A Low Key Thanksgiving Dinner for Four (Grain, Gluten, Dairy-Free)

November 22, 2020

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

No gettin’ around it, Thanksgiving this year is gonna be different. Where typically you’d see extended family gathered and sharing in the day, COVID guidelines are putting limits on many of us. But the day is what you make it, and we’re gonna make it great!

I’ve shared all my feast-level Thanksgiving recipes. Those are still available, and never changing because they’ll taste as good this year as they have the last 7. But where many of us are keeping our groups small, I wanted to share something a little different for this year. An entire Thanksgiving dinner, in one post, portioned for four people (with some light leftovers).

Instead of a whole turkey, we do a turkey breast. Instead of a pan of stuffing, we stuff and roll the turkey with vegetables and herbs. Green bean casserole is swapped for simple asparagus and mushrooms and it’s all paired with the creamiest, fluffiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever had (while still being dairy-free). Pan gravy and a cranberry glaze finish it off, and ever bite is symphonic. If I do say so myself.

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Perfect Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey Breast

Perfectly portioned for a small group, a stuffed turkey breast gives you all the Thanksgiving flavors, but quicker and more fool-proof than a full turkey.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, paleo, Thanksgiving, turkey


  • 1/2 turkey breast just one side, skin on

For the stuffing

  • 3/4 cup leek finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tsp rosemary finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves separated from stem
  • 1 tbsp sage leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp almonds finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 3 tsp ground allspice
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375. In an oven-safe large saute pan on medium heat, combine all the stuffing ingredients except the almond flour and allspice powder. Season with salt and pepper, and sweat for 3-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl, add the almond flour and mix together. Keep the pan though - don't clean it.
  • Fillet open the turkey breast (see video). Season the inside with salt and pepper, and 2 tsp allspice powder. Add the stuffing and carefully roll the turkey breast up.
  • Tie the breast up with butcher's twine and season the outside with another tsp allspice powder, some salt and pepper.
  • Add a couple tbsp olive oil to the pan, place back on the stove on medium heat. Once the residual vegetables left in the pan begin to sizzle in the oil a little, put the turkey breast in, skin side up. Allow it to cook for a couple minutes, then spoon some of the olive oil over top the breast and put it in the oven to cook until it reaches an internal temp of 162 (about 45-60 minutes). Allow it to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Creamy, Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes & Grain-Free Dijon Pan Gravy

Our family doesn't do dairy, but I'm not making multiple types of mashed potatoes just because someone else comes over. So I make these potatoes, which are as good as any and a total crowd pleaser. I just don't tell anyone they're dairy-free and they never know. At least until they ask me for the recipe.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, mashed potatoes, potatoes, Thanksgiving
Servings: 4


  • 3-4 large russet potatoes washed, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garcli smashed, peeled, stemmed
  • 5 tbsp vegan butter melted
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth heated in microwave for 90 seconds
  • 1/3 cup liquid from cooking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • TT salt
  • TT pepper

For the gravy

  • pan drippings if making alongside roasted turkey
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • starch slurry 1tbsp water with 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. To it, add a few splashes of red or white wine vinegar and a few large pinches of salt. Add the potatoes and smashed garlic, and boil until potatoes are very tender and the skins are starting to pull away (20-25 minutes).
  • Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer into a large bowl with the warmed stock and melted butter. Add the Vegenaise, potato water and garlic powder and work together with a hand mixer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
  • Assuming you're cooking a turkey, use the pan for the gravy. Put it on medium high heat, add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the slurry and dijon mustard and whisk until it thickens. Remove from heat, whisk frequently, and just before serving.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Asparagus & Mushrooms

A simple side for Thanksgiving to replace the classic but sometimes heavy green bean casserole.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: asparagus, mushrooms, sides, Thanksgiving, vegan
Servings: 4


  • 1 bunch asparagus washed, trimmed, cut into 2 in pieces.
  • 5-7 cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig thyme fresh
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt
  • pepper


  • In a pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, asparagus, mushrooms, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Cranberry Balsamic Glaze

Ditch the cranberry "sauce" or relish or whatever. Nobody eats that stuff and we all know it. Try this instead - a little drizzle across the whole plate will make it sing.
Cook Time15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Add the ingredients in a pan on medium heat. Simmer to reduce to a syrup consistency. 10-15 minutes.

