Thanksgiving side dishes ranked

Thanksgiving side dishes ranked

Fitz Diefenbach, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited. A day full of family traditions, football, drunk uncles, food, and many more.  However, it is without a doubt that dinner is the best part of the holiday.  Like many others, Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of the year.  Aside from the staple thanksgiving entree (the bird), the variety of side dishes is what makes it so spectacular.  With that being said, some of those sides clearly stand out from the rest.  Here are my rankings on the top 5 thanksgiving sides along with some notable mentions.

5. Coming in at number five is the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows.  Now, this is a monster side.  With a sweet-savory mash of orange potato at the base and a pillow of marshmallows at the surface, we are graced to get away with not calling this a desert.  That sneaky move in itself makes it top 5 worthy.  In 1917, a man by the name of Angelus Marshmallows (yes that is his actual last name) put the recipe in a published cookbook. If you’re lucky enough to have this at your dinner table this year, you definitely have something to be thankful for.

4. Coming in at number four is Cranberry from a can.  Allow me to emphasize “from a can.”  There’s just something about that plop when it falls out that you simply do not get with a cranberry sauce.  Created by Marcus. L Urann and Elizabeth Lee in 1912 (presumably by smashing cranberries together), this delicious side is a vital part of the Thanksgiving menu. But be careful, any bit of mishandling could lead to a night-ruining stain. It pairs fantastically with the bird and is more than enjoyable by the slice alone, which is why this side dish makes it into the top 4.

3. Coming in at number three is mashed potatoes; fluffy, creamy, deliciousness if done correctly. It pains me that I couldn’t rank the notorious mashed potato higher but because they are a year-round side their “Thanksgiving ranking” must suffer. Now there are multiple theories as to how the mashed potato came about but I’ll give you my favorite. Back in 1771, a French sailor was upset with his crew and as opposed to shooting them he threw potatoes at them.  One of the soldiers saw the splattered potato on the deck and decided to give it a taste. “Brilliant!” he shouted.  The mashed potato was then born.

2. Coming in at number two we have bread rolls.  Arguably the most simple side on this list, but an absolute powerhouse during the holiday.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll kill a few of these things before digging into anything else. Obviously paired with butter, these rolls of joy are everything. There’s no reliable source as to when the bread roll was created but I’m pretty sure Jesus was walking the earth when they were.  So let’s safely guess somewhere in the BC range. One of the sweetest things about the bread roll is that at a meal where you’re eating a ton of different things, it is the ultimate palette cleanser. If canned cranberries are a bit much to dig right into the mashed potatoes, eat one bread roll and you’re good to go. That thanksgiving superpower puts this very simple yet delicious side into the top two.

1. If it was to anyone’s surprise, stuffing has got to be Thanksgiving’s best side.  Where do I even start with this dish? It encapsulates what Thanksgiving dinner is in a nutshell. One big mess. Not only is it flavorsome, but It is also without a doubt the most versatile side dish there is at the table. It pairs great with the bread rolls, cranberry, gravy, the list goes on. It is also legitimately stuffed inside the turkey. Is it even a side? I don’t know. At my house, I’m blessed to have a mother who actually stuffs the turkey, and what is more thanksgiving than a side stuffed inside the bird?  I wanted to believe the pilgrims themselves came up with this edible gold but records show it dates back as far as the first century AD.

Hope you all have a wonderful break and a great thanksgiving dinner, with awesome sides.

Notable mentions:

Pies: Who even has room for these after dinner? 

The Bird: It’s good, but it’s not that good. We’re all just here for the sides.

Sparkling Cider: A classic thanksgiving beverage

Gravy: The perfect band-aid if your turkey chef didn’t quite nail the moistness this year. It’s a great sauce.