14 Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Recipes

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is time to look at some of the iconic, hearty, can’t-get-enough food that will make you feel full for an entire week (oh who are we kidding, we will still dab into that delicious pie!

Nobody does Thanksgiving like the south! And by south, we are fully aware that there are several different parts from the coastal South, to the southwest, Cajun, and so on, just to name a few, but regardless of where you are, you will get to enjoy great hospitality and incredibly delicious food!

Different parts, well, even different towns or just households have their personalized family recipes for thanksgiving, but the thanksgiving menu generally has several must-haves stables!


Traditional southern Thanksgiving meals will stick to your ribs and your heart. It is all the comfort food, well-balanced, rich-in-flavor, simple, yet incredibly delicious prepared with so much love and care, sitting right there in front of you, tempting you to take just another bite! I mean who can even resist?

No wonder everyone starts packing their thanksgiving pants first when preparing to travel for Thanksgiving!

So, what can you expect on the Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Menu? We have just the right list for you:

1. Let’s start with the basics: the Turkey!

See recipe at Plays Well With Butter and pin it!

Did you know that allegedly, the entire turkey got deep-fried for the first time in the 1930s in Louisiana? Yes, but only around the 80s its popularity started to spread throughout the country, and now it is a crucial part of every Thanksgiving dinner!!

The Queen of the Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner, for sure is the juicy Thanksgiving turkey! This recipe for a Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey is easy as a pie and a must-try for the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. Super easy to make, filled with flavor from plenty of butter and fistfuls of fresh herbs!

The turkey is super crispy and nicely roasted, while super soft and delicious on the inside. It’s for 10 servings, or 8, depending on how hungry you are, and will require you a bit over 3 hours to make, but it is definitely worth it!

2. Soft, heavenly buns – preferably Parker House Rolls!

See recipe at Mom On Timeout and pin it!

Be it with corn or white flour, the delicious buns most often Parker House Rolls are another staple of the Southern Thanksgiving table!

Named after the Boston Parker House Hotel where they were first invented somewhere around the 1870s, these heavy carb clouds are to die for!

If you are looking to make some yourself, follow this recipe for Homemade Parker House Rolls. Use thanksgiving as an excuse to learn and perfect the mastery of making these buns and later on you can make them for your sandwiches or hamburgers!

3. What about some Southern Baked Mac & Cheese?

See recipe at Sweet Tea + Thyme and pin it!

Maybe the South has disagreements on many details about the dishes and what to add, and what to omit but everyone agrees wholeheartedly on one thing: southern mac and cheese are baked! Period.

This quintessential southern side dish is believed to have European roots, but the American versions are actually tied to James Hemings, the highly skilled enslaved chef of President Thomas Jefferson.

Here, we recommend the recipe from Sweet Tea + Thyme, who lays all the steps nicely for you to just follow and make amazing Southern Baked Mac and Cheese.

4. Southern Deviled Eggs are a must-have!

See recipe at Food With Feeling and pin it!

Albeit some may not classify the deviled eggs as typical Thanksgiving appetizers, in the South they are served as a prelude to many dinner parties and feasts, Thanksgiving dinner included!

This rendition of yummy Southern Deviled Eggs that will leave no one indifferent. With only a few ingredients, this is one of the easiest and fastest recipes you can make for Thanksgiving!

5. Oh my, the classic Southern Sweet Potato Casserole is here!

See recipe at Salt & Lavender and pin it!

Is Thanksgiving dinner really complete without some delicious, sweet potato casserole? Of course not! Another fan’s favorite, the rich sweet potato casserole is a  side-dish many can’t wait to dive into!

Salt & Lavender offers this relatively fast, delicious recipe for the Classic Sweet Potato Casserole! It is pecan and marshmallow-topped, for that extra crunchy but sweet taste!

6. Here come the veggies: Green Bean Casserole

See recipe at Salt & Lavender and pin it!

The inevitable side dish of green beans is something you fall in love with on thanksgiving dinner but end up doing throughout the year!

This recipe for Easy Green Bean Casserole has a plot twist – it uses fresh mushrooms instead of canned soup!

Once you try this, you would add to your classics and never go back for sure! It is super simple to make, and is full of fresh veggies, which makes it ideal for combining with other, heavier foods!

7. Something nice and savory but sweet: Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham

See recipe at Cafe Delites and pin it!

You will work out an appetite just by looking at the recipe, we swear! Don’t get intimidated by baking a ham! If you have the right recipe (and now you do!) you will be able to make it like a pro!

Cafe Delites offers you detailed instructions on how to create amazing, sweet baked ham in just 4 easy steps with only 3 ingredients. Worth trying for sure!

8. Thanksgiving without Cranberry Sauce? Impossible!

cranberry sauce being spooned out of a bowl

See recipe at Ahead of Thyme and pin it!

Say what you will, but simple cranberry sauce is arguably best sauce for the Thanksgiving dinner. There are many recipes for cranberry dishes for the Thanksgiving dinner, but if you want to stick to the traditional and more classical cranberry recipe, we suggest you go with the cranberry sauce!

Here to bring a sense of family tradition, satisfy the taste buds of the entire family and please the crowd, this cranberry sauce recipe is simple and perfect.

9. How about some Turkey Gravy? No, we did not forget it!

See recipe at Dinner, then Dessert and pin it!

Quick, easy, super delicious and flavorsome, the gravy goes hand in hand with the turkey! We just can’t have a turkey for thanksgiving without the gravy, that would be a crime!

This turkey gravy will add tons of flavors to your Thanksgiving turkey, and can be made ahead for less stress on your day of cooking.

10. More classic accompaniment: Savory Cornbread Dressing

See recipe at Will Cook for Smiles and pin it!

As every Southerner would tell you, the best way to eat corn is not on the cob, but in various delicious corn recipes!

From corn breads, to versions of corn salads, and corn puddings, really there is no limit to the corn recipes you can find!

But for this Thanksgiving dinner, we have chosen to offer you this delicious Southern Cornbread Dressing. You can make it in less than an hour, and it will add some versatility to your dinner menu!

11. How about a pie? This is the easiest Pumpkin Pie ever!

See recipe at Crazy for Crust and pin it!

To conclude the Thanksgiving meals, we need to add some delicious desserts. And every dessert menu for Thanksgiving MUST include pie!

As the south’s favorite dessert, the pie is a must-have! It simply is not negotiable. But if you are already getting super tired from preparing all of the other meals, don’t worry, we got you covered!

12. What’s better than pie? Two pies! Here is another – Pecan Pie!

See recipe at House of Nash Eats and pin it!

Pecans – we love them in autumn and winter, and personally, nothing beats the smell of fresh pecan pies being baked on a cold afternoon! Since pies usually have 8 servings, why not make 2 and ensure that there is plenty to go around for everyone?

Obviously, this Classic Southern Pecan Pie is a no-brainer. Best part? Well, besides being heavenly delicious, this recipe is fool-proof and incredibly easy to make! In just a few steps, you will be good to go!

13. And of course, a delicious Fall Sangria!

See recipe at NeighborFood and pin it!

Here is something to help you wash down all these delicious foods! Ideal for serving before dinner, during, or after, this tasty drink is super easy to make.

A sangria is such a quick and easy crowd pleaser for any event, and this fall twist will definitely impress your guests. 

14. Mocktails rock too! Here’s an alcohol-free Apple Cider Punch:

See recipe at Eat Dessert Snack and pin it!

Nothing screams fall like apple cider! If you want to take your cider to the next level, all you need are a few easy ingredients.

Soon, you will have a delicious crowd-pleasing fall drink that looks cute to boot!

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1 thought on “14 Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Recipes”

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