The Most Popular Unique Thanksgiving Recipe in Your State

strawberry pretzel salad on a cake stand
Photo: Saiga78

Thanksgiving tends to follow a time-honored menu: turkey and/or ham, gravy, potatoes, dressing or stuffing, casseroles, and (of course) pies. But looking at the most-searched-for unique Thanksgiving recipes by state, Allrecipes discovered some surprising preferences as well as some we may have predicted: Minnesota loves wild rice stuffing, Texas makes tamales, and Georgia's gotta have sweet potatoes. Here's what your state craved when we crunched the Thanksgiving numbers.

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Alabama: Sweet Potato Cobbler

homemade cobbler in a dutch oven

A drop biscuit topping sets cobblers apart from crisps and crumbles — and makes the dessert a Southern favorite. When wed with sweet potatoes, the result is a Thanksgiving-worthy dessert that Alabama residents keep coming back to.

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Alaska: Cornish Game Hen

whole Cornish Game Hen on a plate with Thanksgiving sides
Viet Pham

A smaller breed of chicken, Cornish game hen tastes familiar but stands out as a holiday meat. No one can overlook an entire bird on their plate, after all. "This is the best Cornish game hen recipe I have ever found," Shannon Green says. "If I used four hens, I would double the sauce because when I boiled the sauce down it was perfect for two hens. Absolutely wonderful."

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Arizona: Twice Baked Potatoes

two twice-baked potatoes

Cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and milk give our Creamy Twice-Baked Potatoes their name. Finish them off with paprika for a Southwestern kick.

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Arkansas: Green Bean Bundles

Green Bean Bundles II wrapped with bacon on tin foil

"Steamed and then baked, these scrumptious green beans take on great flavor, because they are wrapped in bacon and bathed in a savory sauce. This recipe is best when you marinate the bundles overnight." — JESSICABAZEMORE

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California: Persimmon Bread

sliced loaf of Persimmon Bread II
Yvonne Esperanza

Persimmons begin to crop up in California in late September. While this underrated fall fruit doesn't contribute much to this spiced quick bread's flavor (that's all cinnamon and nutmeg), it adds to its moist texture.

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Colorado: Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

hasselback sweet potato with streusel topping in a skillet

"Sweet potatoes come in different colors, from white to yellow to orange to orange-red. The darker the inside, the sweeter it is. I chose white because I was adding maple syrup and brown sugar, but any sweet potato will do," recipe creator Yoly says.

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Connecticut: Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Six servings of Chef John's Pumpkin Creme Brulee

"The texture is actually closer to a pudding than a classic crème brûlée, and of course, the star of the dish is the crisp sugar top," recipe creator Chef John says. "This is great for your busy holiday schedule since you can make them the day before and then finish the sugar torching before you serve."

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Delaware: Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Judy's Strawberry Pretzel Salad

A trifecta of buttery-sweet pretzels, whipped cream cheese, and strawberry Jell-O make this dish an American retro favorite.

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District of Columbia: Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto in a white dish
Marikka Werlen

What sets this risotto apart from other recipes? Mashed butternut squash. And it's enough to earn this recipe 400 (and counting) five-star reviews.

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Florida: Green Bean Cups

Grandma's Green Bean Casserole in a bowl

Bake green bean casserole in muffin tins or ramekins for a fun single-serve take on a classic.

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Georgia: Sweet Potato Soufflé

sweet potato souffle in a ramekin
Chef John

Beating the egg whites before transferring them to a mixture of whipped sweet potatoes, milk, and egg yolks gives soufflé its cloud-like texture.

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Hawaii: Pumpkin Crunch Cake

13483 Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Yellow cake mix, butter, and pecans top this cake and take credit for its signature crunch. "Make sure you cook it long enough so the pumpkin layer sets up and the top layer gets cooked through so it has some crunch," Kelly McNamara says.

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Idaho: Jell-O Salad

14465 Orange Gelatin Salad

This mandarin orange and pineapple Jell-O salad resembles a favorite Idaho recipe, though some opt for one fruit over the other.

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Illinois: Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots on a white plate

Stick with a short-and-sweet list of ingredients to make these Glazed Carrots: butter, brown sugar, salt, and white pepper.

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Indiana: Dirt Pudding

244515 dirt pudding pumpkin patch

You can give this no-bake pudding a fall makeover with mellocreme pumpkins and green frosting. After all, if you live in Indiana, you're never too far from a pumpkin patch.

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Iowa: Snickers Salad

221192 Apple Snicker Salad

Snickers salad makes an apperance at parties and potlucks all over Iowa, and holidays are no exception. This candy-studded dish may be the one "salad" anyone wants to eat on Thanksgiving. As reviewer Jenny says, "kids come running for this one!"

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Kansas: French Silk Pie

Slice of French Silk Chocolate Pie I
Mackenzie Shieck

Raw eggs (stick to pasteurized eggs) give our French Silk Chocolate Pie I a light, fluffy texture that's similar to mousse. Top each slice with a generous scoop of whipped cream.

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Kentucky: Derby Pie

Kentucky Derby Pie in a red pie dish
Chef Mo

Though original recipe called for walnuts, most versions of Kentucky Derby Pie take advantage of Southern-grown pecans and use them instead.

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Louisiana: Mirliton Casserole

Mirliton casserole in tin foil dish in the oven
Kelly Morton

"Mirliton (chayote) squash is the vegetable that is used to make this wonderful dressing. It's very popular here in Louisiana around the holidays." — MOUNTMAN

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Maine: Chocolate Cream Pie

slice of Chocolate Cream Pie on a white plate
Sue Garzone

"This is an old family recipe my grandmother used to make me when I was a little boy," recipe submitter Cecil says. Cornstarch gives this Maine favorite a thick, pudding-like consistency.

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Maryland: Banana Pudding

a glass trifle bowl showing layers of banana pudding and Nilla wafers

"The best no-bake banana pudding you will ever find," recipe submitter Kenneth Strother says. "Or so I've been told by many."

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Massachusetts: Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

A classic New England dessert, apple crisps can hold their own against Thanksgiving pies thanks to their spiced flavor and crunchy topping.

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Michigan: Pistachio Salad

Pistachio Fluff Fruit Salad

This Midwestern favorite mixes pistachio pudding, whipped topping, and canned pineapple into a fluffy treat that tastes even better with mini marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges stirred in.

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Minnesota: Wild Rice Stuffing

Minnesota Wild Rice Dressing in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Juan Carlos

Wild rice abounds in Minnesota, so it's no wonder the grain would earn a prominent place at Thanksgiving dinner.

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Mississippi: Chitterlings

chitterlings in a plastic food storage container

"Chitterlings or pork intestines are a favorite among Southern families. Traditionally, they are prepared during the holiday season," recipe submitter KERYNE says. "Be certain to pass the vinegar and hot sauce."

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Missouri: Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding IV in a glass dish

This Southern dessert makes our list once again, this time thanks to the people of Missouri. With more than 3,000 ratings averaging fives stars, this banana pudding recipe won't let you down.

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Montana: Pretzel Salad

Pretzel Salad in a glass dish

"I had a similar recipe years ago and had lost it," reviewer MOBELIA says of this top-rated recipe. "When I found this, I made it for my family at Thanksgiving. My boyfriend ate about a third of it before we even got to my mom's house."

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Nebraska: Corn Casserole

corn casserole on a white plate with parsley garnish

As one of the nation's largest corn producers, Nebraska doesn't take corn casserole lightly. And with butter, an entire container of sour cream, corn bread mix, and creamed corn, neither does this recipe.

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Nevada: Ambrosia Salad

ambrosia fruit salad

"This recipe has been in my family for years and years. We make it at every holiday family get together," recipe submitter smviolante says. Ambrosia strikes a nostalgic note for people all over the United States, and Nevada is no exception.

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New Hampshire: Pumpkin Whoopie Pie

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies on a white plate

Both New England and Amish country claim whoopie pies as their own creation. Regardless of their origin, the treat remains a favorite in states like Pennsylvania, Maine, and (of course) New Hampshire.

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New Jersey: Pernil


Pernil, slow-roasted pork shoulder or leg, steals the show at Puerto Rican Christmas dinners. Searches for this special occasion meat seem natural at Thanksgiving, too, thanks to New Jersey's large Puerto Rican population.

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New Mexico: Pumpkin Roll

pumpkin roll cake on a white dish

"Easier than you think! I put pecans in the filling. Amazing," Ruth Lynch says. "I made my mom one, and she's already putting in orders for Thanksgiving as gifts for her friends! I will definitely be making this again."

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New York: Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing

Best-Ever Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing

Hot, peppery chorizo works wonders in traditional corn bread stuffing. Combining cornbread, which hails from Africa, with Spanish-style chorizo, this dish seems fit for the melting pot that is New York.

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North Carolina: Sweet Potato Souffle

ramekins of Sweet Potato Souffle
Chef John

"People love puffy food, souffles being one of most versatile," says Chef John, who will walk you through the recipe. "As long as you don't knock all the air out of the egg whites in the batter, not much can actually go wrong. Since mashed sweet potato is the base, these souffles are even easier than the traditional method that requires a saucy base."

35 of 52

North Dakota: Cookie Salad

whipped cream and cookie salad in a glass

Cookie Salad holds a prominent place in the hearts of Midwesterners. But folks in North Dakota seem to love this cookie-topped concoction of vanilla pudding, buttermilk, whipped topping, and canned fruit most of all.

