45 Nearly Forgotten Thanksgiving Recipes

Remember these vintage recipes like oyster stuffing, sweet gelatin molds and Cornish game hens? These nearly-forgotten Thanksgiving recipes will surprise all of your guests.

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Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

Looking for a festive dish to lighten up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa

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Oyster Stuffing

My mother made this stuffing every Thanksgiving for my father who loves it! And now I make it. —Amy Voights, Brodhead, Wisconsin
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Glazed Cornish Hens with Pecan-Rice Stuffing

Cornish hens bake up with a lovely golden brown shine when they are basted with my sweet and tangy glaze. The traditional rice stuffing has some added interest with crunchy pecans and sweet golden raisins. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Ambrosia Salad

Because it’s so simple to make, this tropical fruit medley is great as a last-minute menu addition. Plus, this ambrosia salad requires just five ingredients. —Judi Bringegar, Liberty, North Carolina
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Sugar Cream Pie

I absolutely love Indiana sugar cream pie, especially the one that my grandma made for me. Here, we serve it warm or chilled and call it “Hoosier” sugar cream pie. —Laura Kipper, Westfield, Indiana
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Creamed Peas

I can still taste these wonderful peas in Mama’s delicious white sauce. Our food was pretty plain during the week, so I thought this white sauce made the peas ‘extra fancy’ and fitting for a Sunday meal.
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Grandma's Rosemary Dinner Rolls

My grandma (I called her Baba) made these in her coal oven. How she regulated the temperature is beyond me! She always made extra rolls for the neighbors to bake in their own ovens. My mom and aunts would deliver the formed rolls at lunchtime. —Charlotte Hendershot, Hudson, Pennsylvania
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Party Cheese Balls

These tangy cheese balls are guaranteed to spread cheer at your next gathering. The ingredients create a colorful presentation and a savory combination of flavors. —Shirley Hoerman, Nekoosa, Wisconsin
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Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes

These cute stacks really stand out in a holiday appetizer buffet. Tasty, cool and crunchy, they come together in a snap. —Ashley Nochlin, Port St. Lucie, Florida
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Creamy Turkey Noodle Soup

I was honored when my fireman son-in-law asked to add this recipe to their firehouse cookbook. You can prepare parts of this turkey soup ahead of time and then assemble when ready. Serve with crispy whole-grain crackers. —Carol Perkins, Washington, Missouri

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Cornbread Dressing

There’s nothing quite like cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving. —Drew Weeks, Edisto Island, South Carolina
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Sausage Chive Pinwheels

These spirals are simple to make but look special on a buffet. Our guests eagerly help themselves, and sometimes the eye-catching pinwheels never even make it to their plates! —Gail Sykora, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Sweet Candied Carrots

These tender, vibrant candied carrots have a buttery glaze and a mild sweetness. This is a simple dish, but it sure makes carrots seem special. —P. Lauren Fay-Neri, Syracuse, New York
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Grandma’s Rice Pudding

My sisters and I always loved the recipe for rice pudding our grandma made. After she passed away, I took it upon myself to try and find the secret to her rice pudding. It took quite a bit of experimentation, but I finally got it right! And I’m glad to share this easy recipe here. —Margaret DeChant, Newberry, Michigan
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Orange Buttermilk Gelatin Salad Mold

A dear friend shared this recipe with me years ago. Now it’s my favorite dish to take to a church meeting, shower or any potluck event—it’s always a hit. Whenever I serve this salad, people ask for the recipe. They find it hard to believe it’s really made with buttermilk! —Juanita Hutto, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Onions

These onions are cooked in vegetable broth and stuffed with a delicious blend of cheeses. Experiment to find the blend you like. Instead of goat cheese, try cream cheese or mascarpone. You could substitute Gorgonzola cheese for the blue cheese, and in place of Romano, you could use Parmesan. Any blend is delicious! —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Raisin Date Bread Pudding

All my leftover bread ends (raisin bread is a favorite in this house) and buns go in the freezer. Then, when I've stashed away enough, I whip up a batch of this pudding. It's an all-occasion dish—I've made it for holidays, potlucks, picnics...for any occasion or no occasion! —Dawn Green, Hopkins, Michigan
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Oyster Fricassee

I oversee the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg. We've learned that the colonists had a ready source of oysters from Chesapeake Bay. I enjoy this rich, creamy casserole, a special dish from this area's holiday recipe collection. —Susan Dippre, Williamsburg, Virginia
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Beets in Orange Sauce

To ensure your family eats their veggies, why not top your beets with an irresistible orange glaze! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grandma’s Onion Squares

My grandma brought this recipe with her when she emigrated from Italy as a young wife and mother. It is still a family favorite. —Janet Eddy, Stockton, California
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Frog Eye Salad

This frog eye salad recipe gets its name from the tiny acini di pepe pasta that looks like frog eyes when folded in with fruit and a creamy dressing. As much or as little Cool Whip can be added to taste, and if I have some mandarin oranges or maraschino cherries, I add a few to the top. My friends say this side dish is good enough to be a dessert! —Elaine Bailey, Bloomfield, Indiana
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Corn & Onion Souffle

I swapped out my old cheese souffle for one with corn. If you’re souffle-challenged, it helps to use smaller ramekins instead of one big dish. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

