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Fun and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Side Dishes

By , Posted on Nov 18, 2013
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We all love having a big meal for Thanksgiving but most of us don’t need a 25 pound behemoth turkey and enough side dishes to feed a small invasion force.  If your family is anything like mine, after the gargantuan Thanksgiving dinner we were eating turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey soup, creamed turkey, turkey casseroles, turkey a la king, turkey burritos and a host of other dishes starring that poor leftover bird.  When I was a kid my mother had more ways to use leftover turkey than Benjamin Buford Blue (Bubba) had ways to cook shrimp.

Preparing a huge meal for Thanksgiving, while a wonderful tradition, can be one of the biggest expenses of the year.  And with the seemingly never recovering economy, we need to reduce our spending as much as possible.

In this article we are going to explore some cost cutting ideas for preparing a Thanksgiving meal that is still “traditional” but won’t leave you in the poor house.  You will be able to eat all of those wonderful leftover turkey dishes because you “want” to, not because you spent three months’ worth of your food budget and now “have” to.

I’m not going to lecture you about how you don’t really need that 50 pound Gobbler but instead we are going to look at how you can make fun and inexpensive Thanksgiving side dishes… so you have some money left over to make the Butterball® stock rise 20 points.

We all know the turkey is usually the center piece of the Thanksgiving dinner but just as important are the side dishes that accompany that perfect, moist, golden brown, domesticated Meleagris Gallopavo.  The following are side dishes that are not only great tasting but easy to prepare and easy on the purse strings.  Click on the links to go to the easy to follow recipes.

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

This mouthwatering sweet potato casserole will satisfy lovers of crunchy pecans and cornflakes as well as marshmallows.

Cornbread Dressing

The heart and soul of a Southern Thanksgiving meal, this cornbread dressing is the perfect turkey companion.

Tex-Mex Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes… the old stand-by with a different twist… Tex-Mex Mashed Potatoes.

Cover 2 pounds whole red potatoes with cold salted water; simmer 40 minutes. Drain; do not peel. Smash with 1/2 to 1 stick butter, 3/4 cup hot milk, and salt and pepper. Then add 1/2 pound grated Monterey Jack, 1/4 cup sliced scallions and 2 minced seeded jalapenos. Top with sour cream and more scallions and jalapenos.

Green Bean Casserole

It seems like it’s not a Thanksgiving dinner without the good ol’ Green Bean Casserole.

Cast Iron Cornbread

Corn bread just doesn’t taste, or feel, the same way made with any other method than in a cast iron skillet.

Cranberry Mold

This Molded Cranberry Fruit Salad is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal and is made with Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail

Bacon Hasselback Potatoes

Put slices of bacon into slits in Yukon gold potatoes and bake until crisp. Finish this decadent side with a scallion, parsley and garlic butter that’s spooned over the potatoes when they’re almost done. Bacon Hasselback Potatoes might just be your new Thanksgiving tradition.

Well, there you go!  These are some easy to prepare, great tasting side dishes… not to mention inexpensive.  So when you get ready to go shopping in preparation of that wonderful Thanksgiving meal, check back here for some Fun and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

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