25 Budget-Friendly Recipes to Fill Your Thanksgiving Table

Treat your family and friends to an impressive dinner, even if you're trying to save money.

November 10, 2022

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Feast on All Your Favorites

From fresh herbs and fancy cheeses to pricey nuts and best-quality bottles of wine, it’s easy to overspend when you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner. It’s tempting to want to go all-out (even if you’re planning a smaller get-together) but it’s not necessary in order to cook a truly special meal. Even if you’re trying to stick to a budget, you can still put delicious appetizers, a roast, plenty of sides and some traditional desserts on the table — you just need the right recipes and a few smart swaps. (Spoiler alert: We’ve even got a trick for stretching a bottle of wine so that you can serve up a Thanksgiving cocktail, too!) Ready to plan your feast and save some money? These are the recipes you need, starting with this one-pan roasted chicken. It’s just the right size for a smaller group (why spend money on extra turkey that you don’t need?) and, with a touch of sage, rosemary and thyme, it will make your entire kitchen smell just like the holidays.

Get the Recipe: Thanksgiving Chicken Over Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon

This unbelievably sweet and delicious side comes together in a matter of minutes and using little more than sweet potatoes. A quick toss in olive oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper (and a few minutes in a hot oven) give them all the flavor they need.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon

Small-Batch Green Bean Casserole

A pie plate is the perfect vessel for a scaled-down version of green bean casserole. The shallow dish guarantees a properly balanced ratio of bean to topping in every serving. In this version, the classic layer of fried onions takes a turn, thanks to the addition of saltines and butter. That and a simple sauce made from sauteed mushrooms mean your guests may proclaim this the best green bean casserole. Ever.

Get the Recipe: Small-Batch Green Bean Casserole

Charred Creamed Corn

You know that half-used package of cream cheese in your refrigerator? Put it to good use by combining it with frozen corn, butter and seasonings for a simple and delicious creamed corn.

Get the Recipe: Charred Creamed Corn

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Wondering how to turn a handful of ingredients from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry into an appetizer fit for Thanksgiving Day? Make spinach and artichoke dip! To make this recipe go even further, spread it on crispy slices of bread (right before serving) and make crostini.

Get the Recipe: Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip


Cornbread is a must at Thanksgiving — the subtle sweetness pairs perfectly with roasted turkey. We love this recipe because it’s a breeze to make and you don’t need many ingredients.

Get the Recipe: Cornbread-Andouille Stuffing

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Casserole

This recipe has all the flavors of the Thanksgiving classic, just in smaller form. Honey, I shrunk the sweet potato casserole! Mini marshmallows ensure you get lots of charred edges, which are pretty much the best part of sweet potato casserole anyhow. For ease, you can assemble the ramekins on a baking sheet when toasting the marshmallows.

Get the Recipe: Small-Batch Sweet Potato Casserole

Pumpkin Roll

Skip the pumpkin pie and make this popular rolled cake instead. It has plenty of pumpkin-and-spice flavor — plus a simple, sweet cream cheese filling. Pecans can be pricey so feel free to omit them and save a few dollars.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Roll

Perfect Roast Turkey

Ina keeps it simple with this easy roast turkey recipe. She uses refrigerator staples like lemon, onion and garlic to flavor the turkey. And, just one bunch of fresh herbs to buy: thyme.

Get the Recipe: Perfect Roast Turkey

Small-Batch Dinner Rolls

Timing homemade dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner can be tricky, but this recipe makes it simple. Although these rolls require a few rises, the longest one happens overnight. That means you can pull the rolls from the fridge a couple of hours before dinner, then bake them right when the meal is almost ready.

Get the Recipe: Small-Batch Dinner Rolls

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Who knew you could make this Thanksgiving classic with as few as four ingredients? Tyler makes his with fresh cranberries, an orange, sugar and a cinnamon stick.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Sauce

The Best Corn Casserole

We added two simple ingredients (Cheddar and chives) to this classic side that goes from mixing bowl to oven in less than 10 minutes. It bakes up golden brown and puffy — perfect for a potluck or holiday gathering.

Get the Recipe: The Best Corn Casserole

Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Roulade

This recipe calls for a few ingredients that are a bit pricier (like turkey breast, fresh herbs and wine) but it takes care of four dishes in one: your turkey, stuffing, green beans and squash. Serve this pretty roast with cranberry sauce and dinner rolls and Thanksgiving dinner’s done!

Get the Recipe: Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Roulade

Air Fryer Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Rich, creamy, cheesy and perfectly savory, these scalloped sweet potatoes are sure to be a favorite at your Thanksgiving spread. And since they're made in an air fryer, you get a smaller batch — no wasting money cooking extra servings you don't need.

Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad

The great thing about this salad is that it only requires a handful of ingredients and is so easy to adapt to whatever you have on hand. Out of walnuts? Throw in pecans or sliced almonds — whatever you have in your pantry. Don’t have dried cranberries? Thinly sliced apple works well, too.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad

Sourdough Bread Stuffing

Herbs really make a difference when it comes to stuffing and dressing, which is why we recommend using them for this homemade version. If fresh herbs aren’t in your budget, use dried instead. Just be sure to use 1/3 the amount that the recipe calls for — dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor.

Get the Recipe: Sourdough Bread Stuffing

Apple Pie

Apples are abundant (and reasonably priced) during the fall and winter, making them the perfect filling for a homemade pie. You can save even more money by making your own pie crust — you only need 5 ingredients.

Get the Recipe: Apple Pie

Apple Raspberry Sangria

Stretch a bottle of wine by combining it with seasonal flavors like apple cider and making a punch. No one will miss the wine when they get a sip of this sweet, cinnamon-spiced sangria.

Get the Recipe: Apple Raspberry Sangria

Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe for tender, fluffy biscuits is a classic. You’ll use it for Thanksgiving dinner — and plenty more family dinners throughout the year.

Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are always a favorite when it comes to pre-dinner bites. Giada’s are doable on a budget since they’re stuffed with ingredients that you probably already have on hand in your pantry and refrigerator: seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and cheese.

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms

Mashed Potatoes

Instead of splurging on more expensive dairy products like heavy cream, these mashed potatoes are made with a common refrigerator staple: milk. Give them an extra-special touch by incorporating a little bit of nutmeg.

Get the Recipe: Mashed Potatoes

Butternut Squash Soup

In-season butternut squash is a must at Thanksgiving dinner and, with just 4 more ingredients (plus a little salt and pepper), you can easily turn it into an elegant soup to serve before your holiday meal.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

If made-from-scratch green bean casserole is a must at your Thanksgiving dinner then this is the recipe to make. Nancy keeps things simple and sticks to the basics (so you won’t have to spend a fortune on ingredients), combining them to make a creamy and delicious holiday-worthy side.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows

Sunny’s version of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes keeps things simple with just 6 ingredients. If pecans aren’t in the budget, you can skip them — no one will miss them when they see the perfectly toasted marshmallows on top!

Get the Recipe: Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows

Turkey Gravy

Make the most of the ingredients you buy for your Thanksgiving dinner! Ree has an easy gravy recipe that uses the leftover turkey dripping and giblets. Better yet, she’s able to turn them into a savory gravy with just 3 additional ingredients: flour, pepper and chicken broth.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Gravy

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