5 Thanksgiving Sides That Need to Go Away

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3.Things Made with Jell-O (besides Jell-O shots...those are fine)

How and why did Jell-O make its way to Thanksgiving? I just don't get it. And Jell-O salads? Don't get me started.

Our editor-in-chief, Margaret Downing, tells tales of a Thanksgiving Jell-O ring filled with sliced carrots. No! Please, no! Make it stop. I'll be good next year, I swear!

2. Prepackaged Spiral Ham

My fellow EOW bloggers agree: Store-bought spiral ham has got to go.

Don't get us wrong -- a good-quality, simply roasted ham can be delicious. But the sad excuse for a ham that makes it to our holidays is usually accompanied by a packet of brown sugar topping that makes us want to cry and gag at the same time. It's like a cry-heave-gag-combo that is not cute. Don't make us do it.

Our own Joshua Justice even likened "that gross jelly on top" to placenta. Appetizing.

This should say it all...
1. Canned Green Bean Casserole w/ Cream of Mushroom Soup

Sorry, you guys. I know there are some die-hard, old-school GBC fans out there, but I just can't. The too-thick, too-bland Cream of Mushroom soup, the stale fried onions (Thanksgiving is single-handedly keeping French's in business, by the way) and the wimpy, over-salted canned green beans... Why do we refuse to improve this shittiest of shitty dishes? We have so much to work with. Fresh beans! A well-seasoned, homemade cream sauce! Hot and crunchy fried onion strips! Bacon! Bacon fixes everything right? Do it!

Although I feel strongly about canning the canned-freak-show of a side dish, it turns out the jury's still out on this one.

Even our EOW bloggers can't agree: Phaedra Cook believes you can't mess with the '70s American cuisine at its most nostalgic," while John Gray seconded "the living shit" out of its inclusion in my list, most eloquently stating that "it tastes like asserole."
Asserole, indeed.

If you or your loved ones haven't retired these Thanksgiving staples yet, dial 1-888-my-Thanksgiving-sucks. Until then, I'm just thankful you didn't invite me over.

What Thanksgiving dishes do you wish would just go away?

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My Voice Nation Help

If it's got brown sugar on/in it, it's dessert. Period. And cream of mushroom gelatinous goo is not food.

del.martinis topcommenter

Hate ambrosia!  It's ruined the word almost!  And hate anything with jello!  And don't get the need for macaroni and cheese at Thanksgiving!


I was under the impression that canning was a foodie-approved hobby to use up your garden produce and not waste anything, but I've noticed that you rarely, if ever, see canned vegetables in a recipe. Here's my take on Thanksgiving: don't mess with it. Stop trying. By all means, give us some variety for the Xmas feast, but Thanksgiving is what it is. You may add a new dish or two if you like. But the core of it is 1) turkey 2) dressing 3) mashed potatoes and 4) yes, the green bean casserole. I want the grean bean casserole. And the cranberry sauce, of course, and dinner rolls, and lots of gravy. Lots and lots and lots of gravy.


I would have to say Broccoli Cheese Rice casserole should also go away. Just talking to my mom this week about the same boring Thanksgiving sides people fix every year.


@EatingOurWords - @airbilo is on a tirade after reading the T-Giving sides post. Don't mess with a man's jello or green bean casserole.


I have to agree with the whole list above. Basically the only Thanksgiving food I like at all is stuffing (and turkey skin -- i can take or leave the turkey meat). That's why I like to eat in the Chinatown or Little India on the holidays -- way tastier than the traditional Turkey dinner. :-)

Kylejack topcommenter

Ambrosia is the most white people food ever, and I love it.

WestSideBob topcommenter

I understand the distaste for classic Three Can GBC.  However ... Y'all linked to Alton Brown's recipe for GBC which uses fresh beans and looks incredible.  Can't wait to try it out.

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @WestSideBob I did this recipe a few years ago, doing everything from scratch.  It was a hassle and at the end of the day, it didn't taste like nostalgia.


Like it or not, if you like GBC, it needs to be done thew old-fashioned way, and that means using the cans.


YES.  This.  Nasty-ass GBC with canned ingredients disgusts me (my mother uses frozen green beans, which is a slight step up).  But my husband loves it.  I plan to make it myself with fresh beans and mushrooms, make my own bechamel sauce and crisp-fry some shallots to sprinkle on top.

MadMac topcommenter

@WestSideBob That's a good plan. Most of the featured items here were divised for the day when one WOMAN cooked the entire meal and then, later, for cheap/lazy family members to celebrate. I take the ham in another direction as well, with yellow mustard and prunes.

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