Thanksgiving Southern Family Feast Recipes

Thanksgiving Dinner Spread
Thanksgiving Dinner Spread | Source

Thanksgiving Dinner was always a big deal growing up. We always had a feast with all the aunts, uncles and cousins from my mom’s side of the family. This meant dozens of relatives and tons of great food. The women did all of the cooking, and let me tell you, my mom and all of my aunts are great cooks. I’m going to share with you the traditional Southern Thanksgiving Feast that we always had at my house. Beware, it is a meat and carb fest!


Our Menu



Meats:

Turkey

Ham

Roast beef


Side Dishes:

Macaroni Cheese Pie

Dressing and Giblet Gravy

Noodles

Lima Beans

Green Beans

Potato Salad

Dinner Rolls


Desserts:

Fruit Salad

Banana Pudding

German Chocolate Cake

Sweet Potato Pies

Pecan Pies



Meats



My mom does not really care for turkey. We always have turkey, but we also have ham, my mom’s favorite, and roast beef, my sister’s favorite. It is beyond the scope of this hub to tell you how to cook the meats, but I will give a few tips, and I leave you in the good hands of the Food Network stars.



Roasted Turkey
Roasted Turkey | Source

Turkey


I like to use the oven roasting bags to cook turkeys. I also prefer the turkey breast roast. If you want to cook a whole turkey and don’t have a lot of experience, I would suggest a turkey with a the pop-up indicator, like a Butterball turkey. Many turkeys come with gravy pouches that make a gravy that is really pretty good.



Ham



There are cured hams and green hams. The cured ham is like the spiral hams. They are essentially cooked, but you will want to heat in the oven on low for several hours. A green ham is raw. Mom always cooked green hams overnight in the oven.

Use the juice for the ham to make gravy, cook noodles, or flavor vegetables. Just know that the juice will be extremely salty, so use sparingly. Mom made gravy with the drippings that is to die for, but you do need to water down the juice because of the saltiness.

If you’d like a good sauce for your ham, mix brown sugar and mustard. De-bone and de-fat your ham. Tear into chunks and pour sauce over ham. Heat in oven until thoroughly heated. This works well for cooking the ham ahead of time and reheating with the sauce before serving.



Beef Pot Roast

Beef Pot Roast from Schwan's, which I've prepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners a couple of times now.  Always tender and delicious.
Beef Pot Roast from Schwan's, which I've prepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners a couple of times now. Always tender and delicious. | Source

Beef Roast



Mom usually cooks something like a beef bottom round roast in the crockpot. Leave the lid on and do not peek for the best tenderness. This juice is the best of all the meat juices for cooking the noodles.



Homemade Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Real mac & cheese has milk & eggs, and is baked in the oven.  Fresh out of the oven, it has a souffle-like texture.
Real mac & cheese has milk & eggs, and is baked in the oven. Fresh out of the oven, it has a souffle-like texture. | Source

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


Down South we call this Cheese Pie. At our dinners, this was my Aunt Pat’s baby. My mom and aunts don’t use a recipe. I always made baked macaroni and cheese for my clinic holiday dinners in the Air Force. A couple years ago I decided to measure everything and tweak until I actually had a recipe.


6 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained but still hot

1 stick butter

4 eggs, beaten

3 cans evaporated milk

12 oz sharp cheese, shredded

12 oz extra sharp cheese, shredded


1. Cook noodles and drain. Pour into greased casserole dish. Cut the butter into chunks, and stir in with noodles to melt.

2. Mix shredded cheese through macaroni. My mom prefers Cracker Barrel cheese.

3. Beat eggs and pour over macaroni.

4. Pour milk over macaroni mixture.

5. Start out in preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 40 min, remove from oven, stir and return to oven. Increase oven temp to 400 degrees and bake for another 40 min. Top and sides will be brown and will get slightly crispy when removed from the oven. Center will be soft with cheese, egg and milk forming a soufflé-like texture.



