Thanksgiving Menu - Decided By Research

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day to come together with family, friends, and loved ones (albeit virtually this year) to share a meal. There are obvious staples, such as turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, but I always love hearing about the unique dishes families make for their feast. My family in Louisiana, for example, likes to add a seafood twist with oyster dressing and shrimp & grits dressing. So I was very excited to come across this research study pitting dishes against each other to determine the ultimate menu.


The study showed 7,700 respondents a series of two dishes side-by-side and asked them to pick one out of each pair, with over 377,000 individual match-ups. The statistics gurus at Five Thirty Eight published the full results, but here are the winners from each category.



Deviled eggs performed best, winning 51% of its match-ups. But the data suggests that if there's one part of the Thanksgiving menu you can skip, it's the appetizers.



Turkey is obviously the go-to here, so the study included different ways of preparing it. Roasted turkey performed best, winning 88% of the time, followed by smoked turkey (74%) and deep-fried turkey (70%). Ham and roast beef, common turkey alternatives, came in significantly lower at 58% and 50%, respectively.



The starches category is chalked full of winners. Dressing (aka stuffing for those in the Northeast) has the overall most wins at 85%, followed by a slew of potato dishes. Mashed potatoes ranks right beside stuffing at 84%, and roasted, scalloped, and mashed sweet potatoes all won 70%+ of the time.



Green beans are the overall favorite veggie, winning 72% of its matchups, followed by non-canned cranberry sauce at 71% and green bean casserole at 65%.



When it comes to bread, butter rolls win the top prize at 68%, followed by cornbread at 67%, and biscuits and dinner rolls at 74% apiece.



Last but not least, it's not truly Thanksgiving without the desserts! Pumpkin pie wins out at 81%, followed by apple pie (78%), apple crumble (69%) and pecan pie (69%).


Of course, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. With so many families heeding advice to stay home due to the pandemic, this is the perfect opportunity to make all of your favorite dishes and compare meals virtually with your family and friends tomorrow. That's what we'll be doing when we gather with our families over Zoom.

Posted by Stewart

Stewart is passionate about all things research. Designing studies, analyzing data, and moderating interviews - Stew does it all. Outside of research, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and trying new recipes on the grill.

Topics: Research, Random Awesomeness, Holiday