The 20 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes Under $15

A round up of budget-friendly and delicious Thanksgiving side dishes that are perfect for passing around the dinner table without breaking the bank.

side dishes under $20

Simply Recipes

Thanksgiving dinner is a gargantuan and costly undertaking—it’s no wonder that many Thanksgiving meals have shifted to potluck style so that everyone can contribute what they can. After all, it can take a village to feed a village. As inflation continues to increase the cost of groceries, contributing a delicious side dish is a budget-friendly way to add to the Thanksgiving spread, whether you're bringing it to a potluck or need to saving money on your own Thanksgiving menu.

Show off your cooking prowess with dishes that will taste and feel rich and satisfying, without breaking the bank. Thanksgiving is a feast where the sides are often the stars anyways, so you may find yourself a bigger MVP than any player on the turkey day football field.

Here’s a roundup of surefire and delicious side dishes you can make for Thanksgiving for under $15 each.

  • Slow Cooker Honey-Dijon Glazed Carrots

    Slow Cooker Honey-Dijon Glazed Carrots in a Dish in Front of a Slow Cooker

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Free up your oven and bring out your slow cooker for these carrots sweetened with honey and seasoned with Dijon mustard. A pound of carrots is about $2—you'll need three pounds. If you already have honey and mustard in the pantry, this satisfying side dish costs under $10 to make and serves about six.

  • Kale Salad With Balsamic Dressing

    easy kale salad served in a blue bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Kale salad is the best make-ahead salad because kale is robust and won't wilt into a mushy mess over time. Pine nuts can be pricey, so use slivered almonds or whatever nuts you already have in the pantry. Instead of honey, you could use sugar, maple syrup, or agave syrup.

  • Creamed Corn

    Dish of Creamed Corn Topped with Herbs

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Creamed corn is as expected as mashed potatoes at my Thanksgiving table. Use frozen corn and purée some to give it a creamier texture. This side dish comes together for less than $10 and serves four.

  • Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

    Chipotle Pumpkin Soup Topped with Crema Fresca, Pepitas, and Chopped Cilantro

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Tired of the same-old, same-old pumpkin spices? Give them an upgrade with a little spice—chipotle peppers and cumin!—to warm up a large pot of pumpkin soup, arguably the best Thanksgiving starter. Instead of crema or crème fraîche, swirl in less expensive, more accessible sour cream.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • Candied Yams

    Candied Yams

    Elise Bauer

    Sweet, tender, and lightly spiced with a little ginger and cinnamon, candied yams are a must for Thanksgiving. This is a simply side dish that calls for affordable ingredients you may already have around.

  • Classic Minestrone Soup

    Classic Minestrone Soup in Dutch Oven

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Any season is minestrone season, but the warm colors are especially festive during Thanksgiving. Soups are phenomenal dollar-stretchers, offering volume and the opportunity to use a variety of inexpensive ingredients. Use whatever dried herbs, beans, or veggies you have on hand—a great way to clear out the pantry and fridge while feeding a crowd.

  • Pasta with Butternut Squash, Bacon, and Brown Butter

    Bowl of Pasta with Butternut Squash, Bacon, and Brown Butter Topped with Freshly Grated Cheese

    Simply Recipes / Alison Conklin

    Has there ever been a combination of words that sound more autumnal? Channel harvest season vibes with this fantastic medley of flavors—sweet butternut, salty bacon, and nutty brown butter. Save money by using a whole butternut squash instead of store-prepped cubes.

  • Cheesy Grits Soufflé Bake

    Cheese Grits Soufflé Topped with Spring Onions in an Oval Gratin Dish

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Few things are more impressive to look at and fun to eat than an airy soufflé. This recipe turns basic, budget-friendly grits into a puffy, light, and homey side dish that’s as simple to make as it is impressive-looking.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • Carrot Soufflé

    Spoon Scooping up Some Carrot Soufflé

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    A short and simple ingredient list of cheese, eggs, saltines, and copious amounts of carrots makes for a bright and delightful surprise that only takes about 10 minutes to prep.

  • Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables

    Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Embrace the literal “roots” of the holiday with a festive medley of colorful, wallet-friendly cool-weather veggies. Buy what’s available, in season, and on sale. Mix up the colors of your selection to channel fall’s jewel tones.

  • Apple and Sweet Potato Matzo Bake

    Apple Sweet Potato Matzo Bake in a Casserole Dish

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Who says matzo’s only for Passover? This fall-flavored casserole looks as dramatic as it is economical and easy to make. No one needs to know it only took 15 minutes to assemble. Fuji apples hold up best for baking.

  • Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Casserole

    Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strata in a Cast Iron Skillet.

    Simply Recipes / Sarah Fritsche

    While the headlining ingredients for this strata may sound rich, the eggs and sourdough bread are the bulk. You only need a small log of goat cheese and a single pound each of Brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Using whatever bread you have on hand helps to reduce waste and keep costs lower.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • Rustic Onion Tart

    Rustic Onion Tart on a Piece of Parchment Paper

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Affordable onions are the stars in this savory looker—its rustic charm leaves room for imperfections and the short ingredient list leaves money in your wallet. Use store-bought pie crust to save you from buying flour, butter, and sour cream. Plus, most come in a two-pack, so double the recipe to serve eight.

  • Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

    Bowl of Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Topped with Butter, Cracked Pepper, and Chives

    Simply Recipes / Lisa Lin

    Fluffy mashed potatoes are a must at any Thanksgiving celebration. Make it in a slow cooker, which helps keep it warm too. Plus, look out for the hack that keeps this low-cost, high-yield dish from turning beige.

  • Colcannon Cakes

    Colcannon Cakes Served with a Lemon Wedge

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    There’s no such thing as too many potato dishes at Thanksgiving, especially if you can hide some leafy greens in them! This traditional Irish dish does exactly that. Plus, cabbage keeps things thrifty.

  • Turnip Gratin

    Turnip Gratin in a Casserole Dish

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    If potatoes feel too predictable to you, turn it up with turnips! This peppery tuber is another affordable and satisfying starchy root. Double the recipe for a larger group, and add parsnips for extra sweetness.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

    Spoon Scooping a Serving of Cheesy Baked Cauliflower from a Casserole Dish

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Two types of cheese make for a cheese sauce with an irresistible melt. Choose one sharp and one mild cheese that melts well for the best taste.

  • Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

    How to Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker
    Nick Evans

    Coating carbs with cheese never gets old. This hands-off, from-scratch recipe is virtually effortless. Skip the bacon to make it even easier, vegetarian, and wallet-friendly to boot.

  • Yankee Cornbread

    Yankee Cornbread Served with Butter

    Simply Recipes / Sheryl Julian

    Folks love cornbread—even in stuffing—and here’s one for those who like it on the sweet side. This is a great alternative to basic dinner rolls, and calls for pantry staples and less than an $8 investment in Greek yogurt and cornmeal, with plenty of both left over for a second batch since this cornbread will be so popular with your guests.

  • Parker House Rolls

    Best Parker House Roll Recipe on a Silver Plate

    Simply Recipes / Sheryl Julian

    These soft, buttery, and iconic rolls are adorable and require only a single rise. Most ingredients are ones you likely already have, like flour and milk. In general, dinner rolls are affordable to make. Plus, who doesn't like to fill up on bread?