The Most Popular Christmas Dish in Every State
The second Thanksgiving is over, Christmas season begins! And that doesn't just mean lights strung from every indoor and outdoor surface of your home, ugly sweaters made by grandma, and green and red everything. That means it's the season to feast on our favorite Christmas dishes this holiday season!
All around the world, people celebrate in different ways, eating different foods that reflect different cultures and traditions, and the United States is no exception. In each state, people eat different foods at their Christmas feasts based on traditional favorite dishes and what is the freshest around the Christmas season. From prime rib to sugar cookies, one thing is for sure: your stomach is in for a gift at your Christmas feast wherever you spend the holiday!
Alabama: Green Bean Casserole
Not only a Christmas dish but also a Thanksgiving favorite, this holiday side is a classic on any table and sure to be a crowd pleaser at any Christmas feast in any state.
Alaska: Banana Bread
Who doesn't love a bite of delicious, moist banana bread? When warm and freshly baked, this holiday treat is a year-round favorite and especially as a place as cold as Alaska; it's no surprise that this is the most popular holiday treat!
What many might consider an unusual holiday dish is a favorite in Arizona, flan isn't uncommon in a state with a large population of people from Latin America! Spice up your holiday feast this year with this sweet, gooey treat!
A great accompaniment to any holiday feast, cider is a favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic Christmas drink for the whole family to enjoy!
California: Peppermint Bark
While not technically an entree for your Christmas feast, peppermint bark is the most popular Christmas candy in California, and who doesn't love the milk or dark chocolate combination with white chocolate and candy canes? Whether it be homemade with love by grandma or store-bought, peppermint bark is a treat for the whole family to enjoy all throughout the holiday season!
Colorado: Pecan Pie
Sweet, crisp, and as beautiful to look at as it tastes in your stomach, pecan pie is a party in your mouth and one of the best holiday desserts at any family feast!
Connecticut: Monkey Bread
One of my personal favorites and one of the most delicious winter desserts, monkey bread is the sweet treat you can't get enough of and perfect for any holiday dinner or party with friends and family. With a million variations on the original concept with things such as boozy monkey bread and chocolate chip caramel monkey bread, there's no surprise that it was the most popular Christmas food in Connecticut because there are a million ways for a to be a delicious holiday treat!
Delaware: Gingerbread Cookies
This holiday staple is easy and fun to make and decorate with the whole family, adding a little fun and childhood spirit with this Christmas dish.
District of Columbia: Peanut Butter Cookies
A staple all year round and especially during the winter and the holidays, peanut butter cookies are the simple, easy to make, childhood treat that is great to munch on all holiday season. No wonder people in the fast-paced capital can't get enough of them!
The fixture of both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, this massive bird is tender and often large enough to feed the entire family both at Christmas dinner and in other Christmas-inspired dishes for a week afterward!
Georgia: Candy Canes
A holiday classic, candy canes brighten up the holiday season and turn your tongue red and green, making your taste buds get in on the holiday spirit!
Hawaii: Kalua Pig
In Hawaii, a Christmas feast is anything but ordinary. The centerpiece of the dinner is Kalua pig, which is pork roasted in an underground oven called an imu. Side dishes include poke as an appetizer, lomi-lomi salmon (a side-dish made with fresh tomato), poi, and laulau, pork and fish wrapped in a taro leaf which is then buried to be cooked! And last but not least, for dessert in Hawaii, they eat haupia, a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert served in gelatin-type cubes on squares of ti leaf.
Idaho: Cole Slaw
A side dish customizable for any feast and enjoyed by all, this simple yet colorful side is an excellent accompaniment to any backyard-barbeque style Christmas feast!
Illinois: Hot Chocolate
It wouldn't be the holiday season without a creamy mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream to sip while you sit by the fire and enjoy the holiday.
Expert Tip: for the adults, add a little kalua and cinnamon for a boozy holiday treat!
