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What "must have" Thanksgiving dish will never be on your table?

For me it's green bean casserole and sweet potatoes with marshmallows in any guise. In fact, we don't have sweet potatoes at all -- mashed Yukon Golds and then a casserole of puréed roasted winter squash for us.

No form of jello either.

No pecan pie -- far too sweet for my tastes. No pumpkin pie either. I love pumpkin and I make some other pumpkin dessert -- a financier, a cheese cake, a crène brulée, whatever, something different -- but no pumpkin pie.

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  1. Sweet potatoes...I love sweet potato pie, cake, pudding, hash, hash browns, rolls, biscuits etc. but am not fond at all of candied or the marshmallow topping. I'm leaning toward including sweet potato cheesecake or pound cake instead this year.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cherylptw

      I enjoy a simple roasted sweet potato or mashed roasted sweet potatoes. Any other time. Never with a marshmallow in the same county.

    2. Two words: brussel sprouts. Blech.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DC in DC

        LOVE 'em! We have them sautéed in browned butter and pancetta. Once upon a time my kids didn't like tthem. I didn't interfere or attempt to get them to try them. But over the years their tastes broadened and now them love 'em too.

      2. Any form of stuffing that is not traditional bread and sage stuffing. No cornbread. No oysters. No raisins or cranberries or any other fruit. Just bread, celery, onions, butter and seasoning and enough chicken stock to make it moist.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cycloneillini

          I agree. ...altho I do sauté a handful of walnuts with the onions and celery for mine. Also parsley, rosemary and thyme along with the sage.

          When I didn't have a clue how to make a Thanksgiving dinner back in the late 60s I just thought the Simon & Garfunkle song must have come from somewhere so I built the stuffing around parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

          So? Inside the bird or in a casserole? I make a ton because we love it so much so there's always a casserole of it roasting but it's the stuff from inside the bird that's so great.

          1. re: cycloneillini

            No dressing that is not traditional Cornbread dressing...Just cornbread, maybe two or three crumbled biscuits, with lots of onions, celery, pepper, eggs, lots of black pepper, moistened with the richest (fattest) chicken stock I can make..Baked in a casserole just until it sets, and is golden brown...Then there's Oyster dressing...Mmmmmmm! :))

            1. re: cycloneillini

              See I'm the opposite, oyster stuffing was traditional in my family, so when I cook it's oyster stuffing, if someone wants bread based stuffing, they can bring it themselves

              1. re: roro1831

                For our family cornbread dressing and oyster dressing is tradtional. We never had bread based dressing.

            2. Green bean "casserole" with cream of mushroom soup?

              What a horrible way to ruin green beans!

              6 Replies
              1. re: gordeaux

                What is Thanksgiving without those "must have" dishes?
                It's once a year and wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them. It's about family and memories and those must haves are a part of the tradition.
                I love the green bean casserole and my daughter loves the green bean casserole and I'm sure her kids will do the same.
                What's next?....no turkey?

                1. re: monku

                  Our leftovers can last a few days after the event. Sorry, but this is not just one meal. No green bean casserole in my house. Ditto for marshmallows with sweet potatoes.

                  Growing up, we never had those things anyway. Maybe tsimmis, but no "sweet potato casserole."

                  It's Thanksgiving without them.

                  1. re: Steve

                    That's how I feel about it. Dinner is all well and good but it's the leftovers that make the holiday something to look forward to!

                    My mother may have made green bean casserole a year or two when I was a kid. I remember the cans of French's onion thingies --they're much more interesting than the casserole is as far as I'm concerned. Still, no one at my house has ever requested it and I'm not volunteering it. ;>

                      1. re: monku

                        I understand that America's Test Kitchen came up with a version of the recipe that used fresh mushrooms, some sort of Béchamel and fresh green beans. I also understand they used the French's onion thingies because they couldn't replicate it satisfactorily. But, the thing is, I just don't like it and don't want it. At all. Not at Thanksgiving. Not ever.

                        Sounds like you enjoy it and I certainly hope it will be part of a memorable holiday meal! ;>

                        I'm not trying to dictate what anyone else's choices should or shouldn't include. Just clear about how mine part company with most and interested in how other people's do.

                        1. re: monku

                          We make turkey gravy plus we have cranberry sauce, so that's already enough sauces on one plate for me.

                          Not that I ever like my green beans covered in a dairy sauce. Tossed with some sauteed garlic is about as fancy as I want them.

                          But I don't make green beans at all for Thanksgiving; it's collard greens for me.

                2. Agree about the green bean casserole. That stuff is nasty.