How To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner for Two in an Apartment

Post by 
Jenna Gnieski

As much as we love the holidays, we recognize that it also comes with a great deal of stress. Decorating, cleaning, and prepping dinner is no easy task so we’d love to help and take something off your plate. In this blog, we’re sharing our tips on how to cook a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for two in your apartment.

1. Prep early

Get started on buying your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients early this year. With all of the supply chain issues, you may just walk into empty store shelves if you wait until the week before to buy ingredients.

Get your turkey early. 

Keep your eye out at your local grocery store for turkeys, or even ask a store associate when they expect they’ll be coming in. That way, you’ll be ready to snag one when they’re set out. 

The same goes for side dishes. Decide what you want to serve and make sure to stock up on those canned ingredients. You can buy fresh ingredients, like herbs and vegetables, closer to the holiday. 

If you’re reading this days before Thanksgiving and weren’t able to grab a turkey, have no fear. Click here for some additional meat options that are still just as delicious and filling. 

Plus, this is a great idea if you want to start some new Thanksgiving food traditions.

2. Clear your space for cooking

Cooking in an apartment can be frustrating due to the lack of space and full-size kitchen. Here’s a game plan we created to help you cook your main and side dishes so that you can maximize your counters and cooking areas. 

Move all appliances and decor off your countertops that aren’t necessary for cooking. Examples might be toasters, coffee makers or fruit bowls. Find a temporary place for these items to stay while you cook. Putting them in places like cabinets and pantries will create more space.

Once you’ve cleared your space, let the cooking commence!

3. Cook Thanksgiving side dishes the day before

Yep, you heard us right. By cooking your Thanksgiving side dishes the day before, you’ll have less stress when cooking the turkey or other main dishes.

In an apartment, refrigerator space is prime real estate. Since you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two, you likely won’t have too many sides to make. We recommend cooking 2-4 easy side dishes and cutting the recipes in half. That way, you won’t overcrowd your fridge and you’ll have just enough food for some leftovers. 

Another pro to cooking side dishes the day before is you won’t be overworking your stove to death. Trust us, the last thing we want is for you to have cold turkey because your oven shut off. What. a. nightmare.

4. Clean while you cook

Another important tip that will help you during your Thanksgiving cooking is cleaning while you cook. 

Instead of waiting on the couch for your pie crust to finish baking, you could be washing dishes and utensils. That way when you’re ready to cook your next side dish, you’ll already be prepped and cleaned. Cleaning while you cook also helps keep your precious counter space clear.

Keeping a clean space while you cook is a general rule of thumb for most chefs, anyway. We’re just reiterating what the professionals say!

5.  Cook the turkey and reheat the side dishes

Since you cooked your side dishes the day before, the only thing you’ll have to worry about now is cooking the turkey. Prepare your main dish and let it roast in the oven for a few hours. 

After you take the turkey out, turn the oven off. While you cut and dish up the turkey, you can place your side dishes in the oven so they heat up. We recommend keeping the side dishes in for 15-20 minutes to ensure the best temperature for eating. 

Let’s be real, no one likes eating cold food on Thanksgiving! Now cold leftovers on the other hand...

6. Fill your plate and eat!

Sit down and enjoy your delicious home cooked Thanksgiving meal for two. 


We hope we were able to provide you with some Thanksgiving cooking tips that help take some stress away this holiday. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner in an apartment all day can work up a hefty appetite so enjoy your meal and spend the day with loved ones. Don’t let those leftovers go to waste! We all love a good day-after Thanksgiving meal.

If you’re looking for an apartment in Pittsburgh, we’d like to invite you to tour one of our many Pittsburgh apartment communities. As a company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Birgo Realty is always here for you. Interested in one of our available apartments? Contact our leasing agents at 412-567-1324 for more information.

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