The Thanksgiving Dishes Americans Secretly Hate, According to Instacart

Each year when Thanksgiving rolls around, a few classic dishes hit our family table: crispy browned turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and, of course, cranberry sauce. The sweet-tart relish is the one dish I tend to avoid, since I prefer to keep my main course savory and gravy-soaked. Sometimes I feel obligated to stomach it in the spirit of the holiday—and according to a recent Instacart survey, I’m not alone.

For Thanksgiving 2019, Instacart conducted an online survey with The Harris Poll to find out “how Americans really feel about the big dinner,” polling 2,023 U.S. adults ages 18 or older. Topics included what kind of wine people drink on Thanksgiving, and how different generations feel about leftovers—but juiciest part was where respondents revealed which classic Thanksgiving food they secretly dislike, but eat anyway out of tradition.

LauriPatterson/Getty Images
LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Canned cranberry sauce took the top secretly-dislike spot with 29 percent, while green bean casserole followed behind with 24. After that, sweet potatoes/sweet potato casserole came in at 22 percent, pumpkin pie at 21 percent, and the turkey itself at 19 percent. (If you’re in the anti-turkey boat, we have plenty of recipes for main course alternatives.)

Additional data revealed that while nearly half surveyed (46 percent) felt that canned cranberry sauce is “disgusting,” Instacart customers still bought 50 percent more canned cranberry sauce than fresh cranberries last Thanksgiving—so the question is, who are they serving it for?

And even though green bean casserole got some heat too, Instacart data showed that cream of mushroom soup purchases were up 59 percent and fried onions rose 85 percent in the three weeks before Thanksgiving 2018. In other words? If you find yourself begrudgingly adding a serving of sweet potatoes, or cranberry sauce, or any other dish you don’t like to your plate, chances are, someone else at the table feels the same way. Maybe even the host.

Thankfully, our recently-released November issue is packed with dozens of recipes for Thanksgiving 2019, so you’re bound to find something for everyone. There’s a few different ways to prepare a turkey (to spatchcock, or not to spatchcock), along with several stuffings and dressings, bacony potato purée, and yes, cranberry sauce too—cranberry kosho, in this case, with jalapeños for a kick. We’ve outlined a few highlights, but you can find the full spread out on newsstands now.