TASTE
11/19/2013 09:05 am ET | Updated Nov 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dishes, In Order From Worst To Best

Annabelle Breakey via Getty Images

The greatest day of the year is nearly upon us, and with that exciting arrival means there is some serious prep work to be done. There are recipes that need planning. Turkeys that need to be bought, brined and cooked. Pies to be baked. Cocktails to be stirred. But before any of that happens, before we begin celebrating our favorite food holiday, there are side dishes to be ranked.

Of all the meals in all the world, the meal had at Thanksgiving produces the best sides. No question. They're so good they can be made into a cake -- we did it. Some even argue they're better than the centerpiece of the meal: the turkey. But not all sides deserve this stellar reputation. Some sides are bland, boring and a waste of your precious stomach space -- we're looking at you, roasted squash. And some sides, we could eat for days (ahem, stuffing).

Here's our completely subjective ranking of the most iconic Thanksgiving side dishes. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

  • 16 Roasted/Puréed Squash
    Every year pureed squash finds its way to the table, and every year it is the last one picked for the team.
  • 15 Green Bean Casserole
    If green bean casserole were made with fresh green beans and a homemade cream sauce -- keep the Funions -- this dish might be something to talk about. But at its current state -- with limp beans and canned soup -- it's not worth the precious and limited real estate in your stomach on Thanksgiving Day.
  • 14 Jellied Cranberry Sauce
    Lew Robertson via Getty Images
    We know people eat this stuff, but we still don't understand why.
  • 13 Dinner Rolls
    Ian O'Leary via Getty Images
    Any other day of the year, dinner rolls rock. But when there's stuffing on the table -- which there had better be -- dinner rolls immediately become superfluous.
  • 12 Creamed (Or Glazed) Onions
    Heath Robbins via Getty Images
    Onions are great. Cream is great. But these creamed onions are just messing up the mojo of all the other Thanksgiving sides.
  • 11 Rice Dressing/Casseroles
    This dish wants to be stuffing, but it will never hold a candle to America's favorite Thanksgiving side.
  • 10 Cornbread
    Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images
    Even if you're not celebrating Thanksgiving in the South, cornbread is a welcome addition to the line up of sides.
  • 9 Creamed Corn
    Foodie Crush
    If you don't already make creamed corn for Thanksgiving, this is the year you try it. This stuff is goood.
  • 8 Potato Gratin
    Annabelle Breakey via Getty Images
    Yes and yes. Even if mashed potatoes are on the table.
  • 7 Biscuits
    Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
    There has never been, nor will there ever be, a meal where biscuits are not appropriate.
  • 6 Brussels Sprouts
    If there's going to be something green at Thanksgiving, it had better be Brussels sprouts.
  • 5 Fresh Cranberry Sauce
    It's true, no one every really gets all that excited about cranberry sauce. And you can never eat more than a few spoonfuls. BUT, without cranberry sauce -- fresh cranberry sauce -- the integrity of the entire Thanksgiving meal would be compromised. Also, the sandwich you make with leftovers the next day would completely fall flat.
  • 4 Mashed Potatoes
    Cal Crary via Getty Images
    Mashed potatoes are a must. No question.
  • 3 Sweet Potato Casserole
    There is no other time of year that you get to eat marshmallows on top of your vegetables. This is GLORIOUS. Eat seconds.
  • 2 Gravy
    beyhan yazar via Getty Images
    MMMmmmmhmmmmm. When you pour gravy on top of your fully-loaded Thanksgiving plate, it makes all the other sides even better. We owe everything to gravy.
  • Stuffing IS Thanksgiving. End of story.

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