Although I am a firm believer that everyone should try to be thankful all year round, Thanksgiving is a wonderful reminder to be grateful for all of our blessings all day long. And even further, we get to celebrate it with some of the most delicious foods surrounded by the people we care most about! 

As an avid Thanksgiving lover, I have no shame in sharing in detail what foods I pile onto my dinner plate. And while the only thing I don’t like is cranberry sauce, I love everything else that is served on my dining room table each year!

Broccoli cheddar casserole – This dish has always been and will always be my number one Thanksgiving side. Each year, I make sure to double-check with my mom that she got the ingredients from the store, which of course, she always does because she’s amazing. This cheesy Velveeta pile of broccoli topped with crushed ritz crackers finds itself undoubtedly at the top of the list, even with my dairy sensitivity. It’s quite possibly the best dish to have at Thanksgiving dinner and the following days after for lunch.

Stuffing – I absolutely love stuffing, and I think that has to do with my father’s special stuffing-making skills. I’ve been spoiled by his fluffy, flavor-filled bread mixture all of my life. This Thanksgiving staple is a tasty must-have on any plate and is even more delicious on a leftover sandwich the next day!

Turkey – Okay, I feel like most people I talk to say they don’t like having turkey as their main dish on Thanksgiving. To me, I feel like it’s because they aren’t making it right or aren’t finding the parts they like. I was never a fan of the white meat areas because I think of them as dry and flavorless. But the dark meat, or legs, are insanely tasty. I say try different parts of the bird and see which one is your favorite because you might not even know you like it until you try it.

A turkey also takes a long time to prepare, which some people feel like they don’t want to spend the time on. But it’s a holiday occasion, so why not take the time it needs when it’s only a yearly thing? Brine and season that turkey to ensure the flavors pop out! 

Mashed potatoes – I’m not sure if Thanksgiving actually has amazing food or if my family is just made up of amazing cooks because my stepfather’s mashed potatoes are easily another thing I eat way too much of on this holiday. He somehow always makes it right with no chunks and so much flavor. This all-too-buttery and garlicky side serves as another great inclusion for this annual meal.

Biscuits – At any dinner, a basket of rolls is obviously needed. So, it’s no shocker that biscuits are just as important as the other dishes on here. I especially love Pillsbury layered biscuits which my family has on Thanksgiving. They are incredibly tasty with our Land O Lakes cinnamon sugar butter, and they make for a good leftover sandwich roll.

Cornbread – Cornbread is another great carb alternative if you don’t have biscuits. And honestly, having both is fine too! My favorite cornbread is the ones that have actual pieces of corn in them because the additional texture just adds an extra flare. 

Pumpkin pie – As for dessert, pumpkin pie is a staple must-have for each Thanksgiving. The spiced, cinnamon flavors are the perfect way to wrap up the night. Just make sure you don’t forget the nice dollop of whipped cream on top.

Apple pie – And of course, what fall holiday would this be without apple pie? Though I almost always never even have any more room in my stomach to possibly fit another bite of food, once I unbutton my pants, I feel like I gain just enough power to push through the final course. I absolutely love the gooey filling of apple pie, and with vanilla ice cream, there is truly nothing better.

I hope that while you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast this year, you are not only thankful for those who helped prepare your meal, but for everyone who plays a special part in your life. Show them you care by telling them, writing them a message or doing so in your own personal, special way. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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