Our 50 Best Thanksgiving Recipes of All-Time
In honor of our 50th anniversary, we've pulled together our favorite Thanksgiving dishes over the years.
In November 1966 we celebrated our first Thanksgiving with a foil-baked turkey, fluffy sweet potatoes, savory string beans, and pumpkin and pecan pies. Fifty years later, the SL Test Kitchen continues to dream up delicious new ways to bring the storied dishes that have graced our tables for generations to life. And while we always welcome the new additions to the holiday feast (crowd-pleasing sides, showstopping pies, the skillet cornbread, a new spin on mashed potatoes), Southerners always leave room on the table for the tried-and-true classics. The recipes that have been passed down for generations and been in our family–and on our holiday tables–for decades. Not only are they delicious but they have stories that are meant to be told (and retold) year after year. In honor of our 50th anniversary celebration, we challenged our editors to do the near impossible task of choosing the top 50 recipes of all-time. From appetizers to desserts, here are their top picks.
Cornflake, Pecan, and Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
Fresh Corn Spoonbread
Recipe: Fresh Corn Spoonbread
If you're looking for a moist alternative to traditional cornbread, this simple spoonbread recipe is the one for you.
Icebox Dinner Rolls
Recipe: Icebox Dinner Rolls
Leaving even a drop of gravy on your plate might offend someone. Sop up those drippings with these warm and delicious rolls.
Homemade Crescent Rolls
Recipe: Homemade Crescent Rolls
Some choose cornbread, others pick biscuits, but everyone votes for the crescent roll. This make-from-scratch recipe is easy enough for an amateur in the kitchen to tackle. Tip: Brush unbaked rolls with melted butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, coarsely ground pepper, and dried Italian seasoning.
Tee's Corn Pudding
Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding
Tee's classic Corn Pudding recipe gives you the rich, airy texture of soufflé for the price of cornbread casserole.
Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries
An unexpected side dish that is packed with flavor. Our grain salad is loaded with fresh ingredients like feta cheese, sweet dried cherries, scallions, and toasted pecans.
Brussels Sprouts with Cornbread Croutons
Brussels sprouts are finally having a moment, and getting the attention they deserve. This beautiful recipe calls for crunchy cornbread croutons too.
Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots Recipe
Coated in sweet honey and fall spices, these carrots might just steal the show.
Recipe: Squash Casserole
Because Thanksgiving is one of the few times of the year that covering your vegetables in Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, butter, Parmesan, and French fried onions is not only acceptable–but expected.
Root Vegetable Gratin
Recipe: Root Vegetable Gratin
This comforting side dish combines our favorite seasonal root vegetables—hearty russet potatoes, crunchy rutabagas, and snappy parsnips—and cooks them together.
Skillet Squash Blossom
Recipe: Skillet Squash Blossom
With carmelized edges and an intricate presentation, this Thanksgiving side is pretty enough to stand in as the table's centerpiece.
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Packed with flavor and light on fat, this hearty vegetable dish takes broccoli to a whole new level.
Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, and Greens Casserole
It's almost as though three of our favorite sides got together to revolutionize dinner.
Slow-Cooker Green Beans
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Beans
This green bean recipe frees up precious stove-top space and reminds us of the traditional green beans our grandmothers used to make.
Pimiento-Cheese Creamed Spinach
Recipe: Pimiento-Cheese Creamed Spinach
Any recipe that calls for pimiento cheese and creamed spinach is a dream come true.
Recipe: Creamed Collards
Made with fresh collard greens, smoky bacon, and creamy Béchamel sauce, this Southern classic is also a great way to bring variety to a carb-heavy Thanksgiving menu.
Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Recipe: Au Gratin Potato Casserole
This cheesy, creamy potato casserole uses frozen hash browns, cream of mushroom soup, shredded Cheddar cheese, and a straight-out-of-the-box corn flakes cereal.
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
We've made quite a few mashed potato recipes over the years but this is by far the best. Our mouthwatering version calls for goat cheese, heavy cream, and chopped fresh chives.
Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes
Rich whipping cream and golden, bubbly Parmesan cheese make this dish divine.
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Add some magic to your traditional mashed potatoes with rich browned butter and creamy buttermilk.
Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Recipe: Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Crispy on the outside and tender and creamy on the inside, these are the best baby potatoes around.
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
This sweet potato is top-rated, and we're guessing it's because of the toppings, which includes crunchy pecans, crispy cornflakes, brown sugar, butter, and more.
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
Looking for an alternative to sweet potato casserole? This sausage ball appetizer combines sweet potatoes, spicy chorizo sausage, and sharp Cheddar cheese into mini appetizers.
Recipe: Candied Yams
Make this classic candied yams recipe in the slow cooker for a warm and delicious side.
Four Cheese Macaroni
Recipe: Four Cheese Macaroni
What's better than Macaroni and Cheese? Macaroni made with four cheeses, such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack, fontina, and Asiago.
Golden Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Golden Macaroni and Cheese
This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe beats the boxed kind any day of the week. But be warned: after you make this homemade dish once, you'll be hard-pressed to make the boxed version ever again.
Recipe: Cranberry-Apricot Sauce
A tangy cranberry dressing that brings a brand new flavor to a traditional dish.
Cornbread Dressing with Kale and Bacon
Kale and bacon come together in this smoky, moist cornbread dressing.
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel
Fennel lovers, rejoice: This Italian-inspired cornbread dressing will certainly earn its way up to your yearly Thanksgiving menu.
Grandmother Carter's Cornbread Dressing
This classic dressing combines cornbread crumbles, rice, eggs, and seasonings into a family favorite side.
Made with traditonal cornbread mix, this savory seafood dressing gets a kick from the crumbled andouille sausage.
Classic Bread Dressing
Recipe: Classic Bread Dressing
This easy bread dressing recipe is made-from-scratch with high-quality sourdough bread, fresh parsley and thyme, and celery, leeks, and garlic.
Herbed Wild Rice Dressing
Old-Fashioned Giblet-Egg Gravy
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Giblet-Egg Gravy
Good gravy enhances the flavors of most Thanksgiving dishes so prepare a generous amount for the Turkey Day feast.
Creole Deep-Fried Turkey
Recipe: Creole Deep-Fried Turkey
Deep-fried and delicious. This is the only recipe you will ever need for a deep-fried turkey.
Roasted Herb Turkey and Gravy
Recipe: Roasted Herb Turkey and Gravy
Seasoned with classic spices like sage, thyme, and fennel seeds, this turkey recipe practically makes its own gravy.
Sweet-and-Spicy Roast Turkey Recipe
We dry-brined this bird with a fragrant spice rub, and then roasted it with a honey-hot sauce glaze.
Smoked Turkey Breast
Recipe: Smoked Turkey Breast
A crowd-pleasing way to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey, this smoked meat is bursting with apple cider, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Roasted Dry-Rub Turkey with Gravy
Recipe: Turkey Dry Rub
This recipe, with its Paprika-Brown Sugar Rub, yields a turkey with dark, crispy skin.
Brown Sugar-Bourbon Baked Ham
Recipe: Brown Sugar-Bourbon Baked Ham
Delicious warm or cold, a make-ahead favorite that's been in the family for years.
Roast Pork with Garlic-Onion Gravy
Totally turned-off by turkey? Serve a pork roast that makes for great Black Friday leftovers.
Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
There's nothing sweeter than a homemade pecan pie baked in a cast iron skillet.
Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust
Golden cornbread crust filled with fresh apples and delicious apple jelly.
Sliced Sweet Potato Pie
Recipe: Sliced Sweet Potato Pie
A crumbly, crispy, golden struesel and layers of sweet potatoes.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
Recipe: The Ultimate Carrot Cake
One reader said it best: "It was the best cake I've ever eaten." We must agree.
Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Puddings
These top-rated and individually-served desserts taste like a combination of pecan and pumpkin pies.
Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
Because there is nothing better than a homemade pumpkin pie.
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Recipe: Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Browing the butter with spices lends a deep, nutty flavor to this Southern classic.
Sweet Potato Bread with Buttermilk-Lime Icing Recipe
Pumpkin bread's more sophisticated, spicy cousin. Top with tart icing for a dessert people will beg you to bake.
Recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini
For a creamy casserole, toss your Thanksgiving leftover turkey into a baking dish with spaghetti, vegetables, and Alfredo sauce.