Skip to main content

In Images: Insect-Filled Treats for Turkey Day

A buggy Thanksgiving

insect dressed in a pilgrim's hat.

(Image credit: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans )

This week, patrons of the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans can sample a series of Thanksgiving dishes with a twist: a hearty helping of insects will be part of the dishes.

Side dish

(Image credit: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans)

The traditional centerpiece of the meal, turkey, will become a side dish to showcase the insect-y options.

Mealworms and cornbread stuffing

mealworm stuffing for thanksgiving

(Image credit: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans )

The turkey will be stuffed with a cornbread stuffing made with mealworms. Mealworms have an earthy taste, almost like a hearty pumpernickel bread.

Wax worms in cranberry sauce

wax worm cranberry sauce

(Image credit: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans )

The cranberry sauce is made with wax worms. Wax worms have a slightly sweet taste, as they live subsist entirely on beeswax from honeybees. Many liken their taste to almond paste.

Insect proportions

cranberry sauce, wax worm cranberry sauce

(Image credit: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans )

Most of the dishes being offered by the insectarium will be about 25 percent insect, but those who are hankering for a higher fraction of bugs can always ask for extras on the side.

Cricket pumpkin pie

pumpkin pie made with crickets

(Image credit: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans )

The final element of the Thanksgiving meal will be cricket pumpkin pie. Because the crickets are pan roasted, they taste akin to nuts such as walnuts or pecans.

Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.