5 Thanksgiving Sides That Cost Less Than $5 to Make

Blog | November 18th, 2022

If you’ve hosted years and years of holiday meals, burnout it’s bound to happen. Keep the jolly in your holiday and designate dishes for others to bring. Or if you’ve been asked to bring a dish, make it something extra special, not a quick grocery store grab! Here are five inexpensive and delicious recipes that can be whipped up in no time yet will be a side to be proud to take or to serve!

Green Bean Casserole

This is always a winner and is easy to put together and take over the river and through the woods to any get-together. Here’s how it’s done:

  • One 10.75-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 14 ounce cans of green beans, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups French’s fried onions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine soup, milk, and pepper.
  • Drain green beans.
  • Fold beans and ⅔ cup of onions into the soup mixture.
  • Pour into a 9×9 inch pan or dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining fried onions.
  • Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

If green beans are a must but simplicity is preferred, especially in the hours and days afterwards, this might be your best option on affordability in the wallet and the waistline! Hop over to Trader Joe’s and pick up a couple of bags of whole organic green beans. Sauté them in bacon drippings until crispy tender along with sliced mushrooms for an easy, expensive, healthy, yet delicious side you can feel good about!

Cinnamon Buttered Baked Carrots

Here you have another easy, low-budget side that also fits the Thanksgiving color theme! This recipe can be prepped in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake.

  • 15 whole, organic carrots
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, white or brown
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Clean and peel carrots.
  • Arrange in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  • Cream softened butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
  • While the mixer is running, slowly add 1/3 cup boiling water and 1 Tablespoon of orange juice.
  • Pour mixture over the carrots and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 90 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and transfer carrots to a serving platter.
  • Drizzle carrots with the melted cinnamon butter from the baking dish.

Collard Greens

Yes, this falls under a perfect New Year’s side but why not get started on the green cash flow a couple of months early? Steer clear of the bagged version with all the chewy stems. There’s nothing better than a bite of turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and collards stacked on your fork for a Thanksgiving taste explosion that you’ll dream about later!

  • Two or three bunches of fresh collards
  • Fatback or bacon for seasoning
  • Salt for the finish!

  • Tear the leaves off of the stems, then into pieces about the size of your hand.
  • Wash and rinse thoroughly three times. (Because nana said so!)
  • In the meantime, fry out your seasoning in a huge pot.
  • Slowly add the washed greens and add enough water to submerge the greens.
  • Boil until tender, but not mushy.
  • Spoon into a serving bowl and enjoy!

Five Ingredient Slow Cooker Corn

Where there’s Thanksgiving decor there’s corn, so why not add its beauty, great taste, and affordability to your meal?

  • 48 ounces frozen corn, about 8 cups, thawed
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 10 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • ½ stick real butter, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Pour half and half in a blender with 1 cup of corn and puree until smooth.
  • In a 3 ½ to 4 quart slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and cook over high heat for 1 ½ hours or low heat setting for 3-4 hours.
  • Stir to combine the melted cream cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Step up your game from can-berry to a festive, slightly sweeter version of real cranberry sauce!

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

  • Rinse the cranberries well and place in a medium saucepan.
  • Add the juice, sugar and brown sugar.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until most of the cranberries have popped open.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in the dried cherries.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Related: Our Favorite Fall Recipes Under $15