Top five absolute worst Thanksgiving side dishes

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Thanksgiving -- or Black Friday Eve, depending on your perspective -- is filled with holiday joys, like listening to your uncle's uncensored feelings about Obamacare, your kiddos smearing Cool-Whip on every surface with their mouths, your unemployed cousin digging through your couches for loose change and everyone talking loudly about Miley Cyrus' ass. Add to this a sub-par meal and not enough liquor and you have a recipe for the worst Thanksgiving in living memory -- unless you count last year.

Anyone can cook a halfway-decent turkey, so it falls upon the side dishes to make or break this year's dinner, so don't add to the soul-annihilating conversation and rogue activity by preparing -- or buying -- terrible side dishes. Here's a list of the top five absolute worst Thanksgiving side dishes that you should avoid.

See also: -Five Thanksgiving buffet foods that have nothing to do with Thanksgiving

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5. Rice pilaf

There has to be a clear line of demarcation between stuff you eat on a normal day, and stuff you contribute to a holiday meal, and rice pilaf doesn't just cross the line -- it IS the line. Chances are, if you're the special breed of jackass that would bring salty, wizened, chickeny rice, littered with dead peas and carrot crumbs to a Thanksgiving dinner, you are also the kind of jerkbag who didn't even make it from scratch. And if it's one of those wild rice mixes, keep in mind that it remains implacably hard, no matter how long it is boiled, forcing your family to pick the stuck bits out of their teeth. And while this might delay the unbearable table-talk about goiter surgeries and recreational marijuana, it won't postpone it for nearly long enough.

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4. Ambrosia salad

Whoever decided that naming the foul mess of gelatin, whipped topping, sodden canned fruit, sour cream, mini-marshmallows and shredded coconut "ambrosia" is probably the same person who made MTV stop playing music videos and created rectal cancer. There exist only whispered rumors and frightening urban folklore as to how this "salad" came to be, but no matter how many cloves of garlic you wear around your neck or how many tubs of holy water you bathe in, it never fails that someone you know and used to love will show up at your house, on Thanksgiving, wearing a sweater with a turkey on it and grasping a Tupperware bowl of this fruity slop.

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3. Corn pudding

If there was ever a dish that looked exactly the same going into your body at one end as coming out at the other, it's corn pudding. This soupy slush of milk, cream, eggs, flour, whole kernel corn (not even close to being fresh in season, by the way) and possibly cheese might be your grammy and paw-paw's traditional Thanksgiving side dish going waaaaay back to the Depression era, but thank god, the devil and Duck Dynasty that these days, no matter how fucked up slow the economy is, we do not have to eat things that both look and taste inferior to off-brand canned cat food. (Adding green chiles is commendable, but will not make this pudding any better.)


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43 comments
Scott McNulty
Scott McNulty

I too agree with the deviled eggs. Some great fun just between friends.

davelog
davelog

Stove Top stuffing has its place - it makes for a great crust on your leftover pies.

Junedeer420
Junedeer420

Stove top dressing is just nasty!!! I make amazing dressing from scratch. I would much rather spend the extra time making something amazing then make and share something mediocre.

Alyssa De Nooy
Alyssa De Nooy

I've has some if the best homemade stuffing-as long as you know HOW to make it.

Mnizzle
Mnizzle

I saw Anthony Bourdain make home-made-from-scratch stuffing and it looked incredible.  Lot's of work though.   

Jana Goff Tweedy
Jana Goff Tweedy

Ambrosia is Southern and delicious. Stove Top is fucking garbage. Homemade DRESSING is heaven.

joegauntt
joegauntt

Stovetop? Why not microwave the turkey while you r at it? Homemade stuffing/dressing is the best part of TG. Can't believe a food writer would put that in print. Typical CO ignorance. Take a trip to Louisiana and tell me that stove top is a better option.

Erika Sikes
Erika Sikes

I was jokingly thinking #1! Barf!!!!!!!!

Maggie May
Maggie May

Stove top, on Thanksgiving, seriously?

Erika Sikes
Erika Sikes

Hiroko, Nathan, Mike! Guess which one I'm bringing!!!!!

Kat Transue
Kat Transue

Michelle McQueen Ms. Kraft's grandma would LOVE this. :D

Kendra Wiig
Kendra Wiig

How dare you insult the noble Ambrosia Salad!

GFTW
GFTW

I think Ambrosia is a good name for Jenn. Jenn, you should legally change your name to Ambrosia.

Rebecca Brandt
Rebecca Brandt

Keep her on the fast food beat and away from anything else, please (Manhattans: case in point).

..McShyster..
..McShyster..

 "Whoever decided that naming the foul mess of gelatin, whipped topping, sodden canned fruit, sour cream, mini-marshmallows and shredded coconut "ambrosia" is probably the same person who made MTV stop playing music videos and created rectal cancer."

Excellent !!

rickstigator
rickstigator

The ever controversial Jenn hits another one outta the park!  Except for the stuffing and aspic inclusions.  As stated prior, even a less than exceptional chef can produce tasty versions of both.  Still...you're batting over .600 and definitely vying for this year's crown.

Morganne Foster
Morganne Foster

I used to like corn pudding, until I read this description of it.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

I'm OK with including Ambrosia "salad" (ick) on this list but take exception to the other 4 all of which can be quite delicious if there is a cook with a modicum of talent in the kitchen.  My gazpacho aspic is unbeatable - tangy, refreshing and a nice break from the fat and calories that are so prevalent at Thanksgiving feasts.  I'd skip the hard boiled eggs and tuna for sure.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

It's funny because I was reading an article about the band called Ambrosia about half an hour before I saw this :)

Kristin Berryhill
Kristin Berryhill

I love ambrosia salad, but I leave out the jello, use candied dates, apples, walnuts and homemade whipped cream

Victoria Lundy
Victoria Lundy

Apparently this person has never had properly made stuffing. Stove Top "stuffing" is vomit.

Fletcherneedsajob
Fletcherneedsajob

I guess it it doesn't come from a fast food joint, Jenn has no love for it. I do, however, have much love for aspic. I can't speak to the tuna laden monstrosity you encountered, but a well made simple aspic goes so well with all the Thanksgiving staples. 

elotescallejeros
elotescallejeros

That remark about from-scratch turkey stuffing has my blood boiling.

Take your Stove Top and go home!

Junedeer420
Junedeer420

They are amazing if you cook them right! Roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper is devine!

..McShyster..
..McShyster..

@Jana Goff Tweedy ... you might be a redneck ...

..McShyster..
..McShyster..

@GFTW ... and now dancing up on stage 2 ... let's hear it for Am..bro..sia ..

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@Victoria Lundy   Agreed.  Stove top stuffing contains msg and other junk like cornmeal that shouldn't be in stuffing imo.  Replace #2 with green bean casserole and it's a good list.


Stove top stuffing ingredients...

ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), DEGERMED YELLOW CORN MEAL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, ONIONS*, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OIL, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, YEAST, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, CELERY*, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, PARSLEY*, SPICE, MALTODEXTRIN, SUGAR, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, TURMERIC, COOKED CHICKEN AND CHICKEN BROTH, ANNATTO (COLOR), NATURAL FLAVOR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WITH BHA, BHT, PROPYL GALLATE, AND CITRIC ACID AS PRESERVATIVES. *DRIED. CONTAINS: WHEAT, SOY



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