Easy Small Scale Thanksgiving Dinner

Follow this game plan for an easy small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted bone-in turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and even pumpkin pie for dessert! | platingsandpairings.com

Follow this game plan for an easy small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted bone-in turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and even pumpkin pie for dessert! It’s the perfect Thanksgiving strategy for serving a group of 2-6 people.

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Thanksgiving hasn’t existed for us for a couple years now. We’ve made a habit out of taking a vacation during the holiday rather than gathering for the traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner. The main reason being that I’m so short on vacation time at work that it’s the best way to stretch my limited time off… Last year we were in Barcelona for the holiday. This year, we’ll be in Hawaii, soaking up the sun instead of the tryptophan.

As amazing as the time away is, I really do miss the traditional Thanksgiving feast and time spent with friends and family. So, this year, we’re doing Thanksgiving, but we’re doing it in a smaller fashion – Instead of roasting a huge turkey, I’m cooking up a bone-in turkey breast. It’s the perfect way to get that turkey fix, without having a massive amount of leftovers, plus it cooks faster and it’s way simpler to carve.

Follow this game plan for an easy small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted bone-in turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and even pumpkin pie for dessert! | platingsandpairings.com
My recipe for this turkey breast is as hands off as can be, and virtually foolproof. I like to give it a good seasoning, by rubbing a mixture of spices, mustard and lemon juice both under and over the skin. Then, I let it sit in the fridge, uncovered, overnight. This allows the skin to dry out a bit, and then it roasts up nice an crispy and brown. And who doesn’t like crispy skin on their turkey?

There’s no basting involved either. Instead, I place the turkey breast on a roasting rack, so that the air circulates all around, and then I pour a cup of dry white wine into the pan along with a cup of water. As the wine heats, it evaporates and keeps the turkey sitting above it moist and gives it the most amazing flavor. It’s a beautiful, simple bird… Turkey shouldn’t be fussy.

Follow this game plan for an easy small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted bone-in turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and even pumpkin pie for dessert! | platingsandpairings.com
As stunning and delicious as that turkey is – Let’s be honest, Thanksgiving is also all about the sides! The supporting cast in my show consists of Glazed Carrots, Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Mushroom & Pecan Stuffing with Fresh Herbs. To top it all off, an immensely impressive dessert – Pumpkin Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce. (I’m obsessed with that Salted Caramel Sauce!)

My game plan for Thanksgiving is to spread out the work over a couple days – Getting a lot of the “busy work” done the day before means a whole lot less stress on the day of – More time to enjoy a glass, or two, or four of wine…

Here’s my strategy for a Easy Small Scale Thanksgiving Dinner: 

Day Before Thanksgiving Prep:

  • Prepare the stuffing and place in a casserole dish – We’ll bake it tomorrow while the turkey breast is roasting.
  • Season the turkey and place in refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.
  • Bake the pumpkin pie and prepare the salted caramel sauce.
  • Peel and slice the carrots and place them in a Ziploc bag for tomorrow.

Day Of Thanksgiving Prep:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Roast the turkey at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and add the stuffing to the oven. Bake the stuffing and turkey breast for an additional 45-60 minutes until the turkey is cooked through.
  • While the turkey and stuffing cook. Prepare the mashed potatoes. Keep warm on the stove.
  • Remove the turkey and stuffing from the oven and cover both with foil to keep warm. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the glazed carrots while the turkey rests.
  • Carve the turkey and serve alongside the stuffing, glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. Don’t forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!

How to Cook a Turkey Breast

Follow this game plan for an easy small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted bone-in turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and even pumpkin pie for dessert! | platingsandpairings.com

Roasted Bone-In Turkey Breast

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: thanksgiving dinner, thanksgiving turkey, turkey breast
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 250 kcal
Author: Platings & Pairings

Follow this game plan for an easy small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted bone-in turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and even pumpkin pie for dessert! It's the perfect Thanksgiving strategy for serving a group of 2-6 people.

