Things You'll Only Find on a Southern Thanksgiving Table
Southerners and Thanksgiving go together like peas and carrots. We love to cook, we love to host our friends and family, and we love spending time together around the holiday table. So when the first of November arrives, we 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, browse southernliving.com, 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, and they are the recipes we’re proud to cook and the traditions we’re proud to keep alive year after year after year.
A Big Ol’ Pan of Dressing
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
Creamy 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.
Get the recipe: Savory Corn Pudding
Crunchy 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.
Get the recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole
A Boat of Grandmama’s Gravy
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
A Dish of 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.
Get the recipe: Oyster Casserole
A Southern Living Pie or Two
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.
Bubbling 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.
Get the recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Plenty of Biscuits and 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.
A Pitcher of 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.
Get the recipe: Classic Southern Sweet Tea