What Is The Worst Side Dish At Thanksgiving? - Exclusive Survey

Turkey may be the centerpiece, but we'd argue that the real superstars of Thanksgiving are the side dishes. To accompany the roasted bird, flavorful stuffing is a must, as are condiments like gravy and cranberry sauce. There are also endless vegetable dishes that make an appearance, from creamy mashed potatoes to sweet potato pies, green bean casserole to roasted carrots, corn to Brussels sprouts, and whatever else will fit on the table. But naturally, there's always one dish that seems to remain untouched by diners. Can you guess which side dish Tasting Table readers named the worst?

Whether you're hosting an intimate meal or preparing a feast for a crowd, the level of abundance found on Thanksgiving tables doesn't change. Although it may seem excessive, Psychology Today explains that feasts (like the ones typical of Thanksgiving) are held for celebratory occasions where food is reflective of expressing gratitude and meant to be shared in the presence of others. That said, The Washington Post explains that our tendency to indulge at these types of meals is rooted in evolution, where lacking resources meant loading up — and matching the quantity of what others ate — in order to ensure survival.

Despite the fact that a delicious Thanksgiving meal warrants second and third helpings, there's one side dish that most people won't ask for more of. Here's a clue: It's sweet, yet tart, and often jellied.

Cranberry sauce gets a thumbs down

After polling 626 Tasting Table readers, the results were clear: Only 6.39% of people actually admitted to enjoying cranberry sauce. Meanwhile, green bean casserole captured 10.54% of votes, sweet potatoes got 19.17%, stuffing got 28.91%, and mashed potatoes reigned supreme with 34.98%.

Cranberry sauce is meant to be a condiment that can help cut through the richness of other dishes like fatty turkey skin, notes The Takeout. That said, the sauce's flavor profile isn't always well received with canned versions often being extremely sweet and homemade versions, extremely tart. The condiment also isn't the most aesthetic, either — we're looking at you, canned cranberry jelly. Unsurprisingly, this gelatinization texture (a cause of the pectin released by the berries) may also be why many skip the sauce.

However, there are ways to improve the sauce, starting with rethinking its style. Turn a homemade sauce into chutney by adding fruits and spices, or create a smokey compote with a dash of chipotle seasoning. As for canned versions, Better Homes & Gardens recommends infusing vibrancy with a squeeze of orange juice and ribbons of zest, or creating some texture with chopped, toasted pecans. You can even add a few tablespoons of wine for a boozy twist. After all, if cranberry sauce is going to make an appearance on your plate, it might as well be jazzed up.