From Our Table to Yours: People Newspapers Favorite Dishes

If you’re like most families, you probably have your Thanksgiving menu on lock by now — but we thought we’d take this opportunity to not only thank our readers for another year together but also share some of our favorite recipes that make it to the table every year.

Mom’s Vegetable Casserole

This was my mom’s recipe and always had this dish on Thanksgiving.

– Kim Hurmis
  • 1 pkg frozen green beans cooked
  • 1 pkg frozen carrots cooked
  • 2 sticks of celery sliced fine
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 cups of Rice Chex

Brown celery and onions in 3 tablespoons of margarine. Mix all ingredients together and place in a casserole dish.

Brown Rice Chex in 1/4 cup of margarine and pour over the top of casserole.

Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

PHOTO: Kersten Rettig
Boudin Stuffed Acorn Squash

This dish is super easy to make, especially for Thanksgiving because most other menu items are very laborious. This recipe is a nod to my Louisiana roots which influence most of our holiday meals. I always make turkey and sausage gumbo the day after Thanksgiving, too.
Tip: You can find DJ’s Original Boudin at Central Market.  

– Kersten Rettig

Serves 4-6 people

  • 1 2lb Acorn Squash
  • 2 Links of cooked boudin
  • 1 Tsp. Olive oil

Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, puncture the whole squash about 6 times, 5, 7 and even 8 times is ok, too.
When the oven gets to temperature, place whole acorn squash on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven and slice in half the long way and scoop out the seeds and threads. Yes, it will be hot so be careful.
Season both halves of the cut squash with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. 
Gently slice the boudin links longways and remove the casings. Crumble one link of boudin in each half. 
Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes.  Let cool about five minutes. Slice in quarters and serve.

Grandmas’s Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is usually a 3 day event in my house. The two days before are spent prepping and baking loads of pies. I struggled choosing a favorite recipe and it came down to this one. These sweet potatoes are far from holding any nutritional value, but your body gives you a pass on this day anyway. They melt in your mouth after they’ve been cooked down for so long. It’s a sweet and salty pairing with the turkey and cornbread stuffing. My grandma’s main event was thanksgiving who then taught my mom who is currently teaching me. I think that’s why I have such a love for these sweet potatoes. It’s more sentimental than anything; they were the first dish I learned to “cook” in our thanksgiving spread as there’s really not much to it. I promise if you make these they’ll bring a smile to your face as they do to me each year.

– Mia Carrera
  • 2 large cans of Sugary Sam’s sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar


Boil sweet potatoes in a large stock pot. Gradually add rest of the ingredients and simmer until thick. Add ½ cup of pecans if you want.

PHOTO: Shutterstock
Macaroni & Cheese

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is macaroni & cheese! Just your classic noodles and cheese, maybe topped with some bacon & chives.

– Maddie Spera
  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch paprika

Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain.

In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, & cook over low heat until cheese is melted & the sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.

Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. Sprinkle with a little paprika.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes.

Secret Stuffing

The secret to this stuffing is not what is in it, but what is not – bread! Still all the flavors and usually no one notices.

– Tana Hunter
  • 12 oz roll of Sage Sausage
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • ½ cup of onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • Salt & pepper & Sage

Cook Sausage and chop into small pieces.

Add Mushrooms and Onions cook 5 minutes to soften

Add Cauliflower and cook 8 minutes without stirring to caramelize

Add Wine and cook on Med. Heat until it is all absorbed

Add Walnuts and cook 2 minutes

Remove from heat and stir in Parsley, Salt & Pepper and Sage

PHOTO: Shutterstock
Upside-down Apple Pie

I acquired this recipe from the annual cooking show (televised) that my previous employer sponsored every year. It was always a fun event, but lots of hard work, since we had to help set up and assist the chef. Of course it was fun, especially since we got to take home the dishes that were prepared. I saw some of the leftover pie filling, so I took it home and, OMG! I decided then, I’ve got to try to make this myself. I’m not really the baker in the family, but I just had to see if I could do it. When I first made it for my family for Thanksgiving about 10 years ago, they absolutely loved it! They loved it so much that they request it every year, still. It’s a lot of prep, but it’s so worth it in the end. Note: double the recipe and share it with someone. They’ll love you for it!

– Melanie Thornton


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons orange juice


  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 1/8 inch thick)


  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice


In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening and butter until crumbly. Gradually add orange juice, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough into two balls. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Line a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate with heavy-duty foil, leaving 1-1/2 in. beyond edge; coat the foil with cooking spray. Combine 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and pecans; spoon into prepared pie plate.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining butter; toss gently.

On waxed paper, roll out one ball of pastry to fit pie plate. Place pastry over nut mixture, pressing firmly against mixture and sides of plate; trim to 1 in. beyond plate edge. Fill with apple mixture.

Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim to 1/4 in. beyond plate edge. Fold bottom pastry over top pastry; seal and flute edges. Cut four 1-in. slits in top pastry.

Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown (cover edges with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent over-browning if necessary).

Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving platter; carefully remove foil. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over pie.

The Best Stuffing Recipe Ever

Every family & family member has their own favorite stuffing/dressing recipe – be it rice, cornbread, bread, biscuit, or even oyster. It’s usually mom’s or grandma’s. My siblings and I prefer my mother’s dressing. Each year I try to recreate her recipe, but never quite get it right. A few years ago, I found this stuffing recipe on Pinterest and made it for an early Thanksgiving with ALL of my siblings and my mother present. Everyone loved it! My sister even requested the recipe this year!

– Evelyn Wolff


  • 1 lb Sourdough Loaf, cubed
  • 12 oz Baked Cornbread, cubed
  • 1 3/4 Sticks Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, diced
  • 1 Bunch of Celery, chopped
  • 3 Large Carrots, chopped
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°. Place cubed sourdough & cornbread onto a large baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from oven.

