My Authentic Southern-Style Thanksgiving Recipes

Updated on October 1, 2018
Margie Lynn profile image

Here are some great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

My Southern-Style Thanksgiving Recipes

Cooking is one way I express my love for my beautiful family. We are a crowd when we can all get together, talking, laughing and sharing our lives! Maybe you will make some of these recipes for your holiday meal.

Best wishes from my kitchen to yours!

The Best Cornbread Dressing


Southern-Style Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing Recipe

We all grew up loving how our mom made holiday stuffing or dressing. We served at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or whenever we had a craving for it!

I prefer dressing to stuffing, but you may also use this recipe as a stuffing if you like. If you have biscuits use them instead of the white bread.

Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients for Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing

  • 3 cups bread or biscuits, crumbled or cubed
  • 4 cups cornbread, crumbled
  • 3 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions for Making Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing

  1. Bake the cornbread and crumble. You need 4 cups.
  2. In a medium-size skillet brown the sausage or ground beef until crumbly. Reserve the dripping from the meat.
  3. In a large bowl combine the bread crumbs, cornbread, salt, pepper, and sage.
  4. In the reserved meat drippings; sauté the onions and celery until tender. Add to the bread mixture.
  5. If necessary add a little water to the desired moistness.
  6. You may stuff the turkey or bake in covered casserole dish for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • You may use broth instead of the water to moisten the stuffing.
  • Makes the cornbread and crumble a day ahead so it can dry out a little. On Thanksgiving you'll be busy! Use day old or older bread to crumble.
  • Do not overcook dressing or it will be dry.

Thanksgiving Turkey, Done Southern-Style!

In our family, it isn't a turkey unless it has cornbread stuffing, pecan pie, and chow-chow relish on the side!


Cooking times for Stuffed and Unstuffed Thanksgiving Turkey

Weight of Turkey
10 to 18 pounds
3 to 3-1/2 hours
3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours
18 to 22 pounds
3-1/2 to 4 hours
4-1/2 to 5 hours
22 to 24 pounds
4 to 4-1/2 hours
5 to 5-1/2 hours

Favorite Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing


In the South, the holidays mean it's time for a big juicy turkey with cornbread stuffing. There are many different variations to making stuffing. This one has the sausage or ground beef in it, which makes it almost as much of a meal as the turkey itself.

Southern Cornbread stuffing is great any time of the year. I hope you add this recipe to your file and enjoy it many times.

Ingredients for Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing

  • ½ pound of sausage or ground beef
  • 4 cups dry breadcrumbs or biscuits crumbled
  • 4 cups cornbread, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup onion, chopped

Instructions for Making Southern-Style Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing

  1. Bake the cornbread and crumble. You need 4 cups.
  2. In a medium size, skillet brown the sausage or ground beef until crumbly.
  3. Reserve the dripping from the meat.
  4. In a large bowl combine the bread crumbs, cornbread, salt, pepper, and sage.
  5. In the reserved meat drippings; sauté the onions and celery until tender.
  6. Add to the bread mixture.
  7. If necessary add a little water for desired moistness.
  8. You may stuff the turkey or bake in a covered casserole dish for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Baste occasionally with the turkey dripping if you desire.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • You may use broth instead of water to moisten the stuffing.
  • Makes the cornbread and crumble a day ahead so it can dry out a little. Use day old or older bread to crumble.

Giblet Gravy


Giblet gravy is a must for your southern-style Thanksgiving or Christmas stuffing or dressing. I like the giblet gravy that is made with milk, that is the way my mom always made it. This recipe is creamy and delicious!

Ingredients for Giblet Gravy

  • Giblets from 1 turkey or chicken
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups pan drippings or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Instructions for Making Giblet Gravy

  1. Remove the liver and giblets and refrigerate.
  2. Place the giblets in a saucepan, cover with 4 cups cold water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour.
  4. Add the liver to the giblets and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Drain, cool, chop and set aside.
  6. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan and stir in the flour.
  7. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring until the butter begins to turn a golden color.
  8. Slowly stir in the drippings or chicken broth and milk or half and half.
  9. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened.
  10. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the hard-boiled eggs and chopped giblets and serve.

Makes 3 cups

Baked Southern-Style Sweet Potatoes


Baked candied sweet potatoes are specially baked for me by my mother; I looked forward to them every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Mom is no longer here to make them for me, I sure miss her good cooking!

Ingredients for Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 to 8 sweet potatoes
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 3 cups sugar

Instructions for Making Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice in 1/2 inch rounds.
  3. Put the potatoes into a large pan and cover with the water. Cook until semi-soft.
  4. Drain the water off of the potatoes
  5. Layer in glass casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle the sugar over potatoes.
  7. Dot the butter over the potatoes.
  8. Bake until light syrup forms in the dish.

Easy Southern-StyleYeast Rolls


Ingredients for Yeast Rolls

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 packages of yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
  • 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions for Making Yeast Rolls

  1. Mix the water, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add about 3 cups of the flour.
  3. Beat until smooth and shiny.
  4. Add the shortening and beat into mixture.
  5. Add the rest of flour and mix well.
  6. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  7. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
  8. Pour the dough onto a floured dough board.
  9. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.
  10. Cut into rolls.
  11. Let rise about 1 hour.
  12. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10- 15; or until brown on the top.

