A Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Menu with Recipes

Menu and Recipe Suggestions for a Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner

Roast Turkey
Photo: Diana Rattray

Enjoy a traditional Southern Thanksgiving dinner this year with the menu and recipe suggestions below, or browse through the related articles and recipes to create your own special family feast.

Southern Thanksgiving Dinner Menu


Herb Roasted Turkey

This turkey is roasted with a mixture of herbs and olive oil under the skin and all over the bird. Use small amounts of dried herbs along with the fresh herbs for more flavor.

I used fresh dill, rosemary, and chives, along with a some dried leaf marjoram and thyme. For a smaller dinner, try this brined turkey breast or the split turkey (half) with Cajun seasonings.

Baked Ham with Sweet Bourbon-Mustard Glaze

 If you want an alternative to turkey or need something in addition to a traditional roast turkey, this easy, flavorful baked ham with Kentucky bourbon is an excellent choice. Another popular choice is this baked ham with maple and brown sugar glaze.

Southern Cornbread Dressing 

This classic home-style cornbread is made with bread crumbs and fresh baked cornbread, chicken broth, a variety of chopped vegetables,  and optional diced chicken. If you prefer a bread dressing, this one is an excellent choice.

Cranberry Salad 

This delicious cranberry salad with gelatin makes a great fruit salad to serve alongside turkey or ham. The salad is made with cranberry sauce, cream cheese, and whipped cream.

This strawberry pretzel salad is another holiday classic.

Basic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes are made with baking potatoes, butter, and milk. This recipe is easily doubled for a big dinner. Running out of room on the stovetop? Try these make-ahead mashed potatoes. They can be made and frozen until you're ready to bake.

Seven Layer Salad

This delicious salad almost always makes an appearance at our family gatherings and holiday dinners. The simple sweetened mayonnaise dressing tops it off perfectly.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This side dish is our most-requested sweet potato casserole recipe. It's made with mashed sweet potatoes and an amazing crunchy pecan topping. For candied sweet potatoes, these skillet sweet potatoes with cider glaze are excellent.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole 

This casserole is an easy, flavorful combination of broccoli and cauliflower, brought together with a simple cheese sauce and bread crumb topping.

Green Bean Casserole

This Cheddar green bean casserole is made with a homemade cheese sauce instead of the traditional condensed soup.  I top it with buttery bread crumbs, but you could use canned fried onion rings as well. This classic green bean casserole is a familiar favorite made with condensed soup.

Extra-Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

American cheese and Cheddar, along with a little cream make this a super creamy macaroni and cheese, and buttery croissant crumbs top it all off in a great way.

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits are a staple in the South. These biscuits are a simple preparation with shortening and buttermilk.

The lightly spiced sweet potato biscuits are another excellent option for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls

If you prefer dinner rolls over biscuits, you can't go wrong with these light and tender pumpkin cloverleaf rolls.  Take a look at our favorite homemade dinner rolls for some other ideas, including Southern butter yeast rolls.

Fresh Coconut Layer Cake

This is a delicious and moist fresh coconut cake with fluffy frosting. Make this cake as a very special dessert for Thanksgiving, Easter, or other special dinner or family gathering.

Classic Pumpkin Pecan Pie

This rich and delicious pumpkin pecan pie is the best of both worlds! This pie is a fabulous combination of pumpkin filling layered with a classic pecan filling. For a more traditional pie, bake this pumpkin pie. Take a look at our favorite fall desserts for more ideas.

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