When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, most would agree the roast turkey is the star of the table. But what about the accouterments? You know, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potato casserole, the stuffing, and the cranberry sauce… These dishes are no less important. And while most people are pretty cool with turkey, which Thanksgiving side reigns supreme is the subject of much debate.
The only essential Thanksgiving side dish that’s more important than gravy? Stuffing. Seriously, why don’t people eat stuffing for dinner every single night? OK, maybe it’s because it’s half butter, but that’s what makes it so darn delicious.
Now, you may not think of gravy as a Thanksgiving side dish, but it’s the most essential thing to have on your table beyond a perfectly-roasted turkey. Gravy makes everything better all the time always, but this is especially true on Thanksgiving. Without it, mashed potatoes would be boring, rolls would just be plain old’ bread and turkey would be naked. Gravy ties all of Thanksgiving together.
Mashed potatoes are a staple side for many families throughout the year, but Thanksgiving is really time for these creamy, fluffy piles of heaven to shine. The mashed potato is a beautiful binder for picking up the perfect forkful of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and (yes) corn. It’s the perfect vessel for holding a big old’ vat of gravy. It’s the definition of comfort food and everything you ever needed or wanted.
It’s hard to beat a classic green bean casserole. This iconic dish is salty and creamy and features those irresistible crispy little onions.
Some may find the roll to be one of the humbler offerings. However, what other dish will be able to soak up all that savory, rich gravy that has spilled over from your turkey and mashed potatoes? What other dish will serve as a perfect palate cleanser between the macaroni and cheese and the turkey? None but the humble roll.
Macaroni and cheese may not be what you would consider a classic Thanksgiving side dish, but for kids and people who don’t like fall foods, it’s an absolute must-have. Few things are more comforting than a gooey, creamy, and perfectly cheesy homemade mac and cheese.
On its own, corn is a below-average Thanksgiving Day side. Nobody is out here checking for corn on their plate. But this seemingly mundane vegetable is essential for the perfect Thanksgiving Day bite. Pile on some mashed potatoes, gravy and turkey on your fork, dip that in some corn, and you have a savory, slightly sweet combination that is pure holiday bliss. The supporting role of corn is just as important as the stars of the day.
Brussels sprouts have had a resurgence as a weeknight dinner vegetable in recent years, but real folks know these have been at the Thanksgiving table for years. When perfectly roasted and doctored up with bacon and some maple syrup, these mini cabbages are the essence of fall and the winningest green vegetable we can think of for Thanksgiving.
Whether you go for canned cranberry sauce (with the ridge marks intact) or a homemade cranberry relish recipe, this stunning red side is a must-have on Turkey Day.
Different families have different vegetables that are on the Thanksgiving table. Some opt for roasted root vegetables, like parsnip or beets. Others go for family-friendly options like broccoli or cauliflower. Glazed carrots add a lovely sweetness and bright color to any plate.