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Ingredients

  • 1 bone-in turkey breast about 4 lbs.
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp . grainy mustard
  • 1 Tbsp . chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp . kosher salt
  • 1 tsp . black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp . olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp . lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp . butter

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Loosen the skin from the turkey breast and smear half of the mixture under the skin. Smear the remaining mixture on the outside of the turkey breast. Place in refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Place the turkey on a rack, in a roasting pan, and pour the wine and water into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees; and roast for an additional 45 minutes – 1 hour or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees. If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, add the butter to the pan, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey breast.
Nutrition Facts
Roasted Bone-In Turkey Breast
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 853mg 36%
Potassium 41mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Vitamin A 1.2%
Vitamin C 0.6%
Calcium 0.9%
Iron 1.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings: 

  • Pinot Noir pairs nicely with the earthy flavors in the stuffing and glazed carrots, and is light bodied enough to pair with the white meat turkey.
  • Riesling and Gewurztraminer are nice white options that compliment the turkey and cut down on the richness of the mashed potatoes.
  • Rosé has a great acidity and hints of baking spices which is a great match for Thanksgiving dishes. (Here are some great Rosé wines under $10.)
  • Sparkling Wine is a great option – It plays nicely with all the dishes and feels extra extravagant for a special occasion. (Here are some budget-friendly sparkling wines.)

 

 

21 comments

  1. Create/Enjoy

    This is a great idea and sounds so easy! I like turkey but we don’t usually need a whole one!

    Your holiday plans sound very relaxing!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thank you – Happy Thanksgiving!

      Reply

  2. Pech

    This looks amazing! I’m not the turkey bringer of Thanksgiving and we have a Smoked turkey which is great on that it frees up the onion for the big buffet of sides. This looks incredibly tempting though and perfect for a smaller group of meat eaters

    Reply

    1. Erin

      That smoked turkey sounds pretty amazing too Pech!

      Reply

  3. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    I love this option for a smaller Thanksgiving meal! The turkey looks absolutely delicious. We always go to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving (we host Christmas) so the turkey is taken care of, but this would be great to make for a weekend supper for our little family.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I agree Marlynn – Turkey seems to be always reserved for special occasions, but it really is easy to enjoy on any weekend!

      Reply

  4. Monica Louie

    Thanksgiving in Hawaii sounds wonderful!! Enjoy!! This is a great idea! Thanks for compiling this easy-to-follow menu! Looks delicious!!

    Reply

  5. Geoff (Steep Stories)

    Looks fantastic . . . but I’m gonna have a hard time thinking small scale THIS Thanksgiving.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Geoff – Enjoy Thanksgiving (big or small)! 😉

      Reply

  6. Tina

    This is a GREAT idea! We too have been just cooking for the three of us. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You are so welcome Tina – Enjoy!

      Reply

  7. Erin

    Love the idea of adding salted caramel sauce to pumpkin pie! Have a great time in Hawaii!!! We are also utilizing the holidays off work to take a mini-vacation. While the big celebration is nice, it’s also a great way to escape for a bit. Enjoy!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Erin! Enjoy your mini-vacation!!!

      Reply

  8. Lindsay (The Salad Lobby)

    This is a great idea for a festive weekend meal too! We are doing the big feast this year but I love the idea of having a smaller celebration with friends as a holiday party. Because who doesn’t love Thanksgiving anytime?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I totally agree Lindsay – I think I’ll be cooking up a few of these turkey breasts this year! I already have two in my freezer!

      Reply

  9. Erin

    Perfect for smaller families like mine.

    Reply

  10. Alma @ Freelance Writer India

    This looks impressive! I’m not the turkey bringer of Thanksgiving ….. But This looks exceptionally appealing though and also perfect for a smaller sized group of meat eaters !!!! Satisfied Thanksgiving Erin!

    Reply

  11. Taylor @ The Girl on Bloor

    OMG I”M SO JEALOUS YOU’RE GOING TO HAWAII! Congrats! I feel you on that though – it’s so hard to schedule vacation time so you take advantage of the holiday, but then kinda miss it in the process! I did a similar turkey breast with my friends for “Friendsgiving” back in October, but yours looks much more delicious!

    Reply

  12. Michele

    We do a bone in breast only too…. that way we don’t waste all the dark meat that no-one eats in our house! I love the mustard in this! I do that often in chicken, but had never thought of it for Turkey!

    Reply

  13. Emma @ General contractor

    This is a great concept for a joyful weekend break dish as well! We are doing the big feast this year but I like the idea of having a smaller event with buddies as a holiday party.

    Reply

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