As Thanksgiving approaches, the Life Section shares their favorite side dish. From cranberry sauce to stuffing to green bean casserole to mashed potatoes, there are so many sides to choose from. Even with all this variety, everyone has one side that must be on their plate come that festive Thursday.
Stephanie Santillo, Senior Staff Writer
The best Thanksgiving side dish is without a doubt the stuffing. A bready, tender stuffing can enhance the taste of the turkey like nothing else. Stuffing provides the starch for the Thanksgiving feast; it is hearty and filling, and because of the spices, stuffing is a better grain than a plain old dinner roll. Stuffing is also versatile and tastes good as a topping on other Thanksgiving foods like mashed potatoes.
When I was younger, I didn’t like stuffing. I thought it was too squishy and that it didn’t look good. I missed out on so many years when delicious stuffing could have complemented my dad’s perfectly cooked Thanksgiving turkey. The best stuffing is Stove Top, whose tagline is “If it’s not Stove Top, it’s not Thanksgiving,” and they are completely right. Even when my family made their own stuffing recipes from scratch, I would still reach for the dish of Stove Top.
No amount of love and care can reproduce the processed deliciousness that is Stove Top. I would say that my second favorite side is cranberry sauce, and one year Stove Top made my wildest dreams come true by selling a stuffing mix that had cranberries in it. This mix was perfect because it combined the best two side dishes; you simply needed to add your own turkey. No matter what other newfangled side dishes chefs come up with for Thanksgiving, I will always have a soft spot for stuffing.
Evan Burns, Campus Correspondent
I’m going to take a slightly different route and choose a side dish that is particular to my family. Every year, we make an old family recipe for pineapple casserole. We use a mixture of diced pineapple, chunks of white bread, eggs, butter and sugar to create this delicious treat. The consistency is spongy and moist on the inside and rich and well-baked on top. While this might be more of a dessert, we always treat it as a side, and it’s an essential part of our Thanksgiving meal. Plus, it contains pineapple, pineapple is a fruit and fruit is healthy, so .
Daniel Cohn, Staff Writer
Last turkey season, I talked about how stuffing is the be-all end-all of Thanksgiving sides, and I stand by that. But in the name of good journalism and originality, I’ll talk about my runner-up: cranberry sauce. Your given Thanksgiving plate is going to have a lot of savory elements on it, and that’s generally alright. You don’t want to get your sweet tooth riled up before the big pie extravaganza afterwards. That aside, a good, textured cranberry sauce plays a foil to the easel of brown and yellow you’ll have on your plate later this month. Even the tiniest dunk into it brightens up any forkful you’ll shovel. Sorry, that was a gross sentence. Cranberry sauce isn’t; it’s great, and it’s really impossible to screw up! It’s just cranberries, sugar and orange juice and/or zest! Bonus take: I would have probably picked mac and cheese for my favorite side, but it’s not really a Thanksgiving dish. It’s the “cousin’s friend that came over for dessert” of sides.
Gino Giansanti, Campus Correspondent
While I cannot deny that I will always look forward to the endless helpings of mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans that await my plate on Thanksgiving, I admit my favorite Thanksgiving side dish is not something typically found on holiday tables. If you couldn’t tell by my name, my family is pretty Italian, and I mean hardcore Italian. No holiday is complete without a hearty helping of pasta, or really anything covered in sauce and cheese. It all started after my family first immigrated to the United States in the ’20s. Luigi and Maria Giansanti loved the idea of a holiday based solely around food (and honestly who wouldn’t), but felt that the turkey and cranberry sauce just didn’t cut it. Generations later and Italian cooking is still the highlight of our American holiday dinner. With that being said, my absolute favorite Thanksgiving side dish is Nonna’s world-renowned lasagna. The endless layers of ricotta and mozzarella cheese, in between the hand-cranked blankets of pasta cooked to perfection, all topped with Nonna’s secret sauce makes for the best side to go with the big bird. Call us crazy, but let’s be honest, as far as red sauces go, tomato sauce is much better than cranberry sauce.