Top 10 Thanksgiving Recipes from the Renasant Family

November 19, 2019

When it comes to Thanksgiving in the South, one thing is for sure, a good home-cooked meal with family is a tried and true tradition. Maybe you are looking for that one dish to really start a conversation (or impress your in-laws). We reached out to our Renasant family to submit some of their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Here are the top 10 certain to have you on your family’s preferred food list from now on.

1. Trena’s Scrumptious Iced Brownies | Trena Jones – Jasper, GA

Brownies by adactio, on Flickr
Brownies” (CC BY 2.0) by adactio

2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 sticks butter (melted)
4 eggs (beaten)
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 box powdered sugar (10X)
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter (melted)
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9 X 13 in. pan. Mix all of the brownie ingredients together by hand except for the butter (add it in last). Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook.

To prepare the icing, mix powdered sugar, cocoa and milk together by hand. Add butter and continue to mix. Pour over brownies as soon as they come out of the oven and spread around the top with a spoon. The icing will appear to be melting (which is good). Let cool completely before cutting.

2. Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake | Amy Pierce – Tupelo, MS

1 box butter recipe cake mix
1 egg
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 16 ounce box powdered sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 in. baking pan. In a bowl, combine cake mix, egg and butter with an electric mixer. Mix well. Pat into the bottom of a prepared pan and set aside. Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump powdered sugar and beat very well. Reduce the speed of mixer and slowly pour in melted butter.

Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour filling into cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40-50 minutes. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don’t bake it past that point. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. If you want to drizzle melted chocolate over the top, allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes and then drizzle over. Allow to cool for at least another hour and then cut into bars. Enjoy!

3. Jalapeno Cheese Bread | Susan B. Craddock – Starkville, MS

Cheese Bread by Mike Saechang, on Flickr
Cheese Bread” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Mike Saechang

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup jarred jalapenos, finely chopped
6 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
One 6-ounce jar green olives, drained and finely chopped
One 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
2 green onions, sliced
1 loaf crusty French bread, sliced lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the butter, mayonnaise, jalapenos, cheddar, pepper jack, olives, green chiles and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture on the French bread and put the bread on a baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is melted and browning, 20 to 25 minutes. The mixture can also be refrigerated for up to 2 days. This goes well with soups or anything that may call for garlic bread on the side.

4. Best Ham Ever | Donald Swafford – Cleveland, MS

Ham by sk8geek, on Flickr
Ham” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by sk8geek

Ham (size that will fit nicely in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot)
1 can of pineapple slices
Brown sugar (1/4 – 1/2  cup)

Put a layer of pineapple slices in the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, put ¼ cup of brown sugar over the pineapples. Add your ham. Pour the pineapple juice over the ham and cover with ¼ cup of brown sugar. Throw a couple of pineapple slices on top. Do not add water. Believe me, you will not need it. Make sure you cover the ham completely. If your ham is too big to cover with the lid use aluminum foil. Cook the ham for 8 hours (you can check your ham after 6 hours), but after 8 hours the ham is falling apart. You can start the ham when you go to bed and it should be ready to eat when you wake up in the morning.

Note from the chef: I have used this recipe for 5 years and will never bake another ham.

5. Beef Stew | Tammy Bass – Tupelo, MS

1 beef roast (Sirloin Tip)
Seasoned pepper
Lawry’s Season Salt
1 onion
1 large can of petite diced tomatoes
4 to 5 large red potatoes (peeled and diced)

Place roast in slow cooker. Add onion or dried minced onion, seasoned pepper and Lawry’s Season Salt to taste. Fill slow cooker with water and cook overnight or all day on high (about 8 hours). After cooking, keep broth in slow cooker and remove the roast. Add one large can petite diced tomatoes to broth. Cook 4 or 5 large red potatoes (peeled and diced).  After cooked, drain water from potatoes, and add to the broth and tomatoes. Cut up the cooked roast and add back to mixture. Mix all together and cook on low for about another hour.

