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Ranking My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Okay, let’s get straight to the point with this one: thanksgiving side dishes are the best part of the meal. We all have our favorites, and I honestly enjoy seeing how each family has its own meals. Some people have corn, mac and cheese, stuffing with celery, Brussel sprouts, peas, and even fruit salad. I've seen people eat crab legs and steak, too. My mom usually sticks to her traditional menu on Turkey Day. It consists of turkey, dressing, homemade gravy, candied yams, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans of some sort. In this article, I’m going to breakdown my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes! 


It was a tough choice, not going to lie. However, there’s something so fulfilling and delicious about dressing that it gets the first place. My mom puts in sausage, dried cranberries, cornbread mix (which she bakes with chicken stock), and pecans. It has so many yummy ingredients that make it my favorite side on Thanksgiving. I literally could eat it by itself. 

Candied Yams 

Also known as sweet potato casserole, this one is a TREAT! Canned yams, maple syrup, brown sugar, that's all you need to make this side. We top it with regular-sized marshmallows a few minutes before they're ready to be served and bake until they're bubbly and golden. This is absolutely divine, and my mouth is watering thinking about them again. I could eat an entire dish of candied yams. 

Green Bean Casserole 

This one is a favorite, but I honestly don’t remember how or when I started to like it. My favorite part is the crunchy onion bits that you add on top. I know this isn't everyone's go-to, but I think the flavors of mushrooms, green beans, and onion go very well together. This Thanksgiving side is definitely a good combination of crunchy, creamy, and savory. If there’s green bean casserole, I’m adding it to my plate every single time. And also going back for seconds.

Mashed Potatoes with Homemade Gravy

I honestly love potatoes in every single form, hence the reason I have the yams as my second favorite side dish. I wish I could tie mashed potatoes and green beans as #3 because I love them equally. The thing about the mashed potatoes is that they need gravy on them. My mom makes her gravy from scratch using turkey stock, which contains onion, chicken broth, cloves, orange peel, celery, herbs, and the turkey neck. She boils the stock for about 2 hours to make sure all the flavors combine. Right after the turkey is cooked, she adds corn starch to the stock and seasons to taste. I don't think I tried gravy on my potatoes until a year ago, and I have not looked back since. It truly makes the entire meal come together and enhances a basic side dish like mashed potatoes.

All in all, Thanksgiving is a day to cherish fun memories, eat good food, and spend time with loved ones. It's become one of my favorite days of the year (thanks to those candied yams) where I help my mom in the kitchen and eat what we create. I have come to really love cooking, and it's so much fun to learn all my mom's secrets to making delicious entréesand side dishes. We've never done anything too big or had lots of family members over, so we definitely will be enjoying these leftovers for days

I'm an English major who loves to read, explore the outdoors, cuddle with my dog and cook!
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