Gawker’s Official Thanksgiving Food Rankings

Nothing brings people together like arguing over this post

Top-down photo of a table covered in Thanksgiving dishes.
First Amendment

Thanksgiving is nigh, which means it’s time for food. But which food exactly? As in, which Thanksgiving dishes are the best? Here’s a thought: keep reading to find out.

In the spirit of autumnal gratitude and consumption, I created a survey and asked my colleagues to rank ten classic Thanksgiving dishes that I (having never really eaten a real Thanksgiving meal) somewhat arbitrarily pulled from this Serious Eats article as well as this blog post that appeared in the top search results for the query “traditional thanksgiving dishes.” Thirteen members of Gawker’s staff submitted their answers, which I collated and analyzed to come up with a ranking of Thanksgiving foods supported by robust data science and the mathematical concept of “averages.”

Without further ado, here is that ranking, accompanied by carefully curated commentary to keep things interesting. You have our permission to take this order personally, angrily share it on social media, debate the answers with your friends and family, and otherwise passionately engage with this post.

9. Corn (tie)


“Literally never ask me to eat corn.” — Tammie Teclemariam, contributing writer

“Who can hate the humble corn? Well, me in this context. It’s good, but it’s not a DISH like these other ones are. Sorry, corn.” — Jack Koloskus, art director

“It’s corn... congratulations.” — George Civeris, senior editor

9. Pumpkin pie (tie)


“The worst pie by a fucking mile.” — Brandy Jensen, features editor

“Why bother with this mush, it’s fine but if I want a pie I’m going to go for a cherry or berry or whatever.” — Darcie Wilder, social media editor

“gross slop for dogs” — Leah Finnegan, editor in chief

8. Turkey


“Dry as hell, fuck that shit. Just roast a chicken or two, it tastes better.” — Olivia Craighead, staff writer

“I think of myself as someone who likes turkey, but this exercise made me realize what I actually like is gravy.” — George

“I saw a tweet the other day, which of course I won’t be able to find, that turkey tasted like it hadn’t had a single Nalgene of water its entire life.” — Claire Carusillo, contributing writer

7. Green bean casserole


“My family has never had this as part of Thanksgiving, thank GOD.” — Kelly Conaboy, senior features writer

“I’m Jewish, I have never seen or eaten a green bean casserole in my entire life.” — Jocelyn Silver, managing editor

“This is not part of my culture.” — Olivia

6. Cranberry sauce


“Disgusting” — Brandy

“disgusting” — Leah

“OH MAN, whether it has the little indentations from the can or is just normal homemade cranberry sauce, it's light and sweet and a perfect balance to the other thanksgiving garbage. I don't know why, similar to stuffing, I only see it once a year.” — Darcie

5. Sweet potato casserole


“Fuck off. But do put mushrooms in it. I meant marshmallows but I typed mushrooms first. Whatever.” — Jack

“Switzerland on this one.” — Tarpley Hitt, staff writer

“Okay the way my family makes sweet potatoes is: chunks of sweet potato baked with a shit ton of butter and brown sugar. When you put the leftovers in the fridge they solidify into a terrifying mound of opaque fat with like… sweet potato chunks. It’s incredible.” — Kelly

4. Gravy


“Sauce is life.” — Tammie

“She really ties everything together.” — Olivia

“love to wet anything with a savory liquid” — Claire

3. Rolls/cornbread


“Essential for wiping your plate up.” — Nicole Dalessandro, director of content operations

“I have higher cholesterol than my parents combined.” — Tarpley

“A brilliant food no matter where it pops up. You would think something as common as a ROLL would be ignored during a special meal but it’s so good that simply? We gotta have it!!!!!!” — Darcie

2. Mashed potatoes


“talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before” — Jenny G. Zhang, staff writer

“God, mashed potatoes… so fucking good. Mashed potatoes make every food you smoosh on top of them even better. The glitter of the Thanksgiving plate, in a way.” — Kelly

“It’s important to play with texture. The feminine softness of the mashed potatoes pairs well with the masculine flavorlessness of the turkey to create a kind of Harry Styles-esque genderfluid alchemy.” — George

1. Stuffing/dressing


“It's the only thing on the plate that is good by itself.” — Tammie

“Stuffing rules (when done properly). I like a gourmet stuffing, some Samin Nosrat fried sage breadcrumbs on top, perhaps even a stuffing or dressing made of cornbread, a spicy element, etc.” — Jocelyn

“Warm wet bread but don’t put surprises in there. What’s orange rind doing inside a turkey? Nothing good…” — Tarpley

Honorable mention: Macaroni and cheese


“no macaroni and cheese… interesting” — Olivia

“omg is mac and cheese a classic t-giving dish?? i pulled these off of this search result for ‘main thanksgiving dishes’” — Jenny

“it can be yeah” — Jocelyn

“i was thrilled to discover mac and cheese is part of american thanksgiving” — Brandy

“i’ll include that as an unrankable honorable mention: ‘we all know this would have been in the top 5 but i messed up the poll’” — Jenny


Well, there you have it. Happy Thanksgiving.