As we slowly but surely approach the relief that is Thanksgiving break, it’s time for those of us who plan on feasting, to pick and choose the dishes in which to indulge. It’s impossible to eat everything — though you may want to — so you might have to be selective. To help with this difficult decision, consult the following ranking of the top 10 Thanksgiving foods.
1. Mashed potatoes should be at the top of everyone’s list. Potatoes are one of the best things to grace this Earth, and the variety of potato dishes that you can make are endless. Plus, mashed potatoes are so simple that even us college kids can help out in the kitchen with that one, or else just be the designated taster. You pick.
2. Rolls and biscuits are the highlights of a Thanksgiving dinner for many, especially for those who are sly enough to sneak a couple before their guests eat them all. When made right, they’re so light and fluffy that you’ll have to really resist the urge to eat them all.
3. Stuffing that isn’t weirdly stuffed in a Turkey is severely underrated. It’s just a bowl of carbs into which you can add literally anything. It’s a light enough dish that you can go back for seconds and not feel completely bogged down.
4. Why is turkey not first on the list? It’s just so easy to cook a dry turkey, and those are never fun. It takes a lot of effort to cook, does not taste better than mashed potatoes, takes up a ton of room on the table and is difficult to cut. Turkey’s a little too much trouble for what it’s worth, but there’s something to be said for traditions.
5. Cranberry sauce, when made fresh (!), is worthy of a spot in the top five. It can be a great addition to turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing — anything, really. Also, cranberry sauce on sandwiches made with leftovers in the week after Thanksgiving is a nice, economical treat.
6. Dessert, dessert, dessert! Pumpkin pie is usually a Thanksgiving staple, but apple and berry pies tend to appeal to a wider audience. Either way, get a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on your pie, and you’re good to go.
7. Many have a love-hate relationship with corn, but it’s the only vegetable to make it on the good part of this list, so it has some things going for it. The fact that kernels always get stuck in your teeth is an annoying but worthwhile price to pay for the delicious taste.
8. Gravy on its own isn’t exactly going to satisfy your taste buds, but it’s a great addition to anything that lacks a bit of flavor. It’s also easy to make, so you can feel like you actually tense if you step in and say, “Oh, don’t worry, Uncle Pete. I’ll take care of the gravy.”
9. Sweet potato anything. Sweet potatoes, unless they are in the form of fries, are really just gross. Sure, they’re “healthy,” but Thanksgiving dinner isn’t about health. The most popular sweet potato dish is likely mashed sweet potatoes. When you already have delicious regular mashed potatoes, why would you want anything that looks like pureed children’s food (and doesn’t taste much better)?
10. Vegetables that smell weird when cooked, like brussel sprouts and broccoli, are a no-no. You’ll have plenty of times in your life to eat vegetables, but Thanksgiving day is not that day. Put away the greens.