With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start planning for the big feast. Every family approaches the day differently. For many, the tradition is that Thanksgiving is always, without fail held at (fill in the blank’s) house, end of the story, don’t even entertain the thought of even offering up an alternative. Open your mouth and you might just find yourself seated at the kid’s table. Some families switch it up every year, while some never host the big day needing the flexibility to visit the family and then off to the in-laws for a second feeding.

The meal itself also has its traditions. It could be the host that takes care of the entire meal from cheese and crackers to the pumpkin pie. Other families do it up more buffet-style with the host taking care of the bird and each guest bringing a dish, often made with love and great memories created from a recipe passed down from generation to generation.

However your family handles the logistics of Thanksgiving, everyone knows the dinner itself is paramount. It is the focal point of the day until the forks are put down, belts loosen and the football game becomes the center of attention.
It doesn’t matter if you are the host or responsible for bringing a dish, everyone knows the side dishes are just as important as the turkey and those possibilities are numerous and the pressure for perfection is high.

Favorite side dishes depend on many factors including nationality, demographics, and geography. A study was recently compiled by Zippia, a career site with an appetite for good food and helping people find great careers. They took the top 20 Thanksgiving side dishes and used Google Trends to break down the favorites state by state.
In an article posted to zippia.com, the favorite of all side dishes were mashed potatoes in a landslide. Massachusetts was among 9 states that put a heaping serving of mashed potatoes right next to that big piece of turkey on the dish. Connecticut was the other New England state where it topped the list.

Homemade Organic Mashed Potatoes with Gravy for Thanksgiving

In New Hampshire and Maine, it was my personal favorite stuffing that led the way over all others, and to my surprise on received 3 total #1s.

Cornbread stuffing with turkey

Vermont was also carb-heavy with mac and cheese and coming out of nowhere for the win in Rhode Island, glazed carrots.

Mac and cheese, american style macaroni pasta in cheesy sauce

The Berkshires’ neighbor New York it was sweet potato with marshmallows that led the side dish pack (probably driven by Yankee fans). Other notables that have me salivating are the stuffed mushrooms in Alaska, the green beans in Iowa, the cornbread in Mississippi, and roasted veggies in Washington.

Stuffed mushrooms in a casserole dish
Green beans with almonds
Cast iron skillet with cornbread resting on a wooden background.

Here’s the side dish tally by the numbers according to the zippia.com article of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes in every state...

9 Mashed Potatoes
4 Rolls
3 Stuffing
3 Green Beans
3 Baked Potatoes
2 Creamed Corn

Corn chowder and fresh corn on wood butcher.

2 Stuffed Mushrooms
2 Mac & Cheese
2 Side Salad


2 Cornbread
2 Charcuterie Tray

Charcuterie board filled with an assortment of food.

1 Sweet Potato Casserole
1 White Gravy
1 Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
1 Collard Greens
1 Biscuits


1 Hashbrown Casserole
1 Glazed Carrots
1 Baked Sweet Potatoes
1 Turkey Gravy

Dark Homemade Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

1 Hashbrown Casserole
1 Fruit Salad
1 Crescent Roll
1 Roasted Vegetables
1 Hashbrown Casserole
1 Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

Instead of causing a food fight by bringing up politics at the Thanksgiving table this year ask the question everyone will give you a passionate answer for…” what is your favorite all-time side dish.” It still may cause a heated discussion but the real fights won’t break out until you ask the same question about deserts.

Click on this zippia.com link to see the complete article and the side dish state by state breakdown.

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