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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64 comments
Brandon Malone
Brandon Malone

Only college kids actually eat instant dressing. Learn to cook, Westword.

Brittany Adams
Brittany Adams

My mom makes stuffing from scratch, it's better than stovetop

Phillip Galan
Phillip Galan

greenbean casserole YUCK! Jell with cottage cheese Ugh!!!

Bianca Cadloni
Bianca Cadloni

Homemade stuffing is delicious. My great grandma is rolling around in her grave, Westword.

Chris Krauss
Chris Krauss

"Stuffing that isn't Stove Top." Are you fucking kidding me?

AlexAwesomeIV
AlexAwesomeIV

Hahaha! Wow, talk about some serious personal insight just from a food list! Firstly, I had no idea all of that was in ambrosia salad, nor was I ever exposed to the usage of canned fruit in it. Maybe because it was usually a sole family member that made it each holiday season and she certainly didn't follow standard ambrosia salad assembly protocol (and it still was only enjoyed by the kids table and a few of the older folks that were blitzed). As for the corn pudding, never had such a thing, though if we somehow ended up going to my grandmothers for the holidays, similar 'casseroles' would be there; among them the corn and an unholy pineapple casserole. As for the praise of stove top... what? Were you raised by humans that can't cook? In truth I make dressing instead of stuffing (my bread isn't going to occupy the same space that innards once rented), but it never is comprised of glorified croutons, frequently over seasoned and void of any vegetables, except for the few, dehydrated bits reminiscent of celery and possibly onion.

bick_bick_bick
bick_bick_bick

Stove Top?................. your food opinion has lost all credibility.

Christy Young
Christy Young

Corn casserole and ambrosia are good. Stuffing period is nasty

Sean Anthony
Sean Anthony

Okays Stove Top but slams corn casserole and ambrosia? Not to be trusted, this hipster author *color me shocked*

seanaisbell
seanaisbell

You okay Stove Top but slam the corn casserole? I no longer trust a damned thing about your food opinions.

Maggie May
Maggie May

Stove Top? Not on my watch! Blech!

CM Noble
CM Noble

I happen to like that white-trash delicacy that is ambrosia salad...

Mason T Green
Mason T Green

^^It's ideas like this that create wasted leftovers.

Shannon Berry
Shannon Berry

Homemade cornbread stuffing is a must! Boxed stuffing cannot compare.

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 topcommenter

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

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 ..

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