food per a Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Your Guide to a Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner

Best Of..., Southern Dinners, Southern Potlucks & Parties

What’s the key to preparing a traditional Southern Thanksgiving dinner menu? Some “cooking with love” will get you a long way! And of course you’ll need the best recipes. Here we have some of the top options for your turkey dinner.

November is near, so we’re getting our Thanksgiving menu ready. We’ve selected our favorite Southern Thanksgiving recipes for this list, including the turkey, sides, desserts, and other goodies.

As usual, we’ve got our Southern Flair on most of these recipes. But whether you’re in the South or anywhere else, you’re going to enjoy these delicious holiday recipes for your turkey dinner.

Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

So put on your Thanksgiving best, whip up these Thanksgiving food delights, and you’re sure to have the Best Thanksgiving Ever!

The Perfect Turkey

For The Perfect Thanksgiving, the most important dish to get right… above all else… is of course the Thanksgiving turkey. The centerpiece of the meal. The Big Kahuna, if you will. So the first item on our menu is The Perfect Turkey.

With five stars from over 1700 ratings, this slow roasted turkey recipe quite literally is perfect, and is our go-to for the holidays. We think it’ll become your new favorite as well!

And be sure to top it with the perfect gravy!

— Recipe from: allrecipes —

Perfect Turkey

Perfect Turkey

A brine makes this roasted turkey extra moist and flavorful. Stuffed with vegetables, this bird is perfect for Thanksgiving & other holidays.

Baked Brie in a Puff Pastry

This yummy baked brie filled with apple and cranberry makes a lovely Thanksgiving appetizer.

And just watch how easy this is to make. You can substitute the dry cranberries with a little scoop of your cranberry relish to make it even more convenient.

Deviled Eggs

This dish may not be a traditional Thanksgiving appetizer for everyone, but in the South, we gotta have our deviled eggs.

These eggs can be found served as the prelude to many a delicious Southern Thanksgiving feast…or really any feast!

Southern Deviled Eggs

Want to make some southern deviled eggs that are easy, fast, healthy and yummy? Use this recipe for your next picnic or potluck.

Cornbread Dressing

Stuffing using bread? Dressing using cornbread? What’s your favorite accompaniment to your roast turkey? Cornbread dressing is our choice!

Pssst…cornbread dressing isn’t just for Thanksgiving. In the South, we enjoy this yummy side dish with meals throughout the year.

— Recipe from: Add a Pinch —

Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Southern Cornbread Dressing makes a comforting, classic dish for the holidays! This cornbread dressing recipe is moist, delicious and so easy!

Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is another dish we Southerners enjoy year round. Candied sweet potatoes are served as a side dish for meatloaf, chicken wings, baked ham, pork chops, and well…pretty much any dish you can imagine!

And for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, these are absolutely divine!

Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes

This Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe will be your new favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes! Also known as Southern candied yams, these are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or any other meal. This Southern recipe is one that you'll keep for generations.

Mashed Potato

Yep, you can have two potato dishes with your turkey dinner! Sweet potato and mashed potato are totally different flavors and can be enjoyed on the same plate.

Top these garlic mashed potatoes with some turkey gravy for your perfect Thanksgiving feast.

Recipe from: Tasty

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

Fry ‘em, dice ‘em, slice ‘em, or bake ‘em, there’s nothing better than a well-seasoned iteration of a potato. This time, we’re mashing ‘em and loading ’em up with all sorts of tantalizing flavors.

Pumpkin Soufflé Casserole

As you may know if you’re a fan of this site, in the South we LOVE our casseroles. I started making this pumpkin casserole about 15 years ago, and it’s become a favorite of the family. This casserole has a soufflé-like texture, and can also be served as a dessert with a touch more sugar.

This dish can also be prepared with butternut squash. If you don’t care for traditional squash, you’ve got to try this Thanksgiving recipe.

pumpkin souffle casserole with whipped topping

Pumpkin Souffle Casserole

Looking for a new side dish? This easy and versatile dish is great to serve at Thanksgiving or any other time of year. It can be made with pumpkin or butternut squash.

