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Which Thanksgiving Staple is the Champion of Champions?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Ah, Thanksgiving. When we all finally get to go home for a few days and overeat in the good spirit of the holiday. 

Every family has their own version of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, but there’s always going to be the staples: turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc. However, there has been an ongoing debate as to which Thanksgiving staple is the best of them all.

So without further ado, I present to you, a ranking of the Thanksgiving staples!


Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce, though it is at the bottom of the ranking, is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal. Like gravy, it can go on pretty much any item of the Thanksgiving meal, such as turkey and some fluffy bread rolls.

Sweet potatoes 

Sweet potatoes, especially when they are topped with large, fluffy marshmallows, are almost as delicious as a good pumpkin pie. Though they are towards the bottom of the ranking, they are still super good, but are obviously topped by the real dessert of the day: pumpkin pie.

Green Bean Casserole

I know that green bean casserole has had a bad wrap, but it’s actually really good. Who wouldn’t love creamy green beans that are covered with a nice crispy top? It’s delicious, and no one can tell me any different.


Turkey is in the middle of the rankings, despite it being the main dish of the day. This dish is pretty difficult, since it is a large bird that barely fits in the oven, takes hours and hours to prepare and cook, and it can really be a hit or miss. But when it hits, it hits good. I’m going to make many more references to this, but smother the meat in gravy and it will make any slab of meat, moist or dry, taste delicious.


Stuffing, whether it’s homemade, or Stovetop, has always been a Thanksgiving favorite. The dish, made of bread and spices, is made even better when stuffed into a turkey, or smothered in the heavenly sauce, also known as gravy.

Pumpkin Pie

Of course pumpkin pie is towards the top of the ranking— and why wouldn’t it be? It is one of the greatest parts of Thanksgiving! It is also one of the only times that it is perfectly acceptable to eat this tasty fall treat. What makes it even better? A big dollop of whipped cream!

Mashed Potatoes 

The award for best Thanksgiving staple, the champion of champions goes to… *drum roll please*… MASHED POTATOES! And who wouldn’t love them? You can eat them plain, with butter, with garlic, or with the greatest substance of all, gravy! Sure, these bad boys can be eaten with any other ordinary meal all year round, but there’s something special about eating an entire plate full of mashed carbs over the holidays.

Let’s be honest, all Thanksgiving dishes are champions. Whichever dish you find to be the best, I wish for you to have a plate full of carbs, and a heart full of happiness for the holidays.

Annie is a senior at Michigan State University studying for a degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Social Studies. When she isn't studying, she enjoys geeking out about all things Harry Potter, snuggling with her dogs, and binge-watching "New Girl" with her friends. No matter what, you'll always see her with a smile that's wider than the Joker's.
Taylor is an alumnus of Michigan State University's James Madison College and Honors college, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Social Relations and Policy and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She formerly served as the Editor-in-Chief and co-Campus Correspondent of MSU's chapter. She works in Lansing She's passionate about women's rights, smashing the patriarchy, and adding to her fuzzy sock collection.