12: Yams/Sweet Potatoes – Yams aren’t necessarily a BAD food, but I wouldn’t be caught dead adding them to my dinner plate with all the other options I have. They’re extremely bland, and if they were left off the menu, I doubt anyone would really care.
11: Cranberry Sauce – While it may seem weird at first glance, cranberry sauce is actually a decent side dish, and mixes well with turkey to add a sweeter element to it. But other than that, there’s not much more to say about it, which is why it’s ranked lower than the others.
10: Greens – Being the healthy option on the Thanksgiving menu, this dish can often get overlooked, since most of us have no inclination to eat healthy on any holiday, much less Thanksgiving. But if you don’t have this on your plate, you’re missing out.
9: Stuffing – Stuffing is a pretty solid food to add to your dinner plate, but it’s also super basic. Even the best stuffing is very bland in its flavor, and the boxed stuff just tastes like cardboard. If stuffing is your favorite Thanksgiving dish, then so be it. But I also wouldn’t blame anyone for skipping it for a better side.
8: Corn – Five years ago, my uncle hosted Thanksgiving without having any corn. To this day, people still roast him for it. With that much loyalty, it’s clear that corn is important to its big fans, but it’s still a pretty dull food by itself.
7: Cornbread – When an ear of corn and a loaf of bread love each other very much… They create this masterpiece of a side dish. Cornbread is incredible food, and when you add butter and honey, you’ll wonder why you even bothered putting anything else on your plate.
6: Pumpkin Pie – Being the only dessert on this list, pumpkin pie is unique. Now being unique isn’t always a good thing… but in this case, it is. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, pumpkin pie is usually a great way to finish off your Thanksgiving dinner, especially when you have a can of whipped cream in the fridge.
5: Mac & Cheese – Maybe not an absolute necessity at Thanksgiving, but if you have the right person in the kitchen, you’ll want it to be. Homemade mac and cheese is great for any kind of gathering, and Thanksgiving is no exception.
4: Mashed Potatoes – Homemade mashed potatoes are usually a hit or miss. It all depends on your chef. But if they’re done right, they are a super versatile side dish and a must-have on everyone’s plate. Bonus: They mix well with corn, turkey, gravy, and just about everything else on this list.
3: Gravy – Gravy might not technically be a food, but you still gotta have it. Without it, all you have is plain turkey, boring potatoes, and (if you’re that type of person) nothing to dip your rolls in. It may not be great by itself, but it’s the Scottie Pippen to every other Thanksgiving food, and an essential food in the lineup.
2: Turkey – Turkey being this high on the list should be no surprise to anyone. It is THE Thanksgiving food and the #1 requirement at any Thanksgiving gathering. If you don’t have Turkey at your Thanksgiving, just call it a family reunion.
1: Bread Rolls – I might get a lot of hate for this because the number one spot is usually reserved for one of the more iconic Thanksgiving foods. But I have no shame, and this is because of one word: Flexibility. There are so many different things to do with bread rolls. From how you make the rolls, to what you mix it with, it is by far the most versatile food here, and the only one you can go back and grab 17 times during dinner.