Thanksgiving in the Smokies: Pigeon Forge Food, Fun & More


Happy Thanksgiving! You might have guessed by our name – Pigeon Forge, TN Cabins – that we LOVE Pigeon Forge. Decadent homemade fudge, old-school saltwater taffy, The Island, Dollywood, old-fashioned candies, stacks of buttery pancakes, trolley rides through town, dinner shows, annual events, parades, airbrush t-shirts, go karts, laser tag, arcades, local wineries, moonshine, indoor skydiving, hikes…we just can’t get enough. So when Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s easy to find things to be thankful for in Pigeon Forge.

If you’re celebrating your 2018 Thanksgiving in the Smokies, we’re so glad to have you here! We have some delicious perfect-for-the-cabin recipes, ideas for fun, and some of the things we’re most thankful for. Read on to get some ideas!


If you’re not up for cooking this Thanksgiving, you can check out the Pigeon Forge restaurants that will be open for lunch or dinner. They boast those classic Southern dishes and Thanksgiving favorites, ensuring a heartwarming and belly-filling meal.

Mama’s Farmhouse| 865.908.4646
macaroni & cheese + mashed potatoes + turkey ‘n stuffing

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que | 865.429.2200
smoked turkey + beer + wine + Southern sides

Alamo Steakhouse | 865.908.9998
steak + oysters + salads + seafood

Applewood Farmhouse | 865.428.1222 (farmhouse) or 865.429.8644 (grill)
prime rib au jus + roast turkey with gravy + cornbread sausage dressing + apple-glazed ham


If you’re up for cooking at the cabin, these 3 easy Thanksgiving recipes are sure to make your meal a memorable one.

Sweet Potato Casserole | 8 servings | 1 hr total time

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons melted (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9-x-13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly then transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, eggs, and salt until smooth. Pour into prepared dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and butter until it clumps. Stir in pecans, then spread evenly over potatoes. Top with marshmallows.
  4. Bake until cooked through and golden, about 30 minutes.

Honey Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts | 4 servings | 30 minutes total time

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and cook undisturbed, 3 to 4 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Add ¼ cup water and cover. Let Brussels sprouts steam until tender, 3 minutes. If the skillet seems dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Remove sprouts from skillet and set aside on a plate. Add vinegar, honey, mustard, and garlic and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy, 6 to 8 minutes. Return sprouts to pan, toss to coat, and heat through, 2 to 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Cornbread Dressing | 8 servings | 1 hr 25 minutes total time

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg


  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoon sfresh sage, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease an 8” baking dish or 9” round cake pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk, and egg. Add dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no more dry spots. Batter will be thick.
  3. Transfer to prepared baking dish, smooth out top, and bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then chop into 2” cubes.


  1. Grease a 9” square baking dish with butter. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. To the same skillet, add butter, onion, and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and sage, then season with salt and pepper. Add broth to deglaze, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to bowl with sausage.
  3. Add cornbread pieces, then stir in milk and eggs. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until everything is well incorporated and cornbread pieces are a mixture of smaller chunks and crumbs.
  4. Add mixture to prepared baking dish and bake until golden and crispy on top and set in the center, 30 minutes.
  5. Garnish with parsley before serving.


  1. Shopping, The Escape Game, and celebrity-owned restaurants at The Island.
  2. Gorgeous fall colors across the Great Smoky Mountains.
  3. Exciting roller coasters, live shows, and fall fun at Dollywood!
  4. History and a truly unique experience at the Titanic Museum Attractions.
  5. Celebrity fun at the Hollywood Wax Museum.
  6. Moonshine made in the Great Smoky Mountains.
  7. Trolley rides during Winterfest in Pigeon Forge.
  8. Cozy nights curled up in the cabin.
  9. Spending time with family – with gorgeous mountain views as the backdrop.
  10. Delicious Southern foods.