19 Retro Thanksgiving Recipes for the Ultimate Throwback Thursday
When we were deep in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, many people took comfort in the foodie nostalgia of days gone by, from baking sourdough bread to discovering budget-friendly and retro recipes. Although we seem to be entering some sort of semi-normal, post-pandemic state (or is it?), these time-tested recipes still have a place at the table. This Thanksgiving, take a mental vacation to simpler times by whipping out a few retro-inspired dishes. Old-school recipes like Classic Roast Turkey, Cranberry Fluff Salad, and Candied Yams are sure to stir up memories of Thanksgivings past, and provide a little comfort during a holiday season when we're still recovering from all that was 2020.
Classic Roast Turkey
This traditional roasted turkey is perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas family dinners.
For Southern Living editors, rediscovering this 1960s congealed salad recipe was like finding a timeless dress at a vintage store.
Buttermilk Cornbread Stuffing
This buttery, moist stuffing is based on a recipe Cindy Daniel of Healdsburg Shed in Northern California got from her mom. If you're juggling turkey and stuffing in one (smaller) oven, make the stuffing first, then reheat it while the turkey rests before carving.
Green Bean Casserole
It's the dish everyone's expecting on the holidays, but it's so easy to make, you can serve it any day. Our green bean casserole is a simple mixture of green beans, French fried onions, and pairs them with a secret ingredient - cream of mushroom soup.
Strawberry Pretzel Squares
This delicious recipe is a sweet, fruity riff on congealed salad. A crunchy pretzel crust, a creamy center, a tangy strawberry layer—whatever you're in the mood for, here it is.
Old-School Squash Casserole
This classic squash casserole calls for plenty of shredded Swiss and Cheddar cheese, creamy sour cream and mayonnaise, and a buttery, crumbly Ritz cracker topping.
Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Whether you consider it a salad, side dish, or dessert, ambrosia is a holiday classic. It's quick and easy to make and can sit overnight if you like.
Classic Pecan Pie
If you're looking for an easy pecan pie recipe, this is it. To pack lots of pecans in the filling, we kept fat to a minimum in the simple-to-make piecrust, resulting in a biscuitlike texture.
Pinecone Cheese Ball
This unusual cheese ball recipe uses toasted pecan halves and rosemary sprigs for a creative presentation that's sure to delight party guests.
Free up your oven by making this delicious, updated Southern staple in your crock pot instead. Candied yams are the perfect complement to your holiday table spread, cutting through the richness of Thanksgiving gravy and the saltiness of the slow-roasted turkey. We've nixed the usual marshmallow toppings to let the seasonal veggie's true flavors shine, but these yams are so buttery and decadent, you won't believe they still count as a dinner dish. This candied yams recipe is easy to master, teach your family members, and recreate for holidays to come.
Homemade Dinner Rolls
Showcase those bread baking skills you gained in quarantine by making these simple and delicious rolls.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Refrigerated pie dough makes this classic pumpkin pie recipe simple to prepare. Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the lower third of the oven to encourage a crisp crust.
Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole is ridiculously easy and goes into the oven in only 10 minutes, thanks to sweet canned yams. To boost flavor and add richness, we counter the canned spuds with luscious creme fraiche; chunks of almonds bring big brunch to our sweet potato casserole.
Classic Baked Ham with Maple-Mustard Glaze
Believe or not, in some parts of the country, ham, rather than turkey, takes centerstage at the Thanksgiving feast. A simple maple-mustard glaze delivers the sweetness of traditional pineapple rings and maraschino cherries, but adds a layer of spice.
Old-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes
Nothing fancy here, just good, basic mashed potatoes that are great as is or topped with gravy. For extra flavor, sprinkle with chopped chives.
Sweet Potato Pie
Make a traditional sweet potato pie recipe even easier by using a refrigerated pie crust. You can assemble the pie ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to bake it.
Easy Turkey Gravy
The turkey may be the star of your holiday table, but it's not reaching its full potential if you're not saving its drippings and turning them into homemade turkey gravy. With four ingredients and two steps, this gravy couldn't be easier. The whole thing comes together in under half an hour, leaving you plenty of time to tackle the rest of your holiday feast.
These easy deviled eggs are ready in minutes and are a holiday classic in the South. Bonus points if you can find a vintage deviled egg plate (like the one pictured) for serving.