Cajun Thanksgiving Menu Ideas to Spice Up Your Holiday Feast
Instead of a classic Thanksgiving dinner, take a peek at our Cajun Thanksgiving menu this year, filled with bold Louisiana flavors. This Cajun Thanksgiving menu, featuring corn bread, bacon, crawfish, and more of your Low Country faves, is full of warmly spiced holiday recipes.
If you love the Cajun cuisine of Louisiana, consider heating up your Thanksgiving menu this year with dishes that will transport you to New Orleans. You definitely won't find any bland mashed potatoes or boring traditional side dishes on our soul food Thanksgiving menu! Packed with loads of fall flavor and spice, these Southern-style recipes (like Cajun turkey, skillet cornbread, and candied yams) are sure to please your guests. It's comfort food that will keep your guests coming back for more.
Cajun Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
Add some spice to holiday dinner this year with these seven Cajun Thanksgiving recipes:
Appetizer: Cajun-Stuffed Baby Sweet Peppers
Kick off your Thanksgiving menu by serving these spicy stuffed sweet peppers as your Cajun side dish. This dish is undeniably Cajun with just a hint of Creole Thanksgiving flavors. With crawfish tails, Creole mustard, Cajun seasoning, green onions, peppers, and more, these hearty stuffed peppers are far from bland. If you'd like, sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese and parsley before serving. This Thanksgiving appetizer recipe will definitely kick off your holiday meal on a high note!
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: Mama's Candied Yams
Sweet potatoes get even sweeter in this Low Country recipe, thanks to brown sugar and orange slices. This recipe comes from chef Tyler Florence's mom, so you know it's the perfect addition to this Southern Thanksgiving menu. It's so tasty you might even mistake this easy Thanksgiving side dish for dessert. But don't worry—all that vegetable healthiness is still hiding in there.
Get the recipe: Mama's Candied Yams
Vegetable Side Dish: Homemade Green Bean Salad
Down-home and delicious, this homemade green bean salad has pancetta (or bacon), mushrooms, and cheese with herbs. All those layers of flavor enhance healthy green beans so much that everyone will gladly dig into their veggies. Make your own homemade crispy shallots to top off this Cajun-inspired Thanksgiving recipe. It's not your traditional green bean casserole by any means, but this Cajun recipe will quickly become one of your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.
Make-ahead tip: Prepare the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate. Cover in foil and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes more. Top with french-fried onions instead of crispy shallots and bake 5 minutes to crisp up the onions.
Get the recipe: Homemade Green Bean Salad
Bread: Skillet Corn Bread
Want to try delicious comfort food at its best? Cajun cooking meets classic Southern corn bread in this flavorful twist on Thanksgiving dinner rolls. Serve this corn bread hot from the oven in a 10-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, ($15, Target) to truly impress your holiday guests. With sweet honey butter melting over every bite, it will instantly make you feel like you're right back home at your childhood kitchen table. There's a reason it's one of our favorite Cajun Thanksgiving sides!
Although the base corn bread is great as is, we've included four ways to make this Cajun Thanksgiving 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—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 recipe earns a place at the holiday table!
Get the recipe: Skillet Corn Bread
Entree: Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Turkey wrapped in bacon? Yes, it's real—and yes, you should make it for Thanksgiving dinner. The bacon looks beautiful in a lattice pattern over the turkey. And if you think this is the only role bacon plays, think again. The turkey is seasoned with a bacon, sage, and onion mixture, plus there are bacon and onion gravy to pour all over your turkey and sides. Weaving sage into the bacon lattice makes this recipe pure savory Thanksgiving perfection. No other Cajun turkey recipe will even come close!
Get the recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping
Don't get stuck choosing between pumpkin pie and pecan pie for dessert. This Cajun Thanksgiving recipe is like two of your favorite Thanksgiving desserts in one pastry-lined package! This combination of pumpkin, pecans, and cranberries definitely takes the pie to scrumptious Southern territory. The flaky crust holds the spiced filling. Brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, pecans, cranberries, and more make a tasty finishing touch. Cajun Thanksgiving or not, this pumpkin pie will easily topple all of your other favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes.
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°F for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring or shaking once.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping
Bonus Dessert: French Market Beignets
Wrap up your Cajun Thanksgiving menu with a classic Louisiana treat—fried donuts covered with a dusting of powdered sugar! Whip up one more sweet treat to balance out all the spice (we're sure an extra Thanksgiving dessert won't go to waste!). 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. The next morning, after you've recovered from the big Cajun Thanksgiving menu, pull the dough out of the fridge, roll it out, slice small rectangles, and allow them to rise 20 minutes. Fry, dust with powdered sugar, and indulge in Cajun goodness two days in a row!
Get the recipe: French Market Beignets