Even if you’re hosting a smaller, low-key Thanksgiving this year, when you add up all the staple dishes—bird, vegetables, stuffing, desserts—the grocery list slowly, surely, steadily piles up.
Few-ingredient recipes to the rescue! Making a couple—or a few, or, why not, all—minimalist dishes means chiller planning, chiller shopping, chiller prepping, chiller holiday-ing, period. You deserve that, especially this year.
Just like onion dip, but instead of caramelizing onions for an hour then stirring them into sour cream, you crisp garlic for a few minutes then stir this into Greek yogurt. Potato chips all around.
Where you’d expect to find tahini or olive oil, this recipe swaps in garlicky butter, yielding an atypical hummus that’s as silky as can be. Serve with crispy pita chips and raw vegetables.
For better spinach-artichoke dip, give the gooey cream cheese a couple of big-personality friends: sharp cheddar and zesty Dijon mustard. Team up with seedy crackers and toasted bread.
This sweet, sticky wonder will be the star of any cheese plate—and you don’t need a million cheeses, either. Just pick a creamy variety you love, like ricotta or Brie, and call it a day.
If you don’t want to navigate an unwieldy wet-brine, this recipe is for you. The herbs and spices are nice but, repeat after me, not necessary.
So simple, you don’t even need salt. Seriously.
Don’t want to roast a turkey? Don’t. Duck confit feels holiday-special, and this version is a cinch.
Speaking of not-turkey: Roast chicken was made for a mini Thanksgiving, even if it’s just you.
Or, if you aren’t feeling a whole bird, opt for this crispy-crunchy wonder that involves zero stovetop splatters.
Sausage stuffing is a Thanksgiving classic. It’s also heavy as heck. This version brightens things up with a boatload of broccoli rabe (plus its ultra savory blanching liquid in place of stock).
Skip the caramelized onion and celery, the browned meat and sautéed greens, the toasted nuts and dried fruit, yada-yada-yada—and still end up with a crusty, buttery, second helpings–worthy stuffing.
Mashed potatoes learn a couple tricks from their chippy counterparts: Don’t skimp on the salt and add a splash of vinegar (we like malt, but you can use white or cider, too) for tangy contrast.
Sure, mashed potatoes are more traditional, but (fake) frites are just so good.
Clarified butter does most of the heavy lifting with these crispy-edged shingled potato slices.
Half the ingredient list is in the title. The other half is butter (yay) and port (yay!).
A cozy casserole that trusts in the power of butter and brown sugar (plus a hit of cinnamon and orange zest, as you wish).
Self-rising flour plus heavy cream equals biscuits? Sure does.
Traditional green bean casseroles come together in the oven, which we’re guessing is already full of turkey, sweet potato casserole, and then some. That’s why this modern take happens completely on the stove (and only needs four ingredients to boot).
Have you ever burned your roasted vegetables by accident? This recipe does it on purpose—as a path toward bigger, bolder flavor. Just puree with water, no stock necessary.
Broccoli rabe, cream, and cheddar are all you need for this standout side.
Crisp-tender, begone! This garlicky broccoli is buttery tender, and proud of it.
With just cauliflower and milk (plus salt, pepper, and water), this dish could serve as a side or a vegetarian main.
When tossed in a hot, buttery skillet, scallions become sweet, tender, and infinitely satisfying, just as they are.
With just a squeeze of lemon and pinch of pepper flakes, these sautéed Brussels sprouts speak for themselves.
From the latest Yotam Ottolenghi book, these lucky onions are treated to a salty, umami-laden miso butter.
Yes, you can eat butternut squash raw. And you should!
The secret ingredient here? Ice cubes, which tame the zingy dressing and keep the endive on its toes.
Based on the Russian sharlotka, this apple cake needs no butter, oil, or even leavening agents. Instead, eggs do most of the work. White whole-wheat flour and brown sugar bring lots of caramely-nutty vibes.
For those of us who don’t want to make pecan pie, there’s this cake. Based on Emiko’s Calabrian Walnut Cake, this recipe needs no flour—just a lot of pecans, pulsed until cornmeal-esque, bound with eggs and brown sugar.
Think of it like stuffing, but for dessert. In this case, the “gravy” is actually salted brown sugar sauce, and we’re very here for it. Fresh fruit, like persimmons or ripe pears, would be great on top.
That just so happen to be no-bake. (“Thanks much!” your oven says.) These bars are pumpkin-y as can be (they use a whole can), thanks to a secret ingredient that creates a custardy, set structure.
Butterscotch usually starts with brown sugar. This version goes rogue and starts with apple cider instead. Just boil it—then keep boiling it—until you reach the consistency of caramel sauce. From there, you’re on your way to a puckery, appley pudding.
Yes, you can and should serve bite-sized cookies on Thanksgiving. Especially these buttery, crumbly, extra-tender ones—think pecan pie meets shortbread.
For the ideal fruit-to-streusel ratio, ditch the deep casserole dish and opt for a shallow sheet pan. Not only does this cook faster, but it means more crunchy topping in every bite.
No ice cream machine required. This no-churn method (condensed milk plus whipped cream) is foolproof as can be. A splash of bourbon—or rum, if you want—keeps things scoopable and creamy.
36. Pie Crispies
If crust is your favorite part of pie (me too), these bite-size cookies are right up your alley.
Roasted parsnips as dessert, yes, and in only three ingredients.
Odds are you’re peeling an apple or seven for Thanksgiving. Put the scraps toward this boozy treat.
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