Turkey aside: Thanksgiving’s top 5 side dishes


As The Sunflower’s self-proclaimed food expert, I would be doing you a great disservice if I failed to rank something with the biggest food-based holiday of the year just around the corner. A logical person would try to rank proteins, or even methods of preparing the turkey — the crown jewel of Thanksgiving dinner, but these are all somewhat trivial in my opinion.

The key to a perfect Thanksgiving dinner is in the side dishes, and these are the undisputed top five, as chosen seemingly at random by someone with next to no qualifications.

Dishonorable Mention: Yams

Who decided Thanksgiving needed sweet potatoes? Yams do nothing other than waste valuable plate space — yielding only disappointment in return and dragging the good name of potatoes through the mud (or gravy, if you want to be festive).

  1.  Cornbread

As a lover of both corn and bread, cornbread fits logically into my top five. The variability of this southern classic is something to be envied, as not every side on this list can be enjoyed year round. Cornbread is not confined to Turkey Day.

  1. Green Bean Casserole

By themselves, green beans tend to be underwhelming for me, but in casserole form, they undoubtedly earn a spot on my plate. I don’t know what it is, but this Thanksgiving classic is one that just keeps on giving.

  1. Corn Casserole

Another dish with southern roots, corn casserole, would be the perfect side for any meal, but this isn’t just any meal. Thanksgiving dinner requires a bit more out of a side dish, and corn casserole makes the podium — falling just short of two other sides for the top spot.

  1. Mashed Potatoes

Everyone has their own specific way of preparing potatoes for thanksgiving, but my personal favorite is the mashed variety — although I have been known to crave a baked potato now and then. If it were any other holiday, these smashed spuds would have their “eye” on the top spot (I’m sorry, it needed to be said), but this is Thanksgiving, dammit.

  1. Stuffing

Much like number five, number one on this list has everything to do with my bread obsession. From the texture to the flavor, stuffing is the ultimate side dish. Maybe it‘s because stuffing is seasonal, or maybe it’s just that good, but, come Thursday, you’d better believe I’ll have a healthy serving on my plate. Because stuffing is healthy, right?