Southeastern North Carolina Thanksgiving Menu Necessities

Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, stuffing: when it comes to your Thanksgiving dinner menu, everyone has a list of absolute necessities to make the holiday complete.

Here in southeastern North Carolina, we’re lucky enough to have a few additional items to throw in the mix.

On top of the more traditional fare, our coastal cuisine lends its own unique flare to the menu, making Thanksgiving dinners an eclectic combination of regional favorites and national standbys. Liven up your spread this year with a few of these seaside additions from the Michelle Clark Team!

Turkey substitute

There’s no rule that says you have to eat turkey every Thanksgiving. In fact, even this late into the season, fish is always a delicious, protein-filled option for the dinner table. And if you’ve got a few picky eaters that won’t want to venture seaward for their holiday indulgences, there are tons of great side dishes involving fish or other ocean-based creatures to consider. Shrimp and grits is a crowd favorite in our area, for example.

Sweet sensations

Sweet potatoes are a southern must-have for a lot of big meals and gatherings. Why should Thanksgiving be the exception? From pies to casseroles, and even creative twists on menu items like biscuits, these treats can cut the savory turkey dinner flavors and add some variety to the meal.

Oyster season

Have you ever attended an oyster roast? Just like Thanksgiving dinner, these are great opportunities to get everyone together for a scrumptious, filling meal and plenty of quality time with family and friends. And, in North Carolina, oyster season begins in mid-October and can last as long as March. So by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, the freshest catches are primed and ready to grace the table. 

Crumble or pie?

Making a pie or two for Thanksgiving doesn’t break tradition, but how about a crumble, or cobbler? Southeastern North Carolina is known for its excellent farmland and economy, so there are always plenty of varieties for you to choose from at your nearest grocery store or corner market. So this year, your dessert platter could include a few things besides pumpkin or pecan pie, the better to satisfy as many tastes as possible in one meal.

We hope this has inspired you to think coastal as you finalize your Thanksgiving dinner menu! And for more local tips and insights, stay tuned to the Michelle Clark Team’s blog.