Top 5 Thanksgiving side dishes


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Columnist Janyce-Monique Johnson shares her favorite side dishes to eat at Thanksgiving.

By Janyce-Monique Johnson

As Thanksgiving approaches, we look forward to good food with family and friends. While turkey and/or ham is the main component of Thanksgiving dinner, the side dishes are the highly anticipated portions of the meal. Here is a list of the top five Thanksgiving side dishes.

1) Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is the number 1 Thanksgiving side dish, period. Every Thanksgiving with my family, my plate would be half macaroni and cheese and half everything else. It was when I had Thanksgiving with other families that I found out that macaroni and cheese is not a typical Thanksgiving side, and it is often replaced with mashed potatoes. However, macaroni and cheese is superior to mashed potatoes, because the cheesy, savory flavor elevates everything else on the plate. Mashed potatoes can’t do that. Everyone should have macaroni and cheese at their Thanksgiving, and it should be baked, because anything less is lazy.

2) Casserole

Macaroni and cheese is the star, but every star needs a supporting actor, and that’s where casserole comes in. My favorite casserole to make during Thanksgiving is twice-baked potato casserole, because it combines the delicious components of a baked potato (bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives) into one dish. I introduced this casserole to my family’s Thanksgiving five years ago, and even though I’m not there to make it, they still have it every year. Some other casseroles that are great for Thanksgiving are cheesy mashed potato, green bean and broccoli and cheese.

3) Greens

Growing up, my mom would always say you need to have a vegetable on your plate, and greens are the vegetables of Thanksgiving. Greens give you a break from all the carb-heavy side dishes, and it is the one dish you can keep eating without feeling full. Whether you buy Glory Greens in a can or make it from scratch, it is a must-have at Thanksgiving. 

4) Stuffing (AKA dressing)

Stuffing elevates the turkey at Thanksgiving. Whether you combine it with the turkey, add it on top or keep it to the side, stuffing is a staple side dish. Homemade stuffing is preferable; however, a quick alternative that also tastes good is Stove Top stuffing. 

5) Hawaiian rolls

Hawaiian rolls are the staple rolls for Thanksgiving. When I worked at Wal-Mart, these rolls were always sold out, especially as the holiday approached. Hawaiian rolls are one of the easiest rolls to make for the holiday and add the perfect sweetness to an overall savory meal.