Thanksgiving for Three
November 16, 2022 8:10 PM   Subscribe

I am making Thanksgiving dinner for the second time. A couple of years ago, I made this sheet-pan dinner for two. But now there will be a total of three adults. Can I just increase the ingredients of this recipe by 50 percent, or do you have another suggestion? I started looking for a sheet-pan holiday dinner for three or four, but I got overwhelmed by the choices.

I am looking for the sweet spot between easy (for cooking and cleanup) and festive. I lean toward traditional, but I am open to any suggestions that are neither vegetarian nor pork-based. My current plan also includes store-bought pie, either Pillsbury crescent rolls or warmed up mini baguettes, and Waldorf salad made ahead of time.
posted by NotLost to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes... but I think your sheetpan might get a little crowded. If you overfill the pan, the food won't brown as nicely and will take longer to cook.

Did you have a lot of space on your sheetpan when you made it previously? If yes, then you are good to go. If the pan was pretty full, then put the stuffing and turkey on one pan (place this on the upper rack) and use a second pan for the rest of the items and place it on the lower rack. Keep an eye on the lower pan - the veggies may brown on the bottom more than you expect. If this happens, just swap the pan positions around at the halfway point of cooking.
posted by jenquat at 8:38 PM on November 16, 2022 [4 favorites]

Something like that should scale up reasonably well, since sheet pans are spread out so everything gets exposture to the heat at the same rate. The cranberry sauce is trivial to make in a pot if you want to free up some room in the oven; take those ingredients (I like a dash of cinnamon too) and toss them with a little water in a small pot and cook on the stovetop for maybe 20ish minutes, stirring once every few minutes. Note that one thing that will add difficulty would be if you wanted to add or swap to turkey breast; breasts cook to a lower temperature than thighs.
posted by Superilla at 8:38 PM on November 16, 2022

There's a lot to be said for working with a recipe you already know and like. I'd definitely just increase it and spread out into two pans if needed.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:47 PM on November 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm going to take a slightly different approach. When you think about it....the best part of Thanksgiving for most people are all the side dishes. Yeah sure okay the turkey is great, but it's often the gravy or the stuffing or the green bean casserole or something else people swoon over. And if you add another couple vegetable sides, that can fill up people's plates more. And the good news is, there are some vegetable sides that can cook on the stovetop while this stuff is in the oven.

So: yes, upping the stovetop sheet pan thing by 50% would work. But it would also lead to an issue with the pan crowding a bit. So here's how I'd adapt things -

1. Do the turkey, stuffing, and potatoes and squash just like they say, with the stuffing and potatoes and turkey thighs on the sheet pan. But - leave the cranberry sauce stuff out. You're going to do that on the stovetop, because it's easier. (Or, if you want something you can make ahead, you can do cranberry relish, which takes no cooking whatsoever; I'll tell you about that in a minute.) So the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and squash will take up the whole sheet pan.

2. The sprouts will go on their own, smaller, separate pan, prepped separately and added to the oven at the appropriate time.

3. If you want a cooked cranberry sauce - dump all the ingredients into a saucepan, and heat on like medium-low until the cranberries start popping. That's it. Or if you want something even easier and no-cook - dump the cranberries and half a tangerine into a food processor and blitz. Add a little sugar if it tastes like it needs it. That's it. You can make that ahead.

4. So you've got the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and squash and sprouts, plus the waldorf salad and rolls. ....I'd add just a simple green bean almondine - cook up about a half pound of fresh green beans until crisp-tender, then saute up a sliced shallot in some olive oil, toss the beans and a little garlic into that same frying pan for a couple seconds until they heat through, then drizzle with melted butter and some sliced almonds. Done.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:30 AM on November 17, 2022 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the help! I think I will split the pans this year. Some time in the future, I will try the green beans.
posted by NotLost at 12:58 PM on November 18, 2022

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