Home > Carolina Shortcut Chef > What about a Southern-style Thanksgiving?

What about a Southern-style Thanksgiving?

November 22, 2009

One of my friends asked me for menu/recipe suggestions to present her family, visiting from New Jersey, with a  Southern-style Thanksgiving this year.

She thought this might be a fun way to introduce her family to the South.

My friend explained that ordinarily, their large extended family enjoys a bountiful spread of classic Italian dishes, prepared by her mother and grandmother  with the assistance of Aunts and cousins, too.

I am happy to share my menu and recipes, but I am wondering if this Italian family is going to want to change their menu drastically, simply because they are visiting in Charlotte.

Family gatherings at holidays tend to fall into a somewhat structured pattern with much-anticipated rituals and traditions that continue to be passed down through generations.  So my question to my friend was:  Are you sure you want to do this?

She paused for a moment–knowing that her family will expect the usual delicious Italian fare.  However, she was emphatic that she definitely wanted a change this year, the first time her family has gathered at her home since she and hubby and their three children moved here in 2007.

With that in mind, I am sharing a typical Southern Thanksgiving menu. But I think that it would be wise for her to add some of the family’s much-anticipated Italian fare alongside the traditional dishes, even if that means eliminating something on my menu.

Sure would enjoy having anyone else’s input on what Italian recipes would be especially good with the following dishes.   I will start posting the recipes in the coming week, so the rest of you can follow along if you are wondering how to put together a Southern-style Thanksgiving.

And I will post the recipes for using the leftovers so everyone can plan for post Turkey Day festivities, as well.

A note about deciding on what size turkey to purchase. I allow 1.5 lbs per person, and then add 2 lbs to that calculation.  So for 10 people, that would equal 15 lbs, and then add at least 2 lbs to that, making the total weight 17 lbs.  If you family looks forward to left-overs, you may want to add even more to that final weight.  I serve ham alongside the turkey, since we like having leftovers for the weekend.


Large roasted Turkey (allow 1.5 lb per person)

Spiral-cut Ham, with apricot glaze

Creole Green Bean Casserole

Corn Pudding

Oyster Dressing

Sweet Potato Souffle

Rice and Gravy

Deviled Eggs

Broccoli Casserole

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Layered Salad (or Antipasto platter)

Beverages: Sweetened Iced Tea and Wine (Beaujolais Nouveau and Pinot Noir – recommendations on vineyards later)


Lemon Chess Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Beverages:  Coffee and Cream Sherry or  Chateau De Jau Muscat De Rivesaltes (if available) 

© Carolina Shortcut Chef

%d bloggers like this: