Thanksgiving recipes to help you save money on food costs and still impress your guests

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By usawebstories


As you plan your Thanksgiving menu, there are ways to save money and still impress your guests this year.

The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people is estimated to be around $61 for 2023, according to the National Farm Bureau Federation — slightly lower than 2022‘s record high. Turkey prices are down. But certain holiday staples, like potatoes and canned pumpkin, are expected to cost more.

Here are some recipes provided by Ann Ziata, a chef at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, that use less expensive alternatives — like sweet potatoes instead of russets, and a bourbon chess pie instead of the classic pumpkin.

Mustard-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • ½ pound turnips, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • ½ pound celery root, parsnip, or carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 6 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, chopped finely
  • ¾ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon or stone-ground mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • black pepper
  • Fresh parsley to garnish 

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss sweet potatoes, turnips, celery root, parsnips, carrots, and shallots with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary. Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden and tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat maple syrup, mustard, and olive oil in a small pot on the stove until hot. Stir in red wine vinegar and black pepper. Toss with roasted vegetables. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Ginger Cranberry Chutney

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or more to taste

1. In a large saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 3 tablespoons water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar.

2. Serve cold or at room temperature. 

Can be made 2 days in advance. Chill in an airtight container.


Baby Lettuces with Lemon and Parmesan

Serves 4-6

  • 5 ounces of baby lettuces, little gems, radicchio, romaine, endive, etc., chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 ounces parmesan, shaved thinly

1. In a large bowl, combine lettuces, scallions, mint, parsley, and olives.

2. In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper. Toss lettuces with lemon-oil mix. Garnish with parmesan and serve. 


Bourbon Chess Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie

  • 1 6-inch disc pie dough
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons bourbon (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Prepare and chill pie dough: Roll dough out and line one pie pan. Set aside to freeze. Preheat oven to 350˚.

2. Cover the pie with a disk of parchment paper and weigh down with baking beans. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until pie begins to show some color. Remove beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make your chess pie filling.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and bourbon, making sure to well aerate the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and whisk until smooth.

4. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.

5. Bake pie for about 35 minutes, or until pie is golden brown and the filling is set and slightly puffed up. Allow to completely cool before slicing. 


White Pear Autumn Sangria

Makes 10 cups

  • 1 bottle dry white wine (like pinot grigio)
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 4 pears (use a blend of varieties), thinly sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • Prosecco to top, if desired

1. In large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Serve chilled, topped with prosecco if desired. 



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