Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays – an entire day devoted to parades, football games, dog shows and, most importantly, FOOD. I know that gathering around the table for Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming when there’s a feast in front of you. How can you possibly decide what to eat? Don’t worry, friends, as I decided to make it easy for you and rank the classic Thanksgiving spread so you know which foods are worth the extra pounds.

8. Cranberry Sauce

And/or that weird Jell-O salad your aunt makes. You know, the kind with the mandarin oranges floating around in it. What is the origin of gelatin at Thanksgiving anyway? Why is this a thing? Save your gross hodgepodge of canned fruit and jelly for cafeteria school lunches, please.

sweet potato

7. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is like Mariah Carey covering Christmas songs: a good base – see what I did there – but too many flourishes that ultimately spoil the entire thing. By themselves, sweet potatoes are bomb and really good for you. Once you slather them in brown sugar and butter and marshmallows, they just becomes a gloppy diabetic nightmare.

6. Turkey

WHAT WHAT WHAT!? OH NO SHE DIDN’T. Oh yes, I did. Do people actually care about the turkey? I mean, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a turkey on the table, but the bird unfortunately gets outshined by all those side dishes. I’ve never met anyone who confidently states, “Ah yes, the turkey is my favorite part of Thanksgiving!” Regardless, it’s a staple for Thanksgiving meals and is pretty tasty straight from the fridge at midnight.


5. Green Bean Casserole

It took many years of coercion, but I finally learned to love green bean casserole. What sold me is the crispy fried onions sprinkled over top. However, I still suffer recurring flashbacks of my brother telling me the green beans were worms so I’m a little iffy on this side dish.

4. Gravy

It’s said that Mary, Queen of Scots would bathe in blood to keep her skin youthful. I do the exact same thing with gravy.


3. Pumpkin Pie

At the risk of sounding like a basic college girl, I love pumpkin spice everything. Consuming the original pumpkin spice treat is basically paying homage to the entire season of fall, especially when it’s topped with Cool Whip or cinnamon ice cream. Mmm.

2. Stuffing

Bread. Seasoned with sage and turkey juice. Covered in gravy. How could you possibly go wrong with that?

mashed potatoes1. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the King of Thanksgiving Dinner. Whether you prefer them lumpy or velvety smooth, there’s no denying the deliciousness of mashed potatoes. Plus, the potatoes act as a glue, binding stray bits of the meal together. This creates tiny forkfuls of Thanksgiving flavors all in one perfect bite. Sheer perfection.

Hopefully this list helps you decide what to discreetly pass up and what to pile on your plate. Have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with all of your favorite seasonal foods!