Cajun-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes

Cajun-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes

Try out these recipes to bring a little Cajun flair to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Interested in spicing up your Thanksgiving festivities?  The consider trying out one of these Cajun-inspired recipes at your Thanksgiving feast.  From appetizers to side dishes, here are some tasty dishes that the whole family will enjoy!

Crispy Fried Oysters

Ingredients:

  • 24 shucked medium to large oysters
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 sleeves saltine crackers (8 ounces), pulsed to coarse meal (no bigger than 1/8″) in a food processor
  • Corn or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Kosher salt

Directions:

  • Drain oysters. Beat eggs in a medium bowl to blend.  Add oysters to egg mixture and turn to coat completely.
  • Pour half of saltine crumbs into a baking dish. Working in batches, lift oysters with a slotted spoon, allowing excess egg to drain back into bowl, and transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining crumbs over oysters and toss to coat.  Cover dish and chill for 2-3 hours.
  • Line a plate with paper towels. Pour oil into a medium heavy skillet to a depth of ½ inch. Heat oil over medium heat to 375°F.  Working in batches, fry oysters, turning once, until coating is crisp and deep golden brown, about 1 minute per batch.  Transfer to paper towels and season with salt.

Cajun Roast Turkey

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-14-pound turkey, patted dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup Cajun Spice Mix
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (or more) olive or vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Set a rack inside a large heavy roasting pan. Season turkey lightly inside and out with salt and pepper, then with spice mix, massaging it into the skin.  Transfer turkey, breast side down, to prepared pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
  • Remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix celery, pepper, and onion in a medium bowl.  Fill turkey cavities with vegetable mixture, scattering any remaining vegetables over bottom of roasting pan.  Brush turkey with oil.
  • Roast turkey, basting occasionally, for 1 hour. Using paper towels, flip turkey.  Then, continue to roast, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F; about 1-1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer to a platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Cornbread, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
  • 1 pound day-old cornbread, broken into 1 1/2″-2″ pieces (9 cups)
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/4″ slices celery
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

  • Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250°F. Butter a 13x9x2 inch baking dish; set aside.  Scatter cornbread in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Bake, stirring often and rotating sheets halfway through, until dried out, about 1 hour.  Let cool.  Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into 1/2-1 inch pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cornbread but do not stir.
  • Heat 3/4 cup butter in same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to cornbread and sausage mixture.
  • Return skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute.  Pour into bowl with cornbread.  Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups broth, pecans, if using, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.  Add salt and pepper.  Let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk 1 1/2 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl.  Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined, taking care not to mash cornbread (mixture will look wet).  Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°F, about 40 minutes.

Try out these Cajun-inspired Thanksgiving recipes to delight all your dinner guests this year.  If you cannot get enough of delicious Cajun cooking, then make sure you head to the next Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.  In summer of 2018, Simi Valley will come alive with Cajun music and food, zydeco music, blues music, a Mardi Gras parade, zydeco dance lessons, and more!  To learn more about this exciting local event, contact Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival today.