Thanksgiving dinner for 1

Ian Freimuth/Creative Commons

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves alone on family-based holidays like Thanksgiving. Maybe you aren’t American or Canadian so you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Maybe you’re an EECS major, and holidays don’t exist anymore. Maybe your family forgot about you. We don’t know why you’re alone on Thanksgiving, but hopefully we can help make it less depressing. Even though you’re by yourself on a day that’s meant to be about friends and family, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a delicious feast for one. Here at the Clog, we’ve created a Thanksgiving meal that won’t constantly remind you of how alone you are.


It would be wise to skip appetizers. Appetizers are designed to be shared by a large group of people, so making appetizers and then eating them by yourself would only serve as a cruel reminder of your loneliness. If you really feel the need to eat something before the main course, make sure to only account for yourself. For example, only make two deviled eggs. But, like we said, we advise against this because making only two deviled eggs is inherently sad.

Main course

Obviously, you shouldn’t go buy an entire turkey, unless you’re really hungry. Having that much leftover turkey is just as disheartening as eating all of the appetizers by yourself. Luckily, there are single servings of turkey available at every grocery store. Yes, we’re talking about Lunchables with turkey and cheddar. These delicious trays of meat discs and Capri Suns will ensure that no leftover turkey will be mocking you in the fridge. It might even remind you of grade school lunches, which isn’t such a bad thing. Perhaps you can think back to a time when you were surrounded by classmates in the cafeteria and you didn’t have to design meals to limit your sense of loneliness.

Side dishes

There are actually some benefits to eating Thanksgiving dinner alone. Since no one else is there, you don’t have to prove to anyone that you eat healthy. So no salads or non-potato vegetables are required. However, as we cautioned before, don’t make too much of any one side dish. A good rule of thumb is to never use more than one and a half potatoes. Or drown your sorrows in mashed potatoes and gravy. Whatever floats your boat.


Contrary to our advice for previous courses, you should have enough dessert to feed an entire extended family. We suggest a whole Costco-style family sized pumpkin pie. By this point you’re probably starting to feel the loneliness sink in. Eating several servings worth of dessert is proven to fight loneliness, and on top of that there won’t be anyone around to see you devour an entire pie. Don’t even bother slicing it. Just take a fork and dive in.

If you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner alone this year, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. There are probably dozens of other people who will also be enjoying Lunchables as a main course. Sure, you might be missing out on the feelings of unconditional love and support that only family can provide, but that’s what the pie is for.

Contact Ryan Melvin at [email protected].