Thanksgiving Favorites from the Chesapeake Bay Waterkeepers

Written by Casey Willson, Fair Farms Intern

This Thanksgiving season take some recipe inspiration from your Chesapeake Bay Waterkeepers! We’ve gathered some of our favorite fruit and veggie centered recipes to share with you. Be sure to check them out and have fun filling your table with locally-sourced veggies this holiday season!


Casey’s Green Bean Casserole

This classic side uses locally-sourced green beans to make a wonderfully comforting casserole. No Thanksgiving table is complete without Green Bean Casserole!



  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup or Condensed Unsalted Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 cups cooked cut green beans
  • 1 1/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions (amount divided in recipe steps below)


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.  Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

  2. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2/3 cup onions.
  3. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.



Elizabeth’s Classic Corn Casserole 

A traditional side with Elizabeth’s Thanksgiving dinner – it is also called “corn pudding.” The classic Midwest version uses canned corn and premade mix, but you can also use fresh, local corn to make it special!


  • 2 ears fresh corn (about a cup each) – sliced from the cob and steamed. For flair I sometimes like to use blue corn. 
  • 8 oz cream corn – you can make your own from scratch, or use canned.
  • One egg
  • One cup sour cream
  • Half a cup of butter, melted
  • Half a cup of cornmeal + Half a cup of white flour + 1 Tbsp baking powder (you can also use a cornbread or Jiffy mix in place of these if you want a shortcut!)


  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly 
  2. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees until the center is completely set, about 45 minutes. If you vary the pan size, the cooking time may change – but the top will be dry and lightly brown when finished. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting!


Bernard’s Butternut Squash Soup

A classic fall soup using the iconic Butternut Squash. This recipe will be sure to warm you up this holiday season!


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ginger. Stir and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth and blend. Season to taste and serve with your favorite dinner rolls.


Humon’s Persian Quince Jam with Cardamom and Rose Water

This is a traditional Persian recipe using the seasonally available Quince fruit. Serve with butter, cheese, thick yogurt and/or as a topping with vanilla ice cream after your Thanksgiving meal or as an alternative to the traditional cranberry sauce!



Makes about 4 pint jars  


  • 7 medium sized quince, rinse well under water and pat dry, remove any brown spots and core, slice or cut into bite-size pieces 
  • 3 cups sugar (can be adjusted to your liking)
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or use 2-3 whole cardamom pods (I used green cardamom)
  • 1 tablespoon rose water *optional
  • 4 cups water



  1.  Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice over the quince slices.
  2. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan combine the sugar and water, bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat and boil for another ten minutes on medium-low heat or until it thickens a little bit. 
  3. Add the ground cardamom and quince slices to the sugar syrup, bring back to a boil on medium heat. Pour in the rest of the lemon juice and add a little more water if needed.
  4. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours on low heat. It is recommended not to remove the lid during the cooking to ensure that the quince slices develop the desired rich ruby red color. You can wrap the lid in a clean kitchen towel. I didn’t wrap the lid with any cloth and a few times I gently stirred the content.
  5. Add a tablespoon of rose water and simmer for another few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Ladle the jam into sterilized jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate.