North Carolina’s Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

We’re only weeks away from Thanksgiving, so it’s time to start planning out the menu and the seating chart. For a peaceful Thanksgiving meal, some relatives or friends just can’t sit near each other, or you will spend the whole day arguing about either politics or football. All you really should be doing is eating – and then napping.

Whether you’re hosting a feast that’s centered around turkey, ham, both or something else entirely, the protein in the center of the table is merely a distraction before you dig into the side dishes. took a break from covering soon-to-launch North Carolina sports betting and researched what the state’s favorite sides are. You can use this guide either to make Thanksgiving even better, or to win a few bar bets.

What you won’t be able to do is find info like this on NC sports betting apps.

Utilizing Google Trends, analyzed the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes of North Carolina residents by looking at the search results of each side dish from 11/01/2022 to 11/30/2022. The dishes analyzed were the most in total searches in the United States, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac & cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, candied yams, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.

Favorite Side Dishes of North Carolina Residents

RankSide DishesInterest Over Time Period
2Macaroni and Cheese11
3Green Bean Casserole7
4Mashed Potatoes6
5Brussels Sprouts4


Stuffing Comes in Many Forms

In North Carolina, the most popular starch on the table is stuffing, probably because it can be made so many ways, with so many herbs and embellishments. With corn, bread, sausage, or apples, stuffing can be sweet or savory and delicious any way. In Carolina’s largest cities, stuffing was the top side dish choice between 34% and 39% of the time.

The state’s second most popular side dish is macaroni & cheese - inexpensive, gooey and yummy. Boil your elbow pasta then go with classic American, or your own personal combination – we’re partial to a Fontina or Gruyere. It’s almost impossible to ruin. In third place is green bean casserole, a classic usually made with canned or frozen green beans, cream of mushroom soup and crinkly, crispy onion or a bread crumb topping.

Fourth on the list, but fighting for first on your waistline, is mashed potatoes. Whether they’re smooth like the butter and cream they’re filled with or lumpy like a mountain range, few comfort foods are more comforting on a brisk November evening.

And in fifth place is Brussels sprouts. They’re best pan-seared to a char in garlic butter, but picking Brussels Sprouts over sweet potato casserole, candied yams or cranberry sauce, which are favorites in other states, is Thanksgiving malpractice.

Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving.


Howard Gensler
Journalists / Reporter

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the North Carolina sports betting market for Before his focus on US sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of

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