Skip to main content

My Authentic Southern-Style Thanksgiving Recipes

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

Recipe ideas from the South

Recipe ideas from the South

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!

Add this Southern classics to your holiday table this year.

Add this Southern classics to your holiday table this year.

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.

I hope you enjoy it!

The best cornbread dressing

The best cornbread dressing

Ingredients

  • 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

  1. Bake the cornbread and crumble. You need 4 cups.
  2. In a medium-sized 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 it in a covered casserole dish for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • You may use broth instead of water to moisten the stuffing.
  • Make the cornbread and crumble it 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 the dressing, or it will be dry.
This Thanksgiving turkey is done Southern-style.

This Thanksgiving turkey is 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!

CLICK HERE FOR MY RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE CHOW-CHOW RELISH!

Cooking Times for Stuffed and Unstuffed Thanksgiving Turkey

Weight of TurkeyUnstuffedStuffed

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

My favorite Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing

My favorite Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing

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 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

  • 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

  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 it 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 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!

Giblet gravy

Giblet gravy

Ingredients

  • 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

  1. Remove the liver and giblets and refrigerate.
  2. Place the giblets in a saucepan, cover them with 4 cups of 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-sized 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 of 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 Candied Sweet Potatoes

Baked candied sweet potatoes were specially baked for me by my mother, and 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!

Baked Southern-style sweet potatoes

Baked Southern-style sweet potatoes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Easy Southern-Style Yeast Rolls

These rolls make a great accompaniment to any holiday table.

Ingredients

  • 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

  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 min; 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

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

Instructions

  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

  • 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

  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.

Green bean side dish

Green bean side dish

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

  • 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

  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 cream cheese icing.

Ingredients

For the Pie

  • 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

For the Icing

  • 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

Night-before Thanksgiving mashed potatoes

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

  • 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

  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

  • 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

  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.

My Favorite Cast-Iron Skillet

You'll need a good, seasoned skillet to make this and also to make many Southern Thanksgiving and everyday recipes. This cast-iron skillet is perfect for making all of your recipes come out perfect! (Hint: It also makes a great gift for a cook in your family.)

Let's eat! And a very happy Southern-style Thanksgiving to you!

Let's eat! And a very happy Southern-style Thanksgiving to you!

Great Recipes to Try

© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen