NOOGAtoday’s holiday cookbook

Happy cooking, Chattanooga. | NOOGAtoday

Last week, we asked y’all to send in your favorite holiday recipes so that we could compile a NOOGAtoday cookbook. From cocktails to sides, desserts and turkey recipes, we’re getting a taste of your favorite traditions.  

So, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your Thanksgiving Day meal, just need a dinner idea for tonight, or want to indulge in a neighbor’s concoction, check out these holiday recipes from our local master and at-home chefs in Chattanooga. ⬇️

🌽 Side dishes

Citrus & Pomegranate with Hibiscus Honey

Submitted by Chef Erik Niel, owner of Easy Bistro + Main Street Meats

Award-winning Chef Erik Niel’s citrus and pomegranate with hibiscus honey | Photo: Submitted by Niel, who has also been a James Beard finalist

Ingredients for the citrus 

  • (As many varieties of citrus as you can find)
  • 10 assorted citrus -peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 pomegranate – seeds only
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves – torn
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup Hibiscus Honey (see below)

Instructions for assembly of citrus

  1. On a serving platter, drizzle the hibiscus honey on the plate
  2. Arrange the sliced citrus on top of the honey
  3. Top with the pomegranate seeds
  4. Grate a small amount of cinnamon over the citrus
  5. Drizzle a little more hibiscus honey
  6. Garnish with torn mint

Ingredients for the hibiscus honey

  • 1 cup Red wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 dried hibiscus flowers

Instructions for the hibiscus honey

  1. Combine vinegar and hibiscus in a small stockpot, bring to a simmer
  2. Add the honey while stirring.
  3. Simmer till the honey will coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Let stand. Remove the Hibiscus flowers before use. 

Chef Jernard’s Holiday Collard Greens 

Submitted by award-winning Chef Jernard Wells

Wells has a show called “New Soul Kitchen” that airs every Saturday on Cleo TV at 9 p.m. He’s also a contributor on Oprah Winfrey Network’s new food show “Food Fantasies” that airs every Saturday at 1 p.m.



  • 5 strips of sliced turkey bacon
  • 2 smoked turkey legs meat pulled off the bone
  • 2  medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped 
  • 6  garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth 
  • 3  (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed 
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 3 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 3 tbsp granulated onion powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper 
  • 2 tbsp salt 
  • 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil


  1. Add turkey bacon in the pot and sauté for four minutes to release flavor 
  2. Then add onions, and sauté for four more minutes
  3. Add turkey legs or wings and garlic, and sauté one minute
  4. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients – add collard greens. 
  5. Cook for 45 minutes with the lid slightly covering the pot to the desired degree of tenderness.

Vegan banana bread 

Submitted by Erica T. 


  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweet vegan milk (oat, almond, soy)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional, I usually use cinnamon instead)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350º. Grease and flour the bottom and side of 9X5 loaf pan
  2. Stir almond milk and vinegar together, set aside
  3. Cream together butter and sugar — add bananas, vanilla, and milk mix
  4. Sift together the remaining ingredients. Combine this with the wet mixture until a thick, but not dry, mixture develops. You may have leftover dry ingredient mixture
  5. Bake 45 minutes

Fruit salad 

Submitted by Patricia B. 


  • 1 can fruit cocktail
  • 1 can pineapple chunks
  • 1 jar cherries
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup broken pecans


  1. Drain all fruit 
  2. Mix all together with 1 cup sour cream
  3. Refrigerate overnight

Low Country Hash Brown Casserole 

Submitted by Karla P. 


  • One 32-oz bag of hash brown potatoes
  • Two cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • One cup of shredded cheddar to top casserole
  • One can cream of chicken soup
  • One sixteen-ounce container of sour cream
  • One stick of butter melted
  • One cup of chopped green onions


  1. In large bowl combine all ingredients except green onions
  2. Pour in greased casserole dish and top with onions and shredded cheese
  3. Bake at 350º for one hour

Mexican Cornbread

Submitted by Joan P.


  • 1 hot pepper, chopped (I use jalapeno)
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp mayo
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil

To taste: cayenne powder, crushed red pepper, garlic powder

Use a 13×9 nonstick baking dish

  1. Lightly beat eggs.
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir.
  3. Bake at 375º for 1 hour, 15 minutes.

To make this dish vegan, replace eggs with 1 tsp cornstarch, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, and a 1/4 tsp baking powder per egg. Use veganaise in place of mayo. Use unsweetened almond or oat milk. Replace cheddar cheese with vegan shredded cheese.

