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Credit: Dingding Hu

The Best Thanksgiving Dish to Make This Year, Based on Your Enneagram Type

published Nov 25, 2020
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Prepare your plate for the most delicious personality assessment! This Thanksgiving, we’re serving up dishes with a side of the Enneagram. 

If you haven’t heard of it before, the Enneagram is an ancient system used to categorize personalities into nine different types based on their core motivations. It differs from other personality assessments by focusing less on external behavioral outcomes and more on internal motivations. For example, if you weep uncontrollably after dropping your lovingly-made gravy on the kitchen floor, you could use the Enneagram to ask, “Why am I feeling this devastated?” Now, I bet a big reason was that the gravy was delicious, but it could also be linked to your desire to be loved and appreciated or your fear of being incompetent. By looking at your core fear, desire, weakness, and longing, the Enneagram helps uncover what drives you to think, feel, and behave the way you do.

Each Enneagram type employs their strengths and skills to fulfill their inner desires while also trying their best to avoid their core fears and hide their weaknesses. Don’t know your type? Here are two free online tests that I trust: Cloverleaf and Your Enneagram Coach.

So, in the spirit of good food, and Thanksgiving being tomorrow (!), let’s chat about each Enneagram type and what kind of dish each type might bring to their Thanksgiving kitchen table. Full disclosure: This is all in good fun, and if my choices resonate with you and your type, laugh along with me. If they don’t, that’s totally fine. We’re complex human beings and can’t be boiled down to a few ingredients. But either way, I hope you enjoy the recipes!

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 1, The Perfectionist: Lemon Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

If you were to bundle up a Type 1 into a memorable Thanksgiving side dish, look no further than roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon and garlic. Leave it to a Type 1 to ensure there are some sort of healthy greens on the table! Type 1s are ethical and conscientious people with a core desire to be good. They are dubbed “The Perfectionist” because they approach the world with an attitude of reformation. “Things must be improved, and I can improve them!” The earthiness of Brussels sprouts invokes a Type 1’s desire to make the earth better, while the tartness of the lemon shows their ability to bring out the flavors in other people that might otherwise be ignored. There’s no sprout about it: These delicious Brussels will make your dinner table a more balanced place.

Get the recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Garlic

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 2, The Helper: Apple Pie 

There’s nothing like a homemade apple pie to make you feel loved and cared for, which makes it the perfect dish for an Enneagram Type 2, The Helper. Type 2s approach life with a core desire to be loved and appreciated. They are thoughtful and generous people with an eerily accurate way of guessing what your needs might be. When they are feeling stressed, Type 2s can struggle with being overly people-pleasing, ignoring their own needs in exchange for others. And, if there’s anything I can say about apple pie, it’s that it’s a people-pleaser. Flavorful and comforting, and with a good amount of sweetness, apple pie embodies the warm essence of a Type 2. 

Get the recipe: Apple Pie 

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 3, The Achiever: Thanksgiving Slaw 

This isn’t a boring side salad, oh no. This is a fashionable alternative: light, crunchy, and colorful. The Thanksgiving slaw is one of the most popular Thanksgiving recipes on Kitchn, a fact that would definitely pique an Enneagram Type 3’s interest. Type 3s, The Achiever, are motivated by the desire to be admired and successful. They go after their goals with a drive akin to your Uncle Ned’s drive to go back for thirds. So what better way to win Thanksgiving than to be a unique dish that looks impressive on the table! 

Get the recipe: Thanksgiving Slaw

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 4, The Individualist: Bacon-Wrapped Turkey 

Whimsical! Interesting! Different! Nothing else like it! These are all things you could say about bacon-wrapped turkey and Enneagram Type 4s, The Individualist. Type 4s approach life creatively with a core desire of being unique and authentic. They value the ability to connect on deeper levels and have the unique ability to see beauty in the world. So, if you thought a Type 4 would just be a regular ol’ turkey … you were sorely mistaken. Bacon-wrapped turkey is the most creative turkey out there. No other Thanksgiving dinners will have one like it. Plus, bacon. Enough said. 

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 5, The Investigator: Oyster Stuffing 

Oysters? At Thanksgiving? Yep. Enneagram Type 5s will be the one at Thanksgiving dinner quoting culinary historians who believe that the first Thanksgiving meal consisted of various types of seafood. Knowing that oysters would have been easily harvested in New England, Type 5s would be most likely to include oyster stuffing at their Thanksgiving table. Type 5s, The Investigator, desire to be knowledgeable and competent. They have an insatiable thirst for learning that stems from their core fear of being ignorant. So, they will bring their curious and insightful minds to Thanksgiving — but please excuse them if they leave a little early. They need to replenish their inner resources! 

Get the recipe: Oyster Stuffing from Food Network

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 6, The Loyalist: Mac and Cheese

Is there anything more dependable than a classic mac and cheese? I have never been let down by that cheesy, creamy goodness — and I’ve also never been let down by an Enneagram Type 6. As the Loyalist, Type 6s are responsible and faithful people. They’re the ones still using Grandma’s old recipes because “it’s tradition!” Their core desire is to have security and guidance in their life. When they are met with stressful challenges, Type 6s can feel an increase in anxiety as they anticipate possible worst-case scenarios. That’s why I’ve chosen mac and cheese for Type 6s. It’s a Thanksgiving staple, guaranteed to make you take a deep breath and appreciate the familiarity. 

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 7, The Enthusiast: Thanksgiving Jello Shots 

As a total crowd-pleaser, there’s no better dish for the Type 7 than Thanksgiving jello shots. Type 7s, The Enthusiast, desire to be fully satisfied and happy. In their pursuit of this, they jump from one fun experience to the next in the hopes that they will finally feel content. Not only do these jello shots bring an Enthusiast’s dose of fun, but they’re also pretty easy to make. Make them a week ahead of time so that you won’t miss out on any day-of activities. (Did I mention Type 7s suffer from intense FOMO?) 

Get the recipe: Thanksgiving Jello Shots

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 8, The Challenger: Cranberry Sauce 

Cranberry sauce: you either love it or you hate it. Some Type 8s might feel offended that I’m relegating them to a mere side (“Side? I’m the whole dang meal!”), but let me make my case. Type 8s, The Challenger, desire to protect themselves and their loved ones. They may come off as a fierce warrior at first, but get to know them, and you’ll find that they have the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever meet. Like cranberry sauce, they make you pucker, but you’ll find that fruity sweetness if you give them a chance. 

Credit: Dingding Hu

Type 9, The Peacemaker: Mashed Potatoes 

No, I’m not calling Type 9s couch potatoes; I’m calling them the binder that unites the perfect forkful of turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Enneagram Type 9s, The Peacemaker, desire to have inner stability and peace of mind. Type 9s have the unique ability to bring people with different perspectives and worldviews together. That said, there’s literally nothing better than pillowy mashed potatoes to bring the symphony of Thanksgiving dinner to a harmonious conclusion.

I hope this made you feel a little more grateful for all the Enneagram types in your life! If you want to see how each Enneagram Type may be approaching cooking this holiday season, I’ve made a video on my YouTube channel all about it. Happy Thanksgiving!