Predicting Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dessert Based on Your Preferred Side Dish

by Shannon Salzano

Published October 24 2023

Predicting Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dessert Based on Your Preferred Side Dish


Flannel tablecloths, folding tables, fake leaves as decor – it must be Thanksgiving time. This autumnal holiday is a favorite for many, and not just because of the family togetherness and cherished traditions, this is a bigtime dessert day! Whether you’re favorite Thanksgiving dish is the turkey or you gravitate more towards the sides, we all know dessert is the star of this Thanksgiving Day holiday meal, and we are here to take the guesswork out of finding your perfect Thanksgiving dessert match. So put on your apron and read on to discover the perfect dessert for you based on your preferred savory situation.

Milk Bar® Pie

Our signature, gooey Milk Bar Pie has a sticky, buttery, salty-sweet filling in a hearty oat-cookie crust. *This* is the pie that put Milk Bar on the map. Get it delivered fresh, anywhere in the USA. We dare you not to have a second slice.

10” pie serves 8-10.

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The Thanksgiving Feast: a Symphony of Flavors

Before we can play matchmaker, let’s set the table. Thanksgiving is nothing if not a time for family dinner traditions. Whether it’s tuning into the big game, serving your cranberries from a can, or making grandpa sit at the kids table, year after year you can expect some classics to make an appearance. The traditional Thanksgiving meal is built around a roasted turkey as the lead, with some lineup of supporting cast members. You can expect to see: stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, rolls, and corn casserole. If that sounds like a doozy of a line up, we’ve got one bit of advice for you: start your prep early! No one wants to spend Thanksgiving day stressing out.

Pumpkin Milk Bar Pie

Meet the 2-in-1 pie of your dreams. Pumpkin Milk Bar Pie has the gooey, buttery, fudgy consistency of a pecan pie mixed with the quintessential pumpkin flavor you can’t resist during fall. Your dessert plate will never be the same (in a good way). This pie is a hit at any type of fall event—parties, birthdays, Friendsgiving—or even just a Tuesday night.

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Thanksgiving Sides and Their Dessert Companions

Now that we know who is making an appearance at the Thanksgiving feast, we can focus on the most important element of the gourmet turkey feast: the dessert. Let’s play matchmaker with our treats to see who is your perfect post-meal dessert.

  • Mashed potato fan? Fluffy and buttery and all around satisfying, what is not to love? We suggest: Milk Bar Pie. Gooey, and buttery with a soulful simplicity, we think this pecan-less pecan pie will be right up your “less is more” alley.
  • Stuffing stan? Maybe you’re the hodge-podge, mix-and-match sort, liking a little adventure in your dishes. We suggest: Compost Cookies. These cookies bring butterscotch chips, potato chips, pretzels, coffee, oats, and more to the table for a mixed bag of flavor and adventure.
  • Green Bean Casserole connoisseur? This dish screams “responsible choice” as it's the most green item on the table. If you’re going for a dessert with some sense, we suggest the Corn Cookie will be your BFF. Salty, sweet with some vegetable element in the mix, you’re going to be proud.
  • Cranberry Sauce head? You like to play the seasonal hits and always commit to the theme. We suggest our fall showstopper Pumpkin Coffee-Cake Cake. Earthy pumpkin remixed with cinnamon goo for a cozy vibe of a cake.
  • Turkey breast purist? You like the main event, nevermind these distractions. If you’re coming to play, it’s got to be a Milk Bar Pumpkin Pie. A Thanksgiving dinner classic with a Milk Bar edge, you won’t be sorry.

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From the classic brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes to the seasonal cranberry sauce and stuffing, there’s a match for every type of Thanksgiving feaster. While this is a holiday for traditions and gathering with family and friends, you’ll be most thankful if you save room for a big serving of dessert. For hosts, you might wonder what is the most popular Thanksgiving dessert when prepping for something for all guests, or are looking for Thanksgiving timeline & pre-order tips to make sure your process is as seamless as possible - at Milk Bar, we’re here to help.

About the author

Shannon Salzano is a New York Times best selling author and hospitality industry veteran. A graduate of Northern Illinois University's Literature and Communications program, Shannon spent half a decade in editorial publishing before making the pivot to hospitality. She served as the Creative Director to Chicago's lauded Girl & the Goat restaurant empire for five years where she oversaw the design and launch of several brick and mortar concepts, a line of home chef sauces and spices, and multiple cookbooks. In her Director of Special Projects role at Christina Tosi's Milk Bar, Shannon has executed partnerships with household names like Google, Verizon, Converse, Cheetos and Pillsbury, and oversees brand voice.