Hosting Thanksgiving on a budget? These affordable Thanksgiving recipes deliver big flavor at a low cost.

By BH&G Holiday Editors
Updated July 29, 2020

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. Stock up on the ingredients for these recipes that will keep your wallet and your stomach full. As an added bonus, you can use some of the ingredients in a few easy Thanksgiving recipes, so you can keep your grocery list short. Your guests will thank you for the delicious holiday meal almost as much as your bank account will thank you (well, if it could talk) for not overspending on this low-budget Thanksgiving menu. We'll raise our cider cups to that!

Budget Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Save a few dollars by serving up these budget-friendly Thanksgiving recipes:

See photos and learn more about each of these budget-friendly recipes, below.

maple-mustard-sauced turkey thighs
Credit: Jacob Fox

Entrée: 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 entrée cooks itself so you can focus on the sides, desserts, and oh yes—your company! This cheap Thanksgiving turkey may be easy and budget-friendly, but it tastes like a gourmet meal.

Rosemary, Cherry, and Ham Stuffing Cups
Credit: Andy Lyons

Stuffing: Rosemary, Cherry, and Ham Stuffing Cups

No inexpensive 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. Since this recipe calls for smaller amounts of popular stuffing ingredients like onion, celery, and dried cherries, you can use the leftovers in a few other cheap Thanksgiving dishes.

Crispy Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash
Credit: Andy Lyons

Vegetable Side Dish: Crispy Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash

Winter squash is a budget Thanksgiving dinner win. Not only is it a tasty fall favorite, but it also 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.

Spiced Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Bread: Spiced Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Flour, yeast, pantry-staple spices, a can of don't come much more budget-friendly than this. Plus, you probably already have most of these ingredients on hand, another advantage of this budget-friendly Thanksgiving recipe. 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
Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider
Credit: Andy Lyons

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 garnished with cinnamon sticks (they also make pretty table decor!). These cheap Thanksgiving drink recipes might be easy to make, but we guarantee everyone will go back for (at least) a second cup.

Get the recipe: Hot Spiced Cider

Pumpkin Pan Pie
Credit: Blaine Moats

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 one batch. You can use this cheap Thanksgiving dessert recipe year after year if you're cooking for a crowd (or just love leftovers).

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 of 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


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