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Louisiana Holiday Feast

Updated on November 5, 2014
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Growing up in North Louisiana and now living in the southern part, Yvonne has many great country, Cajun and New Orleans recipes to share.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes - North vs South Louisiana

If you are not from Louisiana, you probably don't know how different the northern part of the state is from the southern part of the state. We cook different foods, pray in different churches and celebrate the holidays in very different ways.

I have lived in both parts of the state and on this page I will give you a taste of the best Thanksgiving and/or Christmas recipes from Shreveport in the north to New Orleans in the south. Here you'll find easy recipes for cornbread dressing as well as oyster dressing, stuffed mirlitons, bread pudding, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and other Louisiana favorites. There is even information about how to roast the turkey.

We hope you enjoy your visit and the recipes here and that you "pass a good time, cher".

Roast turkey picture is Creative Commons

Two Different Worlds and Food within the Same State

I exist in two very different worlds. I was born in North Louisiana and grew up in a small town in Red River Parish, but I have spent the majority of my life in South Louisiana. My Father's side of the family has strong roots in New Orleans and France. There is even a street in New Orleans that is named after one of our great uncles. My Mothers people hail from Virginia and settled on a large piece of land in Red River Parish along the Red River near Coushatta. This is where she was born. She lived most of her life in North Louisiana, but also lived in Texas.

North and South Louisiana are like two different states. The north was settled by predominantly protestant people of English or African American heritage. It is mostly rural where agriculture and cattle ranching prevail. The diet and culture is more like that of Texas or Arkansas.

In the south, it is a different world. The French Catholic culture prevails in Acadiana and in New Orleans French, Spanish, Italian, German, Irish and other Catholics have blended to form a boisterous and fun loving group of people. The food is rich and the celebrations are grand.

Because of my mixed heritage, I am comfortable with either style of cooking and have prepared holiday meals in both the Northern and the Southern Louisiana styles. I've included recipes for most of the items in both meals. We hope you enjoy using these recipes.

Holiday Feast in North Louisiana

North Louisiana Menu

Holiday Dinner Menu in North Louisiana Homes


Cornbread Dressing

Giblet Gravy

Green Bean Casserole

Cranberry Sauce

Mashed or Baked Irish Potatoes

Brown and Serve Rolls

Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Christmas Cookies


North Louisiana Recipes

Pumpkin pie picture is public domain.

Cornbread Dressing

9 cups (enough for a 12-pound turkey).

3/4 cup minced onion

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (stalks and leaves)

1 cup butter or margarine

9 cups cornbread cubes

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed sage leaves

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup of chicken or turkey stock or broth

In large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter until onion is tender. Stir in about 1/3 of the cornbread cubes. Turn into deep bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Add 1/4-1/2 of broth or stock until mixture is moist. This dressing can be stuffed in the turkey right before roasting or spread into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish the night before. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Then bake it at 325 degrees F for about 45 minutes.

Giblets to add to gravy

Wash gizzard, heart, liver and neck. Cover all except liver with water; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 peppercorns, 2 cloves, small bay leaf and a little onion. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours or until gizzard is fork tender. Liver is very tender and can be fried, broiled or simmered in water, 5-10 minutes.

Giblet broth can be used in stuffing, gravy and recipes where chicken broth is specified. Cooked giblets can be cut up and added to gravy or stuffing. Refrigerate giblets and broth separately unless used immediately.

9-Inch Pumpkin Pie

Pastry for 9-inch One-crust Pie

2 eggs

1 can (1 pound) pumpkin (or 2 cups baked pumpkin)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cloves

1 2/3 cups evaporated milk or light cream

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare pastry. Beat eggs slightly with rotary beater; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. (To prevent spills, place pie pan on oven rack or on open oven door when filling with pumpkin mixture.) Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake 9-inch pie 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool If desired, serve with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

Vintage Baking Cookies


North Louisiana Food Poll

Is North Louisiana food to your liking?

See results

Holiday Feast in South Louisiana


South Louisiana Menu

Holiday Dinner Menu in New Orleans Homes

Roasted Turkey or Baked Ham

Oyster Dressing

Stuffed Mirlitons

Cranberry Sauce

Sweet Potatoes

Italian Salad

Twisted Italian Bread with poppy seeds (Usually from Gambino's Bakery.)

Bread Pudding

Mince or Apple Pie


How to Roast a Turkey Video

New Orleans St. Louis Cathedral

The Prudhomme Family Cookbook: Old-Time Louisiana Recipes by the Eleven Prudhomme Brothers and Sisters and Chef Paul Prudhomme
The Prudhomme Family Cookbook: Old-Time Louisiana Recipes by the Eleven Prudhomme Brothers and Sisters and Chef Paul Prudhomme

Super-bestselling Chef Paul Prudhomme and his 11 brothers and sisters remember--and cook--the greatest native cooking in the history of America, garnered from their early years in the deep south of Louisiana. The Prudhomme Family Cookbook brings the old days of Cajun cooking right into your home. Photographs.


