Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes – Made with Vending Machine Ingredients

At Canteen, we like to think outside the box, and outside the vending machine. Whether you want to add a unique spin to your Thanksgiving dinner this year, or you’re in a time crunch shopping for ingredients before turkey day, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes for you – using ingredients found in our vending machines!

Spicy and Savory Snack Mix Appetizer

Even when one of the biggest meals of the year is just hours away, everyone needs something to nibble on while they’re waiting for the turkey to cook. This savory snack mix is easy to make and an easy crowd-pleaser, and you can get many of the ingredients from one of our vending machines!


  • 3 cups popcorn (butter or cheddar flavor)
  • 1 cup salted peanuts or mixed nuts
  • 1 cup thin pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 2 cups Kix or Corn Pops cereal
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix popcorn, cereal, peanuts, and pretzel sticks in ungreased rectangular pan, about two inches deep. Heat butter over low heat until melted; remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal mixture. Mix well until well coated. Bake 15 minutes, stirring twice. Pour into heatproof bowl and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Yield: about eight cups snack mix.

image of potato dishPotato Chip Mashed Potatoes

We think the potato chips add a distinctive taste to this basic potato dish, but if you have another favorite mashed potato recipe, it’s easy to add crushed potato chips to any recipe. We recommend mixing crushed chips in with the potatoes, as well as sprinkling on top as a finishing touch. Try it with plain potato chips, or mix it up with sour cream and onion or barbecue flavors!


  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips, divided
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions: Boil potatoes for 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and mash to desired consistency. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, ½ cup of potato chips, onion, butter, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a greased two-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top of dish should have begun to brown. Yield: six to eight servings.

Trail Mix Broccoli Salad

Depending on which Canteen setup you have, you may be able to get most of the ingredients for this simple but unexpected salad from one of our vending machines or micro-markets. If you have a micro-market set up, we often sell fresh snack packs of broccoli or other veggies. For this salad, we recommend a trail mix with raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower kernels, and walnuts, but there are many varieties of trail mix that you could use (although we recommend you leave any trail mixes with chocolate for after dinner)!


  • 4 cups broccoli (about 2 bunches), cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup sunflower kernels
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bacon bits (optional)

Dressing (many of our healthful vending machines also sell pre-made salads with a similar vinaigrette dressing):

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons vinegar

Directions: Combine salad ingredients together. Whip salad dressing ingredients together with a fork. Serve and enjoy! Yield: six servings.

Secret Soda Cake

Your favorite soda makes a perfect secret ingredient to spice up any cake or cupcake recipe, and keep your family or guests guessing. The recipe below comes from Coca Cola®, but you can use your preferred cola drink or root beer, and the recipe will work fine with regular or diet soda.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups small marshmallows
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola®
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons Coca-Cola®
  • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift sugar and flour. Add marshmallows. In saucepan, mix butter, oil, cocoa, and Coca-Cola®. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients. Blend well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well. Pour into a well-greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.

To make frosting, combine butter, cocoa, and Coca-Cola® in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners’ sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve!

Potato Chip Cookies

Did you think adding potato chips to a mashed potato dish was a little obvious? Well, we wanted to end with something a little more unexpected to do with vending machine potato chips. These potato chip cookies are perfect for anyone with an affinity for sweet-and-salty treats!


  • 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions: In a large bowl, mix shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine flour and baking soda and gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in potato chips and butterscotch chips. Drop in tablespoon-sized rounds two inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before removing to wire racks. Yield: four dozen.

Hopefully these recipes have tempted your taste buds and sparked your imagination. With Canteen’s broad selection of vending machine ingredients, there are hundreds of inventive recipes waiting to be discovered. Visit Canteen’s Vending Services page to learn about our innovative and healthful vending machines and micro-markets.

For everyone who celebrates, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

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