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Small crowd this Thanksgiving? Just reach for the breasts

For all of the turkey goodness with far less of the drama and mess, look to the breasts

turkey brine slice
Diana Miller/Getty Images

It’s been a year. And if you’re just not in the mood to make a whole roasted turkey this Thanksgiving, we hear you. It’s a whole lot of defrosting, brining, buttering, seasoning, basting, and carving. And while there are plenty of delicious Thanksgiving turkey alternatives for your holiday dinner, we do understand that some people just crave the bird. It is nicknamed Turkey Day, after all. But if you have a small crowd, or don’t feel like getting up at 5 am on your holiday to prepare and roast a 19-pound turkey, you still have options. Simply look to the breasts.

You can buy ready-to-cook turkey breasts at most grocery stores, especially this time of year, for a fraction of what the whole bird will cost you. And there’s no need to deal with all the drama that comes with the entire animal, gizzard and all. If you have an intimate gathering of just a few people, a set of turkey tenderloins is another deliciously easy option. These are even less expensive than the whole breast and come packed with flavor. Like pork tenderloins, turkey tenderloins often come two to a package, and they should serve between 4-6 people.

The two turkey recipes below are absolutely delectable options for your Thanksgiving dinner. Or any other day of the year, for that matter.

Roasted turkey breast recipe

   Damn Delicious

This recipe for roasted turkey breast from Damn Delicious is sinfully juicy, accented with fresh herbs and zesty, fresh lemon. Better still, the total prep and cooking time combined is about two hours. How’s that for a Thanksgiving miracle?

Grilled turkey tenderloin recipe

A Farmgirl's Dabbles

We simply can’t get over the smokey sweet perfection of this turkey tenderloin recipe from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles. The flavor profile strays a bit from Thanksgiving tradition, and we can’t get enough. Finished with a brown sugar and whole grain mustard sauce, the zesty, complex flavors will have all of your Thanksgiving guests skipping the pie and reaching for another serving of this instead.

So this year, remind yourself that there’s simply no need for all the stress and mess that comes with an entire turkey. Try one of these easy recipes, pour yourself a big glass of wine, and enjoy the day with your favorite people.

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