6 Easy and Affordable Foods to Prepare for Thanksgiving


Stressed over how much money you might spend on Thanksgiving dinner? Here are 6 easy and affordable meals for Thanksgiving that are still delicious.Thanksgiving is in just two weeks.

Were you invited somewhere, or will you be hosting?

Thanksgiving dinner always tends to be massive, so a lot of people opt to do a potluck-style dinner so everyone can pitch in and share the costs.

If you’re on a budget for the holidays, don’t worry, because cooking at home should never be as expensive as ordering already-made food.

Check out these 6 Thanksgiving side dishes you can prepare that are tasty, cheap, and easy to prepare.

1. Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

This is a cold dish, but it’s still hearty, filling, and the perfect combination of crunchy and sweet.

Store-bought cranberry sauce has quite a bit of sugar, so you could swap that out this year for this recipe.

All you need is wild rice, pecans, scallions, cranberries, salt and pepper, oil, red wine vinegar, and a little sugar. You may even already have some of these items in your cabinets.

2. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked mac and cheese - Easy and cheap Thanksgiving food
Image Credit: Flickr

Someone makes this dish every year for Thanksgiving in my family, and my mom taught me the recipe a few years ago, so sometimes I make it as a side dish for dinner throughout the year.

Instead of buying pre-made mac and cheese at the store (which are often sold in small portion sizes), you can make this creamy and delicious mac and cheese and prepare as much as you want so everyone will have seconds.

You’ll need:

  • A big box of macaroni noodles
  • 3-4 bags of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Velveeta cheese block
  • 2 Eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter

Once you cook your macaroni noodles, let them cool, then layer them in a big pan with your two different types of cheeses.

Whisk your milk and eggs together and spread the mixture evenly throughout the pan.

Then, you just need to put little butter squares over the top layer, cover it with foil, and bake for about 40 minutes. It comes out delicious every time.

If you need to follow a recipe with exact measurements, I’d recommend this one.

I don’t add a lot of salt and pepper to mine and it turns out fine.

3. Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole - cheap and easy Thanksgiving food
Image Credit: Flickr

Who doesn’t love green bean casserole? If all else fails and you can’t decide on what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, whip up a yummy pan of casserole.

It might look like a confusing dish, but it’s not that hard to prepare at all.

You really just need 3 things: green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crispy french onions.

Canned green beans are recommended for this recipe, but you can even try fresh if you don’t like canned vegetables. Either way, it won’t cost much at all, and you can make enough casserole for everyone for under $10. This recipe is easy to follow so you can have your dish prepared within just 30 minutes.

Want to save money on Thanksgiving meals? Try making one of these 6 delicious side dishes Click To Tweet

4. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs - cheap and easy food to prepare for Thanksgiving
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Don’t run for the hills if you don’t like stuffed eggs or boiled eggs. I never liked them either, and always skipped them at Thanksgiving dinner because I hate mustard, or whatever goes into them.

However, this stuffed egg recipe changed my mind completely about the dish. Now it’s one of my favorites, plus it’s packed with protein.

The secret ingredient in this recipe is Chobani Greek yogurt, and I love telling people that and seeing how surprised they are. This recipe is only 40 calories and mustard-free!

5. Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon - Thanksgiving food
Image Credit: Flickr

This is another delicious side dish you can prepare on the dime. I never ate Brussels sprouts growing up because most kids think they’re nasty.

With this recipe, it’s easy to get anyone to try and love Brussels sprouts because this dish is packed with flavor and well, bacon. 🙂 Who can resist that?

All you need are fresh Brussels sprouts, 4 slices of bacon, butter, salt and pepper, and onion.

6. Ranch Chicken Kabobs

Most Thanksgiving meals include ham or turkey, which is usually enough meat for everyone, but if you aren’t having a traditional Thanksgiving meal and you’re not vegetarian, these chicken kabobs can be a nice addition.

This recipe may take a little longer to make, but you may have a lot of the main ingredients in your home already, like ranch dressing, pepper, salt, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and white vinegar.

Don’t Stress Over the Holiday Meal

It’s easy to get stressed out when preparing your portion of the holiday meal for your family dinner. You might have been wondering: What happens if you overspend? What if you mess something up? What if they don’t like it?

Luckily, all these meals are delicious and easy for beginners. They’re also affordable, so all you have to worry about is enjoying good food and spending time with your loved ones.

What foods you will be preparing for Thanksgiving this year?