So even though you can’t be with everyone you’d like to be, you can really treat the ones you are able to spend the day with. And the whole meal start to finish comes together in about two hours, so you get to save yourself some stress as well. Happy Thanksgiving, all. And looking forward to the days of sitting around a table together again.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Lucy Cruz says:

    5 stars
    Thank you Chris and Julia, I am really looking forward to cooking all of the holiday recipes you have graciously shared. Finally something positive to look forward too.
    Love and Light to you Both
    ~ ThistleLane ~

  2. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for Christmas Eve dinner and it was incredible! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Janie says:

    Our turkey was so delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  4. Shannon says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family Chris. I just realized my husband purchased chicken breast instead of turkey breast. Will this still work?

  5. Trish B says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for our Thanksgiving feast since I work tomorrow. Everything was AMAZING! I’ve been gluten free/dairy free for the past couple of months so this was perfect. Thank you!

  6. Amy says:

    Have you tried prepping the turkey the day before and just popping it into the oven when it’s time to cook it? Wondering if the stuffing holds its flavor and texture. Seems like it would.

  7. Michelle says:

    I watched Chris’ video on IG this morning and I’m planning on making the mashed taters and the asparagus and mushrooms for Thanksgiving, and saving the turkey for our Christmas dinner.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, Chris! I have Celiac Disease and a dairy allergy and I feel like you created this beautiful meal just for little ole me to share with my family! ❤️

  8. Laura Boyd says:

    I can’t find turkey breast ANYWHERE! Could I use boneless chicken breast??

  9. Joana says:

    These recipes sound amazing, but I beg to differ about nobody liking cranberry sauce! To me Thanksgiving turkey is not complete without cranberry sauce, homemade of course.

  10. Lori says:

    Oh, this is great! I’m going to give this turkey recipe a try this week– I really appreciate the scaled down holiday recipes!

  11. Amra Hajric says:

    Everything you do is top notch! This was so relevant and needed right now; we were about to give up on TG dinner thinking it’s not worth the trouble for just the four of us, but this may just save TG. :)

  12. Norah says:

    Thank you for this! I realized today I need a plan for our small American family overseas. This is perfect.

  13. Z says:

    Great content! Minor feedback: horizontal videos please! Y’all are too sophisticated for vertical videos.

  14. Amanda says:

    The cranberry balsamic glaze looks like it take the dish to the next level! We’re still doing our normal thanksgiving (with less people), but I can’t wait to make this form Sunday Roast this winter.

  15. Katie says:

    I’m excited for this! But first.. bone in or boneless on that Turkey breast? Clearly I’ve never made one. Thx!

  16. DD says:

    It will be 68 and sunny here on Thanksgiving, so we will throw blankets and cushions outdoors and gather on the lawn. We’re so accustomed now to yelling at each other from a distance that it will seem normal, and we will give thanks.

    The entrée is a shrimp and oyster perlou. I’ll prepare individual nibbles of smoked trout pâté, cheese, and fruit. Also separate dessert boxes of rum pecan bars, pumpkin pie custards, and something decadently chocolate. I care about the menu, but mostly we care about holding each other close in our hearts, if not in our arms.

  17. Janie says:

    5 stars
    This is exactly what I needed this year. I bought a Turkey breast because there is just 3 Adults. This will take that Turkey breast up a notch. Can’t wait to prepare this meal. Also sharing with my niece who was just diagnosed with Hashimoto Disease. Thank you!

  18. April says:

    Recipes look amazing…. but where are the plates from?! ☺️ Thank you!!!

  19. Lauren says:

    If we have someone who is dairy-free but not egg-free or vegan, can I substitute with regular mayo if I can’t find the vegan mayo?

  20. Liz says:

    In the video and instructions, you mention adding white wine or red wine vinegar to the water for the potatoes. What does the vinegar – is it for taste or for some other cooking reaction?

    Adding mustard to the gravy is an interesting touch that I’ll try.

    • Chris says:

      It’s just for taste in the potatoes. I season my pasta water the same way. :)

      • Jilly says:

        5 stars
        I’m not a big turkey fan but make it every year for our big family who gathers at our place on Thanksgiving. Since it was just five of us this year, I made your turkey. Loved it!!! This is definitely special.

  21. Heather says:

    5 stars
    Meal looks amazing. Can you tell me where you got those plates? Love them!

  22. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. It is such a comfort to me that you are acknowledging that my holiday we will be different for the first time. I appreciate you!

  23. Colleen says:

    Looks delicious! Now, what time will you be here on Thanksgiving to cook this for me? Lol!

  24. Cait says:

    Vegenaise is mentioned in the steps on the potato recipe but doesn’t appear in the ingredients!

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

We recently painted the trim and hallway doors the most dramatic shade of red, and I find myself making excuses to pass through this part of our house. It’s so rich and romantic and glossy and inspiring. It’s like the hallway is wearing lipstick. She’s feeling herself :) I can barely remember what it looked […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations