The Thanksgiving Plate: Ranked


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Courtesy of Google Commons

The Thanksgiving Plate: Ranked 

Thanksgiving, a holiday of family, football, and most importantly, food. Thanksgiving foods are a staple at every table, but the question remains, which food is really the best. So I took it to the test. I will be ranking the most iconic Thanksgiving foods on multiple scales: taste, visual appeal, and recognition. 


Sides/Main Dishes 

We start with the sides and main dishes, some of the most controversially debated items on the Thanksgiving table. I focused on 6 dishes: cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing, green bean casserole, turkey, and gravy.


Cranberry sauce

This is a staple on the Thanksgiving table, but there is controversy. Many enjoy a homemade and fresh cranberry sauce, and some look for the old fashioned and classic canned sauce. My preference is homemade, so that’s what will be reviewed. When it comes to taste, cranberry sauce is a perfect complement to a salty and savory turkey. Although it does have trouble standing on its own, and relies on being paired with other items for its taste. Its visual appeal is high, always adding a splash of color to the Thanksgiving plate. And for recognition, it deserves a high high score, being one of the most iconic Thanksgiving dishes in every culture and family. 

Taste: 6.6

Visual Appeal:8.3


Average score: 7.9/10


Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes have a special place in my heart. Not only are they iconic and recognized on the Thanksgiving plate, but they fit on the side of so many meals. When it comes to their visual appeal, it is weak, with a very beige coloring, it’s hard to present them as appetizing. They go well with a bite of turkey and with some gravy, but I do question its ability to stand on its own.

Taste: 8.9

Visual appeal:8.1


Average Score: 8.7/10



When I look at rolls, I always wonder how much they actually matter on the Thanksgiving table. They’re a favorite on the leftover plate, many enjoy building a classic Thanksgiving sandwich.  The roll brings it all together, which definitely helps its score. 

Taste: 5.5

VIsual appeal: 4.5


Average score: 6.1/10



Stuffing is one of my personal favorites. It’s a perfect medley of herbs, bread, and veggies and the base of crispy, savory, and fluffy flavor make it the perfect Thanksgiving essential

Taste: 9.6

Visual appeal:9.2

Recognition: 9.5

Average Score: 9.4/10


Green Bean Casserole 

This is  a dish where I don’t really know what to say . This is somehow a traditional dish, so the recognition score must be somewhat high. But when it comes to taste, it’s a big fat “eh….”. A mediocre visual appeal and taste really set the score, as mediocre as the dish itself. 


Visual appeal: 4.1


Average Score:5.1/10



A sauce that makes everything better. Gravy works on every other dish on the table. It adds creaminess, zing, and tenderness to any item that lacks it. But its presentation is subpar, being just a plain brown sauce. 


Visual appeal: 5.9


Average Score:7.1/10



Here we are, the turkey. I could go so many routes with this. Because the turkey really is the most iconic, but also the most divisive item. You can’t have Thanksgiving without it, but when it comes to taste, it heavily relies on gravy, cranberry sauce, and other sides to make or break it. Presentation is very high, and a turkey always looks appealing and delicious. 


Visual appeal: 9.7


Average Score:9.1/10



Thanksgiving desserts are simple. They are really narrowed down to 3 iconic pies:Apple, Pumpkin, and Pecan. But the everlasting debate of which one is really better will forever stand. 


Pumpkin Pie 

The pumpkin pie is not only a Thanksgiving, but a fall staple. It sports a strong pumpkin spice flavor, creamy base, and flaky crust. It works perfectly along whipped cream and I personally have no complaints about this high quality dish. 


Visual appeal: 9.2


Average Score:9.4/10


Pecan Pie

Another iconic pie that will definitely be served on your plate, the Pecan pie’s caramel-y and nutty flavor is a favorite. But I have to say, I am not the biggest fan, and never really have been. 


Visual appeal: 8.8


Average Score:8.7/10


Apple Pie

This. This. Right. Here. Apple Pie, not only my favorite Thanksgiving dessert but quite possibly my favorite dessert of all time. Flaky, soft, warm, perfect apple flavor, works a la mode with a scoop of vanilla or standing on its own. The Apple Pie shines in every aspect of scoring. 


Visual appeal: 10


Average Score:10/10 


We have made it. The final and true  results of this grand Thanksgiving ranking. Now the might (probably are) be biased, considering they are my opinion, but you should take them into account when building your plate this holiday. 

In the sides/main dishes category the ranking are as follows:

  1. Stuffing
  2. Turkey
  3. Mashed Potatoes
  4. Cranberry Sauce
  5. Gravy
  6. Green Bean casserole 



1.Apple Pie

2.Pumpkin pie

3.Pecan Pie

I hope that the Thanksgiving plates in Chagrin are full of delicious stuffing and apple pie, and everyone diligently follows my rankings to the best of their ability.