All the Best Thanksgiving Day Foods, Ranked

Pour some wine and throw on your comfy pants — it’s Thanksgiving Day! As you curl up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while your turkey cooks (hopefully not in the microwave) and pie fills your house with the sweet, sweet aroma of giving thanks, we have an important topic to discuss: the hierarchy of Thanksgiving foods.

We all have different taste palettes, sure. But when it comes to Thanksgiving food, some things are simply undeniable. We’ve ranked all the Thanksgiving foods from worst to best, and if you disagree, you’re probably the type of person that would cook your turkey in the microwave anyway.

Cranberry sauce

Who decided that cranberry sauce gets the privilege of being on the table on Thanksgiving Day? It’s sour, it’s pungent, and what’s the real point of it? In my experience, I’ve only ever seen it sit in a dish, untouched and sad while all the dishes get much-deserved attention. If you actually really enjoy cranberry sauce, you’re a unique kind of person. And if you like the weird jello-like cranberry goo that comes from a can and gets sliced? We can’t be friends.

Green beans/asparagus/any other veggies

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Let’s make this clear: vegetables aren’t bad. On any other day, having green sides is a great way to make your dinner healthy and tasty. Can we all agree that Brussel sprouts are actually amazing and have an undeserved bad reputation? But on Thanksgiving Day, we aren’t trying to be healthy. The whole point is to load up on carbs because calories don’t count. We can all take a small helping of veggies, sure, but we all know they’re one of the least exciting food options that just take up space on our plate.

Sweet potatoes/yams

Does anyone really know the difference between these two? If you do, congrats – you’re like the only person that does. Sweet potatoes are great — even Michelle Obama called them her favorite fall vegetable. And when they're loaded with sweet marshmallows, brown sugar, and some candied nuts? It's is a real treat, and one of the better things you can fill your plate with. 


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The staple of a Thanksgiving feast is great, but it doesn’t belong at the top of the list. You can’t really have Thanksgiving without a bird, so we can’t forget mention this…but it’s definitely not the best food on the table. So, throw a slice or two of turkey on your plate and call it a day.


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If you don’t pop a piping hot Pillsbury roll in your mouth as soon as it comes out of the oven, you’re doing it wrong. We all know just how addicting carbs can be, so be careful not to scarf down too many rolls today or you’ll fill up your stomach too fast and miss out on the rest of the good food coming your way.


Whether you prefer your stuffing inside a turkey or of the cornbread variety, this is one of the top two Thanksgiving sides. Much like the rolls, this tasty, carb-ed up dish is absolutely delightful and today is one of the few days we all can enjoy a side dish that’s basically seasoned bread without feeling like absolute garbage. Shall we cheers to that?

Pumpkin pie

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It’s a dessert, but it’s a darn good one. If you don’t like pumpkin pie, it’s not the end of the world — pecan pie and apple pie are both great desserts, too. But if you aren’t having some sort of pie today, you’re absolutely doing it wrong.

Mashed potatoes

It’s the star of the show: your Thanksgiving plate isn’t complete without a delicious, heaping mound of steaming mashed potatoes. Oh, and you better go back for seconds and maybe even thirds because we didn’t break out the stretchy pants for nothing. What’s better than creamy, buttery potatoes? Nothing! We can all agree that this is the best part of your Thanksgiving feast, no questions asked.

Now that we’re all in agreement on the best Thanksgiving dishes, go load up your plate and get eating. Bon Appétit!