Green Bean Almondine with Cranberries

Want something other than the standard green bean casserole?

With almonds and cranberries, this dish is a festive side that’s perfect for your holiday meal.

— Recipe from: allrecipes —

Green Bean Almondine

Green Bean Almondine

Green beans are tossed with brown butter, almonds, and cranberries and finished with a splash of orange juice in this almondine side dish.

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

This may not be traditional cranberry sauce, but you’ll find this cranberry salad on many Thanksgiving menus throughout the South.

The “salad” is made with a layer of cranberry-flavored gelatin topped with a fluffy, lightly-sweetened cream cheese, and whipped cream. If you like an unsweetened topping, omit the sugar.

— Recipe from: The Spruce Eats —

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

This festive cranberry gelatin salad is the perfect side dish for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It requires a little planning ahead, but it’s very easy.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Having a dinner roll or biscuit with your Thanksgiving meal is a must, and in the South, we choose biscuits!

The ingredients for this recipe are only slightly different than the classic buttermilk biscuit recipe – the special ingredient here is sour cream.

Don’t forget to slather on some butter or just enjoy dipping in your giblet gravy.

buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk and Sour Cream Biscuits

These biscuits are absolutely divine and flaky. Wonderful with just butter or smothered in sausage gravy.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

When you can’t decide between cake or pie, just say “why not both”! This pumpkin pie cake recipe will satisfy both of your cravings.

This simple cake merges with the richness of pumpkin pie to make a delicious, yummy, and moist cake. If you like pumpkin pie, and a super gooey cake…this is the one for you! Truly, this cake is as “sweet as pumpkin pie“.

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake

This easy pumpkin pie cake combines the best of both worlds (pie and cake!) to give you that excellent pumpkin flavor in a cake texture.

Sweet Potato Slab Pie

Having a big group at Thanksgiving? Then say hello to the Sweet Potato Slab Pie. The pie crust is made from sugar cookie dough, which gives this traditional Thanksgiving dessert a yummy twist.

Traditionally, a sweet potato pie is baked in the typical round pie plate. But with this recipe, you can make the same tasty dessert and feed a lot more people!

Sweet Potato Slab Pie (With Sugar Cookie Crust & Marshmallow Whip)

This sweet potato pie is a great harvest fall dessert. It's a slab pie, so it's big enough to serve a crowd and great for fall spice lovers.

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler

To take this pumpkin cobbler to the next level, we have added in the rich nutty taste of pecans for a crunchy and salty twist to the dish. An ooey gooey cobbler with decadent pecans makes for a delicious harvest dessert.

The pumpkin and pecans team up to create a winning combination of autumn flavors. A lovely finish to your holiday dinner.

pumpkin pecan cobbler

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler

This pumpkin pecan cobbler is a yummy fall dessert that combines the beloved harvest flavor of pumpkin with nuts.

Thanksgiving Pies

Here we have our list of what might literally be every pie known to man. From apple pie to pecan pie, with over 50 pie recipes, you’ll certainly find both unconventional and classic Thanksgiving recipes that you and your family will love for the holidays.

You can even find pies suitable for different dietary needs in this list. Let us know your favorite!

Turkey Cookies

If there are going to be kids at your Thanksgiving, check out our list of turkey cookies. They’ll be delighted to see these cute and fun cookies at the dessert table. These make a yummy dessert to follow their turkey dinners!

Many of these are super easy to make, and even your littlest ones can have fun helping make these creative treats.

turkey cookies

Did we include your favorite traditional Southern Thanksgiving dinner menu item? Let us know in the comments!

food per a Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

The Perfect Southern Thanksgiving Dinner

What’s the key to preparing a traditional Southern Thanksgiving dinner menu? Some “cooking with love” will get you a long way! And of course you'll need the best recipes. Here we have some of the top options for your turkey dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern


  • Build your menu from the list above.
  • Follow the links to the recipes.
  • Prepare and enjoy!
Keyword thanksgiving, turkey
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