Thanksgiving feast

5 Southern Dishes Your Turkey Day Should Feature

Happy Almost Thanksgiving, y’all!

With everyone’s favorite day of feasting just around the corner, you are probably making your list and checking it twice. No, we aren’t talking about the one Santa Claus has his eyes peeled for; we’re talking about groceries, which, let’s be honest, are sometimes even more exciting for us adults.

Before you get your hands on a buggy, take a scroll through five Southern dishes your Turkey Day should feature. After all, who does the multicourse, comfort food-filled meal better than those of us south of the Mason-Dixon line?

cornbread muffin mix

Photography courtesy of Krusteaz

Cornbread Anything and Everything

Everyone understands why we had to start here, right? If you don’t eat cornbread on the regular, you are missing out and we can’t let that carry on any longer. You can still include the classic, buttery roll, too, but your Thanksgiving feast needs some warm, fluffy squares of cornbread.

Another fun idea: Make some cornbread muffins and pair them with mimosas, fruit, and a side of bacon for a light brunch. Oh, and there’s always cornbread stuffing … excuse us while we daydream of Thursday.

pumpkin pecan pie

Photography courtesy of The Spruce Eats/Julia Hartbeck

Pecan Pie

Yes, pumpkin is the Thanksgiving Day classic, but we are known for our mastery of the pecan-infused decadent sweet—and for good reason. If you yourself are a Southerner, you probably have a grandmother’s recipe, but if not, the internet is abundant with iterations of this timeless dessert. And if you don’t want to make two pies but simply must have pumpkin, you could always get creative with a combo recipe like this one by The Spruce Eats.

mac 'n' cheese

Photography by Taryn Elliott

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

If you grew up in the South, you might be surprised to learn that not everyone considers this a Turkey Day side. If you are one of those people who doesn’t, we highly recommend giving it a try. But don’t go for the boxed version. This one is worth all the effort of boiling some pasta and setting milk, butter, and cheese to simmer. Garnish with a touch of parmesan and parsley to make this feel gourmet enough for your spread.

whiskey-glazed carrots

Photography courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Whiskey-Glazed Carrots

We Southerners love our whiskey, and this recipe from The Pioneer Woman combines it with one of the most vibrant and universally loved vegetables. It’s also super quick and easy, which is always a bonus for a side dish, especially on a day when you’ll be making lots of others goodies too. Prep the carrots by chopping them the night before, and this will only eat into your day-of process by a few minutes!

sweet potato casserole

Photography courtesy of Food Network

Sweet Potato Casserole

No list of Southern Thanksgiving dishes would be complete without mention of this one. This has certainly become a staple for the holiday in much of the country, but Southerners do it best. Our recommendation? If you know anyone with family ties in the South, beg them for a family recipe. Also, if you aren’t a fan of the typical marshmallow topping, there are plenty of alternative recipes online. We think this one from Food Network, which features a crumble of pecans, sugar, and butter, sounds divine.


We know there are even more Southern dishes you could feature on your Turkey Day, but we hope you enjoyed exploring a few of our favorites!

Now, we’re off to do our own shopping and planning!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, from our Upper East River family.

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