Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – mostly because of its heavy emphasis on making lots of food, eating more of it than you said you would, and retreating into a 3-hour nap coma. But also because you get to enjoy time around your loved ones without having to buy them a $50 pair of thermal ski socks. Personally, I would rather say “I love you” with food. Maybe that’s just my stomach talking.
The sad thing is that you don’t always get to be with your family at Thanksgiving. I live in New York and the rest of my family lives in Texas. While I’m very lucky to be able to go home this year, I spent last year eating out at a restaurant in Manhattan with just me and my mom. The food was amazing, but I couldn’t help missing a home-cooked holiday meal.
With only 2 people to feed, it doesn’t really seem worth the effort to try and make an elaborate Thanksgiving feast – and that’s a bummer. To me, cooking the meal together is half the fun (though I know others who would disagree).
So since I know there are others out there struggling over whether or not to put in the effort this year, I made this. It’s not the full spread that you see at Grandma’s house, and I’m sure many people will feel offended by items I’ve left out (no mashed potatoes! no pumpkin pie! you call this Thanksgiving?!). But when you only have two people (and you don’t want the leftovers to feed you for weeks), you have to make some tough cuts.
On the Thanksgiving lineup, we have green beans, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and turkey. The secret to keeping this meal cheap and quick is to just buy some roasted turkey from the deli and have them slice it super-thick. I know it’s not exactly the same, but what do you want from me? This is quick-and-dirty Thanksgiving, not a basting party.
This recipe serves two very generously. I actually got a good four meals out of it, but I also wasn’t operating at full Thanksgiving capacity (or wearing my Thanksgiving pants). If you’re feeling extra special, you can easily buy a packet of gravy mix and add that into the party.
My grocery bill for this meal was $25 (in an overpriced Manhattan grocery store). However, I do have some of the staples it requires, like sage and maple syrup. So let’s just caveat this with “prices may vary but it’s probably definitely less than $30 if you have literally anything in your cabinet.”
Happy Turkey Day, folks!
- 1 lb deli-roasted turkey, sliced thick
- 1 ¼ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-in pieces
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 slices bacon
- ½ c chopped onion (about half of 1 medium onion)
- ½ c chopped celery (about 2 small or 1 large stalk)
- 3 c Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing (It comes in a bag! Even though real cornbread is much better, this is cheap, easy and still does a good job.)
- 1 ½ c chicken broth
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 ½ tsp rubbed sage
- 3 slices bacon
- ½ medium onion, chopped (about ½ c)
- 1 ¼ lb green beans
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Toss all ingredients for maple-honey sweet potatoes together in a small bowl to coat.
- Spread potatoes onto a baking pan or dish in a single layer.
- Place into the oven to bake for one hour.
- While sweet potatoes are baking, begin the stuffing.
- Cook 3 slices of bacon in a skillet. Once crispy, remove from pan, but leave drippings.
- Saute onion and celery in bacon drippings over medium heat until they are tender-crisp, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add broth and heat to a boil.
- Crumble the bacon.
- Add stuffing, sage, melted butter and crumbled bacon to skillet and mix lightly.
- Transfer mixture to an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan.
- When sweet potatoes have 30 mins left, toss them and put the stuffing in the oven to bake for 30 mins.
- Now begin your beans.
- Put a small pot of water on to boil and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook for 7 minutes, until tender. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.
- Wipe out your skillet and cook the remaining 3 slices of bacon in it. Once crispy, remove from pan, but leave drippings.
- Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add green beans and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender and bacon-y.
- Mix in salt and pepper. Crumble cooked bacon and return to the skillet with the beans.
- By this time, your stuffing and sweet potatoes should also be ready. Remove them from the oven. Transfer sweet potatoes to a serving dish immediately to keep them from sticking.
- To reheat your deli roasted turkey, place it in a single layer of a pan (cake pan, casserole dish, whatever you have). Place a little bit of broth or water in the bottom of the dish and pop it into your already-hot oven while the rest of your dishes cool. Or, if you’re very lazy, put it in the microwave and cover with a damp paper towel (to keep it moist).
- Now you’re ready to feast!