MENU: A Southern Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, treat your family to a traditional Southern-style Thanksgiving with all the fixings. Prime their appetites with a tart pickle platter and freshly shucked oysters. Then show off your low country hospitality by cooking up all the classic sides, from spicy collards to smoky stewed rutabagas, perfect for surrounding a cornbread-stuffed turkey. Finish the meal on an extra sweet note with a creamy pumpkin cake roll and some bourbon-laced pecan pie. And of course, don't forget to keep the sweet tea and whiskey cocktails flowing!


  1. Assemble the bread and butter pickles, pickled shrimp, and deviled eggs on a platter, alongside the cheese straws and any other favorite nibbles, with plenty of toothpicks for easy snacking. The bread and butter pickles can be made the week prior to Thanksgiving, while the cheese straws and pickled shrimp can be made the day before.

  2. To save time, prep your macaroni and cheese ingredients a day ahead of time: grate the cheese and prepare the spice mixture, and precook the pasta, which can be reheated by rinsing under hot water. The homemade butter, minted cranberry sauce, sweet tea, and desserts can all be made the day before serving.

  3. If you're serving a big crowd, sometimes the white meat can go too quickly. To solve this problem, we've starting making a stuffed turkey breast roulade in addition to the whole turkey.This version, stuffed with boudin, goes great with the rest of the spread.

  4. For more inspiring recipes for southern sides, see our recipe collection »

VIDEO: How to Make a Turkey Roulade

Anna Stockwell RECIPE: Roast Turkey with Corn Bread Dressing
LouElla Hill, a Memphis, Tennessee, cook who was famous for her Thanksgiving feasts, liked to roast her turkeys in ordinary brown paper grocery bags to keep them moist. Today's recycled paper might contain toxins that can leach into food, so we recommend using roasting bags specifically designed for cooking instead.

SERVES 6 to 8

1 10-lb. fresh turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 tsp. paprika
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped
6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 cup Chicken Stock or turkey stock

4 tbsp. butter
4 celery ribs, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
7 cups crumbled Corn Bread
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
2-2 1⁄2 cups Chicken Stock or turkey stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

RELATED: 9 Complete Thanksgiving Menus

1. For the turkey: Preheat oven to 375°. Rinse turkey well, pat dry with a clean cloth, and sprinkle inside and out with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place onions, celery, and carrots inside cavity. Tuck wings under back and tie legs together with kitchen string. Rub 4 tbsp. of the butter all over turkey. Put a paper bag in a roasting pan; rub inside of bag thoroughly with remaining 2 tbsp. butter. Place turkey breast side up in bag, with cavity facing out. Pour stock into cavity, fold bag closed, and cook 2 1⁄2 hours. Leave turkey in bag at least 30 minutes before carving. Reserve pan juices for gravy.

2. For the dressing: Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add celery, garlic, onions, and carrots. Cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

3. Combine corn bread, bread crumbs, sage, thyme, and poultry seasoning in a large bowl. Add vegetables and 1 cup stock; mix well. Stir in remaining stock to taste, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer dressing to 9" × 13" baking dish, put in the oven when turkey is in its last 30 minutes of roasting, and bake until golden brown.

RELATED: Thanksgiving Appetizers

Todd Coleman RECIPE: Sweet Potato Pie
Mrs. Bonner, who passed away in 2000 at the age of 94, kept a marvelous café in Crawfordville, Georgia, population 534. There was just one dessert available-sweet potato pie, which we liked so much that we managed to wangle the recipe from her. The secret to its especially bright color is the use of boiled sweet potatoes instead of baked. - Jane and Michael Stern, authors of


1¾ cups flour
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus 8 tbsp. melted and cooled
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups boiled and mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
½ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

VIDEO: How to Weave a Lattice Top for Pies

1. Place flour, 8 tbsp. chilled butter, and ½ tsp. salt in a food processor, and pulse until pea-size crumbles form. Add ¼ cup ice-cold water; pulse until dough forms. Form dough into a ball and transfer to floured work surface; form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 375°. In a bowl, whisk together remaining melted butter and salt, sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, vanilla, and eggs until smooth; set filling aside.

3. Unwrap dough and transfer to a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll until 1/8″ thick. Transfer to a 9″ pie pan and trim excess dough from edges; crimp with a fork or your fingers, if you like. Pour filling over crust and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until crust is lightly browned and filling is set, about 1 hour. Let cool completely before serving.