HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — What’s the most essential dish for your Turkey Day dinner table? That’s the question posed to News 19 viewers ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The initial post received more than 130 responses to that simple question. From different types of dressings to a plethora of casseroles, News 19 viewers chimed in with the must-have dishes for their Thanksgiving table.

News 19 compiled a list of some of those responses. See all of the responses here.

An array of dressings

(AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without dressing. It was easily the most commented response on News 19’s post of essential Turkey Day dishes.

There are too many comments to name all of them, but a few stood out like Wendy Shelt, Tammy Thompson, and Milton Thomas who all specified “Chicken and dressing.” Then there’s Danny Vaughn who suggested, “Deer steak and gravy… and dressing.” Jereme Holder suggested “Ham dressing,” which his grandmother made before she passed away.

A few folks even suggested “Stuffing,” a different dish often confused with dressing. Those included Barbara Ashby, Susan Yates Matkin, and Joe Duffield.

No matter which one you prefer, one or the other is a mainstay on Thanksgiving Day.

Plenty of sides…

(AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

While turkey and dressing is often the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal, it wouldn’t feel right to leave out the sides.

Some of the most popular side suggestions included “Macaroni and cheese” from Dennis Skinner, “Strawberry pretzel salad” from Katlyn McNutt, “Mashed potatoes” from Michael Maggard, and “Mama’s sweet potatoes” from Robin Stoner.

All of those choices are great, but “deviled eggs” really won the evening. That side dish earned mentions from Jessica May Wiley, Jennifer King Hayes, Kelly Walling, and Robert Lee Smith. Lorraine Rutherford specified even further with, “Daddy’s deviled eggs.”

Casseroles, galore!

(Mia via AP)

There’s a theory that there’s one necessity at a southern Thanksgiving table, it’s a casserole. Several responses highlighted that theory may be correct.

Multiple users, including Adrian M. Bone, Patty Estrada, and Jennifer Lamb, chimed in with “Green bean casserole!” The dish is so popular that it equated to about 10% of responses, and warranted its own recipe from the Campbell Soup Company.

Sweet potato casserole” was also a popular response, earning mentions from Carol Horton, Joyce Eagan, and Shannon Dodson.

The other casseroles earning a mention were “Corn casserole” from Robin Stoner and “Squash casserole” from Andy Taylor Jordan.

Desserts… and more desserts

(Cheyenne Cohen via AP)

A variety of responses featured something for after the meal — dessert.

Sweet potato pie” was a popular dessert option, earning mentions from Patricia Horton Bailey and Wayne Whitley who shortened it with a Southern twist, calling it simply “Sweet tater pie.

Other desserts included “Dirt cake” from Tammy A. Adamson, “Pecan pie” from Patience Jones, and “Candied yams!” from Jodie Barkley.

Something wholly original…

(Photo: Kimberly Darling | Facebook)

Easily the most unique comment on the post came from Kimberly Darling, who simply stated, “Bacon-wrapped smoked gator. I make this every year.” And there’s a photo to prove it.

It’s easy to imagine this as a staple at Florida Thanksgiving tables, but it came as a wholly unique choice in North Alabama.

According to, gator is very lean meat so it must be kept moist through brining and adding fat. It’s obviously cooked on a smoker, and that site recommends using the meat, once it’s pried off the skeleton, for tacos. A 4-foot gator has enough meat to feed 6-8 people, the website states.