In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Many Americans celebrate the day by going to the movies, feasting on turkey and cranberry sauce, and watching Thanksgiving Day football games.
While food often takes centerstage, what’s great about Thanksgiving is that there’s a variety of food preferences. Turkey and cranberry sauce is considered a traditional Thanksgiving meal in most households; however, there are many foods that are unique to different regions.
Can we guess what you’re having for dinner on November 25? As millions of Americans sit down for a Thanksgiving meal in 2021, it’s a good bet that their menus will be relatively similar. Here are some popular Thanksgiving food preferences. See if yours is on it!
Several Thanksgiving meals feature turkey as the main dish (86%). Turkey is often accompanied with stuffing or dressing (75%), mashed potatoes (75%), cranberry sauce (64%), dinner rolls (69%), and sweet potatoes (59%).
For dessert, almost two-thirds of Americans (66%) will enjoy pumpkin pie.
The most commonly served dishes during Thanksgiving are also among the most popular ones. More than half of the people surveyed chose mashed potatoes (51%) or stuffing (53%) as one of their favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.
Three out of ten (31%) picked sweet potatoes, and one-fourth (24%) chose cranberry sauce or bread (23%) in their top picks. While most Americans are having somewhat similar meals, the preparation styles can vary from family to family.
Among American adults who celebrate Thanksgiving and cook meals, mashed potatoes are the most likely dinner dish to be made from scratch (72%). This is followed by gravy (52%), stuffing or dressing (50%), and salad (51%). The most likely items to be completely store-bought are cranberry sauce (54%) and dinner rolls (56%).
One-third of Americans complete their Thanksgiving shopping the week of Thanksgiving but never on the day before (31%). Almost three in 10 (29%) finish their shopping the week before having their Thanksgiving dinner. Nearly one in 10 (9%) shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Many Americans favor or serve Thanksgiving dishes depending on which state they live in. Though turkey’s the most-served main dish across all states and regions, ham’s more common in the southern areas (41%) compared to the western areas (32%), the Midwest (21%), or Northeastern areas (19%). Southerners are more likely to serve mac and cheese (41%) at Thanksgiving dinners than Westerners (28%), Northeasterners (22%), or Midwesterners (22%).