Indiana: French Toast Bake
I know you must be thinking french toast bake is not a holiday food, but this breakfast dessert is all the rage, and people in Indiana are apparently catching on and making holiday versions of it such as eggnog french toast and pumpkin cheesecake french toast. Step up your holiday game and serve your family breakfast in bed with one of these recipes and kill Christmas morning breakfast.
In Iowa, they keep it barbeque style even on Christmas, with pulled pork and prime rib sliders coming in as the most googled holiday eats in Iowa. Who knew barbeque family fun was the newest way to celebrate Christmas!
Fun and colorful for the holidays, pinwheels are a great holiday cookie to be shared by the entire family! Coming in a variety of flavors, this is a holiday treat that will never disappoint!
Deer have been a popular food source for hunters and their families, and people in Kentucky love to hunt. Venison stays fresh for a long time and can be utilized a variety of ways for future use. Kentuckians tend to make everything from roast to sausage from the meat and it is a staple of their Christmas dinners!
New Orleans is famous for its Creole-inspired food, and a hearty gumbo with meat such as duck or sausage is the perfect holiday centerpiece for any Christmas feast down in NOLA!
Chowder is a staple in New England cuisine. With different types of fresh fish and mollusks available all year long, why wouldn't a Maine Christmas include some delicious, creamy New England clam chowder as a starter?
Maryland: Crab Cakes
It doesn't matter what type of year it is, Maryland is known for its succulent crabs and delicious crab cakes. Enjoy a crab-filled Christmas dish this holiday!
Massachusetts: Cranberry Sauce
This easy-to-make holiday condiment puts anyone in a festive mood with its sweet taste and lovely red-purple color. No surprise here that this was the most popular holiday food item in Massachusetts this season!
Michigan: Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies are great all year round, but are even better when you can decorate them for the holidays! So make a batch and serve them to all your friends and family this holiday season!
Minnesota: Christmas Cookies
More cookies, I know, but who doesn't love Christmas and who doesn't love cookies almost as much!
Mississippi: Deviled Eggs
Commonly served as an appetizer at any Christmas dinner party, it's no wonder that deviled eggs are a holiday favorite in Mississippi!
Missouri: Fruit Cake
This Christmas dish is not a favorite of many, but it is a Christmas classic all over the United States, especially in Missouri!
Montana: Prime Rib
This succulent Christmas dish is a staple in Montana where the meat is unbelievably fresh. This is certainly a family favorite and an upgrade from a classic Christmas ham!
Nebraska: Mashed Potatoes
A holiday and year-round classic, this Christmas dish is buttery, smooth, and creamy, and can come in a variety of different types to spice up the classic. Seconds please!
Nevada: Sopa de Res
This Christmas dish is a Latin American classic that has migrated north of the border into Nevada. A combination of hearty vegetables and beef, this soup will warm you right up on a cold Christmas night!
New Hampshire: Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkins are a fall item and more often connotated with Halloween and Thanksgiving than with Christmas. However, this delicious, not-too-sweet nor too-savory-to-be-a-dessert can be a Christmas dish just as much as any other type of pie! And it is in New Hampshire!
New Jersey: Feast of the Seven Fishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a popular Christmas tradition in Italy, and when Italians migrated to the States, specifically New Jersey, they brought with them this delicious Italian-American tradition. Christmas Eve is a vigil or fasting day to the Italians, and the platters of seafood reflect the tradition of abstinence from red meat until the actual feast of Christmas Day itself. The feast originated in Southern Italy and most commonly consists of seven different seafood dishes.
New Mexico: Fudge
This yummy winter treat comes in many flavors, shapes, and sizes, and it's a great treat especially around Christmas time!
New York: Dim Sum
While not a typical Christmas dish at all, most of the restaurants open in the Big Apple on Christmas are Chinese restaurants, and busy New Yorkers who did not have time to cook a full Christmas feast are frequenters of these restaurants. Dare we say: dim-yum!
