JMB’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

A couple weeks ago my mom had an accident while traveling back to Jacksonville. She tripped over my bag outside the Nashville airport and ended up breaking her knee cap and her big toe! Because she is now in a full leg brace and trying to recover, she is sitting out on the sidelines for Thanksgiving cooking and her beloved meal is all up to me. No pressure. I am definitely going to have to make everything she makes, exactly how she makes it of course, but I was thinking about trying some new side dishes as well. I started searching the Internet and decided I would ask the JMB team for their favorite go-to family recipes.

Sweet Potato Casserole from Tiffany

This recipe is one I can always remember being served at our table on Thanksgiving. It’s a side dish and a dessert at the same time!

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup melted margarine
1/2 teaspoon cinnamin

Mix ingredients together and pour into a buttered casserole dish. Then add topping.

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix together flour and sugar with fork & sprinkle crumbs on top of casserole. Cover with pecans and then dot with butter. Bake for 30 minutes.

Southern Corn Casserole from Vicky

This is the ultimate procrastinator’s side dish because chances are, you already have everything on hand. My grandmother used to make this dish for me every single time I was at her house for dinner (I still have the old, scrap piece of paper she wrote it on for me years ago). So although I can’t tout my culinary background here (this isn’t some masterpiece that I created in culinary school), this dish has sentimental value and its simple ingredients make for delicious comfort food. I have made some other corn casseroles that include cheese, jiffy muffin mix, sour cream, etc., but I still always use this as my base and add to it if I’m in the mood or have extra stuff on hand. Yes, this will be on our table this year 🙂


1 (15 1/4oz) can of corn, drained
1/4 stick of butter (or margarine)
1/2 cup of milk
4 eggs
2 T of sugar
Bisquick or flour to thicken (I usually add about 3 T)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together and pour into a casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Canned Cranberry Sauce from Luanne

My mother taught me many valuable lessons about when you can and can’t get away with cutting corners. Like when it comes to generic condiments, mustard is ok but always go name brand on ketchup. When it comes to Turkey Day, homemade mashed potatoes are a must but it’s ok to go for canned cranberry sauce.

Directions: open with can opener, place in decorative bowl, do not mash (the can lines give it authenticity).

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with a Twist from Mary Lauren

This is a very convincing side that clean eating doesn’t mean tasteless eating, and you can save all that butter in regular mashed potatoes for dessert!


1 whole garlic head (about 10 cloves)
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium turnips, peeled and cubed
1 medium head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tbsp chives, chopped (for garnish)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. Peel away the outer papery covering of the garlic and slice off the top of the head so that most of the cloves are exposed. Place on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle oil over cloves. Cover in aluminum foil and bake on oven rack or a tray for 45 minutes, until garlic is soft. Once cool, squeeze to extract garlic pulp into a bowl and set aside. Place potatoes, turnips and cauliflower in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Combine garlic, potato mixture, sour cream and milk in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Remove, garnish with chives and serve.

Cranberry Ginger Relish from Liz

This recipe is from Clean Eating Magazine from the November/December 2008 issue. I love this recipe because its easy, delicious, healthy, and my four- year-old loves it!  I don’t put as much ginger as it calls for because its overpowering.

12 oz cranberries fresh or frozen defrosted
1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/3 inch pieces
1/2 cup raw organic honey
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 TBSP fresh ginger, finely minced
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp sea salt
Directions: Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cranberries break down, apples soften and mixture thickens. Sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it chills. Stir often to prevent sticking to bottom of pan. Transfer to a serving dish or storage container. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Keeps up to five days in the refrigerator.
Calories per 3 TBSP serving 84, Total Fat 0g, Sat Fat 0g, Carbs 21 g, Sugars 18 g, Protein 0 g. Sodium 24 mg, and Cholesterol 0mg


Classic Green Bean Casserole from Jena

I don’t know what it is about green bean casserole but it is one of my absolute favorite Thanksgiving dishes. It’s such a simple recipe but never fails to wow me every year. It must run in the family because my brothers and I used to fight over the leftovers every year!


