Thanksgiving, a time-honored American tradition, is more than just a day to give thanks; it’s a day to feast and celebrate with loved ones. And when it comes to Thanksgiving feasting, there are certain food items that are simply non-negotiable.

These are the dishes that bring warmth, comfort, and a sense of nostalgia to the holiday table. In this article, we’ll explore 15 food must-haves at Thanksgiving that are guaranteed to make your holiday meal memorable.

Roast Turkey

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Let’s start with the star of the show – the roast turkey. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without a beautifully browned, juicy turkey as the centerpiece of the table. Whether you prefer it roasted, smoked, or deep-fried, the turkey is a symbol of gratitude and togetherness.


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The aroma of stuffing cooking in the oven is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Made from a mixture of bread, herbs, vegetables, and sometimes sausage, stuffing is the perfect accompaniment to turkey, soaking up all those delicious juices.

Mashed Potatoes

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Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. Whip them up with a little cream and garlic for extra indulgence. Don’t forget the gravy!


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Speaking of gravy, it’s the crowning glory of any Thanksgiving meal. Pour it generously over your turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for a savory symphony of flavors.

Cranberry Sauce

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A sweet and tart cranberry sauce adds a burst of vibrant color and flavor to your Thanksgiving plate. Whether you prefer homemade or canned, it’s a Thanksgiving classic.

Green Bean Casserole

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Green bean casserole is a beloved side dish, featuring tender green beans smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with crispy fried onions. It’s a true crowd-pleaser.

Sweet Potato Casserole

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Sweet potato casserole combines the earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes with a crunchy pecan topping. It’s essentially dessert in side dish form.

Pumpkin Pie

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No Thanksgiving dessert table is complete without a slice of pumpkin pie. The warm spices and silky pumpkin filling are the epitome of fall flavors.

Pecan Pie

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Another pie that deserves a place of honor at your Thanksgiving table is pecan pie. The rich, gooey filling and the crunch of toasted pecans make it a sweet sensation.

Dinner Rolls

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Soft and warm dinner rolls are perfect for sopping up leftover gravy and turkey. They’re also great for making mini turkey sandwiches the next day.


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Cornbread, with its slightly sweet and crumbly texture, is a Southern staple that pairs wonderfully with turkey and all the fixings.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Add a touch of greenery to your Thanksgiving plate with roasted Brussels sprouts. The crispy caramelized edges and nutty flavor will convert even the staunchest veggie skeptics.

Macaroni and Cheese

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Creamy macaroni and cheese is a comfort food favorite that complements the Thanksgiving spread beautifully. It’s cheesy, gooey, and utterly irresistible.

Deviled Eggs

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Deviled eggs are a delightful appetizer that sets the tone for the Thanksgiving meal. Their creamy, tangy filling and paprika garnish make them a crowd-pleaser.

Apple Pie

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For those who prefer something other than pumpkin or pecan, apple pie is a timeless classic. The sweet-tart filling and flaky crust evoke a sense of nostalgia.

The Bottom Line

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Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, reflection, and most importantly, feasting. These 15 food must-haves at Thanksgiving are the heart and soul of the holiday meal, creating a sense of warmth, togetherness, and tradition at the dinner table. So, as you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, be sure to savor every bite of these delicious dishes that make the holiday truly special.

The post 15 Food Must-Haves at Thanksgiving first appeared on Thrifty Guardian.

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