23 Favorite Regional Recipes from Every Corner of the USA
We've got comfort covered! We divided the United States into familiar regions and tracked down some favorite recipes that best represent each region, from sea to shining sea. These recipes are familiar and flavorful, the ones we reach for when we need a little comfort. Maybe now's the time for a comfort food staycation!
The South: Get a Husband Brunswick Stew
Seductively delicious, this traditional Southern stew is thick and hearty—loaded with beef, pork, and chicken, along with cream-style corn, tomatoes, and special seasonings.
The South: Southern Fried Catfish
Buttermilk for a quick marinade and a fine cornmeal seasoning are the keys to this crunchy Southern style catfish. "So good!" says Taranoelle. "The fish was perfectly flavored and was so yummy. A great Southern classic!" And while you have the buttermilk on hand, you'll want to make sensational sides, like buttermilk hush puppies and coleslaw. You might also like braised collard greens and mac and cheese.
The South: Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits
This traditional low-country favorite features tender shrimp simmered with andouille sausage, bacon, and colorful bell peppers, all served over creamy, cheesy grits.
The South: Fried Green Tomatoes
"Serve these tomatoes outside with a glass of iced tea one summer night and enjoy the sunset with someone you love," recommends Diana Swenson-Siegel.
The Northeast: Clam Chowder
Soul food for New Englanders. Oyster crackers are a must. This traditional cream-based chowder gets a little boost from a splash of red wine vinegar and is perfect for chilly nights.
The Northeast: Lobster Rolls
"I've paid over ten dollars for one of these lobster rolls in Cape Cod and it wasn't half as good or half as big as the ones my Mom taught me to make,' says Starr. "This is a wonderful summer (or winter) treat and makes a fancy luncheon to impress your friends."
The Northeast: Chicken Cacciatore
Here's one that reflects the Italian influence on American cooking. A "hunter's style" one-pot chicken and mushrooms dish baked with tomato sauce.
Mid-Atlantic: Maryland Crab Cakes
"Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay you learn that crabs are as valuable as gold," says John. "My mom made crab cakes every Friday in the summer months." These succulent cakes represent the best the bay has to offer.
Mid-Atlantic: Fried Soft-Shell Crab
Dip whole soft shell crabs in a light batter and fry. Then eat the whole shebang, shell and all! This a tasty treat that owes its crispy and slightly sweet flavor to the Mid-Atlantic waters.
Mid-Atlantic: Slow Cooker Philly Steak Sandwich Meat
"This makes a fantastic meat for Philly steak sandwiches," says duboo. "It also makes its own au jus, if you like to dip. To serve, saute a sliced onion and sliced green pepper in a skillet. Put meat on a sub bun and top with onion and green pepper and Swiss or provolone cheese on top of that. Leave open-faced and broil until the cheese just starts to brown."
The Midwest: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough
As the story goes, way back in 1943, a couple of Chicago restaurateurs presented their cheesy, thick-crust pie to a mostly pizza-puzzled Chicago crowd at Pizzeria Uno, and it was not an overnight success. In the early days, they resorted to giving away free slices of pizza with drink purchases at the bar! Not anymore. Today, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is a hit throughout the country.
The Midwest: St. Louis Toasted Ravioli
"The St. Louis style of preparing ravioli is unique and delicious," says Barb. "The ravioli is breaded, fried and served with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese."
The Midwest: Fried Cheese Curds
It was inevitable that Wisconsin would take the leap in cheese technology that resulted in fried cheese curds. Also no surprise, they're delicious paired with a cold beer.
The Midwest: Tater Tot Hot Dish
If the phrase "hot dish" doesn't mean anything to you, you're probably not a Midwesterner. In this perfect autumn casserole, the comfort comes from layers of seasoned ground beef combined with creamy soups, tater tots, and French-fried onion rings.
The Midwest: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Did the BPT (Breaded Pork Tenderloin) sandwich is a hit throughout the Midwest, but "particularly popular in Iowa and Indiana," says lutzflcat, who submitted this recipe. "But there are regional variations throughout the entire United States. I've always thought of this as a German schnitzel on a sandwich. It's crispy and crunchy... tender deliciousness!" To make it truly authentic, make sure your slab of breaded fried pork tenderloin is way bigger than the bun.
The Midwest: Chicago's Chicken Vesuvio
Before we head further west, let's circle back to Chicago for a hearty one-skillet meal. "This Chicago original is a one-pan dish that starts on the stove and finishes in the oven," says Diana71.
The Northwest: Cedar Planked Salmon
"This is a dish my brother prepared for me in Seattle," says Wendy. "It is by far the best salmon I've ever eaten. I like to serve it with an Asian-inspired rice and roasted asparagus."
The Northwest: Cioppino
"When you feel like splurging a little, San Francisco's famous Cioppino is a great choice. This spicy fish and shellfish stew is a big red bowl of yummy, and when paired with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread, it's downright otherworldly," says Chef John.
The Northwest: Mashed Potatoes
A shout out to the Inland Empire here and Idaho's "famous potatoes." Nothing is as simply comforting as creamy mashed potatoes. Mixing in chives or compound butter makes this recipe extra special.
The Southwest: Fish Tacos
"I'm from San Diego and these taste just like home! We live in the south now, and nobody has heard of these! Serve with homemade pico de gallo, and lime wedges to squeeze on top!" says Breese823.
The Southwest: Green Chile Chicken Stew
"I got this recipe together after months of harassing my friends in New Mexico in search of the perfect green chile chicken stew," says Georgette. "This stew will keep you warm and cozy on those cold winter days! I make it at least once every month. Serve with warm flour tortillas.
The Southwest: King Ranch Chicken Casserole
This is essentially a chicken enchilada pie. It's a casserole that loves the cream soups, featuring both cream of mushroom and cream of chicken. Sour cream, diced chilies and tomatoes, bell peppers, and spices round out the Southwest flavors. Oh, and don't forget the cheddar.
South Central: Route 66 Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich
If you ever plan to motor west, travel Chuck Berry's way, on the highway that's the best. And while you're rolling 66 across Oklahoma, stop along the way at a roadside restaurant for a classic chicken fried steak sandwich. Of course, if you can't get to America's most famous highway any time soon, you can always whip out the cast iron skillet (or the air fryer) and make your own scrumptious CFS sandwich. "When I moved to Oklahoma from Florida, I learned 'Okies' love their chicken fry," says the dailygourmet. "I tried to lighten this dish up by air frying, but feel free to grab a cast iron skillet and cook these steaks up too!"