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The 10 Most Hated Thanksgiving Foods, Ranked by New Data

The number-one offender has been most-hated food for three years running.

Turkey too dry for your liking? Can't even look at Brussels sprouts? Hate the texture of pumpkin pie? Whatever dish it is that you'll be avoiding at this year's holiday table might be more commonly detested than you realize. A new study conducted by travel company The Vacationer asked 1,013 American adults to select all of the popular Thanksgiving foods that they dislike—and for the third year in a row, one food took the top spot. Keep reading for the full breakdown of the 10 most hated Thanksgiving foods.

RELATED: 39 Thanksgiving Facts to Share With Your Family.

Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese in casserole dish

Rounding out the top 10 is an untraditional Thanksgiving dish—macaroni and cheese—with 17.47 percent of respondents disliking it.

Interestingly, 13.82 percent of those surveyed said they dislike none of the popular Thanksgiving foods.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes and chives in white and blue bowl

Whether it's for their mushy texture or the elbow grease it takes to make them, mashed potatoes are a turn-off for 18.66 percent of people.

To this point, USA Today recently analyzed a separate set of data of the most-searched Thanksgiving side dishes in each state and found that only South Carolina and Utah had mashed potatoes ranking highest (North Dakota's most-searched-for side dish was smoked mashed potatoes).

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Pumpkin pie

pumpkin pie with whipped cream and cinnamon

When it comes to pie of the custard variety, it usually boils down to sweet potato or pumpkin for Thanksgiving. However, it's the latter option that is disliked by 24.28 percent of people.

According to KCUR 89.3, Kansas City's NPR member station, both pies date back to the 15th and 16th centuries when they were brought to America by European settlers. Sweet potato pie was likely a version of the carrot pie that was popular at the time in Europe and was eventually adapted by enslaved cooks. Pumpkin pie is thought to have taken shape when settlers saw how Native Americans were already boiling and steaming pumpkins.


cole slaw in bowl
Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock

Coleslaw is such a universally hated food that The Onion wrote a spoof article titled, 85 Percent Of U.S. Cole Slaw Remains Uneaten.

However, according to The Vacationer survey, it's 25.57 percent of people who dislike this side.

RELATED: 8 Common Myths About Thanksgiving You Probably Still Believe.


Homemade Glazed Spiral Cut Ham on set table with Carrots and Potatoes
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

Yes, some families serve ham instead of turkey on Thanksgiving, but 25.57 percent of survey respondents don't seem very happy with that choice.

Turkey is by far the more popular main dish. In 2021, The Washington Post spoke to a food industry consultant who estimated that only about 15 percent of American households serve ham on Thanksgiving.


homemade thanksgiving stuffing

Arguably the most popular Thanksgiving side dish, stuffing comes in at number five, with 26.75 percent of respondents disliking it.

USA Today's data backs this up, too, as only three states saw stuffing as their most-searched side dish.

RELATED: 11 Retro Thanksgiving Traditions That Have Become Obsolete.


thanksgiving turkey
circlePS / Shutterstock

According to data analyzed by Real Simple, more than 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that the value of turkey production in the U.S. increased from $5.89 billion to $7.10 billion from 2021 to 2022.

But all of this turkey didn't change the minds of the 27.74 percent of respondents who said they hate eating the bird.

Green bean casserole

Homemade Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole with Mushrooms and Onions

With just over 28 percent of people saying they dislike it, green bean casserole comes in third.

Interestingly, the USA Today data analysis found that green bean casserole was the most-searched Thanksgiving side dish in the U.S., as it topped the list for 18 states. Perhaps all those haters are eager to find a version of this recipe that they actually enjoy.

RELATED: Walmart, Costco, and More Major Stores That Won't Open on Thanksgiving This Year.

Sweet potatoes

Homemade Thanksgiving Candied Yams with Brown Sugar
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

Sweet potatoes (or yams) take the number-two spot. Of the respondents, 29.22 percent said they disliked it.

But this hasn't stopped people from loading up on the tubers. According to Amazon Fresh, yams and sweet potatoes are one of their top-selling Thanksgiving foods, with Americans purchasing more than 2.2 million pounds of them.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce, jellied, from a can, on a white plate
Julie Vader / Shutterstock

For the third year running, cranberry sauce comes in as the most-hated Thanksgiving food, receiving a dislike from 31.49 of participants.

But despite not wanting to eat the stuff, Americans seem to believe that no holiday table is complete without it. As Food & Wine shared, Ocean Spray conducted a survey of 2,000 people, in which 83 percent said they "believe it's not even Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce."

Now, the bigger question may be: homemade or canned cranberry sauce?

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Dana Schulz
Dana Schulz is the Deputy Lifestyle Editor at Best Life. She was previously the managing editor of 6sqft, where she oversaw all content related to real estate, apartment living, and the best local things to do. Read more
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