2 cans mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground pepper
8 cups cooked green beans
1 1/3 cup French fried onions plus 1 1/3 for topping

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients and bake for 25 minutes. Add the other 1 1/3 cup French fried onions to top and bake for another 5 minutes.

Turkey Cupcakes from Cheryl

I haven’t made these cute cupcakes yet, but they look super easy to make and can be cute decorations on the table (before the kids devour them!).

You can use any cupcake recipe you want and then follow all the instructions on how to assemble these adorable gobblers here.




Pumpkin-Bourbon Praline Cheesecake from Erin

There are so many reasons to love this heavenly cheesecake! In addition to being one of the most delicious things you will ever taste and eliciting countless compliments, it’s a super practical Thanksgiving dessert options. Not only can you make it ahead of time, most people think it actually tastes better after it’s had a day, or even a few days, for the flavors to meld. And for a meal like Thanksgiving dinner, when you need all the oven space you can get on the day-of, make-ahead desserts are a very good thing.

Praline Ingredients:

1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Filling Ingredients:

4 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large graham cracker ready-made pie crusts

To Make the Praline:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Stir sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts and mixture comes to boil; boil 1 minute without stirring. Mix in pecans. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake until sugar syrup bubbles vigorously, about 8 minutes. Cool praline completely. Break into pieces. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight.)

To Make the Filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in flour and spices. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin, bourbon and vanilla. Transfer to crusts and bake directly on oven rack in the aluminum pie pans. Bake until center is just set, which should take around an hour, but start checking at 45 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Chill until cold; then cover and chill overnight. Sprinkle praline on top, pressing in slightly to ensure that it sticks.

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares from Megan

When I lived with my sister in Nashville we went out on a long Christmas shopping excursion and decided to pop in to Williams-Sonoma, hoping they had some samples out of something because we were starving! We tried these dessert squares that were made with Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter and ended up buying four jars! They were unbelievably delicious and had tons of recipes. I’ve only made the dessert squares because I thought they were so good, but for more recipes you can check out Williams-Sonoma or Muirhead


1 (18 ounce) boxes yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
13 ounces pumpkin butter (specifically 1 13-oz. jar of pumpkin pecan butter)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Reserve 1 cup of cake mix and set aside.
3. Mix remaining cake with with 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg. Press mixture lightly into the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
4. Mix one jar of pumpkin pecan butter with remaining two eggs and milk, and pour over cake mixture in pan.
5. Mix remaining 1 cup cake mix with flour, sugar, remaining 1/4 cup butter, and cinnamon, and crumble over the top of the pumpkin layer.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden.
7. Cool to room temp and serve.

Born in Jacksonville and raised in New Orleans and Houston, Megan attended college in Knoxville, then worked in Nashville. From her nomadic lifestyle grew a love for the beach, as well as a fondness for Cajun food and jazz, Texas BBQ, Tennessee football, and everything Music City. She is a work-from-home mompreneur with a passion for business, fashion, fitness, community, and all things mom. Having fallen in love with her parents’ hot plumber Mike in 2007, she married him two years later in her parents’ backyard. After their spunky curly-haired charmer Kingsley was born in February 2010, Megan decided not to return to her job. While spending time as a stay-at-home mom, however, she realized that Jacksonville was lacking some important resources for moms–so in August 2012, she asked her friend Vicky to join her in starting Jacksonville Moms Blog, now Jacksonville Mom. Megan loves learning more about her city; connecting with other moms, as well as connecting moms with one another; and discovering new local businesses. As the blog has grown, so has her family: in May 2014, she and Mike welcomed a spirited baby boy named Britton. When she’s not working on Jacksonville Mom, you can find Megan sweating it out with other moms, shooting skeet with Mike, or running around on the beach with her energetic duo!


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