Rate My Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

3.5 stars from 2 ratings of My Homemade Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Dressing and Giblet Gravy

Cornbread dressing with sweet onion, topped with gibblet gravy
Cornbread dressing with sweet onion, topped with gibblet gravy | Source
Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Dressing | Source

Dressing and Gravy


Dressing

In my family, when we made cornbread dressing for the holidays, we actually made and used day old cornbread. The dressing is my Aunt Blanche’s baby. In my family we like dressing a little on the soupy side, really moist. Traditionally it is firm, like cake squares and served with giblet gravy to moisten. We still have gibblet gravy, and I have included the gravy recipe also.

4 cups cornbread, homemade or Jiffy mix

3 c chicken broth

1 tsp sage

5 crumbled biscuits, homemade or frozen

1 medium minced onion

½ tsp pepper

3 eggs


1. Crumble cornbread and biscuits.

2. Add hot broth.

3. Cover and let sit 5 minutes.

4. Add remaining ingredients.

5. Pour in greased dish. Bake 1 hour at 400 degrees.



Gibblet Gravy

¼ flour

½ tsp salt

2 c chicken broth

Chicken gizzards and livers


1. Wisk flour into chicken stock. Add salt.

2. Heat on medium heat, stirring constantly.

3. Add finely chopped gizzards and liver.

4. Cook until thick.



My homemade potato salad.
My homemade potato salad. | Source

Potato Salad


Mom and I differ on potato salad. My potato salad was influenced by the mother of one of my high school friends. I’ll provide both and you can decide.

Mom sold me on red potatoes. They are moister and have a slight sweetness. Mom uses sweet pickle relish or a mayo relish. I use Claussen’s pickles. They have the best pickle texture for my money. Unlike Mom, I mash my eggs very thoroughly, especially the whites. Another texture thing for me. Dice onions and pickles by hand. If you use a chopper, the texture gets lost.

Be warned that neither of us have a recipe for potato salad, so ingredient amounts are my best guess. You’ll want to make this ahead and refrigerate so that the onions are crispy.


Mom's Potato Salad

3 to 5 lbs of red potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 to 4 boiled eggs, peeled and mashed

1 large sweet onion, diced medium

Mayonnaise

Sweet pickle relish


1. Cook potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain. Mash with potato masher.

2. Add mashed eggs, onions, and pickles.

3. Add mayonnaise and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add mayo until sufficiently moistened.

4. Add salt if needed, to taste.


My Potato Salad

3 to 5 lbs of red potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 to 4 boiled eggs, peeled and finely mashed

1 large sweet onion, diced medium

4-8 Claussen’s pickles, diced

½ to 1 c green olives, chopped

Mayonnaise

Dijonnaise mustard


1. Cook potatoes in salty water until soft. Drain. Mash up to half of the potatoes with a potato masher. Stir the remaining potatoes to break up, but also leave some chunks.

2. Add mashed eggs, onions, olives, and pickles.

3. Add mayonnaise and about ¼ cup of mustard, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add more mayo, pickle juice, and/or olive juice until sufficiently moistened. I also frequently add some Greek yogurt.

4. Add salt if needed, to taste.



Dinner Rolls
Dinner Rolls | Source

Dinner Rolls


Although at least one of my aunts, Aunt Totsie, made homemade biscuits and cornbread regularly, we usually have Brown and Serve rolls at Thanksgiving.



Pot of noodles, cooked in chicken broth
Pot of noodles, cooked in chicken broth | Source

Noodles


We like medium width, thin egg noodles. Heat broth to boil. I like beef broth best. Add noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally, per time on package directions. Go for the lesser time when a range is given. You want to remove from the heat when the noodles are still firm as they will continue to “cook”. Texture is very important! I always tend the noodles for this reason!


Green lima beans, cooked until very tender
Green lima beans, cooked until very tender | Source

Lima Beans


We like baby limas. Cook with ample water, and flavor with meat juice or bacon drippings. I like to cook with a medium peeled onion for flavor. Cook covered until tender. Remove onion before serving.


Green beans, cooked until very tender, with potatoes
Green beans, cooked until very tender, with potatoes | Source

Green Beans


We like to cook the green beans until soft. Soft vegetables are the Southern way! We like to cook large cubes of potatoes with our green beans. Season with meat juice or bacon drippings. If you want to use canned green beans, Hannover beans with the white liner are good. They are tender and don’t require a lot of cooking time. Old Glory green beans are already seasoned and come with or without potatoes.


