Thanksgiving is the ultimate food holiday, and when it comes to stand-out dishes, everyone has their favorites. This year we decided to put some of the internet's most popular Thanksgiving recipes — from Alton Brown, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, and Ree Drummond — to the test in our own kitchens.
While there's certainly no need to reinvent the wheel when crafting your Thanksgiving menu, the food-focused holiday is about filling your table with recipes that are the best of the best. So we gathered the winning dishes (think: turkey, mashed potatoes, greens beans, and pie crust) from each taste test to build the ultimate Thanksgiving feast. Without further ado, here are our absolute favorites — the ones worthy of a spot on your holiday table this year.
The Very Best Turkey: Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Turkey
Considering the popularity of her classic roast chicken, it should come as no surprise that Ina's roast turkey tops the charts. The recipe begins with an easy lemon and herb dry brine that makes for exceptionally juicy meat and delicious pan drippings for gravy. Plus, unlike most other turkey recipes, the bird roasts at a consistent oven temperature, without the need for regular basting.
Read more: Who Wins the Title of "Best Turkey Ever"?
The Very Best Mashed Potatoes: Ina Garten's Classic Mashed Potatoes
Don't be surprised when go you back for thirds (yes, thirds!) of these potatoes. Ina takes the staple side dish and manages to turn it into the very best version of itself, with an easy-to-follow recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes. In addition to the whole milk and butter, she calls for stirring in sour cream, which I now believe is the best thing you can do for your mashed potatoes. It makes the lush, fluffy side extra creamy, with just a hint of richness and a subtle tang that keeps you going back for more.
The Very Best Green Beans: Ina Garten's Green Beans Gremolata
Move over, green bean casserole. In classic Ina style, these green beans are the epitome of fast and fancy, and could not be more perfect for your holiday table. They get high marks both for looks and taste.
The beans are blanched, sautéed, and topped with gremolata (a fancy way of saying lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts) before serving. It's packed with bright, fresh flavors that will balance the heavier dishes in your spread, and most of the dish can be made in advance.
The Best Parker House Rolls: Martha Stewart's Parker House Rolls
These are the classic, soft rolls everyone hopes and expects to see as part of the Thanksgiving spread. With a yield of two dozen (read: plenty for mini turkey sandwiches later in the week!), the tops are brushed with butter and sprinkled with salt for maximum flavor (and it makes them feel kinda fancy). You can expect these rolls to bake up exceptionally tender and taste like they have more butter than they actually do.
The Best Basic Pie Crust: Ina Garten's Perfect Pie Crust
I'm a reluctant pie crust baker, so when I do make my own I really want a recipe that's easy to follow and, most importantly, delivers a buttery, flaky crust. This is the one, folks! It has everything; a combination of butter and shortening makes the dough easy to mix and roll, just enough sugar adds flavor and browning, and it boasts easy-to-follow (yet detailed) instructions.