EFNEP’s Twenty Dollar Thanksgiving Guide

Makes 4 servings

We are watching our wallets more than ever this year. However, a leaner budget doesn’t mean that the holiday season should be any less festive. In these trimmed-down recipes, we’ve outlined simple ways to have a memorable meal that hits on all the right traditional notes, without breaking the bank.

Herbed Baked Turkey Breast

For good reason, the turkey is always the star of the show, and there’s typically an appropriate price-tag attached to its high status. By roasting an ample-sized, bone-in, turkey breast in a three ingredient herb-blend, this Thanksgiving staple is ready for the taking.


  • 1 whole, bone-in turkey breast, about 2-3 lbs (around $4/lb)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on your preference for garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested


  1. Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Place the turkey breast on a sheet pan, pat dry with a paper towel and season the skin and under the skin of the turkey with butter, salt, pepper, herbs and the zest of the lemon.
  2. Loosely cover the breast with aluminum foil.
  3. Roast the turkey for an hour and a half to two hours (depending on the size) or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165˚.
  4. Allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes and drizzle with lemon juice.
  5. Scrape and reserve the pan juices and drippings for gravy.
  6. Slice the turkey breast and serve.

Turkey Pan Gravy


  • Pan drippings from roasting pan
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. On medium heat, add the pan drippings to a small pot or sauce pan.
  2. Make a roux by sprinkling the flour into the pan drippings then adding the butter.
  3. Whisk to combine and slowly pour in the water.
  4. Continue whisking on low heat to remove any lumps, adding more water if needed.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

No thanksgiving spread is complete without this ultimate comfort food. This recipe includes a hefty amount of garlic for satisfying depth and flavor. While almost any potatoes can be mashed, the naturally creamy texture and buttery nature of Yukon golds potatoes make for a decadent side without the significant addition of heavy fats or creams.


  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cubed
  • 2-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced (depending on your preference for garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup milk, low-fat
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to boil over medium high heat.
  2. Cover and cook for twenty minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Using a colander, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
  4. Add the garlic, butter, milk, and salt and pepper
  5. Mash using a fork.

Steamed Lemony Green Beans


  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a pot over medium high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add green beans and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Drain using a colander and run under cold water for 30 seconds.
  4. Season with lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.

And finally, 1 Can of Cranberry sauce to serve!

We hope you enjoy this traditional meal for perhaps a not so traditional Thanksgiving this year!

Recipes By: Chef Brigid Washington.

© 2024 North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)