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, and it is undeniably delicious. There are plenty of dishes we look forward to making each year.

When Thanksgiving prep begins, we search out the time-tested 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.

01 of 12

A Big Ol' Pan of Dressing

Classic Cornbread Dressing
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

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

Get the recipe: Classic Cornbread Dressing

02 of 12

Creamy Corn Pudding

Savory Corn Pudding
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

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.

Get the recipe: Savory Corn Pudding

03 of 12

Crunchy Green Bean Casserole

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

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.

Get the recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole

04 of 12

A Boat of Grandmama's Gravy

Ultimate Make Ahead Gravy
Hector Sanchez

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.

Get the recipe: Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe

05 of 12

A Dish of Oyster Casserole

Oyster Casserole
Greg DuPree

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.

Get the recipe: Oyster Casserole

06 of 12

A Southern Living Pie or Two

50 Best Thanksgiving Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Hector Sanchez

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.

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

07 of 12

Bubbling Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

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

Get the recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

08 of 12

Plenty of Biscuits and Cornbread

Plenty of Biscuits and Cornbread
Jennifer Davick

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.

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

09 of 12

Deviled Eggs

Best Deviled Eggs
Southern Living

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

Get the recipe: Deviled Eggs

10 of 12

Deep-Fried Turkey

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

Have you ever tasted Friday 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.

Get the recipe: Deep Fried Turkey with Creole Spices

11 of 12

Cranberry Sauce

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

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.

Get the recipe: Cranberry Sauce

12 of 12

A Pitcher of Sweet Tea

Southern Sweet Tea
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

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.

Get the recipe: Classic Southern Sweet Tea

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