A Surprising New Survey Reveals America’s Most Hated Thanksgiving Foods

If there are 10 people gathered around your Thanksgiving table, odds are good that at least three of them really don’t want your famous cranberry sauce.
Nearly a quarter of the people at this table would rather not save room for any pumpkin pie.
Nearly a quarter of the people at this table would rather not save room for any pumpkin pie. / Maren Caruso/iStock via Getty Images/Royalty-free

There’s a reason so many classic Thanksgiving foods only appear on dinner tables once a year: A decent portion of Americans dislike the most famous dishes associated with the holiday and only eat them out of obligation (or hide them under their napkin when no one is looking). To see which items on the typical Thanksgiving menu receive the most hate, check out the list below.

For the third year in a row, The Vacationer recruited a mathematician to analyze the holiday eating habits of American adults. Of the roughly 1000 people surveyed, 31.5 percent of them admitted to disliking cranberry sauce. The survey didn’t differentiate between the homemade version and the canned stuff with the ridges on the side.

Cranberry sauce is notoriously divisive, but some of the other takeaways might come as a bigger surprise: More than 27 percent of survey respondents said they don’t like turkey, the star of the traditional Thanksgiving feast. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win guests over by serving a different protein on the big day. Ham also ranks high on the list of unpopular Thanksgiving foods, falling right behind stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer).

If you dread dinner on Turkey Day, it may be because you’re not preparing your food properly. Follow these expert tips for cooking a whole bird to make it something you actually look forward to eating.

13 Most Hated Thanksgiving Foods

  1. Cranberry Sauce // 31.49%
  2. Sweet Potatoes or Yams // 29.22%
  3. Green Bean Casserole // 28.04%
  4. Turkey // 27.74%
  5. Stuffing/Dressing // 26.75%
  6. Ham // 25.57%
  7. Coleslaw // 25.57%
  8. Pumpkin Pie // 24.28%
  9. Mashed Potatoes // 18.66%
  10. Macaroni and Cheese // 17.47%
  11. Carrots // 16.98%
  12. Apple Pie // 16.29%
  13. Corn // 15.50%

A version of this story ran in 2022; it has been updated for 2023.