Holiday Menus for Two, Four or Six
By: Shannon Crocker MSc RD PHEc
Nostalgia has a firm grip on me this holiday season. I don’t know if it’s the dusting of snow I see out my home office window or because I keep hearing how this year the holidays are going to be different.
Either way, I know one thing that will bring my family a whole lot of joy: a traditional turkey dinner on our holiday table!
Although the size of our celebrations is reduced to our household bubbles, it’s good to know that our festive feasts don’t have to change all that much. We can still stay connected to our tasty traditions with just a few tweaks.
My family bubble is four, so I could simply choose a smaller turkey, but since I like lots of leftovers to create more nourishing dishes afterwards, I’m planning to keep to my usual turkey size. Another option if you have just a few folks at the table is to cut your bigger turkey in half; cook half for your holiday meal and freeze half for another amazing meal in January.
Whether your holiday dinner is for two, four or six, here are three menu ideas that work for your small household gatherings.
Holiday Meal for Two
A turkey breast is the perfect size for a cozy dinner for two. I’d recommend choosing a bigger breast so you can have leftovers to enjoy the next day. Got a dark meat lover in your duo? Add a turkey leg to this dish. Added bonus: both of you can work together to enjoy the whole process from preparation to table setting. No rushing around required.
The Starter: A small cheese tray for two with a couple of Canadian cheeses, crackers, pickles, and nuts.
Scrumptious Side: Roasted Brussels sprouts with a drizzle of maple syrup would pair perfectly with the apples and potatoes (and turkey of course!).
The Main Event: This Whiskey Apple Glazed Turkey Breast with Roasted Potatoes and Apples is a delicious dish made in one pot (for quick clean up!).
Love those leftovers: Choose a turkey breast that’s big enough to have leftovers so you can make this Korean-Style Turkey Fried Rice. It’s an easy and tasty way to use up leftover veggies too.
Holiday Meal for Four
For groups of four, smaller whole turkeys are terrific! But, if like me, your family is dreaming of turkey sandwiches, go with a bigger turkey for the leftovers. This menu celebrates tradition with a twist.
The Starter: A Mediterranean-style appetizer platter (or small individual plates) with hummus and veggies, mini turkey meatballs, marinated olives and flatbread.
Scrumptious Sides: Traditional mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and garlic-y sautéed greens complete this meal.
The Main Event: Take a culinary adventure with this flavourful Za’atar Honey Glazed Roasted Turkey – it calls for a nine pound turkey which is ideal for four.
Love those Leftovers: Turkey leftovers would be super on a Fattoush salad, like this Za’atar Fattoush Salad with Sumac Pita.
Holiday Meal for Six
Connecting in the kitchen is what my meal-for-six suggestion here is all about. This recipe takes a little more time, allowing for those lingering conversations over cooking that make holiday celebrations so special.
The Starter: A light salad of bibb lettuce, orange slices, toasted almonds and a tangy lemony vinaigrette.
Scrumptious Sides: Mashed sweet potatoes and toasted coconut-topped green beans.
The Main Event: This fragrant Jerk Turkey cooks slow and low, allowing the smokey flavours to infuse with the turkey and sweeten and caramelize the skin to perfection.
Love those Leftovers: These Mini Puff Pastry Turkey Pot Pies with leftover turkey are ideal for a post-holiday brunch.
We’re all staying safely at home for the holidays this year. Let’s embrace it and keep traditions alive in our small household bubbles.
Happy Holidays from mine to yours!
Stay healthy and well,