepare them their own turkey just the way they like and need it. It’s also perfect for a smaller get together, when you don’t want to prepare and make a whole bird. Cooking a single 2-3 LB turkey breast is perfect for 2-3 people. No sous vide machine? Use the crock pot!” – Jenna from Sip Bite Go
See how to make sous vide turkey breast.
“Forget that boring old turkey and roast a duck instead! With all dark meat, duck comes out juicier and more tender than turkey – plus it’s smaller which is great for a smaller holiday gathering. This duck is roasted with a combination of Chinese spices and a sweet orange glaze. The skin comes out perfectly juicy and the meat stays deliciously juicy.” – Danielle from Went Here 8 This
See how to make roasted duck.
There’s always room for more dessert, right? Here are delicious recipes that will make you happy you can put on your leggings for this year’s holiday meal.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Fluff
“It’s like the best part of the pumpkin pie without the hassle of making a crust! This dish is not only super easy to make, but it can be made a day or two ahead. It’s a stress-free dessert! This version is a little more elevated than other Pumpkin Fluff recipes. Traditional Pumpkin Fluff is typically made with instant pudding and Cool Whip Topping. This version uses real heavy whipping cream and cream cheese instead, giving it a little more richness and a homemade touch. You can serve it in individual cups to guests or put it out as part of a dessert charcuterie board!” – Michelle from Barefoot In The Pines
See how to make pumpkin cheesecake fluff.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
“Chocolate chip pumpkin cookies are the perfect healthier alternatives to your chocolate chips cookies. Pumpkin is rich in fiber and packed with nutrients. Swap your regular sugar with coconut sugar. It is more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index. With these modifications, you can feel better about indulging some delicious cookies.” – Jenny from Organically Blissful
Get the recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin cookies.
Boozy Bourbon Fudge
“This twist on chocolate fudge is super easy to make, and so much better than store bought. You cannot buy this in the store. Perfect for the holiday treat tray, and it makes an awesome food gift. I bet Santa would love to take some of this back to the North Pole too.” – Gloria from Homemade & Yummy
See the details for making boozy bourbon fudge.
So, how’s your holiday dinner looking?
I’m so sorry to hear how many people are missing out on time with family and loved ones this year. I’m in the same boat, since our family lives out of town. When everyone can fly to Portland and hang out next, whenever that day comes, we plan to have a big Thanksgiving meal. Until then, you can find me in the kitchen, enjoying some daily R&R time, chopping and cooking with seasonal foods.
Share in the comments what your Thanksgiving is going to look like this year and any new dishes you’re going to try!