3 Ways to Serve Turkey at a Small Thanksgiving Gathering

updated May 1, 2019
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If your Thanksgiving is a small-scale celebration, cooking a whole turkey for just a few people feels like overkill. No need to skip the turkey — just rethink your cooking strategy. Here are three ways to serve turkey this Thanksgiving without cooking the whole bird.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

1. Classic Roast Turkey Breast

If the highlight of Thanksgiving dinner for you is thin slices of turkey topped with gravy, look no further than a traditional roast turkey breast. This cut delivers tender white meat, with simple no-fuss roasting that doesn’t call for flipping. One turkey breast is typically enough to serve four to six, with plenty of drippings for gravy.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

2. Stuffed Turkey Breast

If you believe Thanksgiving is not complete without the stuffing cooked inside the turkey, I have good news: It doesn’t require cooking the whole bird. For smaller celebrations, a butterflied and stuffed turkey breast will help you achieve similar results. If you’ve ever prepared a stuffed chicken breast, this comes together in much the same way — it’s just a larger piece of meat.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

3. Braised Turkey Legs (aka the One-Pot Thanksgiving Dinner)

If you’re all about the dark meat on Thanksgiving, make this year’s dinner all about the turkey legs. The drumsticks and thighs are a tougher cut of the bird than the lean breast meat, and ones that are particularly suited to braising. The low, slow cooking teases the meat into a result so tender, it falls off the bone with the touch of a fork. Consider this the one-pot dinner that delivers everything you want to eat on Thanksgiving without tasting like the traditional meal.