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Thanksgiving Dinner (But Cheaper)

Homemade Thanksgiving dinner can definitely get pricey, but I think we can make an entire Thanksgiving meal that serves 10-15 people for...

Homemade Thanksgiving dinner can definitely get pricey, but I think we can make an entire Thanksgiving meal that serves 10-15 people for 35 dollars or less.



Turkey Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (168 g) Unsalted Butter

  • 1.5 tsp MSG

  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt

  • 3 cloves of Garlic, freshly grated


  • Turkey Spine

  • Turkey Neck

  • 1 Onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 Carrot, roughly chopped

  • 1 Rib of Celery, roughly chopped

  • 6 Cups of Water

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz package of fresh Cranberries

  • 1 cup (130 g) Granulated Sugar

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Filtered Water

  • Zest and Juice of 1 Orange (Lemon)

Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Loaves of Bread (ideally sourdough)

  • Olive Oil

  • 3/4 cup (168 g) Unsalted Butter

  • 5 Shallots, finely diced

  • 3 Ribs of Celery, sliced

  • 4 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 Tbsp (6 g) Sage, roughly chopped

  • 1 Tbsp (4 g) Thyme, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup Parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 cups of Turkey Stock

  • 2 Eggs

Butternut Squash Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Butternut Squash, cubed

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Olive Oil

  • Vadouvan Spice Blend

Green Beans Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb Green Beans

  • Olive Oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Lemon Juice

Mashed Potatoes Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • Water

  • Salt

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter

  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk

  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream

  • Pepper

  • Chives (optional)

Gravy Ingredients:

  • 3.5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

  • 3.5 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour

  • 2.5 cups Turkey Stock

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Fresh Chopped Herbs


Turkey Method:

  1. Take the turkey, remove the neck then using kitchen shears cut along both sides of the turkey’s back. Remove the spine, save for later.

  2. Place turkey cut side down, arrange the legs, and press firmly on the breast to flatten the bird.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine softened unsalted butter, MSG, kosher salt, and grated garlic. Mix together.

  4. Season turkey generously with salt and pepper. Take half the butter and massage into the bird. Place a little under the skin to coat meat while roasting.

  5. Place vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet with the bird set on a wire rack on top.

  6. Set the bird into the oven set at 450F for 50-60 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the deepest part of the turkey is 165F.

  7. Let rest for 20 minutes. Cut and slice the meat into even pieces for serving.

Stock Method:

  1. Place the turkey neck and spine, chopped onion, chopped carrot and celery into a pot and cover with water.

  2. Place on the stove over medium-high heat. As soon as it boils reduce to low and simmer for 3 hours.

  3. Strain out the vegetables and turkey bits. Reserve liquid.

Bun Method:

  1. For the tang song, add all ingredients together until it becomes a paste.

  2. For the primed yeast mixture, add and mix together. Store in a warm area and let sit for 8 minutes.

  3. In a stand mixer bowl, add the dry ingredients. Slowly add in milk and yeast mixture, the tang song mix. Let homogenize. When dough starts coming together, add the egg and egg yolk. Then increase speed to medium low until incorporated. Gradually add butter until incorporated meaning when dough is mixed, nothing sticks to the sides.

  4. Lightly grease a medium sized bowl, gently fold and place seam side down. Place a damp towel of the dough and bring to warm area to proof for 1 – 1.5 hours

  5. To shape, punch the dough down then flour work surface

  6. Divide dough into six even pieces around 95 – 105 g

  7. To shape the individual buns, gently stretch flipped side down and fold to the center. Repeat this process for the whole segment of dough, then flip upside down.

  8. Rotate dough 90 degrees and pull towards you. Repeat two more times to complete rotation around the whole perimeter.

  9. Place shaped dough in rimmed sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Leave 2.5 in of space or 6 cm apart.

  10. Cover with similar sized sheet tray that is flipped so that the dough will not dry out.

  11. Before baking, brush with egg wash (1 whole egg plus a splash of milk)

  12. Bake at 375 degrees F or 190 C for 18 minutes until golden brown.

Cranberry Sauce Method:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine a package of fresh cranberries, granulated sugar, filtered water, and the zest and juice of an orange.

  2. Place over the stove over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until boiling.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or thickened.

  4. Let cool completely before serving.

Stuffing Method:

  1. Start by slicing loafs of bread into even cubes. Place into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

  2. Place onto a baking sheet and into an oven set to 350F for 15-20 minutes, or toasted and dry. Dump into a large bowl and set to the side.

  3. In a medium sauce pot, melt unsalted butter over medium heat until bubbling.

  4. Add finely diced shallots, diced celery, chopped garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Saute until just softened.

  5. Add chopped sage, thyme, and parsley. Stir and cook until fragrant.

  6. Add in chicken stock and bring to a steaming heat.

  7. Pour on top of the toasted bread and mix together until combined.

  8. Separately whisk together stock and eggs until combined. Pour over the bread and toss.

  9. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with oil. Add in all the soaked bread, spread out evenly.

