America’s Favorite Thanksgiving Sides, According to Campbell’s

Thanksgiving spread
Thanksgiving spread

Another Thanksgiving is coming, and for the second year in a row Campbell’s has released its State of the Sides report. The Thanksgiving-themed data comes from a survey of 5,000 Americans (conducted in partnership with market research company OnePoll), and the results reveal how we’re thinking about side dishes this holiday season. It turns out we’re all ready to shake things up this year.

Let’s be honest: Side dishes have always been the true stars of the Thanksgiving spread. In fact, Campbell’s 2023 report found that 67% of Americans prefer side dishes to the entree, up 1% from 2022, and 54% would be perfectly happy with only sides on their Thanksgiving plate, no turkey—a 17% increase from last year.

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Campbell's map of favorite Thanksgiving side dishes by state in USA
Campbell's map of favorite Thanksgiving side dishes by state in USA

We’re not sure which specific “breads” are being referred to here—maybe dinner rolls? Or biscuits?—but respect to Colorado for being a lone wolf on that one. See also: Virginia’s apparent love for salad. (Then again, “salad” could mean a lot of things.)

How Thanksgiving sides will be different in 2023

Americans are clearly looking to zhuzh up their side dishes. In accordance with grocery store trends, 33% of Americans plan to add spicy ingredients to their spread this year to make each dish hotter.

Outside of upping the temperature, though, people generally want to add a little something new to the table. The report found that 20% hope to incorporate new ingredients like cauliflower rice or non-dairy milk, and 18% want to offer more plant-based options. Some (18% of respondents) would even go so far as to add tinned fish to a side dish for more flavor.

From ghost pepper mashed potatoes to traditional green bean casserole, Thanksgiving menus are pretty forgiving, and they can stretch to meet anyone’s definition of delicious. Sounds like a beautiful feast in the making.

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