Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means finalizing your menu and getting a head start on grocery shopping. Traditional dishes such as roasted turkey, stuffing and mac and cheese never get old. But, there are also some dishes that shouldn’t make it to the dinner table. Here’s a roundup of 10 dishes that you should leave off your Turkey Day menu.
1. Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole notoriously has a bad reputation at the Thanksgiving table. A 2021 Instacart survey found that out of 2,000 participants, 25 percent voted this side as being the worst. Green beans smothered in cream of mushroom soup and topped with crispy onions doesn’t sound too appealing. So, you can pass on adding this dish to this year’s menu.
2. Sweet Potato Casserole
I never really got onboard the sweet potato casserole train—mainly because candied yams will forever have my heart. But also, the smooth texture of the mashed sweet potatoes was too similar to that of sweet potato pie. The mini marshmallows that are included in most sweet potato casserole recipes tend to make the dish overwhelmingly sweet. Save the extra sugariness for when it’s time satisfying your sweet tooth at the dessert table.
3. Potato Salad
Potato salad is a summer cookout staple and it should stay that way. If you’re already having mashed potatoes as a Thanksgiving side, there’s no need to double up on the spuds by also making potato salad. Plus, the creamy mayonnaise dressing in the salad may not bode well on a plate with other dishes such as collard greens or stuffing.
4. Deviled Eggs
Eggs aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of thanksgiving side dishes. While deviled eggs made this list, I’m open to them being served as an appetizer rather as part of the main meal. As long as the focus is on the roasted turkey and traditional sides, your guests should be happy.
5. Caesar Salad
A good Caesar salad is creamy, crunchy, punchy and lemony. However, if you’re thinking about penciling it on your Thanksgiving menu think again. The salad’s richness may overshadow hearty sides including mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. Hence why, you should save it for another day. (Tip: Use the leftover turkey to make a protein-filled Caesar salad.)
A tray of saucy meatballs is an ideal light bite for a gathering, but doesn’t need to be a part of the main menu. If you feel the urge to make a batch of meatballs this Thanksgiving, serve them as a starter. But, be careful as you don’t want to spoil your appetite before it’s time for the actual meal.
7. Creamed Pearl Onions
Onions are one of the base ingredients for stews, braises and sauces. Despite this, their pungent odor makes them a turn-off as a standalone Thanksgiving side—especially in the form of creamed pearl onions. On the bright side, this is one less dish you have to worry about cooking on Turkey Day.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that you either love or hate. Personally, I’m not these tiny cabbages even if they’re cooked with ingredients like balsamic vinegar and bacon. Because of this, it’d be a waste to cook a dish that’s not widely loved for my holiday menu. But, to each their own.
9. BBQ Ribs
Since turkey is the star of the menu, limit the amount of additional meats you serve. For example, BBQ ribs don’t need to make an appearance on the table as they’re messy to eat. Plus, they’re best served at a cookout similar to potato salad.
10. Mashed Potatoes With the Skins Left On
You should definitely have mashed potatoes on the menu, but be sure to peel the spuds beforehand. Leaving the skins intact can ruin the dish’s smooth and velvety texture. The good news is, you can save those potato peels to make homemade chips. Yum!