Hosting a Smaller Thanksgiving Feast

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

If you’re hosting a smaller Thanksgiving meal this year, you can still enjoy all of the traditional foods that your family is accustomed to.

There is no need to deviate from the traditional plan – turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegetables and of course an indulgent dessert are all within your reach – just on a smaller scale.


A smaller turkey for a smaller crowd…Making a traditional turkey great, but for a small group it might be overkill.  Instead, consider preparing a turkey breast exclusively. This is a great idea that will save you time and space in your oven. My recipe for Roast Turkey Breast will have you going for seconds! 

Side Dishes: You can totally skip the stuffing if you like. Instead go for a hearty side dish such as quinoa mixed with roasted onions, mushrooms, carrots, beans and even raisins and apples to boost fiber and flavor.

Cranberry Sauce: Fresh cranberry sauce is a cinch to prepare. You can use the leftovers in sandwiches, spread on toast or even stir into oatmeal!

Vegetables: A salad or any winter vegetable you enjoy is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. Consider roasted broccoli and butternut squash as your vegetable side dish. 

Dessert: Here are some simple yet tasty ideas: cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, apple turnovers, fresh fruit and nuts, apple cider donuts.

Eat Well Tip: Fresh cranberries are at their peak of freshness during the fall, just in time for holiday parties! Incorporating cranberries into your party menu is a delicious and easy way to add unique flavor, color and variety to dishes.


Easy Roast Turkey Breast

a roast turkey breast on a cutting board

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 50-55 minutes

Makes: 4 to 5 servings



  • 3 to 4 pound Turkey Breast (boneless)
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ to ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth or water
  • 3 cups halved Brussels Sprouts



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (easy cleanup). Season all sides of Turkey breast liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Combine herbs and season all sides of turkey.
  3. Lay turkey onto pan (breast side up); Press garlic into top of breast. Add in onions and brussels sprouts, pour wine over vegetables.
  4. Place in oven. After about 20 minutes pour chicken broth over turkey and into pan. Continue roasting.
  5. After another 20 minutes check on the turkey, if pan is starting to burn go ahead and add water or more broth. Continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, about 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA