The Most Popular Thanksgiving Recipes in Every State, According to Google

published Nov 15, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

It turns out that Thanksgiving dinner can be pretty divisive. Sure, it’s based around turkey, but should you brine it, stuff it, sous vide it, or make gravy from it? Do the cranberries go in relish, salad, or sauce? Is it dressing or stuffing, and is there cornbread involved? Where do the green beans, sweet potatoes, and squash fit in?

We had a look at the Google searches from every state at the beginning of November — peak planning time — and got a preview of what each state was thinking about making for Thanksgiving dinner.

Stuffing vs. Dressing

What do Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee all have in common? Dressing is the top uniquely searched Thanksgiving recipe in those states. Texas, on the other hand, specifically searches out cornbread dressing. Meanwhile, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island are all looking for stuffing. Technically, stuffing is cooked in the bird while dressing is outside, but in practice, people tend to use their term of choice for either — but it doesn’t look like regionality governs which term they use, given examples like the Indiana/Illinois split.

What Do We Do with Cranberries?

Alaskans are going traditional with cranberry sauce, but Connecticut, Maryland, and Montana are too early in their search to have pinpointed exactly what type of cranberry recipe they’re looking for. Maybe they should take a hint from Wisconsin and give cranberry salad a try?


Green bean casserole is the classic T-day vegetable, right? Well, yes, if you’re in Florida or Georgia. Meanwhile, Virginia is digging green beans, but hasn’t yet committed to casserole. (Might we suggest Ina’s green beans?). Vermont and Pennsylvania haven’t even gotten that far yet; they are still searching for any vegetable. Wyoming is roasting carrots, California’s making creamed corn, and South Dakota’s cooking some type of corn, preparation TBD. Utah and Washington are both looking at salads, but having lived in both states, let me tell you, I do not think that they’re searching for the same thing.

Sweet Potatoes and Squashes

South Carolina takes the traditional route with sweet potato casserole, while Kentucky, Missouri, and Oregon are still deciding how to prepare their sweet potatoes. Massachusetts and New Hampshire seem to have a New England take on the meal that involves butternut squash.


For me, soup was always a day-after kind of dish, but for Nevada, New Jersey, and New York, it’s part of the meal. And in Hawaii and Louisiana it’s a specific one — stone and chicken, respectively.


So much of the time, how to cook the bird is the issue, but very few people seem to be uniquely seeking out that info. Only West Virginia is sensibly searching for how to roast their turkey, while Maine needs some help on turkey gravy.


Mad respect to the states where everyone just wants to know how to make dessert. For Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Ohio, it’s all about the pumpkin pie. But D.C., smart city that it is, needs to know how to make Thanksgiving cookies.

You’re Making a What Now?

We have a lot of questions for Arizona (ham) and Delaware (keto brisket) and are leaning away from spending the holidays with any relatives there. We’ll stick with North Dakota, where they’re figuring out how to make punch.

Alabama: dressing

Alaska: cranberry sauce

Arizona: ham

Arkansas: dressing

California: creamed corn

Colorado: pumpkin pie

Connecticut: cranberry

Delaware: keto brisket

D.C.: cookies

Florida: green bean casserole

Georgia: green bean casserole

Hawaii: stone soup

Idaho: stuffing

Illinois: stuffing

Indiana: dressing

Iowa: casserole

Kansas: pumpkin pie

Kentucky: sweet potato

Louisiana: chicken soup

Maine: turkey gravy

Maryland: cranberry

Massachusetts: butternut squash

Michigan: dressing

Minnesota: stuffing

Mississippi: dressing

Missouri: sweet potato

Montana: cranberry

Nebraska: pumpkin pie

Nevada: soup

New Hampshire: butternut squash

New Jersey: soup

New Mexico: dressing

New York: soup

North Carolina: dressing

North Dakota: punch

Ohio: pumpkin pie

Oklahoma: dressing

Oregon: sweet potato

Pennsylvania: vegetable

Rhode Island: stuffing

South Carolina: sweet potato casserole

South Dakota: corn

Tennessee: dressing

Texas: cornbread dressing

Utah: salad

Vermont: vegetables

Virginia: green bean

Washington: salad

West Virginia: roast turkey

Wisconsin: cranberry salad

Wyoming: roasted carrots