The three-step side dish: is it possible? On Thanksgiving? Absolutely!

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Easy and Inexpensive Ideas

These side dishes are simple to prepare and easy on your wallet. You can add any of them to your Thanksgiving menu for less than $15… and each feeds eight people!

Cranberry sauce – $10

  • Boil whole cranberries in water and sugar for 10 minutes.
  • Add orange zest and a touch of Grand Marnier.
  • Serve warm.

Potato casserole – $12

  • Heat cream and butter on stove until hot.
  • Stir in frozen hash browns for two minutes or until thawed.
  • Place in casserole dish, top with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees until potatoes are hot and crust is golden brown.

Sauteed spinach – $10

  • Sauté frozen spinach in olive oil.
  • Add currants and pine nuts.

Smoked salmon platter – $15

  • Buy smoked salmon, cream cheese, a mini pumpernickel loaf, shallots and capers.
  • Mince the shallots.
  • Arrange all items on a platter and let guests help themselves.

Acorn squash – $10

  • Roast cubed squash with maple syrup and butter.

Pureed parsnips – $6

  • Boil cubed parsnips in chicken stock.
  • Puree with liquid and butter in food processor.

Roasted carrots and shallots – $8

  • Drizzle sliced carrots and shallots with balsamic vinegar.
  • Place in oven and roast until done.

Pearl onions – $8

  • Boil onions in water and remove skins.
  • Drain, and stir in one cup of cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Roasted butternut squash – $12

  • Scoop out squash flesh with melon baller.
  • Toss with melted butter and roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  • Toss with additional butter, maple syrup and crushed gingersnaps.

Steamed carrots – $6

  • Boil water and add allspice berries, cinnamon sticks and star anise.
  • Steam carrots in the water.
  • Reduce orange juice and chicken stock together to form a sauce and toss with carrots.

Beyond the food
Beyond Thanksgiving dinner itself, there are essential details to creating the Thanksgiving mood.

  • A fire in the fireplace
  • Mulled apple cider or hot chocolate
  • Seasonal table decorations
  • Good music
  • Cards, games and an after-dinner walk

What are your favorite side dishes? Are you planning to try something new, or will you stick with your family classics?

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