In honor of our 50th anniversary, we’ve pulled together our favorite Thanksgiving dishes over the years.
In November 1966 we celebrated our first Thanksgiving with a foil-baked turkey, fluffy sweet potatoes, savory string beans, and pumpkin and pecan pies. Fifty years later, the SL Test Kitchen continues to dream up delicious new ways to bring the storied dishes that have graced our tables for generations to life. And while we always welcome the new additions to the holiday feast (crowd-pleasing sides, showstopping pies, the skillet cornbread, a new spin on mashed potatoes), Southerners always leave room on the table for the tried-and-true classics. The recipes that have been passed down for generations and been in our family–and on our holiday tables–for decades. Not only are they delicious but they have stories that are meant to be told (and retold) year after year. In honor of our 50th anniversary celebration, we challenged our editors to do the near impossible task of choosing the top 50 recipes of all-time. From appetizers to desserts, here are their top picks.
1 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Fresh Corn Spoonbread
Recipe: Fresh Corn Spoonbread
If you’re looking for a moist alternative to traditional cornbread, this simple spoonbread recipe is the one for you.
2 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Icebox Dinner Rolls
Recipe: Icebox Dinner Rolls
Leaving even a drop of gravy on your plate might offend someone. Sop up those drippings with these warm and delicious rolls.
3 of 50 Beau Gustafson
Homemade Crescent Rolls
Recipe: Homemade Crescent Rolls
Some choose cornbread, others pick biscuits, but everyone votes for the crescent roll. This make-from-scratch recipe is easy enough for an amateur in the kitchen to tackle. Tip: Brush unbaked rolls with melted butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, coarsely ground pepper, and dried Italian seasoning.
4 of 50 Jennifer Davick
Tee’s Corn Pudding
Recipe: Tee’s Corn Pudding
Tee’s classic Corn Pudding recipe gives you the rich, airy texture of soufflé for the price of cornbread casserole.
5 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries
6 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Brussels Sprouts with Cornbread Croutons
7 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots Recipe
8 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Recipe: Squash Casserole
Because Thanksgiving is one of the few times of the year that covering your vegetables in Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, butter, Parmesan, and French fried onions is not only acceptable–but expected.
9 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Root Vegetable Gratin
Recipe: Root Vegetable Gratin
This comforting side dish combines our favorite seasonal root vegetables—hearty russet potatoes, crunchy rutabagas, and snappy parsnips—and cooks them together.
10 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Skillet Squash Blossom
Recipe: Skillet Squash Blossom
With carmelized edges and an intricate presentation, this Thanksgiving side is pretty enough to stand in as the table’s centerpiece.
11 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
12 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, and Greens Casserole
13 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Slow-Cooker Green Beans
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Beans
This green bean recipe frees up precious stove-top space and reminds us of the traditional green beans our grandmothers used to make.
14 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Pimiento-Cheese Creamed Spinach
15 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Recipe: Creamed Collards
Made with fresh collard greens, smoky bacon, and creamy Béchamel sauce, this Southern classic is also a great way to bring variety to a carb-heavy Thanksgiving menu.
16 of 50
Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Recipe: Au Gratin Potato Casserole
This cheesy, creamy potato casserole uses frozen hash browns, cream of mushroom soup, shredded Cheddar cheese, and a straight-out-of-the-box corn flakes cereal.
17 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
We’ve made quite a few mashed potato recipes over the years but this is by far the best. Our mouthwatering version calls for goat cheese, heavy cream, and chopped fresh chives.
18 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes
19 of 50 Oxmoor House
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
20 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Recipe: Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Crispy on the outside and tender and creamy on the inside, these are the best baby potatoes around.
21 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
This sweet potato is top-rated, and we’re guessing it’s because of the toppings, which includes crunchy pecans, crispy cornflakes, brown sugar, butter, and more.
22 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
Recipe: Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
Looking for an alternative to sweet potato casserole? This sausage ball appetizer combines sweet potatoes, spicy chorizo sausage, and sharp Cheddar cheese into mini appetizers.
23 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Recipe: Candied Yams
Make this classic candied yams recipe in the slow cooker for a warm and delicious side.
24 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Four Cheese Macaroni
Recipe: Four Cheese Macaroni
What’s better than Macaroni and Cheese? Macaroni made with four cheeses, such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack, fontina, and Asiago.
25 of 50
Golden Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Golden Macaroni and Cheese
This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe beats the boxed kind any day of the week. But be warned: after you make this homemade dish once, you’ll be hard-pressed to make the boxed version ever again.
27 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Cornbread Dressing with Kale and Bacon
28 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel
29 of 50 Alison Miksch
Grandmother Carter’s Cornbread Dressing
30 of 50 Jody Horton
31 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Classic Bread Dressing
Recipe: Classic Bread Dressing
This easy bread dressing recipe is made-from-scratch with high-quality sourdough bread, fresh parsley and thyme, and celery, leeks, and garlic.
32 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Herbed Wild Rice Dressing
Recipe: Herbed Wild Rice Dressing
The beauty of wild rice stuffing is loaded with crisp apples and celery, pungent red onion, toasted walnuts, fresh parsley and sage, and buttery sourdough bread cubes.
33 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Old-Fashioned Giblet-Egg Gravy
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Giblet-Egg Gravy
Good gravy enhances the flavors of most Thanksgiving dishes so prepare a generous amount for the Turkey Day feast.
34 of 50 Iain Bagwell
Creole Deep-Fried Turkey
Recipe: Creole Deep-Fried Turkey
Deep-fried and delicious. This is the only recipe you will ever need for a deep-fried turkey.
35 of 50 Greg Dupree
Roasted Herb Turkey and Gravy
Recipe: Roasted Herb Turkey and Gravy
Seasoned with classic spices like sage, thyme, and fennel seeds, this turkey recipe practically makes its own gravy.
36 of 50 Greg Dupree
Sweet-and-Spicy Roast Turkey Recipe
37 of 50 Jody Horton
Smoked Turkey Breast
Recipe: Smoked Turkey Breast
A crowd-pleasing way to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey, this smoked meat is bursting with apple cider, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage.
38 of 50 Jennifer Davick
Roasted Dry-Rub Turkey with Gravy
39 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Brown Sugar-Bourbon Baked Ham
40 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Roast Pork with Garlic-Onion Gravy
41 of 50 Jennifer Davick
Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
42 of 50 Beth Hontzas
Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust
45 of 50 Jim Franco
Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Puddings
47 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
48 of 50 Hector Sanchez
Sweet Potato Bread with Buttermilk-Lime Icing Recipe
49 of 50 Tina Cornett
Recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini
For a creamy casserole, toss your Thanksgiving leftover turkey into a baking dish with spaghetti, vegetables, and Alfredo sauce.
50 of 50 Alison Miksch
Cheesy Turkey Tamales
Recipe: Cheesy Turkey Tamales
Bundle leftover turkey and dressing into corn husks and top with cranberry salsa to make these innovative turkey tamales.