Melt butter into a large Dutch oven or rimmed skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, celery, carrots & mushrooms for about 10 minutes or until veggies turn tender. Stir in garlic & cook for another minute then pour in chicken broth, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, & pepper. Stir & reduce heat to low to simmer.

If using sausage, brown it in skillet, drain if necessary, then add vegetable mixture. Place bread cubes into a large bowl & slowly pour mixture over cubes, gently stirring throughout to ensure all pieces get coated. Taste a couple of pieces & season with additional salt & pepper to taste.

Divide stuffing into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and a 11 x 7 baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until just golden brown on top. Should still be nice & moist. Remove from the oven and serve!

PHOTO: Shutterstock
“That Salad Thing You Make with the Carrots”

It’s one of my favorites (and frequently requested) because it’s not so heavy as everything else that is on the table at Thanksgiving.

– Bethany Erickson
  • 1 pound of carrots or a bunch or whatever. Literally, whatever.
  • Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup.
  • The real stuff. If Mrs. Butterworth is on it, this is not the thing you should use.
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons champagne, Prosecco, or white wine vinegar(Prosecco or champagne is the best, but don’t stress if you can’t find it)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated with a microplane (If you don’t have one, buy garlic paste and use 2 teaspoons of that. On second thought, this is supposed to be easy. Just buy the garlic paste)
  • 1 container of arugula (the kind in the plastic clamshell)
  • ½ Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 6 ounces of goat cheese. Not feta. The creamy kind that comes in a roll.
  • 2/3 cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Clean your carrots, then dry them. Cut them to about 1 inch by 2 inch diagonal slices or whatever. I mean, make them an inch thick, but don’t stress about the diagonal. It looks prettier, but doesn’t impact the taste at all.

Toss them with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing once in the middle or so, until they’re tender. Then toss them in the maple syrup, put them back in the oven, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, watching to make sure they caramelize but don’t burn.

Set them aside to cool.

Put the cranberries and orange juice in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Mix the garlic, salt and pepper, vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and the mustard together.

Toss the arugula, walnuts, and carrots with the vinaigrette you just made. Add the cranberries (you can include the juice if you want, too), and then the goat cheese in small dollops.


Yorkshire Pudding

My husband and in-laws are from across the pond, so this quite frequently appears on our holiday table!

– Pat Martin
  • 8 oz. whole milk
  • 4 heaping Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 450° F. Beat ingredients with electric mixer. Spray muffin/cupcake pan with non-stick spray. Fill cups in pan 1/3 full. Bake until raised about 20 minutes.

Candied Yams

My family recipe is for candied yams from my grandmother. It’s my favorite because it’s very rich and leans heavily on ‘candied,’ so you don’t necessarily have to go into the pies for dessert for quite a while if you don’t want to.

– Rachel Snyder

Peel and bake sweet potatoes, then add them into a pan with butter, canned pineapple, apple pieces, brown sugar, and pecans. Once combined, sprinkle marshmallows on top and put back in the oven to brown.

PHOTO: Shutterstock
Pecan Pie

Picking a favorite recipe was difficult, because my tastes have changed over time, and these days it’s more about the meal itself (however and wherever it might come together) rather than specific recipes. But I pulled this one out of one of my Mom’s recipe card files because it was a holiday favorite when I was a child and brings memories of the types of family gatherings we enjoyed then.

– William Taylor
  • 3 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Karo Blue Label Syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1 cup pecans, halves or chopped
  • 1 unbaked 9” pastry shell

Mix all ingredients for filling together, adding pecans last. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in 400° oven 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° & bake 30 to 35 minutes longer. Outer edges of filling should be set, center slightly soft.

Cornbread Dressing

This is my favorite recipe for cornbread dressing because it’s pretty easy and reminds me of holidays with my Granny. I needed a recipe for dressing so bad and my granny never used a recipe for anything. Stumbled upon this gem whilewatching the Food Network over 10 years ago and realized it was similar to what I watched my granny make for holidays. Now it’s my go-to for cornbread dressing!

– Quita Johnson
  • 7 slices oven-dried white bread
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 large-chopped onion
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sage, optional
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, optional
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 7 eggs beaten: 2 for cornbread, 5 for dressing

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread (recipe follows), dried white bread slices and crackers; set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage and poultry seasoning. Add 5 beaten eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 to 60 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, 2 eggs, and oil and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Macaroni Pie

Here’s a bonus recipe with a backstory: My husband (and my son) are direct descendants of Thomas Jefferson, who basically introduced macaroni and cheese to America through his enslaved chef, James Hemmings, who studied in France while Jefferson was living there. We like to serve this because it’s part of the family’s history, and also to remember that the story of Thanksgiving and the start of the country wasn’t the same for everyone. They called it Macaroni Pie, and the difference is how it’s cooked – the elbow macaroni is cooked in equal parts water & milk, and you reserve some of that. The pasta is then layered with cheese and butter in a buttered casserole dish, pouring some of the reserved liquid in after each layer. Then it’s baked. We adapted ours from The Virginia Housewife, by Mary Randolph, who adapted hers from the original.

– Bethany Erickson
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 oz. elbow macaroni
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 oz. freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large pot, bring the milk and water to a boil. Add the macaroni, stir well, and return to a boil; then reduce the heat and cook the pasta until tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta but reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the salt to the pasta and blend well.

Butter a 1½-quart casserole dish. Place one-third of the macaroni in the dish and top with one-third of the butter pieces and one-third of the cheddar cheese. Pour one-third of the reserved cooking liquid over the top. Repeat with two more layers of macaroni topped with butter and cheese, drizzling cooking liquid over each layer. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake casserole, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

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