Roasted Turkey on a Wooden Board

What Are the Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods? Ranked

Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

When Thanksgiving arrives, it is a delightful occasion where loved ones gather to indulge in a scrumptious meal. Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I can already imagine the delectable flavors that await.

When I enter our kitchen, the aroma of roasted turkey and warm, buttery rolls fills the air. But what are the top 10 Thanksgiving foods that make this holiday special? 

Today, I’ll provide the lists of delicious foods that grace our tables each year.

Top 10 Delicious Foods For Thanksgiving

1. Turkey

Roasted Turkey on a Wooden Board

Turkey, the pride of the Thanksgiving table, is one of the top 10 foods connected to this heartwarming holiday. 

Its fulfilling and tasty characteristics make it a favorite main dish that compliments various traditional sides. 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 

Hippocrates, Greek Physician

There are numerous ways to prepare a turkey – you can add a touch of ginger for a tangy twist, deep-fry it for a crunchy exterior, or stick to a classic roast for a familiar taste. 

2. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a staple for Thanksgiving. This sweet and spiced treat symbolizes the joy of fall. And it reflects Thanksgiving’s core meaning- acknowledging the harvest’s abundance. 

The creamy texture and refreshing blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg offer a delightful taste associated with the holiday spirit.

But why do people eat pumpkin pies around Thanksgiving?

3. Mashed Potatoes

There’s no denying that mashed potatoes are a crowd-pleaser during Thanksgiving dinners. They’re a comforting, smooth, and creamy treat from being beaten with butter and cream. 

Many variations might include tasty additions like roasted garlic, cheese [1], or freshly chopped herbs, each adding a different, exciting taste to the straightforward potato dish. 

They also work wonderfully as a side dish, complementing turkey and gravy perfectly. But how do you keep food warm for Thanksgiving?

4. Stuffing

Stuffing, or dressing as some people call it, is a favorite Thanksgiving dish loved by many. 

It’s a mouthwatering mix of bread, celery [2], onions, and various herbs like sage and thyme that perfectly ties all the flavors on the plate. 

“Thanksgiving is like a delicious puzzle, and the top 10 foods are the pieces that make the perfect picture of a happy holiday.”

Howkapow Gift Site

There are many versions out there, too, with various ingredients like ground meat, dried fruits, or even nuts, and different kinds of bread like sourdough or cornbread can be used.

Find out how much stuffing each guest needs on Thanksgiving here.

5. Cranberry Sauce

A classic Thanksgiving meal would only be complete with cranberry sauce, ensuring its place among the top ten foods closely associated with this holiday. 

The complex sweetness and tanginess of cranberry sauce add an extra dimension to the delicious flavors of other traditional dishes like turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. 

And the striking red cranberry sauce on the dinner table complements a Thanksgiving feast’s naturally warm color palette. 

Read: Simple Tips To Host Thanksgiving In A Small House

6. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potatoes undoubtedly earn their place among the top 10 foods we love to see at our Thanksgiving dinners. 

These versatile veggies can be served in several ways – baked, mashed, or even transformed into that beloved marshmallow-topped casserole. 

But they’re not just a treat for the taste buds. Sweet potatoes also offer a healthy punch, full of essential vitamins and fiber.

Find out what you should eat the night before Thanksgiving here.

7. Mac N’ Cheese

As a standard classic at the holiday table, Mac n’ Cheese offers a wholesome blend that resonates with the heart’s desire on this special day. 

The dish’s secret lies in its creamy, rich cheese-filled sauce paired with a crispy baked top. 

Whether made fancier with high-end cheese and a hint of truffle oil or kept traditional with cheddar and breadcrumbs, Mac n’ Cheese brings familiarity and comfort to Thanksgiving.

8. Green Bean Casserole

It’s a dish that perfectly marries crisp green beans with a rich, creamy mushroom sauce, crowned with golden, crunchy fried onions. 

Serving green bean casserole at Thanksgiving is like leafing through a comforting, old memory book, adding a sense of nostalgia to the festive feast. 

The mix of different textures and the savory taste creates an incredibly fulfilling indulgence that truly adds to the tradition of the holiday meal. 

Related Post: What Do The Chinese Eat During Thanksgiving?

9. Dinner Rolls

Though they may seem simple, dinner rolls’ soft texture and hearty flavor always satisfy everyone. 

They are great for mopping up any remaining gravy or cranberry sauce and beautifully balance other flavors on a Thanksgiving plate. 

Enjoy them plain or slathered with butter; these rolls bring a touch of uncomplicated delight to a plentiful holiday spread.

10. Gravy

Gravy on a Bowl

Gravy is a sauce that makes the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing taste even better. 

We make gravy with the juice from the cooked turkey, some tasty seasoning, and stuff to make it thick. 

Plus, it is like the special glue holding all the different foods in the meal together. It’s smooth, creamy, and warm, making simple foods taste good. 

Also Read: How Much Gravy Does Each Guest Need For Thanksgiving?


What Thanksgiving foods are eaten the least?

Coleslaw, sweet potatoes or yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole are eaten less frequently than the holiday’s star attractions like turkey.

Which Thanksgiving food is the least healthy?

Stuffing can be considered one of the least healthy options among Thanksgiving dishes. 

Many stuffing recipes include bacon, sausage, mince meat, giblets, and other high-calorie ingredients, pushing the calorie count per serving well beyond 500 calories.

Find out what time people will eat Thanksgiving dinner here.

Final Say

Thanksgiving is like a big food adventure where we enjoy the top 10 delicious dishes. It all starts with the tasty turkey, with its crispy skin. 

Then, there’s the sweet pumpkin pie and creamy mashed potatoes. Don’t forget the yummy stuffing, tangy cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and cheesy mac n’ cheese. 

The green bean casserole and warm dinner rolls add extra goodness. And everything gets even better when we pour on the silky gravy. 

Thanksgiving is all about these delicious foods that bring families together for a tasty celebration.


Kimberlee Johnson
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