Thanksgiving Dinner — How To Go All Out in a Smaller Space

No matter how formal or informal the gathering, creating the perfect Thanksgiving meal for friends and family to enjoy takes a lot of planning, preparation and patience. Unfortunately, apartment living during this season often creates a lot of additional stress because preparing a meal in a smaller space isn’t always easy. Ensuring that you have the right recipes, tools and ideas in mind will help to ensure your holiday is a success — no matter the size of your space. Here are our three tips for going all out for Turkey day in a smaller space:

Simple Is Better

When it comes to cooking in an apartment, aiming for simple recipes is often better than trying to create a complex meal. When picking your dishes to add to the menu, remember to stay realistic with the amount of space you have. A decently sized turkey will take up a sizable amount of space in your fridge while it thaws for a few days. Then, your turkey will preoccupy your entire oven for several hours as it cooks. When picking recipes, aim for dishes that require less ingredients, therefore taking up less space in your fridge, and require little to no time in the oven.

For a tasty side that will be sure to warm your guests up, try a simple butternut squash soup. This recipe has many common ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen, plus it can all be made in one pot. To save some time, try this 20 minute delicious cranberry sauce recipe — it has a hint of orange zest to pack a little extra punch. To satisfy your guests that have a sweet tooth, this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake only takes 10 minutes to make, plus it only has a handful of ingredients. 

All The Right Gadgets

When it comes to creating a whole Thanksgiving buffet, having the right kitchen tools to work with your space can make all the difference. Leading up to the holiday season, it’s critical to go through everything you have in your cabinets and drawers. Prioritize and purge the items that you don’t need or that take up too much space, that way you reserve plenty of cabinet and cupboard space for extra ingredients and food.

When it comes to mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, these items can often become cluttered and disorganized in your cabinets and drawers. To free up some space, replace your mismatched bowls and cups with a nesting bowl set. This nifty tool will help keep everything in one space and decluttered. Short on counter space? Get your hands on a super handy over-the-sink cutting board. This cutting board extends to fit almost any sink size, allowing you some extra space to cut fruits and veggies. If you have a bulky and awkward cheese grater that just doesn’t seem to want to fit right into any drawer, consider swapping it out for a collapsible cheese grater. By switching out a few common tools in your kitchen for space-saving options, you will be sure to notice a major difference.

Dining Out

If creating a whole Thanksgiving meal and hosting all your friends and family doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t sweat it. Skip all the preparation and decorations by opting to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant. There are several great places to take your family that are open during the day that offer a mouth-watering, traditional meal — just be sure to plan in advance and make reservations. 

The beautiful McCormick Ranch Golf Club will offer an extensive buffet with delectable dishes such as herb roasted turkey and white wine shallow poached salmon. For steak and turkey lovers, enjoy a classic slow-roasted turkey with brioche stuffing at The Capital Grille or dine from their regular menu. If you’re looking for something more casual and less expensive, Boston Market offers plenty of options for those looking to dine in at a restaurant, as well as home delivery and catering. 

Whether you’re living in an apartment, condo or house, there are plenty of ways to go all out for Thanksgiving even in a smaller space. When prepping for the big day, pick recipes and kitchen tools that can make the most of your space. However, there’s also no shame in throwing in the towel and enjoying a lovely “home cooked” Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant.