Thanksgiving Foods, Ranked Best to Worst (2022 Edition)



Thanksgiving is so magical and wonderful that it’s kind of brainwashed the world into thinking cranberry sauce is a good idea.

Why yes, I get into food fights at Thanksgiving dinner. How could you say?

Thanksgiving foods, ranked best to worst

Once again, I rise to the challenge of providing an in-depth analysis and ranking of some foods dear to people’s hearts.

Some people like good foods, like stuffing and gravy. These people are the champions of society and will lead us to victory when the aliens invade. Some people like sweet potato casserole. It’s a shame that their mouths are weird. But it’s not their fault.

Now you might be thinking, “Nick, did you do that last year? How could the ranking be different?

It’s because I didn’t look at last year’s leaderboard at all and I don’t remember what I wrote. What I do know is that these rankings are now wrong and these rankings are here to fix that problem.

As always, these rankings are not scientific, but are correct:

1. Stuffing – Stuffing is a miracle food. Honestly, that doesn’t make sense when you think about it. The steps to make him sound like a mad monarch giving orders.

What, the bread is already baked? Well, cook it again on low heat to dry it out! Then wet it again with chicken broth. Then dry it again by cooking it a third time. I’ll eat it then. But then I want you to refrigerate the rest. Then tomorrow I want you to reheat it and take this bread (which will be baked four times at this point) and put it between cheap white bread to make a sandwich. I’m also going to put cranberry sauce on this sandwich. No, I will not eat cranberry sauce for an entire calendar year. I’ll eat it with a slice of pie at 10 a.m. while shopping for the holidays. I will consider buying a toaster as it is on sale.

The prank makes me feel like a supervillain. I want it served in a clawfoot tub with gravy coming out of the shower. I will dominate the world by the end of the week.

2. Whipped cream – At some point, I realized that my preference for desserts was almost directly correlated to how much whipped cream I could put on it without violating the Geneva Conventions.

3. Gravy – Gravy is the savory spark that turns Thanksgiving dinner from an endless march of starch into a savory symphony.

There’s no Thanksgiving problem that sauce can’t solve. Turkey is too dry? Sauce. Someone put vegetables on your plate? Hide them with sauce. The in-laws are trying to change the channel for the football game? Cover the remote control with sauce. It will stop them.

4. Mac and Cheese – In my mind, mac and cheese on Thanksgiving is the Southern baked variety which contains egg and looks more like a saucepan. I want my mac and cheese served by the slice.

5. Pumpkin Pie – Pumpkin spice overgrowth is a problem that’s beginning to infect our summers with ill-advised nutmeg knockoffs. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that pumpkin is an elite pie. I eat mine in what I call the “whipped cream coffin”. This is where I cover every visible surface with whipped cream like it’s an Egyptian Pharoah pie.

6. Green Bean Casserole – As far as I’m concerned, this casserole is an elaborate ruse to allow you to put chunks of crispy onions on your plate while pretending to be a vegetable. It’s basically a Thanksgiving vegetable heist.

7. Turkey – I don’t want to hear that your turkey is dry. It’s not my fault my mom doesn’t cook the turkey at your house. She has enough work to make two turkeys at our house this year. (One for dinner, one especially for leftovers.)

8. Buns – Every year I take the time to gather a bit of everything on my plate – turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, maybe cranberry sauce – and pile it on a sandwich. Right now, I’m fully confident that I could continue on Iron Chef and win.

9. Chocolate Cream Pie – If it were up to me, I’d use a cement mixer to add whipped cream to this pie.

10. Pecan Pie – It’s another scam. It’s a butter-sugar pie. In a way, it’s named after a type of nut to make it less nutritionally atrocious. What a brilliant stratagem.

11. Mashed potatoes – When I was younger, I used to make a mashed potato volcano filled with gravy. I still do this too, and you can’t stop me. I don’t care how many family members bury their faces in their hands when I do.

12. All Other Pies – If you don’t see your favorite pie here, it’s because I have a personal vendetta against it. Yes, especially this one.

13. Apple Pie – The problem with apple pie at Thanksgiving is the format. It is a pie that is best suited to be the highlight of the dessert, perhaps served with ice cream. He suffers when pushed into a sideboard.

14. Cornbread – I love cornbread, especially when it has honey butter in it. But I prefer a standard dinner role as part of Thanksgiving. Cornbread isn’t as good for drinking gravy and eating with turkey. He’s more of a stand-alone star and less of a team player.

15. Squash – I really started getting interested in squash as I got older, especially when it has just the right seasonings.

16. Peas – Peas are the most underrated vegetables on Thanksgiving. They are smart and easily declare to the world, “Hey, I put a vegetable on my plate. Leave me alone.” Also, if you mix them with mashed potatoes, it becomes a kind of vegetarian boba tea.

17. Brussels sprouts – Once reviled, Brussels sprouts have seen a resurgence once people learned how to roast and season them.

18. Creamed Corn – Be honest. You flew over that when you saw “creamed corn” on the list.

19. Potatoes au gratin – In theory, it should be great. However, scalloped potatoes have a mysterious ability to circumvent the laws of thermodynamics entirely. Unlike regular foods, which normally cool, scallop potatoes only have two temperatures: boiling hot or cold/frozen.

20. Glazed Carrots – As vegetables, glazed carrots are weird. They don’t really taste any better than normal carrots. They are also worse for you and don’t really mix with anything on the plate. If I have glazed carrots in my mashed potatoes, I skip both.

21. Salad – There may be someone who decides to make some kind of salad in order to put something healthy on the table. It is admirable and responsible. I’m glad someone had the idea to put something green on the table to make everyone feel like 5% less of a gluttonous sauce swirl.

I mean, I’m not going to eat it. But it’s a nice touch. It’s like having a paramedic at a tee-ball game. Their services will not be needed. But we all feel better seeing it.

22. Sweet Potato Casserole – Sweet potatoes? Good. Roasted marshmallows? Great. Sweet potatoes and roasted marshmallows? A troubling enterprise with vicious stickiness. It’s a side dish for people who really want to eat dessert, but lack the patience. It also looks like it was designed by a 5-year-old, but somehow became a staple of Thanksgiving culture.

23. Cranberry Sauce – I am told that people have preferences between canned cranberry sauce and homemade cranberry sauce. I have always found it fascinating. I’m surprised people have such strong opinions on whether their disgusting bog fruit can be fired from a grenade launcher or looks like a malevolent miasma from a newly spawned eldritch horror.

It’s like wondering if you like your parking tickets a bland color or a bright orange so you can see your day has been ruined from further away.

Now the cranberries have their place. Conventional Thanksgiving spread is heavy with fats and starches. Cranberry sauce can provide much-needed acidity to break it down. Do you know what else it does? Lemons. You don’t see me pulling a gelatinous barrel of citrus out of a box and calling it a Thanksgiving staple. No, that would be crazy.

Previous rankings

For comparison, here are the rankings from previous years. If you have any criticisms about my rankings – or if I have arbitrarily changed them from previous years, please send your complaints to [email protected]

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