The Best and Worst Foods to Serve on Thanksgiving

By Kenny Garner

Thanksgiving is awesome. I think most of us can agree with that sentiment, so to celebrate the mouthwatering occasion, I’ve compiled a list of eight foods that I consider the best Thanksgiving treats and eight that I think are an insult to the food gods above. This is all, of course, my opinion. Let’s jump into it!


WORST: Green Bean Casserole

A common American classic, green bean casserole is a controversial Thanksgiving dish. Some people love it, many people hate it. Personally, I don’t hate the casserole, but I also wouldn’t say I enjoy it much either. In past experiences, I’ve found it to be good in small servings but too much of it and I’m gagging over the turkey. The mushy green beans, the thick mushroom soup, and the topping of fried onions. Just reading that description makes me cringe. I think the best part about this dish is the leftover onions I get to eat after it’s stuffed in the oven.


BEST: Turkey

I know, I know. Turkey really isn’t that great. Personally, I don’t care too much about turkey. I’d label it as an overrated aspect of Thanksgiving, but the one redeeming quality about it is that even though it’s not my favorite holiday dish, I can’t help but continuously stuff the bland meat inside of my mouth. The taste isn’t memorable, but there’s just something about it that keeps me coming back for more. This and the fact that it’s been a staple in the Thanksgiving holiday for so long, I feel I must label it as a best dish. That darn bird is just irresistible. 


WORST: Squash

Roasted or not roasted. Boiled or broiled. Fried or grilled. Seasoned or unseasoned. It doesn’t matter. Every time I hear the word squash, I feel the urge to bleach my mouth. The taste is unbearable and I’m disturbed even thinking about it. I also want to bring up the effects it can have on one’s stomach. Are humans even supposed to consume this junk? I’ve heard that this vegetable can contain a toxic compound called cucurbitacin E., which can lead to “toxic squash syndrome.” Yikes. No thanks. Let’s move on before I throw up on my keyboard.


BEST: Stuffing

I don’t know about you, but I adore stuffing. Whether from the box or homemade, stuffing is by far one of the best foods served on Thanksgiving. When cooked right (not too wet and not too dry; moist), stuffing is a special aspect of the holiday season, and many Americans only cook it on Thanksgiving and Christmas. My only gripe is if I eat too much, I feel too, well, stuffed to finish everything else on the plate. Bummer.


WORST: Jell-O Salad

Ah, Jell-O Salad. I think a better name would be “the dish everybody skips over.” I don’t have too much to say about this salad because, well, I’ve never tried it. It’s one of those dishes I always look at and say to myself, “nah I’m good.” If I wanted to eat a glorified version of a healthy dessert, I’d eat a fruitcake. I’d rather not eat a fruitcake though because fruitcakes are disgusting, so I’d just rather ignore both dishes like the plague. I’ll end this description with one simple question: Why serve Jell-O Salad? Let’s be honest here. Nobody eats it.


BEST: Deviled Eggs

So simple, yet so effective. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the insane amount of deviled eggs I get to eat in one day. There’s really nothing brilliant about these eggs, but good lord, they’re addicting. They’re also easy to make, so if you’re looking for something simple that doesn’t involve too much time, make deviled eggs. You’ll thank me later.


WORST: Cranberry Sauce

Much like jell-o salad, cranberry sauce often goes untouched during Thanksgiving dinner. At least, in my experience it does. This is either an unpopular opinion or a popular one, but I think cranberry sauce is disgusting. The sourness and bitterness of the dish makes me want to scrape the taste buds from my mouth with a cheese grinder. Cranberries in general just aren’t my thing, but in a jiggly cylinder form? I’d rather just skip over to the pumpkin pie. Speaking of… 


BEST: Pumpkin Pie

Lastly, we have my favorite staple of Thanksgiving dinner. While I’m a huge fan of a wide variety of pies, I think pumpkin pie is the finest of them all. It takes the cake (or pie) for the best dessert item served on this holiday. The taste is magnificent and then you top it with some whipped cream, and you’ve got a mouth full of heaven’s gold. The pie is also simple to make, which can be a miracle on a day like Thanksgiving when one is cooking many dishes at the same time. Thank you, pumpkin gods, for gracing us with this holy dish. All hail the great pumpkin pie.


That wraps up my list! To everybody who celebrates the holiday, I want to say happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is magnificent.

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