  10. Place into an oven set to 350F for 35-40 minutes.

Butternut Squash Method:

  1. Peel the whole squash, cut the bottom and top off, cut in half, remove all the seeds, and cut into 1” cubes.

  2. Place into a large bowl. Toss with oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as well as vadouvan curry.

  3. Toss together until all ingredients are mixed.

  4. Place on a foiled lined baking sheet and into the oven set at 450F for 30 minutes or until cooked through and lightly caramelized.

Green Beans Method:

  1. In a foil lined baking sheet, add the green beans coated in olive oil.

  2. Season with salt and pepper. Massage together to fully incorporate.

  3. Place into an oven set to 450F for 20 minutes.

  4. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Mashed Potato Method:

  1. For the mashed potato toppings, rinse and peel the russet potatoes and cut lengthwise then lengthwise again and then into 1” cubes.

  2. Dump all potatoes into a medium pot and cover with water. Season generously with salt to taste. Set over medium-high heat.

  3. Bring to a boil and let boil for 7-10 minutes. Potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork. Drain once finished and add back into the pot.

  4. In a small sauce pot, add in unsalted butter and whole milk. Set on the stove over medium heat just until the butter is melted and mixture is hot.

  5. Using a hand held masher, mash all the potatoes until all the potatoes are mashed. Add in the hot butter/milk mixture and mix together before adding and stirring in sour cream.

  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, optionally add chives, and mix together until thoroughly combined.

Gravy Method:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt unsalted butter over medium heat.

  2. Once melted, whisk in all-purpose flour. Cook and whisk for 30 seconds then slowly whisk in the turkey stock.

  3. Whisk and heat until it thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Optionally add in fresh chopped thyme

Pumpkin Pie Method:

Pumpkin Puree:

  1. Cut the top and bottom of the pumpkin, cut in half and remove all the seeds. Add oil to them and place in a foil lined rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400 F or 205 C for 40 minutes or until pumpkins are soft.

  2. Peel off skins or scrape off. Process in a food processor until completely smooth. If pumpkins are watery, place in cheesecloth lining in a sieve and let drip for a few minutes or until it gets to the appropriate thickness.

Caramelized milk:

  1. Set in a pot in medium high heat. Once it gets to a simmer, immediately reduce heat to medium and slowly simmer whisking intermittently to make sure it does not stick to the bottom until it reduces down to 1.25 c or 300 ml (25 – 30 minute process) . The best way to tell is when you whisk it and it violently bubbles. In room temperature, the consistency of this product matches that of sweetened condensed milk.

Pie Crust:

  1. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt.

  2. Pulse a couple of times to get all dry ingredients incorporated.

  3. Add 1c butter cut into small half in cubes. Pulse in food processor until you get pea sized little bits. Take a fork and start mixing your flour mixtures and slowly drizzle in ice water while continuously mixing until it forms a nice cohesive dough.

  4. Take out of the food processor and then flatten into a thick disk about 4 in diameter, Wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Can be done ahead of time.

  5. Flour surface, and then lightly flour dough. Make sure it is about a quarter of an inch thick all the way across. Make sure you measure your pie tin with the dough to see if you have an overhang which you will need in this process.

  6. Fold the dough in half, then fold in half again to form a triangle. Place in tin right in the center, and then unfold. Gently trim away excess dough, then crimp the edges.

  7. Place shaped crust in the fridge just to firm to prevent shrinkage.

  8. Blind bake the pie crust by putting parchment paper on top of the raw dough, weighing it down with uncooked beans or rice keeping the bottom flat

  9. Bake at 400 degrees F to 15 -18 min. Let cool to room temp after getting color in it.


  1. Mix altogether in a bowl to make custard.

  2. Pour custards into prepared 9 in pie pan. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hr to 1hr 10 mins or until custard is completely set.

  3. Cool, and serve with whipped cream and fresh nutmeg as needed.


Ashley Rial
Ashley Rial
Nov 22, 2023

Making the cranberry sauce and stuffing from this genius yet again. So many good recipes. Thanks for sharing!


Nov 25, 2022

Thank you so much for this! I saved so much money and made things from scratch that I never thought I could.


Michael Grosso
Michael Grosso
Nov 15, 2022

Was this turkey pre-brined? I have a frozen pre-brined turkey and I am wondering if I need to modify the amount of salting/msg buttering I do to the turkey.


Ryan C. Muir
Ryan C. Muir
Nov 25, 2021

So my turkey was alittle too big for the backing sheet I was using rookie mistake the juices off of the created so much smoke in my house. I placed another sheet below to catch the juice and placed a lot of root vegetables in that pan as well which helped with the smoke. We‘lol see how it turns out


Interstellar Sapien
Interstellar Sapien
Nov 17, 2021

This year, could you go BEAST MODE on Thankgiving Dinner by adding more vegan options (for guest) and showing how to prep and cook leading into the dinner party? What’s the best way to keep food hot? Like HOW TO COOK FRIENDSGIVING WITH SAVAGE HOST STYLE

(because the youngins would greatly benefit from your feasting wisdom)


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