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20 Thanksgiving Foods Ranked from Trash to YAS

We all know what’s around the corner. Thanksgiving. Turkey Day. This is a day loved by as many as it is feared. Honored for its huge meals, football watching, naps, and time spent with family, Thanksgiving is also known for awkward life questions, emotional scarring, drunken rants by your crazy aunt Linda, and a few inevitability gag-worthy dishes. It can also be a very emotionally heavy day for those of us who have lost loved ones. Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is all about family…well…and food.

Never fear! I’m here to give you a definitive ranking of 20 Thanksgiving Day foods to take your mind off of the impending doom, OR to give you a guide that ensures YOU aren’t the one arriving with the gag-worthy dish.

20. Cranberry sauce.

Of any variety. But let’s all be real with ourselves, sliding a gelatinous, ridged tube of metallic flavored jelly onto a glass serving dish is about the least appetizing thing on the planet. Well, that, and seeing the entire meal collect in your uncle Gary’s mustache.

19. Jell-O salad.

Are we beginning to see a theme? GELATINOUS FOODS ARE NOT OK.

18. Asparagus casserole.

I love most foods - asparagus included - but when you throw a few cans of mushy asparagus, some cream-of-something soup, pearled onions and sliced boiled eggs into a dish and into the oven…something happened to you as a child.

17. Salad.

Are you TRYING to take up space in your belly with grass? I’m all for a salad on a regular day, but you get that crap out of my face on Thanksgiving, lest you want to see it “accidentally” end up on the floor.

16. Pumpkin pie.

Hear me out. Unless the ratio of pumpkin to sugar is GREATLY in favor of sugar…and even then…can we just NOT with pumpkin pie? Get that weird textured filling plopped into a moist crust off the table.

15. Sweet potato pie.

See “pumpkin pie”. They’re basically identical. Flavorless and wet.


I know, I know. It’s “turkey DAY”, but let’s get real. How frequently does anyone get turkey right? More often than not, that bird is dryer than your dad’s jokes.

13. Gravy from a package or jar.

Just no. C’mon, people. Without a roux, gravy isn’t real. Put in some effort.

12. Any stuffing.

Nothing edible should come from being stuffed inside of a bird. Nothing.

11. Ham.

I enjoy ham, I do, but with everything else you have to choose from…this salty flap of meat will leave you more bloated and thirsty than your cousin Judy fresh off a post- breakup bender.

Now we’re getting to the good stuff…

10. Broccoli casserole.

This delicious, cheesy, ricey concoction is a must for a large family feast. For smaller gatherings, it won’t be as sorely missed as the button on your pants.

9. Pecan pie.

Done right, this is the only acceptable non-cream pie.

8. Corn casserole.

If someone in your family can nail a corn soufflé or a cream cheesy corn miracle… they’re worth seeing every year.

7. Bread.

This pillowy cloud of goodness - in all its forms - is the perfect vehicle to shovel any of your Thanksgiving goods in your face. Look, ma! No fork!

6. Sausage balls.

Balls of sausage are the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. Fight me on this. I dare you. A self-contained sausage and cheese biscuit? YES.

5. Deviled eggs.

This is the egg in its perfect form. I could consume over a dozen deviled eggs - easily. Just think about the name. They’re devilishly good…and necessary. They’re necessary.

4. Baked Brie.

There must always be a place for cheese on every table. A baked brie, covered in flaky pastry, with a figgy jam and some crusty bread or rustic crackers, is the perfect way to introduce just straight up cheese into your Thanksgiving spread.

3. Mac n Cheese.

Speaking of cheese, this baked, ooey gooey, cheese pull-y, perfect noodle goodness is a MUST have at Thanksgiving. People who are surprised by this dish as a Thanksgiving staple should be corralled and shipped to an island where they can all be miserable together. And if you think Stouffer’s is acceptable as macaroni and cheese…get your bags packed! You’re going to an island!!!

2. Green bean casserole.

This is a dish not to be questioned. When done right, few can beat a steamy green bean casserole covered in crunchy fried onions. Also, I don’t care what you or your grandma say, CHEESE BELONGS IN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE.

Drumroll, please…

1. Mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes are the literal and figurative glue that holds every Thanksgiving meal together. What else are you going to use to shovel (and hold) piles of food onto your bread? Nothing. That’s what. Mashed potatoes are also the best use for their first place partner - BUTTER. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. Your Thanksgiving Everest. THAT is a mountain you can plant your flag atop.

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