A dear friend brought me some of this soup when I was ill—and it instantly hit the spot. I asked her for the recipe and I've made it several times since, especially when I have leftover turkey to use up. Now I like to take it to friends when they're not feeling well. It's just the filling meal to warm you up on a cold, wintry day! —Doris Cox, New Freedom, Pennsylvania
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Sweet and Savory Deviled Eggs

My Grandma Phyllis’ sweet and savory deviled eggs are unrivaled by any of the ones I’ve tried. The sweetness of the cherries balances the heat of the jalapeno; celery and pickles give a nice crunch. These snacks are always a party pleaser. —Adrienne Vradenburg, Bakersfield, California
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Ham, Broccoli and Orzo Casserole

A kid-pleaser and the perfect comfort food, this gooey orzo casserole is a complete meal in one. For an extra homey touch, I make mine in my favorite hand-me-down casserole dish from my Grandma Laverne. —Heather Arndt Anderson, Portland, Oregon
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Crown Roast of Pork with Mushroom Dressing

It looks so elegant that everyone thinks I spent a lot of time on this roast. But it's actually so easy! The biggest challenge is to remember to order the crown roast from the meat department ahead of time. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
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Salmon Puffs

Convenient pastry shells make this elegant entree so easy to put together. —Carolyn Moseley, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
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Classic Sweet Potato Pie

This simple but special deep-dish pie provides a down-home finish to hearty autumn meals. Pecans and pumpkin pie spices make this a comforting seasonal classic. —Paul Azzone, Shoreham, New York
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Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Oysters Rockefeller

My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
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Homemade Apple Cider Beef Stew

Homemade Apple Cider Beef Stew

It's especially nice to use this recipe in fall, when the weather gets crisp and the local apple orchards start selling fresh apple cider. This entree's subtle sweetness is a welcome change from other savory stews. We enjoy it with biscuits and slices of apple and cheddar cheese. —Joyce Glaesemann, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Grandma’s Yeast Rolls

Grandma’s Yeast Rolls

My grandmother use to make these rolls for family get-togethers and holidays. The applesauce adds so much flavor. —Nancy Spoth, Festus, Missouri
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Butternut Squash Custard

My husband first tasted this comforting casserole more than 10 years ago when he was still my fiance. Having enjoyed it so much, he said I needed to offer it at every Thanksgiving dinner. I was happy to oblige! —Maura Calusdian, Londonderry, New Hampshire
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Holiday Creamed Spinach

My mother made a variety of spinach dishes when I was growing up. This rich, delicious creamed version is the only one that stayed with me through the years. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Molded Cranberry-Orange Salad

When I take this dish to potlucks during the holidays, people always ooh and aah. Feel free to top with whipped cream for added appeal. —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Rack of Lamb with Figs

I’ve been making rack of lamb for years. My grandma gave me this recipe because she knew how much I love figs. And the toasted walnuts sprinkled on top give it just the right finishing touch. —Sylvia Castanon, Long Beach, California
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Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter

We often think of sweet potatoes in a supporting role as a side dish, mashed, baked whole, cubed and roasted. Here’s another thought—why not give them a starring role for breakfast when made into biscuits? Served with cinnamon-honey butter, they’re all kinds of awesome. —Cathy Bell, Joplin, Missouri
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Fluffy Cranberry Delight

This was originally my daughter's recipe, and she or I will make it for one or more of our holiday get-togethers. It can be served as a fruit salad along with the meal or as a light dessert. It's particularly pretty in a cut-glass bowl on a buffet. —Ruth Bolduc, Conway, New Hampshire
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Walnut Caramels

My grandmother was the queen of care packages. The Christmas season didn’t start until the mail carrier arrived with her anticipated box of goodies. These caramels are my father’s favorite. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Pistachio Mallow Salad

This fluffy pistachio salad is a real treat since it’s creamy but not overly sweet. It’s easy to mix up, and the flavor gets better the longer it stands. It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, served in a green bowl. —Pattie Ann Forssberg, Logan, Kansas
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Minty Peas and Onions

Mother always relied on peas and onions when she was in a hurry and needed a quick side dish. Besides being easy to prepare, this recipe was loved by everyone in our family. It was handed down to my mother by my grandmother. —Santa D'Addario, Jacksonville, Florida
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Buttery Whiskey-Glazed Pearl Onions

I always have pearl onions on hand to add to stews and vegetable dishes—they're great pickled, too. Every Thanksgiving, I make this glazed onion dish. It can easily be made ahead and reheated. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Everyone who tries this comforting, cheesy chicken and noodle casserole asks for the recipe. It’s so simple to make that sometimes I feel like I’m cheating! —Kay Pederson, Yellville, Arkansas
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Contest-Winning Chocolate Potato Cake

I won grand champion honors in a potato festival baking contest with this moist chocolate cake. The icing recipe can be doubled if you have a real sweet tooth. —Catherine Hahn, Winamac, Indiana

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.
Hannah Pugh
Hannah Pugh is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home. She focuses on writing affiliate content product reviews, newsletters and recipe collections. In her free time, she can be found sipping coffee at cafes, reading or rock climbing with her husband.