If you love the Cajun cuisine of Louisiana, consider heating up your Thanksgiving menu this year. Packed with loads of fall flavor and spice, these Southern-style recipes are sure to please your guests. It's comfort food that will keep your guests coming back for more.
Appetizer: Cajun-Stuffed Baby Sweet Peppers
This dish is undeniably Cajun. With crawfish tails, Creole mustard, Cajun seasoning, green onions, peppers, and so much more, these hearty stuffed peppers are far from bland. Sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese and parsley before serving, if you wish.
Space-saving secret: These stuffed peppers cook in the slow cooker so you have more room in the oven for turkey and other sides.
Get the recipe: Cajun-Stuffed Baby Sweet Peppers
Potato Side Dish: Brown Sugar-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes get even sweeter in this Low Country recipe, thanks to brown sugar and candied pecans. Add creamy texture with broth, buttermilk, and butter, plus a bit of vibrancy from orange zest. Suddenly, your veggies don't seem like health food anymore. But don't worry, all that sweet potato healthiness is still hiding in there.
Get the recipe: Brown Sugar-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Before you start preparing one of the star side dishes of your Cajun Thanksgiving menu, take a look at our top tips for choosing and storing your sweet potatoes.
Vegetable Side Dish: Homemade Green Bean Salad
Down home and delicious, Homemade Green Bean Salad contains pancetta or bacon, mushrooms, cheese with herbs, and crispy shallots. But all those flavor layers enhance healthy green beans so much so that everyone will dig into their veggies.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate. Bake, covered in foil, at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more. Top with french-fried onions instead of crispy shallots and bake for 5 minutes to crisp up the onions.
Get the recipe: Homemade Green Bean Salad
Bread: Skillet Corn Bread
The Southern classic of corn bread hot from the oven with sweet honey butter melting into a slice is delicious comfort food. It instantly makes you feel like you're right back home at your childhood kitchen table.
Although the base corn bread is great as is, we've included four ways to make this recipe your own:
- Bacon-Green Onion Corn Bread—Is bacon ever wrong?
- Sweet Corn and Herb Corn Bread—For a hint of freshness.
- Cheesy Chipotle Corn Bread—In case you're craving ooey-gooey cheddar goodness.
- Cranberry-Tangerine Corn Bread—To infuse your Cajun Thanksgiving menu with cranberries!
With all these options, you may want to try each one before Thanksgiving and let your family decide which one earns its place at the holiday table!
Get the recipe: Skillet Corn Bread
Entree: Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Tukey wrapped in bacon? Yes, it's real, and yes, you should make it for Thanksgiving. The bacon looks beautiful in a lattice pattern over the turkey. (Though let's be honest, bacon always looks beautiful.)
And if you think this is the only role bacon plays, think again. The turkey is seasoned with a bacon mixture, plus there's Bacon and Onion Gravy to pour all over your turkey and sides.
Weaving sage into the bacon lattice makes this recipe pure delicious, savory, Thanksgiving perfection.
Get the recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping
Think there's nothing that can beat pumpkin pie? If you can't top a classic, add a topping!
This combination of pumpkin, pecans, and cranberries definitely takes the pie to scrumptious Southern territory. The yummy, flaky crust holds the spiced filling. Brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, pecans, cranberries, and more make the perfect finishing touch.
Flavor-Boosting Tip: Toast the pecans before adding them to the praline mixture. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring or shaking once.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping
Bonus Dessert: French Market Beignets
Whip up one more sweet treat to balance out all the spice.
If your guests are too full after dinner, this New Orleans favorite also makes an excellent brunch item for those who are staying overnight. Simply prepare the dough after dinner and allow it to chill in the refrigerator while you sleep. After you recover from the big Cajun Thanksging menu-palooza, pull the dough out of the fridge, roll it out, slice small rectangles, and allow them to rise for 20 minutes. Fry, dust with powdered sugar, and relish the fact that you were able to indulge in Cajun goodness two meals in a row!
Get the recipe: French Market Beignets
More Cajun Food Favorites
Whether for Thanksgiving or Mardi Gras, these Cajun recipes are sure to please anytime. In fact, you don't need a holiday. Enjoy these flavorful recipes whenever you're craving some heat.
Whip up some Southern goodness to serve family and friends: