Thanksgiving recipes for students on a budget

Thanksgiving is a time for family, food and tradition. But as college students, it can be hard to create such traditional dishes when you are confined to the spaces of a dorm room or apartment room. If you aren’t going home this holiday season or expected to present a dish on Thanksgiving Day with your family, here are a few quick and cheap recipes to wow your friends or family at any thanksgiving event.



Photo Courtesy of Buzzfeed; Delicious and Easy Maple Glaze Squash or Yam

Name of Dish: Maple Glazed Squash or Yams (Side dish)


  • 1- 1/2 lbs of yams or butternut squash (or other firm, orange-fleshed winter squash
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance (butter alternative)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple sugar

Peel squash or sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch dice. Place water, prepared vegetables and salt into 2-quart saucepan; cover and bring to boil

Take a snack break while boiling, you deserved it!

Reduce heat to simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes until water is nearly absorbed and vegetables are tender. Watch closely so water doesn’t evaporate completely and burn vegetables (add more water if needed) Drain off any remaining water. Add butter and maple syrup to pan with vegetables. Place over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Serves 4 people

Name of Dish:  Biscuit Turkey Bake (Entree)


Photo Courtesy of Taste of Home;
Quick entree to wow the whole family. Biscuit Turkey bake
  • 1 cup Turkey or chicken, cooked (no you don’t have to cook it yourself, go buy that rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 cup Peas, frozen
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, condensed
  • 1 Dash Cumin, ground.
  • 1 tube buttermilk biscuits, refrigerated
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine soup, turkey, mushrooms and peas, milk and seasonings. Pour into greased 8 inch square baking dish; arrange biscuits over top. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Serves 5 people 


Name of Dish: Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip (Appetizer)


Photo Courtesy of Pinterest; Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip makes a great appetizer for the whole family!


  • 1 can Artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 (8oz) bag Spinach, frozen
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cup Cashews, raw

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a blender, combine the cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, tapioca and spices. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine spinach, artichokes and sauce and stir to combine. Transfer this mixture to the baking dish and bake on the center rack for 25 – 30 minutes (Watch an episode of Friends or something ) until dip is bubbling and mostly set.
Remove and serve immediately with your choice of crackers, chopped veggies or toast!




Name of Dish: Pumpkin Hand Pies (Dessert)

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest; Don’t want to make a whole pie? These delicious treats are bite size and easy to make!


  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 premade pie dough crusts, rolled out into 10″ circle
    For brushing pastry:
  • 1 Tbs whipping cream
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 milk

Preheat oven to 375º. Using a mixer, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until well mixed. Set aside.Spread pie dough and using a 5-inch round cutter make the circles. Whisk together whipping cream, maple syrup and cinnamon.Taking a round piece of dough, place about 3 tablespoons of filling in the center and fold dough over to create a half moon shape. Brush edges with whipping cream mixture. Using fork tines, seal edges of the pastry. Place pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush top with whipping cream mixture. Bake 16-20 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Let cool 30 minutes. Make icing by whisking to combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over pies. Serve.

Helpful Tips: 

1. Use a lid from a small pan to cut the dough circles for the pies.

2. For easier drizzling, load icing into a small zip top bag. Squeeze into corner and twist top to seal. Cut corner and drizzle over pies.


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