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Ohio: Chess Pie

middle of a chess pie sliced

"It's a very sweet, rich pie, which cannot be described as anything but marvelous. This is not my personal recipe but was passed to me by my grandmother and from her grandmother and so on and so forth," recipe submitter T. Knecht says.

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Oklahoma: Pumpkin Roll

Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll topped with powdered sugar

"This is the most incredible recipe! I've been making it for a few years now. I make about six or eight at a time, and everyone I know waits all year till I make them at Thanksgiving." — jennifera

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Oregon: Pumpkin Flan

Low-Fat Pumpkin Flan on a white plate with caramel sauce drizzle

Reviewers give this recipe five stars for its perfect pumpkin flavor, creamy consistency, easy preparation, and restaurant-worthy presentation.

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Pennsylvania: Potato Filling

potato salad in glass pan

"These potatoes are perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas! They are my husband's family tradition in Pennsylvania. This is the actual recipe from my husband's great-grandmother," Shauna Rhoads says. "There is a family 'secret ingredient' that I have never been told, and so it's not in this recipe. I believe it will still be yummy without the 'secret,' but if you happen to know what that is, then add it in!"

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Rhode Island: Stuffed Mushrooms

clam stuffed mushrooms

With Rhode Islanders searching for stuffed mushrooms, our top-rated Dinah's Stuffed Mushrooms seem just right for holidays in the Ocean State thanks to their clam filling.

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South Carolina: Pineapple Casserole

baked pineapple casserole in a pink dish

You can count on this South Carolina classic to show up on special occasions, Thanksgiving included. This sweet bread stuffing pairs well with ham or roasted turkey.

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South Dakota: Strawberry Pretzel Salad

strawberry pretzel salad in glass dish

It's not just Delaware, Montana, or South Dakota. People all over the United States love this salty-sweet dish. Read our Strawberry Pretzel Salad's reviews for proof — and plenty of tips.

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Tennessee: Fudge Pie

Fudge Pie

"I never had Fudge Pie until I moved to Tennessee. A friend from church gave me this exact same recipe. I did have a deep-dish pie shell, and so I scaled the servings to 12, and it worked wonderfully! My husband and I loved it. This is going in the old recipe file to hand down to my daughters!" — srevels

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Texas: Tamales

tamales on a white plate with salad on the side

Tamales are a Christmas tradition in Central American. And with Texas searching for tamales above all else, it seems Latinos have carried the tradition over to Thanksgiving. But we wouldn't be surprised if non-Latino families include tamales on their Turkey Day menus, too.

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Utah: Frog Eye Salad

Frog Eye Salad with mandarin oranges and coconut

It's said this sweet pasta salad originated in Utah, where it remains as popular as ever. Several reviewers omit the coconut, but that's just a matter of taste.

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Vermont: Maple Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie with maple leaf crust
Robert Smith

Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state, so it's only natural that the sweetener found its way into the state's favorite desserts. Just be sure to use real maple syrup, not a corn syrup-based version, recipe submitter CAROLEALANA says.

47 of 52

Virginia: Giblet Gravy

Turkey gravy over sliced Thanksgiving turkey on a red plate with stuffing and mashed potatoes on the side
Venus Ang

"This old-fashioned giblet turkey gravy recipe is very easy to prepare," recipe submitter Bode says. Reviewers agree!

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Washington: Vegan Pumpkin Pie

slice of pumpkin pie with whipped topping
Buckwheat Queen

With apples being a major crop in Washington, you'd expect apple pie to be high on the list of favorite Thanksgiving dishes. But what you don't expect is Vegan Pumpkin Pie. Yet, there it is. While it does contain soy, our Pumpkin Pie (Dairy, Egg, and Gluten Free) accomodates most eaters.

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West Virginia: Cranberry Salad

cranberry jello salad in glass bowl

West Virginians can take advantage of locally-grown cranberries with one of our many cranberry salad recipes. "My family has been making this since I can remember," reviewer mommom says. "I put it in a old Tupperware Jell-O mold and fill the center with fresh cranberries. It is so pretty and so good with the turkey."

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Wisconsin: Snicker Salad

apple snicker salad in a glass bowl

Like neighboring Iowa, Wisconsin craves Snickers salad. You'll find this old-school salad in Wisconsin recipe books, but reviewers say our Apple Snicker Salad tastes like an old family recipe.

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Wyoming: Frog Eye Salad

couscous with mandarin oranges in a bowl

Thought you'd seen the last of Frog Eye Salad? Well, it's popular in four of Utah's closest neighbors, as well: Idaho, Nevada, and (of couse) Wyoming.

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More Inspiration

Cranberry Stuffed Game Hens with mashed sweet potatoes on white plate
Chef John

Try one of Our Favorite Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Ideas. Plus, explore our entire collection of Thanksgiving Recipes.

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