The 7 Least Expensive Thanksgiving Sides to Serve

Blog | November 13th, 2020

So here we are about to embrace another 2020 Holiday. I think I am not alone in saying that this year has been a year, unlike anything we could have expected. Yet, we pulled through and that is enough to celebrate! Sure, maybe family get-togethers will be a little more limited this year due to budget adjustments, travel restrictions, or distance issues, but they certainly will be more intimate and one to remember.

Whatever your reasons are this season to be minimal, there are always ways to save. One way to make that happen is to serve savory dishes that are surprisingly cheap and easy to make for the Holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving! Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Serves: 6 | Average cost: $6

One of Thanksgivings sweetest sides! Top it with marshmallows or the irresistible crunchy brown sugar and pecan topping. Or if you can’t decide, do both! This same mixture can be used in a pie crust to make a delicious sweet potato pie, giving you the best of both worlds, sides, and desserts!

Soufflé Ingredients 
  • 1 large can of yams
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk  
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  1. Drain yams and remove any straw-like substance
  2. Mash yams with a potato masher
  3. Add remaining ingredients and beat well
  4. Pour into a buttered casserole dish
  5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until set
  6. Add topping, directions below

Topping Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows

Topping Instructions
  1. Mix the first four ingredients with a blender until smooth.
  2. Stir in pecans.
  3. When adding the toppings to the casserole, spoon brown sugar mixture on first then sprinkle marshmallows on top.
  4. Return to oven
  5. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until topping is melted and marshmallows are lightly browned

Green Beans With Bacon

Serves 4-6 | Average cost: $4

Healthy enough for adults with a touch of bacon to entice the kids!

  • 3 generous slices salt pork or fat back
  • Two 8-ounce bags of whole green beans such as Trader Joe’s frozen. Fresh Green works great too!
  • Two 2.8 ounce bags of Oscar Mayer Selects real bacon bits
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium/ large saucepan, fry pork seasoning on medium/low heat turning often.
  2. Cook until browned being very careful not to burn or scorch.
  3. Remove meat strips leaving grease in the pan.
  4. Add green beans covering with water. Cook until crisp/tender.
  5. Using a colander, drain the water and discard.
  6. In a small skillet, cook bacon bits until crisp.
  7. Return beans to the pot.
  8. Add bacon bits, salt, pepper, and toss.
  9. Spoon into a serving dish.

* For larger servings simply add another bag of beans and bacon bits.

Stuffed Celery

Serves 12, depending on the cut size you prefer | Average cost: $5

You can use the leftover celery in your dressing, stuffing, or as a healthy snack!

  • Celery stalks, washed, cleaned, dried, and cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of a block of cheddar cheese, grated (do not use bagged, shredded cheese)
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet pickle cubes
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated white onion
  • 1/4 cup of Mayonaise or enough to make the mixture hold together

  1. Mix all ingredients and spoon into celery, packing tight.
  2. Make these last-minute and keep them covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Cranberry Fluff

Serves 6-8  | Average cost: $7

Turn the somewhat bitter cranberry must-have into a welcomed alternative that will call for second helpings! It gives you the tradition of cranberry sauce with a sweeter, irresistible twist!

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, pulsed in the processor.
  • 1/2 cup sugar.
  • 2 cups of miniature marshmallows.
  • 1 – 10 oz bag frozen coconut.
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple.
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans.
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (Truwhip is healthier and tastes the same).

Mix all ingredients together. Chill and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash

Serves 6 | Average cost: $10

Probably your most expensive dish but it is Thanksgiving and you need something festive to begin the Christmas season! This eye-catching dish is healthy and excitingly tasty! Squash has Thanksgiving written all over it while the other ingredients come together to make a beautiful, edible autumn display!

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 4 cups frozen, cubed butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-4 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking/cookie sheet.
  3. Toss all ingredients and place them on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally or even browning.
  5. Place in a pretty serving dish.

Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6 | Average cost: $4

The perfect yet simple side that everyone loves. Pairs perfectly with rich holiday dishes.

  • 2 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes, washed, peeled, and sliced.
  • 1/2 stick of real butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil sliced potatoes until tender. I try not to put too much water so that it naturally dissipates while potatoes cook. Too much will water down the finished taste of the dish. If there is still water in the pot, drain well.
  2. When there is no water present, mash potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher.
  3. Add butter and continue to mash until all lumps are gone and butter is melted.
  4. Beat thoroughly with a hand mixer.
  5. Add milk as you continue to beat until the desired consistency is reached. If more milk is needed add very gradually.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Cheesy Corn Casserole

Serves 8 | Average cost: $6

Corn adorns almost every Thanksgiving decoration, so it should definitely be a part of your feast! And who doesn’t love corn?

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 32 oz frozen corn (or two 15.25 oz cans, drained)
  • 4.5 oz green chilies (1 small can)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Colby Jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

  1. Add corn to a medium pot.
  2. Melt in butter and cream cheese, stirring.
  3. Add green chilies, salt, and pepper.
  4. On low heat, add cheeses and mix until melted and smooth.
  5. Remove from heat and spoon into a casserole dish.

Related: 17 Hacks That Will Make Thanksgiving 2020 So Much Easier