Are you already planning out your holiday feast? With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you’ll definitely want to get started soon. However, if you’re going over food options and feeling a little bored with the same options that you have year after year, then you might want to consider adding in a few alternatives to the mix. On the other hand, if you’re looking at your menu and wondering how you’re going to swing the budget of your favorite dishes, then you’ll find a few wins that will give your budget a rest. These ten frugal dishes will help you mix things up a bit while allowing you to keep on track financially.
If turkey isn’t feeling like a great option this year, then you might consider sticking with poultry to save some money. You can do some amazing things with chicken, so consider different ways to cook and season the chicken so you can truly enjoy the feeling of having a feast. When it comes to cooking times, you won’t have to spend as many hours in the kitchen dealing with your main dish, which will allow you to enjoy more family time. Chicken is a great option for picky eaters too and it won’t cost you a small fortune which will allot more for you to spend on sides and desserts or save for the upcoming season of giving.
2. Pork Loin
Another easy meal that you can dress up is pork loin. Pork loin is a great option when it comes to serving it with a variety of different foods. One great thing about pork loin is you can stuff it to create a dish that truly feels complete. There are so many recipes to help you make your pork loin festive and fun for the holiday season, which will allow you to choose something fresh and exciting or perhaps something that suits what you already have in your cupboard. Pork isn’t an expensive meat either, so you can feel like you’re enjoying a luxurious meal without going overboard on your budget.
3. Vegan Pot Pie
If you want to make something special for your vegetarian and vegan guests, then vegan pot pie is one of the best ways to go. This dish offers a lot of wiggle room so you can cook with a lot of the ingredients that you have on hand, which will save you plenty of money. Pot pies are incredibly comforting dishes too and will allow you to serve something made with love. Plus, they are great to remake when the holiday is over and you have lots of leftovers to work with. There are many recipes online to help you along the way. However, once you get the hang of it, you may want to create a recipe of your own.
4. Focaccia Bread
Rolls are a popular item to put on the Thanksgiving table, but it doesn’t have to be the only route you take. Rather rolls can be very time-consuming which can take away from the rest of the meal planning. Rather than have rolls, you might spice things up with focaccia bread. This bread is incredibly easy to make, so you won’t have to fuss over it too much. When it is finished baking, your guests will think you spent quite a while on it though, which will make the meal all the more impressive. Focaccia has a lot of delicious herbs, which will help complement the rest of your feast.
5. Grilled Corn
Corn is typically part of the holiday feast because it is easy to cook and is pretty cheap. It is also one of the symbols of the season, which helps it to fit in well on the Thanksgiving table. Typically, corn is cooked on the stovetop or in the oven, which can be good, but if you’re tired of eating the same thing then there is another great option. Grilled corn can be a tasty alternative. Simply shuck your corn and place it in aluminum foil with your seasoning of choice. Place it on the grill for a little while and you’re good to go. This will take up less space in your kitchen too, which will allow you more space to whip up some of your favorites.
6. Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes tend to be a part of most families’ holiday celebrations. They’re cheap and appealing to most tastebuds. However, there is a healthier option out there and that is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be added to a wide variety of dishes, which makes it easy to customize your meal. One great option for sweet potatoes is to transform them into scalloped potatoes. You can follow your current scalloped potatoes recipe, but you might get more out of looking up a recipe, especially for sweet potatoes. Adding sweet potatoes to the menu can also reduce the need for yams, which will save you even more time and money.
7. Sourdough Stuffing
Turkey and stuffing go hand in hand, but most people tend to make stuffing out of cornbread or stale white bread. You can really mix things up when you use sourdough instead of your typical option. You can make your own sourdough or purchase it from a store to get started. This shouldn’t be more expensive than your typical options. Then, you follow the same recipe as you normally would. However, there are many great sourdough stuffing recipes to choose from online. If you have leftover sourdough, then it can make a delightful addition to a leftover sandwich.
8. Brussel Sprout salad
Brussels sprouts are another common Thanksgiving dish. Although a classic brussels sprout bake might be hit or miss for your guests, a crisp brussels sprout salad might be appreciated a lot more. This allows you to use a variety of ingredients to make the brussels sprouts really shine. The brussels sprouts add a nice crisp flavor to the salad, which can be enjoyable, especially when so many Thanksgiving foods can be mushy. You’ll find a lot of great recipes online so make sure to browse around to see which option will suit your taste buds.
9. Turkey Cupcakes
Pie is an iconic part of the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be the only dessert on the table. Turkey cupcakes are a great option that will especially appeal to the kids. These cupcakes are pretty easy to make. In fact, all you need to do is purchase your favorite cupcake mix or make them from scratch. From there, bake the cupcakes and frost them with chocolate frosting. When the frosting has set, you can decorate using black icing to form the face of the turkey. Then use candy corn to create the tail. This makes it easy for kids to help out too, which can definitely help them make memories while satisfying their sweet tooth.
10. Apple Pie Cookies
If you don’t want to put in the work for the pie, but you still want to enjoy the flavor of it, then apple pie cookies are a great option. These cookies are gooey and delicious, which will satisfy cravings while making clean-up a lot easier. You can even make a cookie sandwich using vanilla ice cream to add to the enjoyment. These cookies are incredibly easy to make too. There are a variety of recipes online to help you find the best recipe for you. You may even be able to find one that helps you make the cookies using things that are already in your pantry.
This Thanksgiving doesn’t have to leave you feeling trapped in the same menu, nor will you have to spend a fortune on your meal. These ten ideas will help give you alternative ideas to ensure you have the best possible Thanksgiving while making your loved ones feel satisfied and grateful.