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What are the most popular Thanksgiving dishes?

A majority of Americans will be looking adjust their spending on Thanksgiving dinner this year. Here’s what is sure to win over your guests to save a dime.

Turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing with gravy
Win McNameeGetty

Nearly 70 percent of Americans will be adjusting their Thanksgiving spending due to rising prices according to a NielsenIQ survey. The average cost for the holiday dinner for 10 is estimated to cost 20 percent more than last year’s $53.31.

According to the 37th annual Thanksgiving prices survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation, in 2022 the average Thanksgiving dinner will set you back $64.05. Little wonder that over a third of people will be buying a smaller turkey, have less sides and a smaller gathering.

While your own meal maybe steeped in tradition or if you’re planning to host your first, you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t wastefully putting food on the table that won’t be appreciated. Here are some of the dishes that are guaranteed to please your guests so that you can save some money this year.

What are the most popular dishes?

In 2020, the polling company YouGov undertook a comprehensive survey that answered one of the most controversial questions in the US: which is the best dish served during Thanksgiving?

The poll included more than 1,300 people from the West, South, North East, and Mid-West.

The answers varied widely across the different parts of the country. Across the board, eighty-three percent of respondents said the turkey was the best dishes on the table. Some other national favorites include mashed potatoes (78 percent), stuffing or dressing (77 percent), and bread and rolls (74 percent).

Favorites by Region:


  1. Turnips
  2. Staffing or Dressing
  3. Macaroni and cheese
  4. Collard green

North East

  1. Fruit Salad
  2. Beans and rice
  3. Rice
  4. Soup


  1. Tamales
  2. Glazed carrots
  3. Soup
  4. Beef

Mid West

  1. Deviled eggs
  2. Chicken
  3. Mash potatoes
  4. Jell-O

The only region where the turkey was not in the top slot was the West.

Across the board, some of the worst-ranked foods were tofu, plantains, black-eyed peas, and lamb.

Regional Favorites

The various dishes favored in each region of the country tend to reflect the native crops and the immigrant communities that live in those areas.  For example, tamales are the most common side dish in the West.

Who typically does the cooking in your family?

In addition to surveying Thanksgiving preferences, YouGov also took a look at who in families tend to do the cooking and cleaning during the holiday. The poll found that forty-eight percent of women reported that they would be doing “all” or “most” of the cooking, compared to only twenty-four percent of men. Men are slightly more likely, thirty-one percent, to help with the cleaning, but still the rates are heavily weighted towards women, forty-six percent.


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