🍗 Entrees

Seitan Pastrami Roast 

Submitted by Amanda and Rasean Greenidge, owners of Not Your Mama’s Greens 

Ingredients for the seitan 

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup vegan vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil 
  • Vegan red food coloring, optional
  • 1 tbsp of jerk seasoning

Ingredients for the dry rub

  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander

Ingredients for the simmering broth 

  • 2 cups of vegan vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp of spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 tbsp of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 packet of Lipton French onion soup 

Instructions to make seitan 

  1. In a large bowl, add the vital wheat gluten, flour, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, and jerk seasoning. Stir them to combine
  2. Create a well in the center and slowly add the broth and oil
  3.  Use your hands to work the liquid into the flour mixture until a sticky wet dough is formed
  4. Knead the dough for five minutes. Optional, add a few drops of red food color and knead some more to marble the dough
  5. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes
  6. Preheat the oven to 350º. Have a rimmed baking sheet and a large piece of foil

Instructions to make the dry rub 

  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Lay a piece of foil flat on the counter
  3. Move the dough to the center of the foil and form it into a rectangle-ish slab about 6-inches wide, 8-inches long, and 3-inches thick. Doesn’t have to be exact.
  4. Coat the entire surface with the spice rub, flip it over and coat the bottom with the rub.
  5. Roll the slab up in the foil as tightly as possible. If you need a second piece of foil, use it. You need to wrap it as tight as possible so the seitan does not expand while baking. You want it to remain trapped in the foil so it remains dense, not bready.
  6. Place it on the baking sheet and bake, wrapped, for 45 minutes
  7. Remove from the oven after 45 minutes. Allow it to cook for a few minutes before unwrapping.
  8. Place the partially baked slab in the center of the pan (you can line with parchment or another piece of foil to help with clean-up if you choose) and bake it for an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
  9.  It should be blackened and hardened when it’s ready

Instructions to make the simmering broth 

  1. Add all broth ingredients to a pot and bring them to a boil, including the Lipton soup
  2. Boil for 5 minutes to make sure the salt and sugar has dissolved, then reduce heat to a medium-low simmer
  3. Remove Pastrami slab from the oven and allow it to cool to the touch
  4. You’ll need a really sharp serrated knife to cut this. Cut the pastrami into thin slices (the thinner the better).
  5. Place slices into the simmering broth to reheat.
  6. Serve pastrami straight from the broth.

Can be served with a side of mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, or green bean casserole. Alternative serving suggestion: this can also be paired with pickles or sauerkraut and eaten as a sandwich.

Southern Chicken and Dressing

Submitted by Karla P. 


  • Two rotisserie chickens, shredded
  • One pan of cornbread
  • Six buttermilk biscuits
  • One to two cans of each: cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and cream of celery soup
  • One onion diced
  • Chopped celery to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix ingredients with two or more cans of chicken broth
  2. Pour in greased pan
  3. Pour one can of chicken broth over dressing to stay moist
  4. Cook at 350 degrees for one to one and a half hours 

Rosemary Baked Chicken Dressing

Submitted by award-winning Chef Jernard Wells


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4-5 sprigs of sage – fresh 
  • 4-5 sprigs of rosemary – fresh

Ingredients for Cajun chicken rub  

  • Four tbsp sea-salt
  • Four tbsp smoked paprika 
  • Four tbsp garlic powder
  • Four tbsp onion powder
  • Four tbsp cayenne pepper
  • Six tbsp brown sugar


  1. Blend spices together to create rub
  2. Lightly coat chicken with olive oil then cover the whole chicken with the rub
  3. Place fresh rosemary and sage inside of chicken 
  4. Put chicken in baking pan or on bakers rack and cook in oven at 375ºfor one hour uncovered

Ingredients for cornbread dressing 

  • 2 cups White Lily Buttermilk Cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup minced sage
  • 1/4 cup rosemary
  • 1/4 cup thyme minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup of milk

Instructions for cornbread dressing

  1. Place in greased cast iron skillet or pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes 

Ingredients for dressing 

  • Pulled cooked chicken off the bone
  • 1 skillet of cooked cornbread
  • 1 tbsp of sage
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • 1 can cream of chicken
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 16 oz of chicken stock


  1. Blend all ingredients together
  2. Bake for 30 minutes at 350º to stiffen up
  3. Let cool and serve with cranberry sauce

🥧 Desserts

Chef Tim’s Chocolate Fudge Pie

Submitted by chef Tim Mulderink, owner of the Chef and his Wife foods

Chef Tim’s chocolate fudge pie | Photo submitted by Chef Tim


  • 1 9″ pie shell
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, melted butter, sugar and vanilla
  2. In a separate bowl mix flour cocoa powder, and chocolate chips fold the dry mixture into the liquid mixture, turn until thoroughly combined
  3. Pour into pie crust
  4. Bake at 325º for 35-45 minutes until the chocolate center puffs up
  5. Serve slightly warm with vanilla bean ice cream

No-bake pumpkin pie 

Submitted by Elizabeth St. Clair, owner of Charlie’s BBQ & Bakery, where you can get this treat 


  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 whole tub (large) of CoolWhip
  • 1 graham cracker pie shell
  • 2 pkgs of Vanilla Instant Pudding (I go for the cheapest brand)
  • 1 can (16 oz) of pure pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp nutmeg


  1. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and 2 tbsp of milk/heavy cream in a mixer until blended with NO lumps.
  2. Gently fold in 3 cups of CoolWhip
  3. Spread on bottom of pie shell
  4. Pour 1 cup milk/heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Add both packs of vanilla instant pudding dry powder.
  5. Beat until blended. If thick and lumpy, add a few tablespoons of milk/heavy cream until pudding consistency.
  6. Let stand 3 minutes
  7. Add in pumpkin and spices to pudding. Mix well.
  8. Spread over the cream cheese layer, making sure not to mix them, just spread
  9. Top with remainder of CoolWhip
  10. Refrigerate at least 2-4 hours until set