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Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods That Will Be On Every Table This Year

From green beans and mashed potatoes to turkey and pumpkin pie, these are the top 10 Thanksgiving foods everyone in America loves. Including some delicious surefire recipe ideas for each!
Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods That Will Be On Every Table This Year
Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods That Will Be On Every Table This Year
Anna at SideChef
Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
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Anna at SideChef
Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, meaning millions of Americans will gather around the dinner table. While it sure is great to enjoy the parade and the game, nothing excites us more than looking forward to that big plate overflowing with delicious Thanksgiving foods. This is a time for family, friends, and of course, a guilt-free indulgent feast.

Every family has its own traditions and favorite foods they enjoy on Thanksgiving. But there are some dishes that we just can’t imagine this holiday without. Some dishes are always on the menu, and this year is no different. Here are the top 10 most popular Thanksgiving foods you'll likely see at every celebration.

1. Turkey

Turkey is a symbol of Thanksgiving, and it's hard to imagine the holiday without it. More than 80% of Americans will have turkey on their dinner table.

Thawing, brining, seasoning, and roasting the turkey is a tradition on its own, and, to be fair, takes quite a bit of time. But a perfectly roasted, juicy, and succulent bird is well worth the time!

This Herb Roasted Spatchcock Turkey with Gravy sure fits the bill!

2. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the glue that keeps all the rest of Thanksgiving foods together, an essential element that must be on the dinner table.

If, for some reason, you had to remove or replace a dish on your classic holiday menu, chances are mashed potatoes would be the one untouchable side. Some like creamy and smooth mash, some like it with lumps; some add cheese, some add sauteed onions and peas - but some variation of this timeless Thanksgiving food is always present.

If you are a fan of traditional flavors, try our Classic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes.

Looking for a fancier holiday side? This Pomme Puree recipe is for you.

3. Green Bean Casserole

This holiday favorite was created by a Campbell Soup Company employee, Dorcas Reilly, in 1955. Green bean casserole quickly got nicknamed a “jiffy casserole” because you could mix all the ingredients in one bowl and transfer them straight to the baking dish. It is easy, quick, inexpensive, and oh-so-delicious.

Green bean casserole is a truly quintessential Thanksgiving side dish our top ten list wouldn’t be complete without. These days you can find many variations of the original 5-ingredient recipe from the Campbell’s test kitchen; no matter which one you use, this dish earned its place on the festive menu.

If you want to keep it classic, go for this quick and easy Creamy Green Bean Casserole with canned cream of mushroom soup.

Prefer to make all your dishes from scratch? Try this Green Bean Casserole with Tempura Onion Strings and Homemade Mushroom Cream Sauce.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Candied sweet potatoes have been a Thanksgiving staple since the late 1800s. The first mention of sweet potato pie dates back to 1887 and was penned by the Godmother of Thanksgiving herself - Sarah Josepha Hale, who is responsible for Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday. She mentioned it in one of the issues of Godey's Lady's Book as a part of the ideal Thanksgiving meal.

This hasn’t changed; most Americans will have sweet potatoes on the holiday dinner table.

There are several classic sweet potato dishes we enjoy on Thanksgiving:

Follow Ms Hale’s advice and make an ideal meal with this Sweet Potato Pie recipe.

Go for another marshmallow topped classic - Sweet Potato Casserole.

Looking for a combination of sweet and spicy? This Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Hot Honey Butter recipe is for you.

Or keep it simple and make these Classic Candied Sweet Potatoes.

5. Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls need no introduction. It’s not just a dinner staple but a Thanksgiving menu must. They are the most functional food on this list.

You don’t want to fill up on dinner rolls and leave no space for the rest of the delicious spread. Instead, you use the rolls to soak up the last of the gravy, sauce, and other Thanksgiving goodness that’s not to be wasted!

If you don’t feel like making rolls from scratch, try our simple hack and make these 5-Minute Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls.

Feeling like serving something special and representative of the season? Go for Mini Pumpkin Dinner Rolls and wow everyone at the table.

6. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is more of a tradition than a choice on our Thanksgiving menu. This sweet and sour side dish may often be left untouched, but you simply can’t imagine not serving it.

Perhaps, upgrading the tired canned cranberry sauce or making it from scratch is what you need to make it interesting. Give these recipes a try:

3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce From Scratch

Orange Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

7. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a perfect fall holiday treat. It has become one of the most known symbols of Thanksgiving, and we will always save some space for a slice of pumpkin pie after a satisfying meal.

Some estimates say Americans consume more than 50 million pumpkin pies each Thanksgiving. This yummy statistic makes pumpkin pie more popular than Thanksgiving turkey!

Keep the tradition alive and make this Most Perfect Pumpkin Pie this year.

8. Stuffing

First things first, let’s once and for all settle what’s the difference between stuffing and dressing.

We use the terms ‘stuffing’ and ‘dressing’ interchangeably these days, but they are not the same. Stuffing is cooked inside the turkey; it absorbs all the cooking juices and flavors from the bird. Dressing is cooked separately, usually in a casserole dish.

Whatever you call it, it is one of the top Thanksgiving foods we make every year. So take your pick:

Classic Herb Stuffing

Pecan Sage Thanksgiving Dressing

Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing

9. Mac and Cheese

We don’t need an excuse to enjoy this comfort food any time of the year. But as the famous meme goes, “If you don’t have 5-7 years of experience and three references, you are not qualified to make Thanksgiving mac n cheese”.

Mac n cheese is one of the top Thanksgiving side dishes, but it has to be done right. It’s not your quick and easy stovetop cheesy macaroni. Thanksgiving mac n cheese is the creamiest, the cheesiest topped-with-crispy-breadcrumbs oven-baked masterpiece you can make. Every family has their go-to special mac n cheese recipe, but if you are looking for one, give these a try:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Cauliflower Mac n Cheese

Extra Creamy Mac n Cheese

10. Gravy

Gravy is an essential part of the Thanksgiving feast because it is the bridge that connects all of the different flavors on the plate. This rich and meaty sauce tastes like heaven poured over roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Without gravy, the Thanksgiving feast would be incomplete.

In case you need some ideas on how to make gravy this holiday season, here are some recipes you should try:

Perfect Turkey Gravy

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

May your heart be as full of gratitude as your belly is full of food!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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