The most disliked Thanksgiving foods

If you are planning to host a big Thanksgiving gathering, or even a little one, you might want to consider the results of a very small survey that revealed the most disliked Turkey Day foods. An annual holiday survey* from The Vacationer says these are the most disliked Thanksgiving foods:

  1. Cranberry Sauce (29.92% dislike)
  2. Turkey (28.09% dislike)
  3. Sweet Potatoes or Yams (24.25% dislike)
  4. Green Bean Casserole (24.61% dislike)
  5. Stuffing or Dressing (23.42% dislike)
  6. Coleslaw (21.68% dislike)
  7. Ham (21.23% dislike)
  8. Pumpkin Pie (20.77% dislike)
  9. Mashed Potatoes (17.57% dislike)
  10. Macaroni and Cheese (14.73% dislike)
  11. Corn (13.82% dislike)
  12. Carrots (12.08% dislike)

The validity of this survey is highly suspect since it didn’t include yours truly, whose opinion is always available. (If you don’t believe it, just ask me.) Since I wasn’t included, I’ll just have to elucidate here:

1. I happen to love cranberry sauce. Yes, the highly criticized stuff that comes in a can. Jellied or whole berry, although the latter would be my preference. Even better is cranberry-orange relish, but it’s so hard to find I’m not sure Ocean Spray even makes it anymore. It’s delicious year round.

2. Turkey? Gotta have it. I’d prefer a good steak, but hey, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m the perfect guest, however, because I much prefer the dark meat, especially if the cook really knows how to do turkey. And this way I’m thoughtfully leaving more white meat for everyone else.

3. Sweet potatoes or yams. I love ’em all year, any time. Baked, with a ton of butter, or fried. People get crazy with them at Thanksgiving, and not necessarily in a good way. They are potatoes, not candy. Forget the marshmallows. Except one year my sister-in-law fixed a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top and pecans mixed all through it. Divine! I had several helpings.

4. Green bean casserole? I can take it or leave it. It can be very good, but more often than not, it’s mediocre or worse.

5. Stuffing or dressing is an absolute necessity. What else is going to soak up all that delicious giblet gravy? And you’ll need it for your next-day turkey sandwiches. It’s where all the real Thanksgiving flavor resides. (I notice gravy didn’t make the list. Is that because they forgot to include it, or because nobody doesn’t like gravy?)

6. Coleslaw? Huh? I’ve never, ever had coleslaw at Thanksgiving. Must be a thing from some other part of the country.

7. Ham is what you have at Christmas so you don’t have to fix/eat turkey again.

8. I can do without the pumpkin pie. Give me pecan every time. With vanilla ice cream, please.

9. Aren’t mashed potatoes a bit redundant with sweet potatoes on the menu? I like ’em, though, if there’s plenty of gravy.

10. Mac and cheese. Seriously? This gets mentioned every year in discussions of Thanksgiving, and I’ve yet to see mac and cheese on that day. This has to be a geographical thing — in some place I’ve never been in November.

11. I love corn anytime, but we’ve more than enough starch already.

12. Carrots? Why? Where? Just another veggie that some people must like. They’re okay, but completely unnecesary.

Bottom line, IMHO, there’s way too much food at Thanksgiving, even if that is the purpose/intention. As a polite guest I’ll take a tablespoon of everything and still end up with far more than I can eat. I wish the cooks would not work as hard as they do. I’d be quite content with generous servings of turkey (nice juicy thigh meat), stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Oh, and rolls or biscuits of some kind. They weren’t on the list. And although it also didn’t make the list, a nice light green salad on the side instead of all the starchy heavy stuff. Then pecan pie ala mode for dessert — an hour later. (A sister-in-law from Seattle once mentioned she’d never had pecan pie; she’d always had walnut pie. Now there’s something I’d like to try.)

So that’s it for me. What do you particularly like or dislike for Thanksgiving? Come, come, there are no right or wrong answers here. I’m just nosey curious.

*This Holiday Travel 2021 Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. In total, 1,092 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on October 17. Of those surveyed, 47.25% were male and 52.75% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 25.00% in the range 18-29, 21.98% in the range 30-44, 30.86% in the range 45-60, and 22.16% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±3.026%. 

16 thoughts on “The most disliked Thanksgiving foods

    1. To me sweet potatoes are a vegetable, a starch, a kind of potato. Something that calls for butter and salt and pepper. They aren’t really something you put marshmallows on.

