A Texas Thanksgiving

Texas Thanksgiving is a great reflection of the Lone Star State itself. With an eclectic variety of traditional
American, Hispanic, German, and Southern tastes, a Texan’s table is quite likely to be a melting pot of flavor as much as it is nostalgic. While it is not technically against the law to serve these dishes without sweet tea, it is recommended for those who would like to keep their Texas card. 

Broccoli Rice Casserole

According to Google, this dish was the most searched recipe in Texas last year.


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 jar (8 ounces) process cheese sauce
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3 cups cooked rice


Preheat oven to 325°. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and broccoli; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cheese sauce, soup, and milk until smooth. Spoon rice into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Pour cheese mixture over rice; do not stir. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, 25-30 minutes.

Cornbread Dressing and Giblet Gravy

This old-fashioned cornbread dressing is flavorful, tender, and moist. Not fancy, its ingredients are simple. Grandma didn’t hold with the notion that the more stuff you put in cornbread dressing, the better it is. ~TexasCooking.com

The Cornbread

  • 3 tbsp bacon drippings
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups corn meal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450°F. Put bacon drippings in 9×13-inch baking dish and put in the oven while preheating. Drippings will melt. Beat eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add corn meal, salt, baking soda and baking powder, and stir to combine. Add buttermilk and stir well. Remove the hot dish from the oven. Swirl to coat it with melted bacon drippings, pour the bacon drippings into the batter and stir to combine. Pour batter into the pan, and bake 20 to 25 minutes. The cornbread will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Leave it out, uncovered, overnight.

The Dressing

  • 9″x13″ pan of cornbread, crumbled
  • 10 white or whole wheat bread heels (left out overnight)
  • poultry seasoning*
  • rubbed sage*
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2-1/2 to 3 cups)
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup turkey pan drippings
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten

One hour prior to the meal… preheat oven to 375°F. Crumble cornbread and white bread into very large baking dish or pan. In large skillet, sauté celery, onion, and green pepper in butter over medium heat until onion is transparent. Combine sautéed vegetables with bread crumbs and mix well. When you are ready to bake, add beaten eggs, chicken stock and turkey pan drippings, and stir. (May add more chicken stock—better too moist than too dry.) Add 2 tsp poultry seasoning, 1/2 tsp rubbed sage, black pepper, and mix thoroughly. After baking approx. 15 minutes, stir dressing down from the sides of the pan so that it cooks uniformly. Total cooking time should be about 30 minutes.

Giblet Gravy

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup drippings from roasting pan; skimmed of fat
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dry Sherry
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups turkey giblets (chopped, cooked liver and neck)


May be made early and kept warm or re-heat before serving. 

Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan until bubbly, sprinkle in flour and stir quickly to cook the flour. Slowly stir in turkey drippings and chicken stock; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gravy is smooth and thickened. Reduce heat to low, and check seasonings. Add salt and pepper if necessary. May add a tablespoon or two of sherry at this point. Add giblets and simmer for about 10 minutes. For a more moist consistency, add more stock. Feel free to use as much or little want to make it the way you like it.