The Most Beloved Thanksgiving Food: Ranking the Favorites

Choose the food you think is the most beloved!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:17 (Updated on Dec 4, 2023 06:00)
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination to settle the great Thanksgiving debate! We've cooked up a mouth-watering ranking of the most beloved Thanksgiving foods, and now it's your turn to feast your eyes, cast your vote, and help us crown the ultimate Turkey Day delight. From the juicy, golden roasted turkey to the velvety smooth mashed potatoes, and let's not forget the sweet and tangy cranberry sauce – we've got all your favorites covered! But wait, there's more! If you feel we've missed a scrumptious dish that deserves a spot on our festive table, don't hesitate to suggest it and watch the culinary battle unfold. So, loosen that belt and dive in, because it's time to dish out some Thanksgiving opinions and determine which dish will take home the title of the most beloved Thanksgiving food!

What Is the Most Beloved Thanksgiving Food?

  1. 1
    The centerpiece of many Thanksgiving meals, turkey is a beloved food during this holiday. It's often roasted or baked to perfection and served with gravy and stuffing.
    Turkey is a large domesticated bird native to North America. It is widely regarded as a delicious and nutritious meat that is commonly consumed during special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. The turkey has a distinctive flavor and a tender texture when cooked properly. It has become a popular choice for meat lovers around the world.
    • Size: Adult turkeys can range in weight from 5 to 30 pounds, with males (toms) being larger than females (hens).
    • Habitat: Turkeys are adaptable birds found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas.
    • Diet: Their natural diet consists of seeds, nuts, berries, insects, and occasionally small reptiles.
    • Lifespan: In the wild, turkeys typically live for 3 to 5 years, but domesticated turkeys can live up to 10 years.
    • Breeding: Turkeys are polygamous and have elaborate courtship displays. The female lays around 10 to 12 eggs and incubates them for about a month.
  2. 2
    Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are a staple Thanksgiving side dish. They pair well with turkey and gravy, and can be customized with toppings like cheese, bacon, or sour cream.
    Mashed potatoes is a classic and beloved Thanksgiving food that consists of boiled potatoes that are mashed and mixed with butter, milk, salt, and pepper. The resulting dish has a creamy and smooth texture, with a rich and savory flavor. Mashed potatoes are often served as a side dish, complementing roasted turkey and other Thanksgiving delicacies.
    • Potatoes: Boiled, mashed
    • Butter: Added for richness
    • Milk: Added for creaminess
    • Salt: Added for seasoning
    • Pepper: Added for seasoning
    Mashed Potatoes in other rankings
  3. 3
    Also known as dressing, stuffing is a mixture of bread, herbs, and vegetables that's cooked inside the turkey or separately. It's a classic Thanksgiving side dish that adds texture and flavor to the meal.
    Stuffing is a traditional Thanksgiving dish that consists of a seasoned bread mixture typically cooked inside the turkey or separately as a side dish. It is a flavorful and hearty dish that adds depth to the Thanksgiving feast.
    • Bread type: Typically made with crusty bread such as white bread, cornbread, or sourdough.
    • Seasoning: Commonly flavored with a combination of herbs, such as sage, thyme, and rosemary, as well as onions and celery.
    • Variations: There are numerous regional and personal variations of stuffing, incorporating ingredients like sausage, chestnuts, apples, cranberries, or nuts.
    • Cooking method: Stuffing can be cooked inside the turkey, called stuffing, or separately in a casserole dish, called dressing.
    • Texture: The texture of stuffing can be moist or crispy, depending on the cooking method and individual preference.
  4. 4
    Tart and sweet cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey. It's made by cooking cranberries with sugar, water, and sometimes other ingredients like orange zest or cinnamon.
    Cranberry sauce is a sweet and tangy condiment made from cranberries, a small round fruit native to North America. It is typically served as a side dish or topping during Thanksgiving meals. The sauce has a vibrant red color and a thick, gelatinous consistency, with a balance of sweetness and acidity. It can be enjoyed either warm or chilled, depending on personal preference.
    • Main Ingredient: Cranberries
    • Texture: Thick and gelatinous
    • Color: Vibrant red
    • Taste: Sweet and tangy
    • Consistency: Smooth and spreadable
    Cranberry Sauce in other rankings
  5. 5

