Scroll Top

Ole Opinions: What’s the best dish at Thanksgiving?

Sweet potatoes, the elite Thanksgiving dish

The best Thanksgiving food is definitely sweet potatoes. Turkey? Basic. Stuffing? Kinda good but like, in a gross way. Pecan pie? Obviously wrong. But sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are where it’s at. Their warm orange glow, the potential for yam puns, and the scent of cinnamon and cardamom wafting up to your childhood bedroom bring peace, comfort, and the holiday spirit with it. Before all your scary relatives show up.  

Sweet potatoes originated in Central America, so on this holiday that glorifies colonization and taking advantage of the native community, sweet potatoes provide a nice non-European addition to the table. 

So this holiday season, try out the best Thanksgiving dish of all time, sweet potatoes. Covered in honey, pear juice, cinnamon, cardamom, and lots and lots of brown sugar, sweet potatoes are by far the best dish that will grace your table this year.

Martha Slaven is from

St. Paul, Minn.

Her major is art history.

Pecan pie is the best thing you’ll eat this Thanksgiving

There is one dish that stands out every Thanksgiving, and if you think it is a pureed starch, you are beyond hope. No dish describable as some kind of gloop deserves to be considered a top contender; how can anything that ignores the quality of texture hope to compete?

And let’s be honest; we all know that turkey is far from the real star of Thanksgiving. There’s a reason we don’t make it a regular entree for the rest of the year. Stuffing may be up there as a dish, but the real star of Thanksgiving lurks in the dessert course, and it’s not pumpkin pie. By the time you make it to pie, you’ve already gorged yourself on the aforementioned starch slops; you don’t need a gourd custard to back it up. You might as well just scoop your mashers into a pastry crust and pour on the gravy.

Instead what you need are some new flavors; something nutty, something sweet, something eggy. Pecan pie is all those things, every flavor that has been missing from your meal, and your mother has covered it in bourbon brown sugar whipped cream. It is the taste of November, family, and excess. It is godly.

John Emmons is from 

Seattle, Wash.

His majors are Chinese and 

political science.

Mashed potatoes; consistently spectacular 

Amongst the sea of food at the Thanksgiving table, there’s one dish that outshines them all. Mashed potatoes are the star of the meal, whipped to perfection with the perfect amount of butter and salt. Homemade gravy made from delicious turkey drippings only bolsters this flawless act. 

The combination of smooth potatoes, butter, a pinch of salt, and homemade gravy is really all you need from the Thanksgiving feast. They are nearly impossible to mess up, unlike turkey which is so often dry. Not to mention, if there are leftovers, mashed potatoes are the best Thanksgiving food reheated the next day when you’re still recovering from the food coma of the previous evening.

Lauren Schilling is from 

Manly, Iowa.

Her majors are history, art 

history, and race & ethnic 


Thanksgiving is all about stuffing

Although I prefer to eat my Thanksgiving foods all together on one overflowing plate, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be stuffing. I can’t even tell you what’s in it, but maybe that’s what makes it so great. It’s just a mysterious conglomeration of something that tastes like goodness. 

Stuffing also deserves the top spot because it is the most unique to Thanksgiving, in that it becomes nearly inaccessible for the rest of the year. Mashed potatoes and green beans make frequent dinner table appearances. Turkey, though most commonly associated with Thanksgiving, shows up at dinner now and again, and is on our sandwiches year-round. But you won’t see stuffing at any time other than Thanksgiving (and the leftovers that follow, if you’re fortunate enough to have them.) It is the most Thanksgiving-y Thanksgiving dish there is, and that, combined with its comforting savory flavor, makes it the best.

Harper Lagares is from 

Bellingham, Wash.

Her majors are gender & 

sexualities studies and theatre.

It’s not Thanksgiving without sparking cider

Stomachs full of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie, families search the table for a refreshing beverage to top off their Thanksgiving meal. The classic green bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider shines like a beacon amongst the dull, brown foods lying in front of them. 

While food is essential to creating a meal, it is never complete without a beverage for accoutrement. Sparkling apple cider offers the drinker a sophisticated taste of fall. The bead of its tiny bubbles can capture the joy of the start of the holiday season. Sparkling cranberry juice may be a close second, but apple cider remains a superior taste for all ages. A Thanksgiving feast is not complete without a glass.

Zoe Esterly is from 

Ottowa, Canada.

Her major is psychology.