Apples, bananas, and oranges are the key ingredients of this family favorite fruit salad
Apples, bananas, and oranges are the key ingredients of this family favorite fruit salad | Source

Fruit Salad


6 bananas

6 apples

6 oranges


1 ½ c evaporated milk, add sugar until the milk and sugar mixture reach the 2 c level

1 ½ c chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

1. Peel and chop all fruit.

2. Mix milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour onto fruit. Mix to coat fruit.

3. Add nuts if desired.



Homemade Banana Pudding

Homemade Banana Pudding is made with cooked custard, not instant pudding mix!
Homemade Banana Pudding is made with cooked custard, not instant pudding mix! | Source
Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding | Source

Banana Pudding


This is the real deal. You might as well go ahead and double the recipe. Don’t even talk to me about that Jello pudding steak house buffet stuff.

1 c sugar

2 heaping T flour

2 eggs, separated

1 can evaporated milk

1 can water

1 box vanilla wafers

1 bunch of ripe bananas, peeled and cut into rounds


1. Combine sugar and flour together.

2. Transfer sugar and flour, egg yolks, milk and water to pan, preferably the top of a double boiler.

3. Heat stirring constantly until mixture starts to bubble.

4. Layer vanilla wafers, bananas, and cooked custard in a casserole dish.

5. Optional: Top with meringue and bake 15 to 20 minutes for 325 degrees. (I don’t care for the meringue, another texture thing.)


Meringue

2 egg whites

¼ cream of tarter

¼ c sugar


Mix until frothy. Top pudding and bake as above.



German Chocolate Cake
German Chocolate Cake | Source

German Chocolate Cake


Mom uses the recipe on the Baker’s German Chocolate. It’s maybe my favorite cake ever, though Mom has a great repertoire of cake recipes.


1 4-oz package Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate

½ c boiling water

1 c butter

2 c sugar

1 c buttermilk

4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

2 ½ c sifted Swan’s Down Cake flour

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder


1. Melt chocolate in boiling water. Cool.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

3. Add egg yolks one at a time, and beat well after each.

4. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well.

5. Sift together flour, salt, and soda. Add dry mix alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.

6. Fold in beaten egg whites.

7. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch layer pans. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

8. Cool layers. Frost tops only.


Coconut and Nut Frosting

1. Combine 1 c evaporated milk, 1 c sugar, 3 egg yolks, ½ c butter, and 1 tsp vanilla.

2. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring, about 12 minutes.

3. Add 1 1/3 c Baker’s Angel Flake coconut and 1 c chopped pecans.

4. Beat until thick enough to spread. Apply to tops of cooled layers.



Mom's Sweet Potato Pie

Slice of Mom's Sweet Potato Pie, served on Granny's dish
Slice of Mom's Sweet Potato Pie, served on Granny's dish | Source
Sweet Potato Pie made by my mom
Sweet Potato Pie made by my mom | Source

Sweet Potato Pie


Mom’s Sweet Potato pies are the best of all the family in my opinion. She does not use a recipe. She looked through some of her recipe books and thought this one was close, but emphasized she sweetens to taste.


4 medium sweet potatoes, about 3 ½ to 4 c

2 eggs

1 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 stick butter

½ c evaporated milk

2 shallow (not deep dish) unbaked pie crusts


1. Peel sweet potatoes. Cut in chunks. Boil until tender.

2. Beat potatoes with mixer until smooth.

3. Add remaining ingredients. Beat until creamy.

4. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, until crust is brown. Mom cautions the cook time on these is tricky. The bottom is often doughy, so maybe not a bad idea to precook the crust for 10-15 minutes.


Pecan Pie
Pecan Pie | Source

Pecan Pies


3 eggs

1 c packed light brown sugar

1 c granulated sugar

3 T flour

1 tsp vanilla

¾ c milk

1 stick melted butter

1 c chopped pecans

2 shallow (not deep dish) unbaked pie crusts


1. Cream butter and sugar

2. Add flour

3. Beat eggs together and add to mixture

4. Add milk, nuts and flavoring

5. Pour into 2 shallow unbaked pie shells

6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until set



Thanksgiving Leftovers

Maple glazed ham, roasted turkey, green bean casserole, rice with ham milk gravy, and cornbread dressing with gibblet gravy
Maple glazed ham, roasted turkey, green bean casserole, rice with ham milk gravy, and cornbread dressing with gibblet gravy | Source

More by this Author


Comments 27 comments

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 12 months ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for visiting KK Girl. The Mac & Cheese will not disappoint, I promise. I have another hub with the Baked Macaroni & Cheese recipe, including a smaller portion. We like to make the big one and have leftovers, to make Dunbar Macaroni. That recipe is in the Mac & Cheese hub too.

https://delishably.com/grains/Baked-Macaroni-and-C...


Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

Kailua-KonaGirl 12 months ago from New York

Your southern Thanksgiving feast sounds like a wonderful time with lots of good food. Yum! I have to pick your style of potato salad (sorry Mom) just because I am more particle to dill pickles than sweet pickle relish.

I really want to try your mac & cheese pie. It sounds heavenly - like my new comfort food. Pinning to my "Pasta" board on Pinterest so I can try the recipe after Thanksgiving. I already have everything planned for tomorrow's big day.


kafsoa profile image

kafsoa 5 years ago

Wow! tasty recipes, Must try some. I like pies and fruit salad.


tricia35549 profile image

tricia35549 5 years ago

Thanks for the recipes


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks Die'Dre'. We just made the mac & cheese this morning for my brother's work dinner. We'll do another Thursday for our usual T'giving at our friend Josie's.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks WordPlay! Your 'how to' hub was one of my very first bookmarks.


Die'Dre' profile image

Die'Dre' 6 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

Wow, mouthwatering! Definitely going to try the mac & cheese recipe. Item-packed Hub. Thanks


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 6 years ago from Georgia, y'all

Wonderful hub. I bookmarked it and voted it up!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks xres55. I had a lot of cool milestones to cap off my 1 year anniversary!


xres55rummerxr 6 years ago

Dangit, made me hungry and its still a couple hours until dinner. Really nice hub. Congrats on hitting the 200 mark!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for reading webclubs.


websclubs profile image

websclubs 6 years ago

Hi Rmcrayne,

Nice Hub. Thanks for sharing.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for reading and commenting fits!


fits4life profile image

fits4life 6 years ago from Richmond

I enjoyed reading this hub although it made me very hungry. Great job. I loved it.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks Angel for joining in on my traditional family feast!


Its Angel profile image

Its Angel 6 years ago from Charleston, SC

This is a great hub!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

THanks for reading and commenting Tony. Yes I grew up surrounded by great cooks. Let me know how it goes with the recipes!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Wow! What a feast that must be. I would love to be able to share in something like that. The recipes also look fabulous. Will try some in due course.

Thanks for sharing.

Love and peace

Tony


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks Beth. Let me know if you try the recipe!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

This is perfect for me, especially the sweet potato pie as it is Thanksgiving for us in Canada tomorrow! Thank you for sharing your recipes and your family fesitivities!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks lyrics, judy and HT for reading and commenting!

lyrics, Unfortunately I'm in San Antonio and the family and feast are in S.C. I used to prepare the full feast for my Turkish friends. It is a huge amount of work.

judy, my mom doesn't like (turkey or) pumpkin, so we always had sweet potato pies. My dad's mother used to make homemade chicken and dumplings. Also homemade liver nips. Are you familiar with them?

BC you have a good weekend too. Only get into as much trouble as you think you can get by with!


judydianne profile image

judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

Your Thanksgiving meal is very similar to our Midwest Thanksgiving meal. It makes me hungry to read your hub! My mom used to make the noodles from scratch. We had pumpkin pie instead of sweet potato pie, but I like both! This was a great hub.


lyricsingray 7 years ago

I wish I could come to your place this Thanksgiving. I like the variety your family provides for everyone and this looks like a huge amount of work to Hub,so thanks. PS wish our Thanksgiving was as big as yours in the US,especially Southern Style, Thanks, K.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for reading and commenting febriedethan, Money Glitch and Storytellersrus. What time do we eat, right!?


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I really need to eat breakfast. This hub tortures me, lol. Great recipes. I might be back a week before the big event.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

OMG that picture of German Chocolate Cake has made me hungry... Another great hub, rmcrayne!


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

Nice pictures! American's dishes look so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working