Courtesy of Little Northern Bakehouse

Personal Pies and Stuffing Cups: What to Serve at Thanksgiving During Coronavirus

Help spread fewer germs with individual portions

Courtesy of Little Northern Bakehouse

Whether your typical Thanksgiving dinner looks like a Norman Rockwell scene or more like a hodge-podge of various dishes in true pot-luck form, sharing a meal together is the main theme. Oftentimes, that means plopping one big serving spoon into large pots and pans brimming with roasted veggies, buttery mashed potatoes and more.

Thanksgiving 2020: Activities Ranked by Risk Level, According to the CDC

Having friends and family gather during a pandemic might make things a bit more complicated, though, as it remains important to slow the spread of the virus with certain safety precautions. Because servings spoons are often passed from hand to hand, it might be best to change things up this year.

An easy way to make Thanksgiving apropos for this year is to have one person serve the food or to follow recipes that yield individual servings of food. For example, for your appetizer, a savory apple butternut squash soup can easily be served into bowls by one person. For classic Thanksgiving sides,  you can put a fun twist on stuffing by creating bite-size stuffing cups.

If your holiday is an intimate affair due to travel restrictions, you don't have to skip out on turkey. Consider cooking a turkey breast instead of the whole bird. You'll still get that classic holiday flavor without having more leftovers than you could ever know what to do with.

Dessert might be the easiest course to adjust for individual servings — hand pies and tarts are both adorable options to replace your classic holiday pies. You can put them together using storebought pie crusts or mini tart shells or go the fully homemade route. Because individual pies and tarts are so small, it might even make for a more fun dessert experience. Instead of filling up on one pie slice after dinner, guests can try more than one flavor. One option that is well-suited to the festive fall flavors of Thanksgiving is fried apple hand pies.

Don't let coronavirus safety considerations spoil your Thanksgiving cheer. Even though your celebration might look different this year, you can still have fun and try new things with this fun Thanksgiving mini-menu.

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup


3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups apples, peeled, quartered and chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried ginger
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup apple cider
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)


Preheat oven to 425.

Toss squash with olive oil and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.

Roast the squash until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large stockpot.

Add the onion, fresh ginger and apple and toss to coat with the butter.

Saute onion and apple until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and dried ginger.

Continue to saute a few additional minutes until fragrant.

Add squash to pot and stir to combine.

Add the apple cider and chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil.

Turn down heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.

Puree soup until you have reached a smooth but thick consistency using an immersion blender or food processor.

Serve hot garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

Recipe courtesy of Emily Paster, West of the Loop

Stuffing Cups


1 Seeds & Grains bread, cubed
8 tablespoons melted vegan buttery spread, plus more to grease muffin tins
2 cups leeks, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground golden flaxseeds
6 tablespoons warm water
1 cup vegetable stock
Salt & pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a muffin tin with buttery spread.

In a small bowl, make a flax egg by mixing the ground flaxseed and water and let sit for 10 minutes.

Melt buttery spread in a large skillet, add leeks and celery, and sauce over medium heat until softened but not coloured.

Toss bread cubes, veggies, herbs, and nutmeg in a large bowl. In a separate bow, mix the vegetable stock and the flax egg.

Pour the liquid mixture over the bread mixture and toss until the bread is well-coated. Fill the muffin tin with the mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and holding together. Rest for 5 minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack.

Recipe courtesy of Little Northern Bakehouse

Sage-Rubbed Turkey Breast


1 tablespoon Rubbed Sage
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper Black
1 turkey breast, fresh or frozen, thawed (5 to 6 pounds)
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix sage, seasoned salt and black pepper in small bowl.

Place turkey breast on rack in foil-lined roasting pan.

Spread seasoning mixture over entire surface and under skin of turkey breast.

Cover loosely with foil.

Roast 1 hour.

Remove foil.

Add water to pan.

Roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer or until internal temperature reaches 165°F, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Remove turkey breast from oven.

Cover loosely with foil.

Let stand 15 minutes.

Transfer to platter or carving board and slice.

Recipe courtesy of McCormick

Fried Apple Hand Pies


For the pastry:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus 1 cup for rolling out dough
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the filling:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced

For the glaze:

2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk


For the pastry:

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Cut in shortening until well combined using a fork or pastry cutter.

Whisk egg and milk together and mix until the dough comes together.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour or until you are ready to make the pies.

For the filling:

Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl and toss together.

Add water and cornstarch to a pan and whisk together.

Add apple mixture to the pan and mix together.

Place over medium- high heat.

Cook, stirring often about 10 minutes.

Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.

When you are ready to make the pies, divide the dough into thirds.

Roll dough out over a well floured surface.

Add additional flour to the top of the dough if needed to make it easy to roll.

Use a 4 - 5 inch circle (a small saucer or large cookie cutter) to cut pastry into circles.

Add about 1 tablespoon of apple filling to the center of each circle.

Fold over and pinch seams closed.

Fold edges over and press edges with a fork.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Heat oil to 375 degrees F.

Cook 2 or 3 pies at a time, turning to brown both sides.

Remove from oil to a paper towel-lined rack to drain.

For the glaze:

Whisk powdered sugar and milk together until smooth in a medium sized bowl.

Dip fried pies into icing and drain on a wire rack placed in a baking pan until icing is set, about 10 -15 minutes.

Serve immediately.


Recipe courtesy of Miss in the Kitchen