What Not to Serve This Thanksgiving

What Not to Serve This Thanksgiving
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What Not to Serve This Thanksgiving

Check out this slideshow for alternative recipes to these "don't serve" Thanksgiving dishes.

Image Credit: flickr/Unertlkm

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Instead of meat mousse, try this take on Shepherd’s Pie, we replace the potato topping with convenient, delicious frozen squash puree. And they’re baked in individual ramekins to guarantee perfectly sized servings and help you get it on the table fast.

Get the Recipe: Mini Shepherd's Pies

Touch Down Texas Toasts

Another alternative to meat mousse: crisp and cheesy Pepperidge Farm® Texas Toast topped with refried beans, sour cream, green onions and Pace® Chunky Salsa to make outstanding appetizers for football on Thanksgiving.

Get the Recipe: Touch Down Texas Toasts

“Nude” Raw Oysters with Sauces

Another alternative to oyster casserole: why not try the real thing? A delicacy anywhere, go to your local market and pick up some fresh oysters for your Thanksgiving get-together.

Get the Recipe: “Nude” Raw Oysters with Sauces

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallows

In this clever version of candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows, mash sweet potatoes with deeply flavorful grade B maple syrup and butter before stuffing them back into their skins and baking them a second time.

Get the Recipe: Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallows

Double Rose and Rosé Gelatin with Fresh Raspberries

Instead of that tired gelatin dish, try this ultimate fat-free dessert! As the raspberries are not set into the gelatin, you may prefer to substitute strawberries or blueberries. For those not on a low-fat diet you may like to offer some heavy cream.

Get the Recipe: Double Rose and Rosé Gelatin with Fresh Raspberries

Smoky Ham-and-Corn Chowder

Instead of using SPAM, use the non-canned stuff! Melissa Rubel deepens the flavor of this luxurious ham-and-corn chowder by simmering the scraps (the ham rind and corn cobs) in water to make a quick, tasty stock.

Get the Recipe: Smoky Ham-and-Corn Chowder

Savory Orange-Roasted Tofu & Asparagus

If you’ve never had roasted tofu before, here’s a great way to start. Toss tofu and asparagus in a tangy orange- and basil-scented sauce, made rich and savory with miso. Serve with brown rice or couscous and an orange-and-fennel salad for a vegetarian alternative to turkey.

Get the Recipe: Savory Orange-Roasted Tofu & Asparagus

Turkey with Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

Try this traditional delicious recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner!

Get the Recipe: Turkey with Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberry-Shallot Sauce

To help keep this recipe fast, sear the tenderloins and get them in the oven first, then prep the shallots, thyme and cranberries and make your sauce. If you like sweeter cranberry sauce, you may want to add another tablespoon of brown sugar.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberry-Shallot Sauce

Whole-Grain Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Pecans

After tossing the ingredients and spreading them in a pan, chill the stuffing for at least an hour before baking. This ensures that the bread soaks up the liquid-key to a stuffing that's crisp on top and moist within.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Grain Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Pecans

Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Pumpkin pie isn't the only way to enjoy pumpkin and spice at Thanksgiving. This tender, moist cake uses pureed pumpkin and is delicately seasoned with classic Thanksgiving flavors.

Get the Recipe: Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Mashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash

To achieve ultra-fluffy potatoes, pass the potatoes through a food mill or a fine-mesh sieve. If you choose to mash them by hand, be gentle; otherwise, the potatoes will turn gluey.

Get the Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash

Sausage-and-Bread Stuffing

Everyone will love this traditional stuffing recipe, and you'll end up making it year after year. Using homemade turkey stock gives it a rich flavor, but for a shortcut, use chicken broth instead.

Get the Recipe: Sausage-and-Bread Stuffing


It's perfectly understandable that you, the adventurous and grossly-underated home chef, would want to push the boundaries of culinary achievement. Thanksgiving, however, may not be the best time to roll the dice. To help you avoid wasting your valuable time on Turkey Day creations that are sure to flop, Kitchen Daily has taken the liberty of nominating five dishes that you should definitely skip.