6. Chicken Divan | Pamela Wade – Memphis, TN

4 chicken breasts, boiled and cubed
1 32 oz. package of frozen broccoli, cooked and drained
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Layer bottom of an 8×13 pan with cooked chicken, salted and peppered to taste. Layer cooked broccoli, seasoned with salt and pepper. Stir mayonnaise and mushroom soup together in a separate bowl. Spread over top of broccoli, and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 20 to 30 minutes on 350.

7. Cajun Crack Dip | Ann Stanford – Tupelo, MS

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can whole kernel corn
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can Rotel
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s® seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Drain corn and Rotel completely. Mix all ingredients together. It is better if it sits in the refrigerator for a while before serving. Serve with Frito brand corn chips.

8. Spanish Rubbed Turkey with Orange Sauce | Mark Goodson – John’s Creek, GA

Thanksgiving Turkey by advencap, on Flickr
Thanksgiving Turkey” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by advencap

Spanish Rub
6 tablespoons Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons cumin seed (ground)
1 tablespoon mustard seed (ground)
4 teaspoons fennel seeds (ground)
4 teaspoons coarsely-ground black pepper,
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Whisk together and store in a cool, dry place

Orange Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (coarsely chopped)
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
4 cups homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Turkey Breast
1 Turkey breast (de-boned & skin on), 4 to 5 pounds
2 quarts cold water
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar

Dissolve salt and sugar in the water; brine turkey for about 45 minutes. Remove, rinse well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub skin side only with Spanish rub. Baste grill grates with canola oil and turn grill on med-high. Place turkey skin-side down and grill until slightly charred and a crust has formed; should take 4-6 minutes. Turn the turkey over, reduce the heat to medium and cook with the lid closed for 30-45 minutes until done or a thermometer registers 155 degrees. Remove and loosely tent with foil for 10 minutes, then slice into ½ inch thick pieces.

Once the turkey is done, halve four oranges, brush with canola oil and place on grill, cut side down; grill until slightly charred.

The orange sauce will ultimately be reduced down to about 2 cups, which really amps up the flavor. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil, add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add orange juice, zest and lime juice; cook until reduced to about ½ cup. Stir in honey. Add chicken stock and reduce until a sauce consistency (about two cups). Strain sauce into a bowl, whisk in the butter, season with salt and pepper. Stir in thyme and parsley and serve hot.

9. Key Lime Pie | Mandy Reed – Gainesville, FL

Key Lime Pie by Ryan Harvey, on Flickr
Key Lime Pie” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Ryan Harvey

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
7 tablespoons key lime juice
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 graham cracker pie crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together egg yolks, lime juice and milk. Pour into crust and bake for 20-25 minutes to set filling. Allow to cool. Using electric beater, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until thickened. This can take a few minutes. Spread on top of cooled pie. Garnish with lime slices.

Note from the chef: I realize that key lime pie may not be a good fit for holiday recipes. But here in Florida, key limes are plentiful, and we celebrate the holidays in our flip flops. Somehow key lime pie just works.

10. Cauliflower Hash Browns | Anna Marie Bolea – Cumming, GA

½ medium head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg
Kosher salt to taste
½ cup finely chopped onion
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Grate cauliflower on a box grater until shredded. In a medium bowl add egg, onion, cheese and cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper. Mix together. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, add spoonsful of cauliflower mixture and shape into patty. Cook until brown and crispy — about five minutes — then flip and brown five more minutes till done.

Bonus: Magic Cookie Bars from Renasant’s very own Paula Dean – Jasper, GA

Because any recipe from Renasant Bank’s Paula Dean is worth mentioning.

109/365: Cookies by Mark Bonica, on Flickr
109/365: Cookies” (CC BY 2.0) by Mark Bonica

2 cups (12oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup (1 stick) of butter, melted
1 cup chopped nuts (your choice)
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (14oz) can of Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.  Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl.  Press into bottom of pan.  Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.  Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts.  Press down firmly with fork.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned.  Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack.  Cut into bars.

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