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Power Ranking The Best Thanksgiving Food

Thanksgiving Food
(Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

Power Ranking The Best Thanksgiving Food

Last year, Jack Sabin released his rankings for the best Thanksgiving food, and with the holiday being tomorrow, it felt right to revisit his list and make my own. I will list the foods available for the list below, but I feel as if he left out a few so I will add them in as well.

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Apple Pie
  • Green Beans
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce

*I am going to replace Green Beans with Green Bean Casserole and also add in Roasted Brussels sprouts, as we are adults now and should have more than one green option*

No. 11: Cranberry Sauce

Jack and I share the same distaste for cranberry sauce. Some people prefer the stuff in the jar, we normally make it homemade in my house, but no matter how it is prepared it is never any good (sorry Feeb) to me. It is normally overly sweet and I don’t think it adds to anything. If I want something sweet, I will have pie afterward.

No. 10: Stuffing

Jack and I are 2-for-2 on our rankings, but that is quickly going to change. For me, stuffing is a texture issue. It is quite literally stuffed inside the turkey, so it is basically mush when it comes out. The box stuff is garbage, I’m sorry. For me, there isn’t a real place on my Thanksgiving table for stuffing.

No. 9: Apple Pie

Here is where we start to differ. Apple pie is trash, I’m not sorry about it either. You cannot compare apple pie to pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie absolutely spartan kicks apple pie every day of the week. You can mess up an apple pie very easily, it’s hard to mess up a pumpkin pie. Apple pie is just so generic and boring.

No. 8: Dinner Rolls

We are now at the part of the Thanksgiving foods power rankings where it isn’t that I dislike the food, but there are just better options. Dinner rolls are a classic staple of every Thanksgiving day meal. They sop up the remaining gravy, you can make sandwiches with it, or they are good by themselves (if you have yeast rolls, the only way to go). A talented kid but in this class he just gets a bit overshadowed.

No. 7: Green Bean Casserole

I love me some green bean casserole, but it has to be done right. The stuff in the can is hot trash and should never see a Thanksgiving spread. You have to make it homemade and you must sautee the mushrooms and the onions together to add the flavor together. You then make your cream sauce from the pan drippings and build from there and you have got yourself gold. If you hate this ranking, some of you are really going to hate this next one.

No. 6: Ham

Sorry about it. Ham isn’t a Thanksgiving food. Argue with your niece’s stuffed doll. Ham is a Christmas day food all day long and I won’t be told otherwise. Of course, I am putting some of it on my plate because I do enjoy ham, but for me if both are done to their best abilities, turkey curb stomps ham. We had this debate in the Vendetta Slack the other day, so I have a feeling I will be hearing about this later today.

No. 5: Pumpkin Pie

Yep, Pumpkin Pie clears both apple pie and ham. I will not apologize or take any questions on the matter at this time.

No. 4: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I see you making that stank face and shaking your head. Grow up. You aren’t six years old anymore it’s time to actually enjoy something green (we aren’t talking about the other stuff here). Brussels sprouts are delicious and have 100% earned the No. 4 spot on the Thanksgiving foods power rankings. Crispy bottom, cooked with a little bacon as well with some herb seasoning on them and I will pile my plate with the sprouts. They are probably the best vegetable you can have on your plate.

No. 3: Turkey

The superior Thanksgiving protein. There isn’t much to add that wasn’t touched on during the ham portion of these Thanksgiving foods power rankings, but I will say that when done right turkey is incredible. Y’all have not lived until you have had a deep-fried or smoked turkey. I’ll let you argue with the refrigerator door about ham being better, you do you.

No. 2: Mashed Potatoes

Two uber-talented foods here with loads of potential. This was a real toss-up here, but when I think of the best I have ever had of these two options, it became clear that mashed potatoes should be slotted second on the Thanksgiving foods power rankings. The potatoes themselves can have a bit of flavor if you boil them with seasonings, but what makes this dish is the gravy. A killer gravy can keep this high on the list, but a bad gravy can see it plummet down the order.

No. 1: Mac and Cheese

The pound-for-pound king of Thanksgiving foods. Insert the Vince Carter GIF, because it is over. Mac and Cheese is one of the best foods year-round, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, it is the star of the show. My granny used to tear up the kitchen on Thanksgiving, and her Mac and Cheese was absurdly good. At it’s peak, there is no better food on the spread than Mac and Cheese.


That’s my list! Sound off in the comments if you love or hate the picks, if I am a ham hater or if you love turkey just as much as I do.


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