South Louisiana Recipes

Oyster Dressing picture is public domain.

Oyster Dressing

makes 8-10 servings

1 long loaf French bread, stale

3 10-ounce containers (about 3 dozen medium) oysters

2 cups chicken or turkey stock

1f stick butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Salt, pepper, Creole seasoning and cayenne


Buy a po-boy loaf of French bread in paper (not plastic_ several before making dressing and let it go stale. (A good way to crumb the bread is to beat it with the side of a meat mallet while it is still in the paper bag.)

In a large bowl, break bread into small pieces and cover with water strained from the oysters and the chicken stock. Let soak 30 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet and saute' white onion and celery until soft. Add garlic and saute' a few minutes more. Add this mixture, the green onion tops and parsley to the soaked bread and mix well. Check oysters to eliminate any shell, chop them and stir into mixture. Add seasonings.

Place in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish, making sure there is plenty of liquid. Add more stock or water if necessary to make dressing very moist. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until dressing has firmed up and is lightly browned on top.

This dressing can be stuffed into a turkey and baked, but the turkey should be stuffed at the last minute to avoid salmonella poisoning. If baked inside the turkey, make sure the dressing reaches 165 degrees.

Bread Pudding

1 (8-ounce) loaf French Bread (stale)

1 quart milk

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 cup raisins

3 tablespoons butter

Break up bread. Soak in milk, using your hands to crush it and mix well. Add beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla and raisins. Pour melted butter into bottom of a 12x7-inch baking dish. Pour in egg mixture. Bake at 300 degrees 1 hour or until very firm. Let cool slightly.

Bread pudding can be served with several types of sauces including Bourbon, Amaretto, Whiskey and Lemon.

Bourbon Sauce: Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Heat in top of double boiler over hot water until very hot and sugar is dissolved. Whisk in 1 beaten egg very quickly; do not boil. Cool slightly; add bourbon to taste.

Amaretto Sauce: Over low heat melt butter and sugar together, stirring constantly. Add amaretto. Add egg. Heat slowly a minute or two more to set egg. Pour over bread pudding.

Tart Lemon Sauce: In one-quart saucepan combine 1 1/4 cups water, one-half cup sugar and 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel; bring to boiling. In measuring cup combine one-quarter cup lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch; mix into sugar mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, two to three minutes. Stir in two tablespoons butter or margarine. Makes about 1/3/4 cups.

Louisiana Real & Rustic Emeril

Louisiana Real and Rustic
Louisiana Real and Rustic

"Nowhere else have I found the passion for flavor that encompasses the lives of Louisianians, day in and day out," writes Emeril Lagasse. In Louisiana Real & Rustic, the prize winning New Orleans chef, cookbook author, and television cooking personality presents the great dishes of his adopted state in 150 down-home recipes.


South Louisiana Food Poll

So Cher, how do you like the food down here in South Louisiana?

See results

Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food

Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food: More than 225 of the City's Best Recipes to Cook at Home (New Orleans Cooking)
Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food: More than 225 of the City's Best Recipes to Cook at Home (New Orleans Cooking)

Tom Fitzmorris is uniquely qualified to write about the food of New Orleans. Born in the Crescent City on Mardi Gras, he'd never left his favorite town for more than three weeks at a time, until Katrina.


More Louisiana Cookbooks

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen

Here for the first time the famous food of Louisiana is presented in a cookbook written by a great creative chef who is himself world-famous. The extraordinary Cajun and Creole cooking of South Louisiana has roots going back over two hundred years, and today it is the one really vital, growing regional cuisine in America.


Old Absinthe House

New Orleans Chefs' Charity for Children 1993 Cookbook
New Orleans Chefs' Charity for Children 1993 Cookbook

Fundraising cookbook for St. Michael's Special School. Contributions by: Joe Cahn of the New Orleans School of Cooking, Gunter Preuss of The Versailles; Tom Weaver of Christian's, Mike Roussel of Brennan's, Goffredo Fraccaro of La Riviera, Chris Kerageorgiou of La Provence, Rusty Staub (guest celebrity chef), The Wongs of Trey Yuen, Emeril Lagasse of Emeril's Restaurant, Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's, Austin Leslie of Chez Helene, Randy Buck of Fairmaont, and Donald M. gallant, M.D.

A Trim and Terrific Louisiana Kitchen
A Trim and Terrific Louisiana Kitchen

Now you can enjoy all your favorite foods without guilt. The book contains easy, everyday recipes that can be prepared in about 30 minutes. Nutritional analysis is included for all 375 recipes. The cookbook also features a wonderful pasta section and great menu ideas. Holly is a frequent guest on NBC's Weekend Today Show and has been featured in Cooking Light Magazine.


Southwestern Louisiana Favorite Cookbooks

The food of southwestern Louisiana or Acadiana is a little different from that of the New Orleans chefs.