Meat Mousse

According to the FreeDictionary, one of the definitions of "mousse" is "A molded dish containing meat, fish, or shellfish combined with whipped cream and gelatin." You're not going to offend anyone with chocolate mousse, but if you bring an allegedly delicious ham mousse or chicken liver mousse, you better love the taste of gelatinous molded meats... because you're going to be taking a lot of it back home with you.

It could be the fact that meat mousses are served chilled, or the fact that they just look incredibly sketchy, but one thing's for sure: Meat molded into the shape of a dessert seems to rub diners the wrong way.

While we're on the subject, you might also want to axe any plans for minced meat pies or this seriously misleading Thanksgiving Turkey Cake as well. Imagine biting into what you think is a cake and getting a mouthful of ground turkey instead! Don't do that to your guests. Please.

Oyster Casserole

This recipe was brought to our attention by an offended family member who has been subjected to this quite pungent casserole at her Thankgiving dinners (held in a very land-locked state in middle America) for many years.

In the interest of fairness, perhaps we should start with a disclaimer about freshness. If you have access to an abundance of incredibly fresh seafood, like the Pilgrims and Indians did so long ago, oyster casserole may very well be an excellent choice for your menu.

Seafood from a can, however, should nearly always be avoided when preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Sea-faring mollusks from a can, camouflaged in the form of a casserole, well... do we really need to finish that sentence? The acronym to remember here is "NEFCOAT" (Never Eat Frozen or Canned Oysters At Thankgiving). Remember that, and you'll avoid a serious Thanksgiving blunder.

That Gelatinous Pastel Dish with the Nuts/Marshmallows on Top

You know exactly what we're talking about. This brightly-colored dish goes by a number of aliases, including "jello salad," "gelatin salad," "jelly salad," and "congealed salad."

What all of these names have in common (besides containing the word salad) is that they're all made up of words that should never appear together side by side. We're not saying that this dish necessarily tastes as disgusting as these names would suggest (because really, "congealed salad???"), but we can't say for sure because there's no way we'd ever shovel that opaque, wobbly stuff onto our plates. Or into our mouths.

Throw some crunchy pecans in with this cold slimy mixture, and you've got a dish that's better suited for Halloween than Thanksgiving. Scary.

Anything With Spam

America and Spam go way back. In fact, it's hard to know for sure if America would be the great country it is today without the famous blue canned meat product (or is it a byproduct?). Not to mention, Spam practically single-handedly saved the crew and passengers aboard that stranded Carnival cruise ship.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean Spam belongs at America's Thankgiving table -- not in the form of a Spamburger, not in the form of a potato and spam soup, and definitely not in form of a gingered spam salad. Who comes up with these recipes? They're not invited to our Thanksgiving dinner, we can tell you that.

Suffice to say, Spam has carved out its place in American history, but let's draw a thick line around it, put up some razor wire, and hire some guards to make sure it stays there.

Vegetarian Turducken

Look, we understand that serving a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey is considered all kinds of wrong in some circles. We get that. (Even though we find it kind of interesting.) But tofurkey is even more wrong, in our opinion.

If you happen to be a serious proponent of tofurkey, we'd like you to ponder this philosophical question: Why in the world would a vegetarian want to emulate the unholy bird-stuffing excess that is the turducken? Doesn't that go against all the reasons people swear off meat in the first place?

Apart from having an opportunity to annouce that you're serving the oxymoronic "vegetarian turducken," or the even more hilarious "tofucken," what possibly purpose could this dish serve? It seem like a lot of effort, all for a cheap laugh. Not to mention, from an ojective standpoint, how could it possibly taste as delicious as a real turducken?

Enough said.

Check out the slideshow above for alternative recipes to these "don't serve" Thanksgiving dishes!

Looking for something you should serve this Thanksgiving? Try these: Easy and Delicious Stuffing Recipes.

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