Gallery: Staff Picks: Our Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes

  • Mashed potatoes

    It's a boring choice, but Thanksgiving is the one time a year I make mashed potatoes, so I enjoy the heck out of them. I don't have a favorite recipe; I generally try a different one each year. Robyn Lee


    I've talked countless times before of my undying love for pie, and of my never-ending search for the perfect slice. In my fantasy Thanksgiving, every dish would be served in pie form. Turkey pot pie, sweet potato pie, green bean a pie. An all-pie Thanksgiving: anyone with me? —Ed Levine

    Sage stuffing

    Last year I made a stuffing recipe from a 1975 edition of Gourmet. You start out by baking a cornbread that's full of sage and parsley, and that's the base for the stuffing, which also includes the turkey liver (don't knock it till you've tried it). I added sauteed apples and slivered almonds, too. Delicious. Get the recipe » Maggie Hoffman

    Chestnut stuffing

    As a child, my favorite Thanksgiving dish was mashed potatoes because it was the one thing I knew how to make from start to finish and it was my favorite food for, like, 10 years. I became the designated mashed potato maker and I was proud of it. Nowadays, however, I most look forward to my mom's amazing chestnut stuffing. It's the most labor-intensive dish and that labor is certainly one of love. My mom would boil a big pot of chestnuts the night before Thanksgiving and then she'd sit at the kitchen table for about two hours, cutting the chestnuts in half and scooping out all the sweet, creamy innards. You may ask, why didn't her three lazy children help her with this task? You got me there... we were bad children. But we're good adults—we all help scoop now. Even if it's just so we can "rescue" the best chestnuts from the mixing bowl. Christine Tsai

    Sausage stuffing

    It's the best stuff in the world. It's basically a warm savory bread pudding made with sausage and stock, and I can't think of a better foodstuff for the holidays. Sure, I take a slice of turkey, perhaps some mashed potatoes and gravy, a couple of token sweet potatoes, but honestly, there's really no reason for anything else to exist, as far as I'm concerned. I could make an entire meal out of stuffing alone. Get the recipe » —J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Another vote for stuffing: Give me any kind, any place, I don't care whose it is or where it came from. It complements every other dish on the Thanksgiving plate. I love stuffing with any undying passion and actually don't understand why it only seems to be made around Thanksgiving. My favorite kind might be when the words sausage apple and cornbread are involved, but I'll take any kind really. Leandra Palermo



    Turducken stuffing

    Five years ago my boyfriend decided to make a Turducken for a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with friends, and it's been the star of our annual meal ever since. The night before the feast, a few brave souls debone the birds while the rest of us watch, comment, and drink whiskey. The following day is a smorgasbord of homemade sides and desserts; I usually bring pie. Somehow the novelty of a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey never ceases to amaze me. But my favorite part? There are TWO kinds of stuffing (the best part of any turkey): a Cajun shrimp and a traditional bread and sausage. —Carrie Vasios

    Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

    A few years ago, my family started a Thanksgiving tradition where we stay home in our pajamas and cook different dishes all day long. While it took hours and hours to make these unbelievably rich, pillowy Parisienne gnocchi with squash and mushrooms—the gnocchi alone uses fresh herbs, half a dozen eggs, Emmentaler cheese, and Dijon mustard, plus flour and butter—it was but mere minutes before they disappeared. While I don't know if we'll ever make them again, I'll savor the taste of those few minutes always.

    Warning: both recipes require multiple readings, and multiple tablespoons of butter. Get the recipe » Jessica Leibowitz

    Brown Sugar Pound Cake


    My mom's brown sugar pound cake has a big fan base, myself included. I don't have a huge sweet tooth, and while I'll do a sliver of pecan pie or German chocolate cake, it's trusty old brown sugar pound cake that dominates my dessert plate at Thanksgiving. Her's are prepared a day or so in advance in Bundt pans (I'm always confused my the loaf pan varieties used in some regions), and it is sheer torture to wait for cake cuttin' day. The tender interior crumb contrasts with the nearly crunchy, browned edges of this substantial, but not too dense cake. And the molten brown sugar crystals transform into a dessert that has a faintly caramel flavor and is perfectly sweetened to take a scoop of ice cream on the side. Here's the recipe » Meredith Smith

    [Flickr: SheGotTheBeat]

    Corn pudding

    My older brother has one contribution to the Thanksgiving table every year: a corn pudding, which he makes with corn flour and whole corn kernels and an awful lot of butter. It's sweet and creamy and a little bit crusty on top, and I have to say, when right out of the oven, it's the best thing on the table. Especially if a little bit of extra butter accidentally, you know, falls on top. Carey Jones