Louisiana Gumbo Cookbook
Louisiana Gumbo Cookbook

A 192-page hardcover book with more than 100 recipes for the Cajun and Creole gumbo dishes that have made south Louisiana food world-famous. Special sections on the history of gumbo and fil, plus instructions for making rice and gumbo stocks.


Pecan Pralines, Yum!


Official Louisiana Seafood & Wild Game Cookbook

Talk About Good Cookbook

Talk About Good Cookbook
Talk About Good Cookbook

This cookbook takes you on a journey throuh south Louisiana's traditions, cultural heritage and the culinary artisries of Cajun food. It is in it's 23rd printng with over 70,000 copies sold. Winner of McIlhenny Hall of Fame Award.


Oysters Anyone?

VOILA!  Lafayette Centennial Cookbook 1884-1984
VOILA! Lafayette Centennial Cookbook 1884-1984

VOILA! Lafayette, LA Centennial Cookbook by Jean K Durkee was prepared in conjunction with the centennial celebration of Louisiana's "Cajun Capitol." This beautiful hard cover cookbook of 256 pages brings together conventional and microwave recipes from the best cooks found in a region acclaimed for its cuisine.


Food Fight!

Which is best, food in North Louisiana or food in South Louisiana?

© 2008 Yvonne L. B.

Ya'll Better Leave Us a Note, Dawlin'

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    • profile image

      sybil watson 5 years ago

      I judge almost all food by how good it is compared to what I've eaten in Louisiana! Plus, I'm married to a bubba so I know my southern cooking. Delicious lens!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      What a delicious lens, so yummy it makes my mouth water! Nice job and very well done.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      What an interesting lens! I didn't know there was such a difference between North and South Louisiana. Loved reading through this - and I like the sounds of both menus! Blessed. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love your recipes.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      I'm originally from South Louisiana. This page makes me a bit homesick. :-}

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      Now I'm craving turkey.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago from Rhode Island

      I mmm these southern recipes look wonderful I am very hungry now. lens roll to my all turkey lens

    • profile image

      huvalbd 7 years ago

      There isn't anything here in England like the foods of southern Louisiana--or a lot of other places back in the States. Dadgum it, this makes me miss it a lot again!

    • profile image

      Gail47 7 years ago

      Fascinating lens - I've always wanted to visit New Orleans, and everything you have included here urges me to visit the whole state of Louisiana. Your lens was blessed by a passing angel today!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Ok, I'm hungry now :)

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

      Thanks for including our recipe lenses in the Senior Squids Cook Book lens. Both my Mom and my Dad were good cooks, so I picked up a lot of tips and recipes from them.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I had no idea you had so many recipe lenses, each one a feast for the eyes. I'm gathering them onto a "Senior Squids Cook Book" lens.

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      Thanks for explaining the differences betweeen the south and north holiday cooking.

      I am french canadian, so I would probably lean towards the south cooking.


    • profile image

      ChristaHerzog 8 years ago

      This is such a wonderful lens. I have never been to Louisiana, but I had cajun food and enjoyed it. I happen to have brought a cook book with me and plan to use it for tonight's dinner.

      I will be coming back soon.


    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 8 years ago from Minnesota

      I love, love, love bread pudding. I've had it with bourbon sauce but not the lemon or amaretto. Bet they're both just as delicious. This is going to be a featured lens on my newest (yet to be published) lens on the best holiday fruitcake thanks!

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 9 years ago

      Being English I don't know much about this type of cooking but it sure looks good!

      Nice lens and a welcome addition to The Cooks Cafe group.

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 9 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      Oysters in the stuffing? Sounds strange to me but I'll give it a try.

      Thank you for joining the best lenses about the 50 States.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      This delicious lens is today's feature at

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 9 years ago

      It's interesting how different holiday food is depending on where you dine, and who with. I've moved away from my childhood home, and I sure miss the recipes I enjoyed as a kid. Thanks for sharing!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 9 years ago

      Love this! Looks like I belong in a North Louisiana home! Now I don't know if I can wait four more days for Thanksgiving. Terrific lens

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Really interesting recipes! The bread pudding with amaretto sounds tasty. Louisiana has some of the best (and most different) food in the country. Favorited this one!

    • Auntiekatkat profile image

      Auntiekatkat 9 years ago

      What a charming lens, the Oyster dressing looks scrummy. I have rated you a five and have also favourited it. Looking forward to trying the food.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      When it comes to holidays, food is a central part of the celebration.

      Great lens!


    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 9 years ago from Covington, LA

      [in reply to KimGiancaterino] Wow, this is new! Thank you sooo much for the kind words and the Angel Blessing.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Welcome to Culinary Favorites From A to Z... and a Squid Angel Blessing for this delightful lens. It's too hard to pick a favorite. Everything looks delicious!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Excellent lens. Welcome to the Comfort Food Group.


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