Shack Chat: What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

American turkey day festivities are here and we asked the staff what type of home-cooked goodness they would be willing to hurt family members to get while making their plate.


In celebration of that time the pilgrims allegedly landed on the shores of North America and traded smallpox to the natives in return for corn recipes, this week's edition of the Shack Chat is putting a spotlight on Thanksgiving dinner. More specifically, we quizzed our staff to find out which side dishes tickled their turkey day pickle. In the least shocking turn of events in Shacknews history, this pack of animals declared their love of carbs, in a rather aggressive fashion. Be it from a potato, pasta, or casserole, this group lives to visit starch town — enough so that they may be looking at tax liabilities. 

Without further adieu, here are the staff choices for the best thing to clog our arteries tomorrow.

Question: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dinner side dish?

Potatoes of any sort - Ozzie Mejia, a.k.a. Tony Starch

I like my starches. So I'll take potatoes prepared any way, whether they be mashed, roasted, or otherwise. They complement the Thanksgiving turkey better than anything else on the plate. I'll even take a baked potato in a pinch.

Macaroni and Cheese - Donovan Erskine, Thanksgiving is the prelude to Christmas

I’m not a big fan of a lot of staple Thanksgiving foods. Turkey, potato salad, cranberry sauce - simply not a fan. What I can get down with, however, is a nice serving of macaroni and cheese. The macaroni that my mom and nana make every year is particularly delicious, with the perfect amount of cheesiness. And now my mouth is watering with anticipation. Who’s idea was this??

Candied Yams - Blake Morse, Professional Thanksgiving dinner eater

I didn’t have candied yams in my life until I was in my late 20s. I wasn’t a very adventurous eater in my early days, and I mostly just stuck to turkey, gravy, and stuffing when it came to my Thanksgiving dinners. However, as I got older and spent more holiday meals among my extended family of friends, I became more willing to try new things. Thank goodness I finally tried this delicious treat! I’m usually not a big fan of marshmallows or potatoes for that matter, but something about this dish just hits the right spot. This year I’m even going to try and make my own candied yams for the first time. Fingers crossed that it’ll all work out, because, in general, I am a horrible, horrible cook. 

Pecan Pie - Chris Jarrard, My blood type is sawmill gravy

This was a struggle, I’m not gonna lie. Between all the hot potato-based dishes and casseroles, there are so many dope choices. That being said, when I’m forced to put it on the line and I have to pick the last item to shove down my gullet before I stop eating to start yakking everything back up would be pecan pie. Love it. I have no idea what the middle stuff even is, but I do know it has to be good for me or it wouldn’t taste so damn fine.

I should probably go ahead and start planning for life without my feet...

Potato salad - Sam Chandler, Avoiding the carbs

If I were to ever experience Thanksgiving, I think I would be the person who brings along a potato salad. I love a good potato salad. It’s the best of both worlds: potato and salad. Now, there’s a lot of contention around what goes into a good potato salad, and I must say, if you’re putting in anything beyond potato, egg, and mayonnaise, you’ve lost your damn mind. Okay, maybe you can put in some spring onion for a subtle onion flavor or to add a bit of green. Heck, even a little bit of bacon pieces can go a long way. I’m on the fence when it comes to celery. But if you’re putting sultanas or raisins in potato salad, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

Mashed Potatoes - Bill Lavoy, GM Extraordinaire

It’s mashed potatoes and it isn’t close. The first thing I dive into at Thanksgiving, even before the turkey, is the pile of mashed potatoes and gravy on my plate. When I go for some leftovers later, I’m headed for the container of mashed potatoes. Writing this has made me want mashed potatoes, so it’s a good thing I messed up and bought two bags during my grocery shopping this week.

Just give it all to me - Josh Hawkins, Guides Editor

I don’t really think I have any real favorite food at Thanksgiving. I’m just a food lover in general. Though, I will say I often find myself going back for seconds from a few Thanksgiving iconic items, like sweet potato souffle. Thanksgiving is usually just my favorite time to pig out because there are so many different types of food available. But, I suppose if you’re going to make me choose a favorite I’ll just have to go with sweet potato souffle.

Sweet Potato Souffle - TJ Denzer, Sweet Potato News Editor

I have a confession to make. I’m not crazy about the usual Thanksgiving Day desserts. Pumpkin pie is gross to me, and I’m really picky about pie crusts in general, so I only really half enjoy even good ones like French Silk. So when it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, I gravitate towards the one that’s sort of like a replacement for any desert I’m not going to enjoy. That’s sweet potato souffle. After all the savory goods are gone - the bread rolls, little pickles, turkey, potatoes, and gravy - then I favor the sweet potato souffle. Sweet potatoes beaten to a creamy consistency, cooked with eggs, butter, and vanilla, topped with cinnamon, granola (or cornflakes), brown sugar, and pecans (no marshmallows please)... It’s delightful to me and a solid substitute for any normal dessert offering in my experience.

Green Bean Casserole - David L. Craddock, long reads editor

I like green beans. I like casserole. Green bean casserole seems tailored for me--because it is. Every year since I can remember, my maternal grandmother has prepared it especially for me. But I share because being thankful and giving… well, it’s in the name of the holiday, innit? Happy Thanksgiving!

Mini Roasted Potatoes- Greg Burke, Head of Video

Mini roasted potatoes are the best. They are like round french fries. Olive oils, Sea salt, rosemary make this little thing absolutely amazing. I make them every thanksgiving and my wife and I always have way too many leftovers.

Corn and potatoes-Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor

What is the ideal Thanksgiving side? It isn’t a perfect Turkey day without some corn and potatoes. I have to have some ham as well but ham is more of a main course dish so I went with corn and potatoes. A nice warm crescent roll works for me too.

What sort of Thanksgiving debauchery are you creeps into? Please let us know down below in the comments.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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