Make approximately 2 dozen rolls.

Cranberry Relish (a Thanksgiving Necessity!)


Somehow cranberry relish makes everything come together on Thanksgiving. Here's an easy, traditional southern-style recipe.

Ingredients for Cranberry Relish

  • 1 quart washed raw cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 orange, leave the peel on, quartered

Instructions for Making Cranberry Relish

  1. In a blender or food processor combine the cranberries, apples, and orange.
  2. Process to the consistency that you like.
  3. Add the sugar to the mixture and stir.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.

Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey in Oven Bag

Frozen Cranberry Salad

I love this dish -- it's one way you know you're at a true southern Thanksgiving.

Ingredients for Frozen Cranberry Salad

  • 1-8-ounce cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-16-ounce can of whole cranberry sauce
  • 1- 8-ounce can pineapple, crushed and drained
  • 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1-8-ounce whipped topping

Instructions for Making Frozen Cranberry Salad

  1. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and smooth.
  2. Stir in the mayonnaise, sugar, and crushed pineapple.
  3. Add the cranberry sauce and nuts.
  4. Fold in the whipped topping.
  5. Place the mixture in a 13x9x2-inch pan and freeze.
  6. Freeze at least 12 hours.
  7. Set out of the freezer at least 30 minutes before serving.
  8. Cut into squares.

Makes 8 servings.

Fresh Green Beans With Almonds


I love fresh green beans, you could use frozen, but the fresh ones are better! I think
you can even get the fresh one already snapped and ready to go in the grocery
store, that is for a price!

Get the kids to help snap them and it will not take long. This recipe will serve 4 if you need more just double or triple the recipe! You have to have a healthy green vegetable for Thanksgiving, and these are perfect.

Ingredients for Fresh Green Beans with Almonds

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, snapped and washed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ cups sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions for Making Fresh Green Beans with Almonds

  1. Cook the green beans in boiling water or steam in microwave until tender-crisp.
  2. Over medium-high heat, brown the butter in a small saucepan; add the almonds, lemon juice, parsley, basil, and salt. Heat the butter-almond mixture through.
  3. Drain the green beans; add the butter-almond mixture; toss to coat.

Makes 4 servings.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Whoopie pies are one of those southern-style junk foods that you know you shouldn't love, but you do. The kids will love these whoopie pies for a treat after a big Thanksgiving dinner. They would be great to serve for a fall meal or at a Halloween Party. Just grab one and enjoy the delicious pumpkin taste filled with a cream cheese icing.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract


4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
2 pinches of salt
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Instructions for Making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using two baking sheets, line with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
  4. Add eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt; whisk into butter-sugar mixture.
  5. Fold in the flour.
  6. Drop small mounds of batter using a spoon onto baking sheets, spacing evenly.
  7. Bake cookies until springy to the touch, about ten minutes.
  8. Place on baking rack to cool completely.

Instructions for Making Icing

  1. Cream the softened butter with the cream cheese using an electric mixer.
  2. Add the confectioners' sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla, 2 pinches salt, and cinnamon; mix on low speed until blended, then medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. On half of the cookies spread with cream cheese icing on the flat side.
  4. Top each cookie with another cookie.

Night-Before Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes


How can you go wrong with a dish that has cream cheese and sour cream? We always are in a hurry to do things, so this is a good southern-style Thanksgiving recipe to make the night before. On Thanksgiving, you'll be busy enough anyway with all the other great recipes!

You can also freeze and then thaw before baking. A pinch of baking soda makes the potatoes fluffier.

Ingredients for Night-Before Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

  • 8-10 potatoes peeled, quartered
  • 1-8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Butter
  • Seasoned salt

Instructions for Making Night-Before Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

  1. Boil the potatoes until tender; drain.
  2. With an electric mixer whip hot potatoes, adding cream cheese and sour cream. Continue beating until fluffy and smooth.
  3. Add the black pepper and salt.
  4. Place in a buttered 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish.
  5. Dot with butter generously and sprinkle with the seasoned salt.
  6. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator.
  7. If you like freeze the potatoes; thaw before baking.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit covered for 15 minutes.
  9. Uncover and continue baking for 20 minutes.

Southern-Style Pecan Pumpkin Pie


Pecan pie is of course a necessity for a truly southern-style Thanksgiving. This recipe is a little different from the traditional pecan pie because it blends it with pumpkin pie, but different is good sometimes. This is a very easy pie to make, especially if you buy your pie crust like I do!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pecan Pie

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups cream or half and half
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Instructions for Pumpkin Pecan Pie

  1. Beat eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar; add the pumpkin and cream.
  2. Add the flour mixed with salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat well.
  3. Pour into an unbaked pie shell.
  4. Sprinkle with the pecans.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

Let's Eat!

And a Very Happy Southern-Style Thanksgiving to You!
And a Very Happy Southern-Style Thanksgiving to You!

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    © 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen


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