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Classic Thanksgiving Recipes Through the Years

By Katy Sommerfeld

Thanksgiving is the time for family, fun, and food. Each year when the holiday rolls around, we are reminded of past Thanksgivings when relatives were younger and when things seemed easier. The scent of pumpkin pie takes us back to our childhood days, when Thanksgiving was a time to see all our cousins and play games together all day. The taste of turkey reminds us of the comfort of home and family.

Thanksgiving is the time of year to be nostalgic and sentimental, and it’s often the food at the feast that does the trick. The classic dishes we long to see on the table every year remind us of our childhoods when we would get samples of each plate to try, regardless of how full we would be once we were done.

The best dishes are the classics - they’re tried and true crowd favorites. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without these recipes. Here are the top ten classic Thanksgiving recipes:


Sweet potato casserole

This dish can’t be beat. Whether you like it topped with crushed pecans or marshmallows, it’s likely you’ll find some sweet potato casserole on your Thanksgiving table this year. The recipe has been used at Thanksgiving celebrations for decades, and has been delicious enough to stick around.


Green bean casserole

First created in 1955 by the Campbell’s Soup company, the green bean casserole was a massive hit, introducing itself to Thanksgiving tables all over mid-century America. With its crunchy fried onion top layer that makes way for the delicious green bean interior, this dish pleases all.


Mashed potatoes and gravy

This traditionally English dish was brought along to the American shores with the pilgrims, and it has remained at a position of peak popularity for hundreds of years now. Just remember your childhood Thanksgivings, when the gravy boat was passed around and you doused your mountain of mashed potatoes with the delectable topping.


It’s difficult to imagine a classic Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing being on the table. Stuffing is such a simple dish, but its simplicity allows for creative additions and interesting flavors, giving this recipe a unique twist. Boxed or homemade, this recipe will always have a seat at the table on Thanksgiving.

Cranberry sauce

The pairing of cranberry sauce and turkey may seem strange to some, but it is such a common pairing on Thanksgiving day. This dish proves its merit and earns its spot at the feast with its deliciously sweet flavors juxtaposed with savory turkey. It's a match made in heaven.

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie is the reason some choose to save room for dessert on Thanksgiving day. It’s sweet and soft, and gives the perfect dose of pumpkin flavored goodness during the holiday season. Add some whipped cream to the top, and you’ve got a glorious concoction that is sure to please the taste buds.

Homemade yeast rolls

Yeast rolls are delicious year round, which is why they are such a classic addition to any Thanksgiving dinner. You can eat them plain or with butter, or use them to get the last bit of gravy off your plate. Any way you have them, yeast rolls are a no-brainer at every Thanksgiving meal.

Roasted vegetables

With such heavy dishes being served, it’s important to have something green circulating around the table. Roast vegetables are a classic that most love. Add any combination of vegetables that pleases you - potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, carrots, onions, brussel sprouts, you name it!

Baked macaroni and cheese

Plain macaroni and cheese is already a delectable treat for kids and adults alike; but if you stick a pan of macaroni and cheese in the oven and add some bread crumbs to the top, it’s taken to a whole new level.

The Turkey

What is Thanksgiving without the turkey? It’s the bird of the holiday, and no Thanksgiving table is complete without one or two (or more!) turkeys. It can be fried or roasted, and either way it serves up a delicious meal for all at the feast.

All these dishes make up the perfect Thanksgiving feast - but no feast is complete without family. Family holiday memories from throughout the years are special and we cherish them more than anything. So why not make sure those treasured memories are saved and kept in an easily accessible way?


With Southtree, you can digitize any home movies or pictures and keep them stored in a disc or USB format for easy access. Just fill your Southtree box with old film and photographs, and let Southtree handle the rest. This holiday season, use Southtree to digitize your records so you can share them with your family and enjoy the nostalgia of the season.

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