What’s on your plate this Thanksgiving? Classic holiday foods ranked


Thanksgiving is one of the best food holidays of the year. A giant table of nothing but edibles and drinks. However, some foods on the table reign supreme while others are very much overrated.

1. Apple Pie

Dessert by default is the best, so I picked apple pie over pumpkin pie, primarily because pumpkin pie only really tastes perfect with a load of whipped cream on top, while apple pie can be eaten on its own deliciously. The cinnamon flavor mixed with the crispy crust, tart filling and delicious apples baked into a pie brings a fresh smell of the holidays I cannot resist. 

2. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie closely follows apple pie. Pumpkin pie provides a unique flavor like no other. The smooth, orange filling tastes so sweet and delicious that no one can resist. While pumpkin pie is as delicious as apple pie, I see it as a seasonal pie where you only eat it around the holidays. However, the spice in the crust and the silky center makes it a delicious staple for the holidays.

3. Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is personally the best savory dish on the Thanksgiving table. The flavor of the cheese, the creaminess and the hot dish with a giant spoon is the perfect vibe and is one of the first dishes to be eaten. However, it is not the best Thanksgiving food, because macaroni and cheese is a hit-or-miss almost always. The pasta is either perfect or a letdown, and it all comes down to the seasonings, sauce and preparation of the dish. You cannot have a sauce too clumpy or thick or else it will lose the integrity of the cheese, and perfectly cooked pasta is necessary or mushy pasta will turn the dish into a soup, and an undercooked pasta will leave the dish in a mess. The perfect seasonings are also needed to keep the dish from being too boring. 

4. Stuffing

I could eat stuffing all week, but after a few days it gets boring, as many foods do. Stuffing is always delicious but after eating it and looking back at the taste itself, it is not filled with the perfection of other Thanksgiving dishes are such as dessert. Like macaroni and cheese, it is easy to mess up, and when stuffing is made improperly it tastes horrible. The key is in the texture of the stuffing, it cannot be too soft.

5. Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls are severely underrated. Many people don’t realize how crucial dinner rolls are to the table. You might think to yourself, “what’s so special about dinner rolls?” They bring the plate together. While they do fill up your stomach quite quickly, that only occurs when you don’t eat them in moderation. When eaten in moderation, they are delicious and essential to the dinner table, that’s why they’re called dinner rolls.

6. Mashed Potatoes

Hot take: mashed potatoes… are overrated. They are a big pile of bland mush but somehow always ends up on my plate, usually because the plate feels incomplete without it. Even with a load of cream, butter and seasoning, they still end up tasting almost like nothing, and no matter what texture, it tastes off. Too chunky and you’re just eating boiled potatoes, too smooth and you have potato soup. In the middle, it feels wrong. Its like when you’re tasting a soup and you try it in the middle of making it, and you feel like you need more salt, but that moment over and over until there’s too much salt. There is never a perfect balance in mashed potatoes, which is why it’s ranked so low. However, because it is key to a perfect Thanksgiving, it is #6, because what’s Thanksgiving without it?

7. Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce and all, but its only really good when paired with turkey to help balance out the dryness of the meat. Cranberry sauce is really, really difficult to make at home and the store bought cranberry “jelly” (what even is that?) is overly sweet, super artificial and not worth putting on your turkey. While it is possible to find a balance between the tartness of the cranberries and the sweetness of the sugar, it is nearly impossible and will take loads of work to perfect, only for half of it to be left on the table. In terms of taste, it is pretty delicious, but the taste is not worth the time and effort spent into making it.

8. Turkey

Going to be honest– turkey is probably one of the worst dishes on the table. It is always so dry. Even when it is perfectly tender and moist, it is just not it. Similarly to mashed potatoes, it always ends up on my plate. I never go back for seconds, but I have to quickly shove it down my throat so I don’t leave it on my plate. Turkey doesn’t belong as a main course! It belongs in the sandwich line, in a sandwich as deli meat!

9. Gravy

The thick clumpy mess of gravy should be abolished from the Thanksgiving table. When I was younger I really loved gravy, but now its so plain. It adds literally nothing to the mashed potatoes while it is meant to complement them, and tastes like nothing – similar to a thick sauce of nothing. However, because it tastes like nothing, it helps the turkey become more moist. However, because it is practically useless after that purpose, it is at the bottom of this list.