Dishes You'll Only Find On A Southern Thanksgiving Table

Roasted Herb Turkey and Gravy
Photo: Greg DuPree

When the first of November arrives, it's time to start thinking about and getting ready for the big show: the Southern Thanksgiving dinner. It's a menu unlike any other.

When Thanksgiving prep begins, we search out the time-tested Thanksgiving recipes passed down to us from Mama, Grandmama, and Southern Living (the trusted trifecta). We flip through our favorite cookbooks, search our recipe archives online, and start crafting the menus our families will savor. It's these recipes they'll enjoy while making memories together around the Thanksgiving table. It's these recipes we rely on, the ones we know only need a dash of care and a tablespoon of love to make them Thanksgiving ready every fourth Thursday in November.

There are a few things you'll always find on Southern Thanksgiving tables: the recipes we're proud to cook and the traditions we are proud to keep alive year after year.

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A Big Ol' Pan of Dressing

Classic Cornbread Dressing

Get the Recipe: Classic Cornbread Dressing

Alongside the turkey, ham, and sausage, Southern tables call for a big helping of dressing. Preferably of the cornbread variety.

02 of 12

Creamy Corn Pudding

Savory Corn Pudding
Emily Laurae / Southern Living

Get the Recipe: Savory Corn Pudding

At Thanksgiving, we Southerners know that the best way to consume corn is not on the cob; it's in a delicious corn pudding that pairs beautifully with turkey, dressing, and all the rest of the holiday menu staples.

03 of 12

Crunchy Green Bean Casserole

Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Get the Recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole

Come Thanksgiving, we don't skimp on our casseroles. Guests always notice if the crunchy, onion-topped green bean casserole is missing from the Thanksgiving Day spread.

04 of 12

A Boat of Grandmama's Gravy

Ultimate Make Ahead Gravy
Hector Sanchez

Get the Recipe: Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe

Heirloom recipes like Grandma's classic gravy always have a place on our Southern tables year-round, but they're especially beloved during the holidays.

05 of 12

A Dish of Oyster Casserole

Oyster Casserole
Greg DuPree

Get the Recipe: Oyster Casserole

This coastal favorite is a staple on Thanksgiving tables throughout the South, but especially in seaside spots like New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, Baltimore, and North Carolina's Outer Banks.

06 of 12

A Southern Living Pie or Two

50 Best Thanksgiving Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Hector Sanchez

Get the Recipes: German Chocolate-Pecan Pie, Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever, Brown Butter-Sweet Potato Pie

We Southerners don't skimp on our casseroles, and we certainly don't skimp when it comes to the dessert table. From pies and puddings to cakes and cookies, there's more than a few Southern Living dessert recipes being whipped up in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day.

07 of 12

Bubbling Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Emily Laurae/Southern Living

Get the Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

One scoop of this dish is never enough. It always has Southerners coming back for more ooey, gooey, marshmallow-and-sweet potato goodness.

08 of 12

Plenty of Biscuits and Cornbread

a pan of buttermilk biscuits getting a brush of melted butter

Get the recipes: Buttermilk Biscuits, Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls, Buttermilk Cornbread

While other regions will have just one or two recipes represented, Southerners are notorious for baking up all the bread, biscuit, roll, and muffin recipes we can get our hands on.

09 of 12

Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs
Photography: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Get the Recipe: Classic Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a must at Easter, but many families also serve them for other holiday gatherings, such as Thanksgiving. After all, when they are a favorite family recipe, why not have them more than once a year?

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Deep-Fried Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey with Creole Spices
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Get the Recipe: Deep Fried Turkey with Creole Spices

Have you ever tasted fried turkey? For many Southerners, it's a staple on the Thanksgiving table whether it's served alongside an oven-roasted turkey or not. Lovers of deep-fried turkey will say this cooking style makes the dark meat juicer, the white meat even more tastier, and the outside crispier.

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Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Torie Cox; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

While Southerners can agree that cranberry sauce belongs on the table, we're divided about how it must be made. Some of us swear by Grandma's recipe while others want it right out of the can.

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A Pitcher of Sweet Tea

Perfect Southern Sweet Tea
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

Get the Recipe: Perfect Southern Sweet Tea

You didn't think we'd forget the tea, did you? No Thanksgiving would be complete without a glass or two of Southern iced tea.

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