    Green Bean Casserole

    Dorcas Reilly
    This classic casserole is made with green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crispy fried onions. It's a favorite Thanksgiving side dish that adds a touch of nostalgia to the meal.
    Green Bean Casserole is a classic American side dish, typically served during Thanksgiving. It consists of tender green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions on top. The dish is baked to perfection, creating a savory and comforting combination of flavors.
    • Main Ingredients: Green beans, cream of mushroom soup, fried onions
    • Preparation Time: Approximately 10 minutes
    • Cooking Time: Approximately 25 minutes
    • Serving Temperature: Hot
    • Texture: Creamy, soft green beans with crispy fried onions on top
    Green Bean Casserole in other rankings
  6. 6
    This sweet and savory casserole is made with mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and pecans. It's topped with marshmallows and baked until golden and bubbly.
    Sweet Potato Casserole is a quintessential dish of Thanksgiving. It is a delectable combination of sweet potatoes, baked to perfection, and topped with a delightful mixture of butter, brown sugar, and pecans. The dish is then baked again until the topping turns crispy and golden, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
    • Main ingredients: Sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, pecans
    • Texture: Creamy and soft sweet potatoes, crunchy pecan topping
    • Flavor: Sweet and savory combination
    • Preparation: Baking in the oven
    • Serving temperature: Hot
    Sweet Potato Casserole in other rankings
  7. 7
    Pumpkin Pie
    Peggy Greb · Public domain
    A classic Thanksgiving dessert, pumpkin pie is made with a spiced pumpkin filling and a flaky crust. It's often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
    Pumpkin Pie is a traditional American dessert that is commonly enjoyed during the fall and winter seasons. It is a sweet pastry pie filled with a smooth and creamy pumpkin-based custard. The crust is typically made from a combination of flour, butter, and sometimes sugar. The filling is made by blending cooked and mashed pumpkin with sugar, eggs, milk or cream, and a variety of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The pie is baked until the filling sets and the crust turns golden brown. It is usually served chilled or at room temperature, often topped with whipped cream.
    • Primary ingredients: Pumpkin, sugar, eggs, milk/cream
    • Crust: Pastry made from flour, butter, sometimes sugar
    • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves
    • Serving temperature: Chilled or at room temperature
    • Topping: Often served with whipped cream
    Pumpkin Pie in other rankings
  8. 8
    This savory sauce is made with the drippings from the turkey and thickened with flour or cornstarch. It's an essential part of the Thanksgiving meal, providing moisture and flavor to the turkey and other dishes.
    Gravy is a thick, savory sauce that has become an essential component of Thanksgiving feasts. It is typically made from the pan drippings of roasted meat, such as turkey or chicken, combined with flour or cornstarch and broth or stock. The result is a rich and flavorful sauce that is often poured over turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other Thanksgiving dishes, adding moisture and enhancing their taste.
    • Ingredients: Pan drippings, flour or cornstarch, broth or stock
    • Thickness: Varies depending on personal preference, ranging from thin to thick
    • Flavor: Savory, rich, and often seasoned with herbs and spices
    • Color: Ranges from light brown to deep brown depending on the drippings used
    • Usage: Typically poured over roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other Thanksgiving dishes
  9. 9
    Cornbread is a popular side dish in the southern United States, and it's often served at Thanksgiving. It's made with cornmeal and flour, and can be sweet or savory.
    Cornbread is a traditional American bread made primarily with cornmeal. It is popular during Thanksgiving and is enjoyed as a side dish or as a base for stuffing. The bread has a rich golden color, a slightly crumbly texture, and a mildly sweet and savory taste.
    • Main ingredients: Cornmeal, flour, milk, eggs, and leavening agents
    • Texture: Slightly crumbly
    • Color: Golden
    • Taste: Mildly sweet and savory
    • Serving style: Served as a square or wedge-shaped slices
  10. 10
    While pumpkin pie is the most popular Thanksgiving dessert, apple pie is a close second. It's made with thinly sliced apples, sugar, and cinnamon, and can be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
    Apple pie is a classic dessert in America, loved for its warm and comforting flavors. It typically consists of a flaky pie crust filled with a sweet and tart apple filling. The filling is made by combining sliced apples with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes other spices or flavorings. The pie is typically baked until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender. It is often served warm and can be enjoyed plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
    • Crust: Flaky pie crust
    • Filling: Sweet and tart apple filling
    • Ingredients: Apples, sugar, cinnamon, spices/flavorings
    • Baking: Baked until golden brown crust and tender apples
    • Serving: Often served warm
    Apple Pie in other rankings

Missing your favorite food?


Ranking factors for beloved food

  1. Taste
    The overall deliciousness and flavor profile of the dish, as well as how well it complements other dishes served during Thanksgiving.
  2. Tradition
    The importance and prominence of the dish in Thanksgiving history and tradition. Some foods are classic staples of the holiday, while others may be newer additions.
  3. Popularity
    How many households typically serve the dish or how popular it is among people celebrating Thanksgiving.
  4. Preparation and presentation
    The time and effort needed to prepare and cook the dish, and how well it presents on the table alongside other dishes.
  5. Texture and consistency
    The variety of textures and consistency within the dish and how they contribute to the overall eating experience. Some people might prefer foods that are crunchy, while others might prefer more creamy or smooth dishes.
  6. Versatility
    How easily the dish can be adapted to suit different tastes, dietary preferences, or ingredients (e.g., making it vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free).
  7. Nutritional value
    The overall healthiness of the dish, taking into consideration the ingredients, portions, and potential health benefits.
  8. Leftover potential
    How well the dish can be repurposed as leftovers in the days following Thanksgiving, and whether it retains its flavor and appeal.
  9. Local or regional significance
    If a particular dish is popular or significant in a specific region or culture and contributes to holiday traditions.
  10. Sentimentality
    The personal or emotional connection people may have to particular dishes due to family traditions, memories, or other associations.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beloved Thanksgiving food. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 255 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most beloved thanksgiving food

Thanksgiving is a time when we come together with our loved ones to share a hearty meal and express gratitude for all the good things in our lives. And speaking of meals, there are few things more iconic to Thanksgiving than the food. From turkey to cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie, there are a plethora of dishes that make up the quintessential Thanksgiving feast. But which dish is the most beloved? That's a question that has sparked lively debates and discussions for decades. Some people swear by the succulent turkey, while others claim that the stuffing is the star of the show. And let's not forget about the sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes, all of which have their own loyal fan bases. Ultimately, the answer to this question is a matter of personal taste. Everyone has their own favorite Thanksgiving dish, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. But that's what makes the holiday so special - we all come together to share our favorite foods and create new memories with our loved ones. So whether you're a die-hard turkey fan or a pumpkin pie aficionado, let's all raise a glass (of cider, of course) to the most delicious holiday of the year!

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