Three Tasty Thanksgiving Treats for Gatherings of Small Sizes

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Friday, 20 November 2020
Three Tasty Thanksgiving Treats for Gatherings of Small Sizes

The flavors of Thanksgiving are always something to celebrate, even if the holiday looks a little different this year. Family recipes can carry stories from Thanksgivings past, which is especially important this year. If this year is time to make some new memories, gather up your household and try recreating some of these dishes!

These dishes take holiday classics and make simple adjustments to accommodate smaller groups!

Cranberry Sauce


Fresh Wisconsin cranberries make this the best cranberry sauce ever! This recipe is easily cut in half to make a smaller portion.

IngredientsCranberry Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice (bottled or one large orange if fresh squeezed)
  • ½ cup water
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 piece of orange peel (use a potato peel or paring knife)


  1. Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon, and orange peel.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  4. After about ten minutes or when most of the cranberries have popped, remove from heat.
  5. Let cool and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pie


This sweet potato pie is perfect for a smaller crowd. Just as delicious, but without too many leftovers!

IngredientsPie Ingredients


  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 3 sheets)
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato (small or 1/2 of a medium-sized)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch teaspoon salt


  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Crumble graham crackers and pour crumbs into a small bowl and stir in melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Pack the graham cracker mixture into a greased five-inch pan (some glass containers for leftovers are this size if you do not have a pan of that size, be sure to check if they are oven safe)
  4. Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes.
  5. While the crust cooling, combine the sweet potato, egg, sugar, cream, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt
  6. Pour the sweet potato mixture over the crust and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Let cool while whisking the maple syrup and heavy cream.
  8. Scoop the whipped cream onto the pie and enjoy!

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Banana bread is a great dessert to have year round, but is a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

IngredientsBanana Bread Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups ripe and mashed banana (3-4 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Optional: ¾ cup chocolate chips or walnuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars.
  4. Add in your mashed bananas followed by the eggs, yogurt or sour cream, and vanilla.
  5. Once the wet ingredients are mixed, fold in the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5 loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Let it cool completely before removing from the pan and enjoy!


Hayley Bartlein is a Community Programs Intern for the 2020-2021 school year. She is currently a senior Communication and Business Administration student at Carroll University and plans on pursuing a teaching degree after graduation. In her spare time, she enjoys running and hiking.


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