North Carolina: Apple Pie
A classic American staple everywhere, apple pie is a national symbol of family time and togetherness, and what better than to have such a delicious and important dish on the table at Christmas dinner!
North Dakota: Pizza?
While not a traditional Christmas food, it was reported that the most researched food in North Dakota around the holiday season is none other than pizza! Maybe it's peppermint flavored?
Buckeyes are a classic Ohio Christmas dish. The cookies are composed of a decadent chocolate chunk cookie topped with creamy peanut butter and smooth chocolate ganache.
Oklahoma: Cinnamon Rolls
By far one of my favorite treats, cinnamon rolls get anyone into the Christmas spirit with their decadent cinnamon filling, sweet white glaze, and buttery layers of dough that wrap all the ingredients in a warm holiday embrace.
Oregon: Chocolate Chip Cookies
A classic treat everywhere, chocolate chip cookies can be made a million different ways, but one thing's for sure: everyone loves them, especially around Christmas time as a homemade gift for a friend or relative!
Christmastime is the time for joy and merriment, both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic kind, and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious mug of eggnog!
Rhode Island: Persimmon Pudding
Although now an American dish similar to Christmas pudding, persimmon pudding originally came from England with the first settlers. Persimmon pudding is generally either steamed or cooked in an oven with a water bath, which ensures that the pudding remains moist and does not dry out nor form a crust.
The pudding is often served with ice cream, créme anglaise, whipped cream, applesauce, or brandy sauce.
South Carolina: Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast casseroles are a staple of Christmas day brunches and are often stuffed with cream and meat and topped with breadcrumbs for a crispy finish.
South Dakota: Ham
Ham is the original Christmas dish and the centerpiece of every family Christmas feast. 'Nuff said.
Tennessee: Sausage Balls
While not what one would commonly say is a Christmas dish, sausage balls are a staple in Tennesee around the holidays and are a featured item at many Christmas dinners.
Texas: Oyster Stew
A Southern staple, oyster stew was initially cooked and eaten by Irish immigrants who were accustomed to eating fish the night before Christmas. Oyster stew is traditionally made with milk and cream, served with a side of oyster crackers of course!
Crepes are not a type of food that one would usually connect to the holidays, but this Christmas dish is perfect for when you wake up on Christmas day and open presents with the whole family. Stuff them with any of your holiday leftovers from Christmas Eve and reinvent breakfast on Christmas morning!
Pancakes are a Vermont staple because of Vermont's famous maple syrup. So why would Christmas be any exception? Wake up on the 25th to a steaming stack of pancakes and drizzle on some fresh maple syrup to start your Christmas off right.
Virginia: Sweet Potato Casserole
Arguably the only type of casserole worth eating, sweet potato casserole is a Christmas staple.
Washington: Sparkling Cider (Champagne)
In Washington, Christmastime is time for sparkling cider (but made with mostly champagne). You know where I'm gonna be this Christmas.
West Virginia: Hot Buttered Rum
A holiday drink you don't want to miss out on, hot buttered rum is a mixed drink containing rum, butter, hot water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This drink has a long history, dating back to the first colonies in the Americas.
Wisconsin: Tom and Jerry
A Tom and Jerry is a re-envisioned eggnog with brandy, rum, beaten egg whites, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sugar. Who wouldn't want to sip on one of these?
Wyoming: Jalapeno Popper?
For some reason (I have no idea what people in Wyoming must be doing on the internet if I'm honest), jalapeno poppers came in as the most popular Christmas dish. Who knew they were festive enough for the holidays?
Regardless of where you live, Christmas is a time of laughter, love, and family. Whether you choose to eat of dim sum or sugar cookies decorated to look like Santa this Christmas, make sure that you enjoy it in the company of friends and family. So this Christmas, spend time with your loved ones and feast because there is no better way to show your love for someone and the holiday spirit than through cooking!