Easy Recipes for a “Just Us” Small Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving might look a little different for many families during our COVID year. (Please let it just be a year!). In an ordinary year, more than 50 million Americans travel more than 50 miles from home to be with family and friends at the holidays. But, as we all know, 2020 has been anything but an ordinary year.

If you have been one of those 50 million travelers in the past, but are thinking about staying home this year, Iowa City Moms has some great recipes to help you create an easy and delicious Thanksgiving meal for your “just us” small Thanksgiving meal. These recipes will easily feed a family of 4-6. We’ve got everything you need – from turkey to dessert and everything in between. 

No Stress Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

I make the crock pot “Drunken Turkey” recipe for my family every Thanksgiving and the cranberry turkey recipe is delicious, too! It’s even great with chicken thighs for an easy fall weekday dinner. With 4 ingredients each, these recipes couldn’t be any easier. 

Corn Casserole

This corn casserole is a foolproof family favorite at our contributor Dawn’s house. 

Roasted Green Beans with Fall Flavors

This recipe comes together quickly and looks beautifully colorful on your holiday plate. 


  • 1.5 lbs of fresh green beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries (like Craisins)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Snap stems off of green beans, then rinse green beans.
  3. Place green beans in a large bowl, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper and stir together. 
  4. Place coated green beans on a baking pan.
  5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and add almonds and cranberries.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes more. 

Pumpkin Pie

If you’d like a pumpkin pie with a little extra flavor than the recipe on the back of the Libby’s can, check out this Spicy Pumpkin pie that’s, well, easy as pie. 


Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.


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