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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Side Dish: 27% Declare This as Their Favorite to Make

The most popular side dish for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, express gratitude and enjoy a delicious feast. While the centerpiece of the meal is undoubtedly the turkey, it’s the side dishes that often steal the show. From creamy mashed potatoes to tangy cranberry sauce, everyone has a favorite accompaniment to the main course. But which side dish takes the crown as the most popular for Thanksgiving?
According to a YouGov survey, stuffing emerged as the clear winner, with more than half of Americans declaring their love for this classic dish. However, when it comes to the side dish people most enjoy making, a recent survey conducted by Mashed revealed a surprising result.

The poll results

Mashed polled 602 people across the United States to find out which side dish was considered the most fun to make. The results were fascinating, showing that personal preferences in taste and cooking enjoyment can vary. The survey revealed a clear winner, with one side dish standing out above the rest.
Homemade stuffing was crowned the most popular side dish, with an impressive 27.41% of respondents choosing it. Stuffing offers a versatile canvas for creativity, allowing home cooks to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. Whether you prefer a traditional recipe or enjoy adding a modern twist, stuffing offers endless possibilities.

Explore the versatility of stuffing

Stuffing, also known as dressing, is a beloved part of Thanksgiving traditions. While it’s commonly stuffed into the turkey, many prefer to bake it separately for a crispy and flavorful result. The beauty of stuffing is its adaptability, as it can be customized to suit individual tastes.
Some opt for a classic stuffing recipe with breadcrumbs, herbs, onions and celery. Others prefer to incorporate unique ingredients like apples and cranberries for a touch of sweetness, or mushrooms for added depth of flavor. Adventurous cooks have even been known to experiment with unexpected additions, such as pepperoni, to give their stuffing a delightful twist.
Whether you make your stuffing from scratch or use a convenient pre-packaged mix, the process of creating this Thanksgiving favorite can be a labor of love. From the aroma that fills the kitchen as the bread toasts to the satisfaction of seeing the golden brown crust, making stuffing is a culinary journey that brings joy to many home cooks.

The Runners-Up

While stuffing took the top spot, there were several other side dishes that garnered significant votes in Mashed’s poll.
Mashed potatoes came in a close second, with 23.92% of respondents choosing this creamy and comforting dish. The process of boiling, mashing, and seasoning potatoes to achieve the perfect texture and flavor is an art form in itself.
Green Bean Casserole came in third with 15.61% of the vote. This classic dish combines tender green beans, creamy mushroom sauce and crispy fried onions to create a satisfying and flavorful side dish.
Macaroni and cheese proved to be a popular choice with 12.29% of the votes. This indulgent and cheesy pasta dish brings a dose of comfort to the Thanksgiving table.
Cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes received 9.80% and 7.48% of the votes, respectively. Cranberry sauce offers a refreshing burst of tartness, while sweet and buttery yams provide a hint of sweetness to complement the savory elements of the meal.
Unfortunately, Brussels sprouts came in last, with only 3.49% of people expressing a preference for preparing this particular side dish. However, for those who appreciate the earthy flavors and health benefits of these miniature cabbages, there are plenty of delicious recipes to increase their appeal.

Bottom line

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and enjoy the flavors of the season. While the turkey may take center stage, side dishes play an important role in creating a memorable and satisfying meal. The survey, conducted by Mashed, found that homemade stuffing reigns supreme as the most popular side dish for Thanksgiving, capturing the hearts of 27.41% of respondents.
Whether you stick to a traditional recipe or venture into uncharted culinary territory, the joy of making stuffing lies in the endless possibilities for creativity. So this Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to create a delicious and unique stuffing recipe that will have your loved ones asking for seconds.
Remember, while stuffing may have claimed the title, the beauty of Thanksgiving lies in the variety of flavors and dishes that grace the table. Whether you prefer creamy mashed potatoes, savory green bean casserole, or indulgent macaroni and cheese, there is no shortage of options to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
As you gather with family and friends to give thanks and enjoy a bountiful meal, take time to appreciate the effort and love that goes into preparing these beloved sides. Each dish represents a unique tradition, a cherished family recipe, or a creative twist that adds a special touch to the Thanksgiving feast.
So as you plan your Thanksgiving menu, consider incorporating a variety of side dishes that cater to different tastes and preferences. Let the flavors and aromas fill the air and create a warm and inviting atmosphere that embodies the spirit of the holiday.
In the end, Thanksgiving is about more than food. It’s a time to come together, express gratitude, and create lasting memories. Whether you choose to make homemade stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, or another favorite side dish, remember that the true beauty of Thanksgiving lies in the shared experience of enjoying a meal with loved ones.
So take this opportunity to explore new recipes, honor cherished family traditions, and celebrate the joy of cooking and sharing a delicious feast. Happy Thanksgiving!


What makes homemade stuffing the most popular side dish for Thanksgiving?

Homemade stuffing is popular because of its versatility and the ability to customize it to suit individual tastes. Whether you prefer a traditional recipe or enjoy experimenting with unique ingredients, stuffing offers endless possibilities for creating a dish that perfectly complements your Thanksgiving feast.

Can I use a pre-packaged mix to make stuffing?

Absolutely! Using a pre-packaged stuffing mix is a convenient option that many home cooks choose. It saves time and still allows you to enjoy the delicious flavors of stuffing. However, if you prefer a more hands-on approach, making stuffing from scratch with home-dried breadcrumbs can add a personal touch to the dish.

What are some creative variations I can try with stuffing?

Stuffing offers a lot of room for creativity. Consider adding ingredients like apples and cranberries for a touch of sweetness, mushrooms for added depth of flavor, or even pepperoni for a unique twist. You can also experiment with different herbs, spices, and types of bread to create your own signature stuffing recipe.

What other side dishes were popular in the survey?

While homemade stuffing took the top spot, there were several other side dishes that received significant votes. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes were among the favorites, catering to a variety of tastes and adding delicious variety to the Thanksgiving table.

Are there any health benefits to making stuffing from scratch?

Making stuffing from scratch gives you more control over the ingredients you use. You can choose whole grain bread, incorporate a variety of vegetables and herbs, and reduce the amount of sodium and fat. By making conscious choices, you can create a healthier version of stuffing that still retains its delicious flavors.

Can I make stuffing ahead of time?

Absolutely! One of the benefits of stuffing is that it can be made ahead of time. You can assemble the ingredients and refrigerate the stuffing mixture the night before Thanksgiving. On the day of the feast, just bake it to perfection, saving you time and allowing you to focus on other preparations.

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