Easy, Inexpensive Thanksgiving Dinner?

Any ideas for an easy, cheap Thanksgiving menu and the recipes?

Kathy Milligan from Mira Loma, CA.


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October 21, 20070 found this helpful

I will give you the sample Thanksgiving menu that is in my mother's cookbook, along with as many recipes as possible.

Harvest Celebration Cup

To begin with this Harvest cup, thaw 2 pkgs. (12oz. each) frozen mixed fruit as per directions on package. Do not drain! Spoon 1/3 c. fruit with syrup into each of 8 punch cups. Pour about 1/4 c. chilled sparkling grape juice into each cup. Stir once and serve immediately. Delicious!

Roast Turkey & Dressing

Heat oven to 325. Rinse bird in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Fold wings, bringing wing tips to the back of the bird. Fill neck cavity with stuffing, if desired. Stuff body cavity as well, but do not pack stuffing as it will expand as it cooks. If you do not wish to stuff the bird, rub the inside of the bird with salt. Push drum sticks under a band of skin at the tail. Place turkey, breast down, and allow to bake at least 1/2 of the time. Then turn the turkey over carefully. Baste with butter. The browning of the bird will take place now so continue to baste with the juices from the roasting pan every 30 minutes. If you use a meat thermometer, make sure it does not touch the bone. Covering with aluminum foil will prevent excessive browning. Allow the turkey to stand 20-30 minutes to set before carving.


Mashed potatoes & gravy from drippings from the turkey.

Fried corn:

8 lg. size ears of sweet corn (husked, silked & washed)
whipping cream
3 T. brown sugar (firmly packed
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
Cut corn from each cob and scrape each cob to remove the cream from the cob. Spray electric skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Melt butter in skillet. Place corn in skillet. Top with brown sugar and whipping cream to cover corn. Season with salt & pepper. Cover; bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer. Stir often. AS it cooks down, stir to keep from burning. Bring caramelization to the top while stirring. This will take 20-25 minutes. The corn w8ill have a beautiful golden color. Delicious also!

Cranberry Relish:
1 pkg. lemon gelatin (3oz.)
1 c. boiling water
1 pkg. frozen cranberry-orange relish (10oz.)
1 can crushed pineapple (not drained) (8oz.)


1 red apple (chopped)
1/2 c. celery (chopped)
crisp salad greens
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen relish, fruit and celery. Stir until relish is thawed. Pour into 1 qt. mold; chill until set. Unmold on fresh salad greens.

Hot rolls & butter

Green Bean Casserole:
2 cans green beans(drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water chestnuts
Pour all ingredients into a well greased rectangular dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle a can of French-fried onions over the top of the casserole for the last 5 minutes or baking.

Creamy Fruit Salad:
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can drained crushed pineapple
2 bananas, sliced
1 c. mini marshmallows
12 maraschino cherries
1 carton Dream Whip (mixed with 3 t. sugar & 1/4 t. almond extract)
Mix ingredients together.

Pumpkin or Apple Pie
For the pumpkin pie, my mom always used the recipe that comes on the can of Libby's pumpkin. For the apple pie, here is the recipe.


Apple Pie:
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie shells
7 apples (peel & core)
Slice into pie shell. Mix the following:
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
pat of butter
Pour over apples. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Cover top with second pie shell layer. Brush with cream. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

I hope these are good suggestions for you. Good luck!

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By U*u*U (Guest Post)
October 22, 20070 found this helpful

How about a cooperative effort? You do the turkey and the dressing, and assign various people to bring veggies, desserts, beverages, etc? Most people are usually happy to show off their best dishes. Those who don't or can't cook might bring beverages, refrigerator rolls, paper goods or fresh corn for boiling, etc.


Even the children can participate by making and bringing a few hand decorated placemats each.

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By Kathy Milligan (Guest Post)
October 22, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you everyone for posting such great ideas! Everyone of them look so good!

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By marilyn (Guest Post)
October 23, 20070 found this helpful

Call a fast food chicken place like KFC or others and they have all the fixings and turkey for usually about 50.00

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
October 26, 20070 found this helpful

Depends. When we were even poorer, we ate Turkey TV dinners. lol

As we progressed, we cooked large precooked frozen Turkey slices in gravy with dressing and frozen veggies.

Later in the years I began to cook traditionally, getting a free turkey with $50.00 in groc., tossing Stovetop boxed dressing and canned broth together, along with deviled eggs and canned sweet potatoes/green beans and iced tea/packaged rolls, and delicious frozen cooked pies.


The last many years I made a full to-die-for homemade Thanksgiving meal, costing MUCH more than I ever imagined, so I wound up taking my daughter-in-law's advice from then on: Either have each family bring a main dish, salad or dessert, OR go out to a bargain buffet BRUNCH and make memories without the work !

Now, I'm an elder remembering all the times I cooked, invited couples who were having marital problems who never showed or who cancelled at the last minute with sincere apologies, and comparing them with the many childhood memories in my grandmother's kitchen and lap, smacking on everything delicious she'd feed me.

It's really up to us, isn't it? What do we celebrate Thanksgiving for? Isn't it about being grateful for what God has given us freely? About loving one another, not impressing others?

Making good memories is work, but needs to be made in unconditional love and sincere sweat labor, knowing it will be remembered one day and appreciated as well. God bless you all. : )

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By (Guest Post)
October 26, 20070 found this helpful

walmart sells already cooked turkey packages (includes pot,cranberry sauce etc...)in a box
Just heat and eat.

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

Green & Gold Salad, inspired by Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe

1 can peas
1 can-full grated cheese
3 T. salad dressing or mayo
1 T. minced onion
1 T. prepared mustard

Mix it all up, serve cold.

While I am not, myself, fond of this salad, my family loves it. The nice thing for me is that it can be made ahead of time and doesn't take oven space.

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By Pam (Guest Post)
November 12, 20070 found this helpful

This is my frist Thankgiving Dinner and I want to thank ever you for all your help.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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