Thanksgiving is the holiday most notoriously known for food. The best part is that all of these foods magically go together as well. If your cranberry touches your stuffing or turkey, it’s more of a mouth-watering treat than a panic-worthy disaster. So, what are the absolute best foods of this amazing holiday? Here is how, in my opinion, the holiday stacks up:
One of the most underrated Thanksgiving foods, gravy, is a nice asset to any holiday meal. In my family, my mom always forgets to put out the gravy and everyone starts getting very cranky and near rioting until she puts it out. It is the cherry to your potatoes and turkey. You are never fully prepared to indulge until you slather your plate in some gravy.
9. Green Bean Casserole
Now, on Thanksgiving I am not really hoping for it to be the healthiest day of my life. So usually, I take a pass on the assorted grilled squash and green beans with a bunch of almonds in them. The one that I will take a heaping spoonful of, mostly because it in no way, shape or form tastes like vegetables anymore, is green bean casserole. If made correctly it will have the perfect crunch of fried onions mixed with the creaminess of the casserole.
8. Honey-Baked Ham
Ham seems to always take a backseat to turkey on Thanksgiving, with good reason, but it always gets a little playing time on my Thanksgiving plate. Ham provides a richer, more sugary taste than turkey, which can become dry. Ham is always a solid choice to make a little room for on your plate of food.
7. Cranberry Sauce
Still, after all of these years we are still debating what is better — jellied or fresh cranberry sauce. For me personally, just from cooking cranberry sauce on my own and seeing how it can destroy a whole arsenal of cooking gear with it’s sticky, sugary goodness, I prefer the jellied sauce. Cranberry sauce is always a treat to throw on a turkey sandwich post Thanksgiving as well. But nonetheless, it is a Thanksgiving staple that is always welcome at the dinner table.
6. Apple Pie
My grandma is an apple pie expert and I wish you all could share in her yearly masterpieces. Though you do not have my grandmother, apple pie is still a standout contestant on the Thanksgiving dessert table. Paired with some vanilla ice cream, the cinnamon-y and warm pie can be the sweet ending you are looking for in your Thanksgiving feast.
5. Mashed Potatoes
Our society has reached a point where we can’t just have plain, gooey mashed potatoes any more. We have to make it rain bacon bits and sour cream on every potato in sight. But Thanksgiving is the one time where pure, unadulterated potatoes can come out to play. So dive into that big pool of buttery goodness and enjoy your fantastic, untainted starch.
4. Sweet Potato Casserole
More suited on the dessert table, sweet potato casserole is one of those dishes that is great for your sweet tooth, terrible for your thighs. But it’s Thanksgiving, so go crazy on the marshmallows, brown sugar delight sitting in front of you.
3. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie places above apple just because of its direct relation to the fall spirit. Apple pie can be enjoyed in the summer, in the spring, whenever. But if you bust out a pumpkin pie over spring break people will start thinking you are very strange. There are many varieties of pumpkin pie now, like pumpkin pie cheesecake and chocolate pumpkin pie, but I like to stick to the classic. Pumpkin pie will always be a nice treat, no matter how full you are.
Stuffing rolls in at number two because of pure variety. Whether it’s a chorizo and French bread stuffing or a cranberry and walnut you can always come back for helping after helping of its crumbly goodness. Eating stuffing feels like eating heaven.
I couldn’t do a blog post on Thanksgiving food without putting turkey as number one. Dark meat and light meat fans alike can unite on this one Thanksgiving icon. Turkey is delicious covered in cranberry sauce, gravy or all of the above and provides a filling day-after snack. Turkey wins the Thanksgiving food race because it stays around until Christmas. You will eat turkey sandwiches and turkey soup until you enter a turkey coma. Turkey wins on all accounts, but always remember, beware of tryptophan. Turkey is known as “nature’s sleeping aid” for a reason.