16 Most Popular Thanksgiving Foods

Most Popular Thanksgiving Foods

Are you planning your thanksgiving menu? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular thanksgiving foods just for you!

Thanksgiving is a time to eat lots of food with family and friends. It’s also a great time to be thankful for the things you have and spend quality time with your loved ones.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, it could seem a little intimidating. But don’t worry; our thanksgiving menu ideas will give you all you need to plan a memorable dinner.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Roasted Turkey

It’s no secret that the most common Thanksgiving main meal is roasted turkey. It isn’t Thanksgiving without a mouthwatering roast turkey on the table.

Each person will cook their turkey differently, but before the feast is officially served, the turkey is customarily roasted in the oven for several hours. 

People often garnish it with fresh herbs, lemons, and other flavors to achieve their desired flavor. Also, most people love breaking the wishbone.

2. Cranberry Sauce

Even though not everyone likes cranberry sauce, it’s still among the most popular thanksgiving foods.

The tradition of serving cranberry sauce with Thanksgiving dinners in America dates back to the Civil War when General Ulysses S. Grant ordered soldiers to do so.

Cranberry sauce is amazing on roast turkey and stuffing, whether you pick canned or fresh. Some people even enjoy cranberry sauce on its own.

3. Mashed Potatoes

Most people will agree that a Thanksgiving feast is incomplete without mashed potatoes. This simple meal is a Thanksgiving staple and goes perfectly with roast turkey and all the other tasty side dishes.

The best thing about this side dish is how many creative and wonderful ways you can prepare it. Thanksgiving mashed potatoes can be made however you like.

Some prefer to keep them simple with butter, salt, and pepper so they can cover them in gravy. Others love to make them garlicky or even make loaded mashed potatoes with bacon, cheese, and sour cream.

4. Apple Pie

This is also among the most popular thanksgiving foods, even though most people don’t serve it on the first Thanksgiving.

You can make your own apple pie or buy one from a nearby shop. In either case, don’t forget to include this dessert during your feast. 

Some people prefer the traditional apple pie, while others like theirs with cranberries and cinnamon. People enjoy it best when it is served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream.

5. Gravy

Nothing compares to making a mouthwatering gravy to serve with your Thanksgiving roast turkey, mashed potatoes, or other side dishes.

Most people can’t imagine their Thanksgiving dinner without a gravy boat or bowl because it adds so much flavor to dishes that are already delicious.

Some people make gravy with flour, stock, and seasonings, while others use the juice from their roast turkey, which can complement the turkey well.

6. Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is another popular dessert dish served at most Thanksgiving dinner settings. This delicious Southern meal includes pecans, occasionally other nuts, butter, sugar, molasses, and other sweet ingredients.

Although the recipe varies depending on the region, its basic preparation and ingredients remain the same. It’s also among the most popular thanksgiving foods.

7. Green Bean Casserole

Although it wasn’t served during the first Thanksgiving, green bean casserole is now a staple in many households.

It’s also an excellent method to avoid having boring vegetables. This traditional dish includes crispy onion topping, Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, and green beans.

Even though it’s simple, it tastes amazing. Over time, people have modified the original Campbell’s recipe by including bacon pieces, cornflakes, and other garnishes. 

The cream of mushroom soup and the green beans are the only two things that never change.

8. Baked Potato

Because not everyone enjoys mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes are a great alternative. They are simple to prepare as well.

On Thanksgiving, you can cook baked potatoes any way you like, just like you can with mashed potatoes.

The best method to accomplish this is to bake them first, then top them with butter, salt, and pepper, then turkey gravy. 

However, you may cook them in various ways depending on who is coming to celebrate with you, using cheese, bacon, and other toppings.

9. Candied Yams

One of the most popular thanksgiving foods is candied yams. This classic Thanksgiving dish is for individuals who have a sweet taste and can’t wait till you offer dessert.

Some even like to serve it as a dessert because having it with your turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole can seem a little strange.

In order to get the dish’s thick, candied-like appearance, yams must be cooked slowly with a lot of brown and white sugar.

Some people include orange peel to add acidity and a variety of warming spices, including cinnamon. 

It ultimately depends on your preference, though you may top them with marshmallows to make them resemble sweet potato casserole.

10. Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without this savory side dish, whether it is called dressing or stuffing.

Another side dish that goes well with turkey gravy and even cranberry sauce is cornbread dressing. Everyone has their unique method of preparation, just like other Thanksgiving foods.

Typically, ingredients for cornbread dressing include cornbread, onion, sage, celery, and some broth or stock.

11. Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese are also among the most popular thanksgiving foods. Of course, not everyone grew up enjoying mac & cheese on this holiday, but an increasing number of people are choosing to serve it as a vegetarian side dish.

There are countless recipes for mac and cheese that you can prepare for Thanksgiving. 

To avoid overpowering the other flavors that are spread throughout the other meals, it is advisable to stick with something traditional. 

12. Pumpkin Pie

People try to reserve a room for this traditional Thanksgiving dish after finishing their fill of turkey and all the delicious side dishes.

The flavors of pumpkin spice and vanilla bean combine to make a delicious and creamy pie. You can eat it plain, with whipped cream, or with ice cream.

13. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is one of the most popular thanksgiving foods people love. 

Although true yams differ from sweet potatoes, this casserole is sometimes referred to by its more popular term, “candied yams.” 

Nowadays, most people cut sweet potatoes into small cubes, bake them with lots of brown sugar and other fragrant spices, and then top them with gooey marshmallows.

This dish is typically served as a side dish for Thanksgiving, but because it’s so sweet, you can also eat it as dessert if you like.

14. Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving may not be the healthiest holiday, but Brussels sprouts are a great choice if you want to include a green vegetable in your feast.

They’re frequently served at Thanksgiving dinners around the nation and can be baked, grilled, or roasted.

Adding maple syrup, bacon, and nuts before roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven is one of the greatest ways to make them fit into a more traditional Thanksgiving dish. 

If you don’t like that, you may make them simpler by adding salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder. In addition, they taste good with balsamic vinegar. Brussels Sprouts are also among the most popular thanksgiving foods.

15. Rolls

There is something special about having a warm, buttery wheat roll with your meal. You can buy premade buns and reheat them in the oven, or if you have the time, you can prepare homemade rolls.

Dinner rolls taste great with or without butter. Although the rolls are good on their own, most people like to dip them in the extra gravy that is spread out on your plate.

16. Butternut Squash Soup

Thanksgiving is a great time to serve soup, and butternut squash soup is one of the best choices.

For vegetarians joining you for dinner, butternut squash soup is one of the best dishes to make. 

Even if you are not a vegetarian, you will love this soup and want to keep including it each year.

Most people prepare it with butternut squash, vegetable broth, maple syrup, and various savory spices before mixing everything together and serving.


There you have it – 16 of the most popular thanksgiving foods. Moreover, all you need for Thanksgiving is an empty stomach, lots of food, and family and friends. Just be careful not to fall into a food coma, haha!

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