  1. I can do without stuffing and green bean casserole, but I love pumpkin pie and turkey (especially dark meat), Add in sweet potatoes and real mashed potatoes, and that’s enough for me. I agree we all overeat, and a good tossed salad would be a nice change.. Pied, you can have all the pecan pie as far as I am concerned. That is, except for the lemon pecan pie I have tasted. It is delicious, and not nearly as over-the-top sweet as pecan pie. ~nan

    1. Mmm, lemon pecan sounds interesting. I’ve never come across it, but it would certainly get my attention on a menu or in a bakery. I confess, however, that I’ll take pecans in whatever form is available.

      Gee, am I going to have to fight everybody for the dark meat?

  2. Now i’m hungry! Our traditional family meal was turkey, white bread dressing (vice cornbread), lots of gravy, homemade cranberries, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans cooked w/bacon & onion, ambrosia salad, homemade cloverleaf rolls w/butter, celery sticks, mini sweet pickles, deviled eggs, pimento stuffed olives, spiced peaches, and dessert pumpkin and pecan pie with freshly whipped cream. When my mom took over, we lost noodles, green beans, ambrosia salad, the celery, olives, etc., and pecan pie & went to cannedcranberries. When i took over, reduced it to turkey parts (legs and thighs only), baked sweet potatoes or acorn squash, bakery yeast rolls, calico vegetables (diced carrots, corn, green peas, diced onion & pimiento in a vinaigrette dressing), and pumpkin pie w/ cool whip. This year thinking of instant pot turkey thigh, baking a sweet potato & buying a slice of peach pie… or maybe a frozen Marie Callender turkey dinner. (Hershey will have Friskies turkey shreds in gravy) Was going home, but safer to stay put again this year!

    1. My mom used to make white bread dressing; I remember bread spread out to dry on the kitchen counters. And she made the cranberry sauce, which sometimes didn’t gel. But she insisted anyway. Your green beans with bacon and onion sound delicious, and also the homemade rolls, which we also had. I haven’t had ambrosia in many years, and yum! Spiced peaches! Love ’em. We used to always have them with “blond brownies” which I think must have been butterscotch, but I haven’t seen the box mix in years. Those calico veggies sound really good. And yes, I love peach pie too. Or tart cherry, which I found at King Soopers on rare occasions back before Covid.

  3. The following is for the countless people planet-wide for whom there’s nothing to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day—nor any other day of the year, for that matter—COVID-19 crisis or not …

    Pass me the holiday turkey, peas / and the delicious stuffing flanked / by buttered potatoes with
    gravy / since I’ve said grace with plenty ease / for the good food received I’ve thanked / my Maker who’s found me worthy. // It seems that unlike the many of those / in the unlucky Third World nation / I’ve been found by God deserving / to not have to endure the awful woes / and the stomach wrenching starvation / suffered by them with no dinner serving. // Therefore hand over to me the corn / the cranberry sauce, fresh baked bread / since for my grub I’ve praised the Lord / yet I need not hear about those born / whose meal I’ve been granted instead / as they receive / naught of the grand hoard.

      1. A believer in Christ’s unmistakable miracles, I would be quite willing to consistently say grace sincerely with every meal, if everyone on Earth—and not just a portion of the planet’s populace—had enough clean, safe drinking water and nutritional food to maintain a normal, healthy daily life; and I’d be pray-fully ‘thankful’ if every couple’s child would survive his or her serious illness rather than just a small portion of such sick children.

        1. That doesn’t sound like it should be so hard to achieve … and yet it is. I was so surprised and pleased a few years ago when a young relative was getting married and asked that all gifts take the form of donations to an organization that works to provide clean water to those in need in underdeveloped parts of the world. Didn’t know such a group existed.

  4. I HATE stuffing, but I loved it as a kid. Either I got burnt our on it fast or I just don’t like how my family makes it. Either way I’m creating my own stuffing recipe this year with sausage and bacon so hopefully it’s AMAZING heehee

    1. I’ve heard of sausage stuffing but have never had any. It certainly sounds good. The only variation of plain old Pepperidge Farm that I’ve fixed is adding chopped apples to it, something I learned in New England. There are so many variations, you’re bound to find one you love. Happy Turkey Day!

... and that's my two cents