Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Menu

On a budget? These affordable Thanksgiving recipes deliver big flavor at a low cost. Stock up on the ingredients for these recipes that will keep your wallet and your stomach full. Plus, learn how to decorate on a dime all season long.

Planning a Thanksgiving menu on a budget can be stressful, but we're here to help. And you don't have to sacrifice taste, either. These affordable Thanksgiving dinner recipes are packed with all the flavors of fall without putting a strain on your wallet.

Bake up turkey, then add a side of stuffing cups, a warm drink, some butternut squash, seasonal dinner rolls, and of course, a pumpkin dessert. Your guests will thank you for the delicious meal almost as much as your bank account will thank you (well, if it could talk) for not overspending.

We'll raise our cider cups to that!

Entree: Maple-Mustard-Sauced Turkey Thighs

Rather than purchasing a whole turkey, use cost-effective turkey thighs for this five-ingredient recipe that's both budget-friendly AND easy to make. A delicious maple-mustard sauce coats both the turkey and the potatoes in a blend of tangy and sweet.

After just 20 minutes of prep time, this simple slow cooker entree cooks itself so you can focus on the sides, desserts, and oh yes—enjoying your company!

Get the recipe: Maple-Mustard-Sauced Turkey Thighs

Prefer white meat? Here's exactly how to cook moist and flavorful turkey breast.

Stuffing: Rosemary, Cherry, and Ham Stuffing Cups

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without stuffing. These easy individual stuffing cups can be made in a muffin pan using some basic vegetables. Dried cherries and rosemary add seasonal flair.

How to Make Homemade Bread Cubes:

  1. Stack several slices of bread.
  2. Use a serrated knife to slice into 1/2-inch strips.
  3. Turn the stack of bread and cut strips into 1/2-inch cubes.
  4. Spread out diced bread in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 300˚F.

Get the recipe: Rosemary, Cherry, and Ham Stuffing Cups

Vegetable Side Dish: Crispy Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a budget Thanksgiving dinner win. Not only is it a tasty fall favorite, it goes a long way and is inexpensive when in season—which, conveniently, is right around Thanksgiving.

Plus, the squash does double duty in two recipes on this menu list (the stuffing and this roasted vegetable side). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for an affordable Thanksgiving side dish your friends and family will love.

Get the recipe: Crispy Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash

Want to save even more dough by planting and harvesting your own winter squash? Get our top garden-grown secrets here.

Bread: Spiced Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Flour, yeast, pantry-staple spices, a can of pumpkin...recipes don't come much more budget-friendly than this.

These perfectly fluffy rolls are topped with toasted sesame seeds and infused with flavor from secret ingredients: cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne pepper. If that's not your taste, you can make them plain, too—it's totally up to you!

Whatever you do, don't forget to stir together a few tasty spreads to melt on top of the warm rolls. Our favorite flavor pairings:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter + 2 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • 1/4 cup softened butter + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup softened butter + 1 tablespoon whiskey

Get the recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Drink: Hot Spiced Cider

Warm up a crowd with this simple spiced cider. All you need is a carton of apple cider and a few seasonal spices to make this drink recipe. Impress your guests by serving it in carved out apple "cups" garnished with cinnamon sticks. (They also make pretty table decor!)

Get the recipe: Hot Spiced Cider

Dessert: Pumpkin Pan Pie

If you're feeding a small army this Thanksgiving, don't fuss over single-serving pies or even pies baked in traditional 9-inch rounds. This seasonal dessert is baked in a sheet pan rather than a pie plate to serve 16 with just one batch.

Top each slice with a generous dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!

How to Make Cinnamon Whipped Cream:

  1. Pour 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl.
  2. Beat until soft peaks begin to form and the tips of the cream curl when you lift up the (turned off) beaters.
  3. Gently fold in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon using a spatula.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pan Pie

Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Decorations

Holiday decor doesn't have to cost a fortune. Save your cash so you can splurge a bit more on the main event (the food) by following these tips:


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