The Best Comfort Food from Every State
Whether it’s Pennsylvania’s Philly cheese steaks, Florida’s key lime pie or Georgia peach ice cream, we love American comfort food. Cook your way from sea to shining sea with these iconic dishes.
Who doesn’t love comfort food?
Sometimes there’s nothing like comfort food—a filling, scrumptious, and maybe-not-the-most-healthy dish. You probably have a go-to favorite, but there’s plenty of other delicious comfort food out there. Here’s our favorite comfort food recipe from all 50 states. Plus, find out the most fascinating food fact from each state.
Alabama: Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread
“A classic Southern comfort food, this spread is used as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips or celery. It is also smeared between two slices of white bread for sandwiches and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs.” —Eileen Balmer, South Bend, Indiana
Alaska: Barbecued Alaskan Salmon
“We eat salmon all summer long, and this is our favorite way to fix it. The mild sauce—brushed on as the fish grills—really enhances the taste.” —Janis Smoke, King Salmon, Alaska. Do you know these facts about each U.S. state?
Arizona: Beef Chimichangas
“A spicy sauce sparks up these hearty beef- and bean-filled tortillas. I often double the recipe and freeze the chimichangas individually to take out as needed. I serve them with shredded lettuce and sour cream.” —Schelby Thompson, Camden Wyoming, Delaware Love Mexican food? Try these easy appetizers.
Arkansas: Cajun Pecan Catfish
“This is one of our favorite recipes. It’s quick, easy and delicious. Just serve with a side salad, biscuits, and mixed fruit for dessert. We like it a lot for Christmas Eve.” —Jan Wilkins, Blytheville, Arkansas. Here are some global Christmas traditions Americans should definitely try out.
California: California Sushi Rolls
“This tastes as good as any restaurant or store-bought California roll. For best results, do use the sushi rice to ensure the right sticky consistency.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Colorado: Green Chile Chicken Chili
“The prep work for this chili is easy thanks to several pantry staples. It’s loaded with shredded chicken and beans. The spicy heat can be tamed a bit by cool sour cream.” —Fred Lockwood, Plano, Texas
Delaware: Cornmeal Scrapple
“I grew up in a German-Dutch community and this dish was a favorite there. I like to eat scrapple in the wintertime, but my husband thinks it’s perfect anytime. As he always says, ‘It really sticks to your ribs.'” —Mrs. Merlin Brubaker, Bettendorf, Iowa
Florida: Macadamia Key Lime Pie
“I make Key lime pie at least four times a month during summer, it’s so refreshing. The shortbread crust adds richness.” —Brynn LeMaire, Gueydan, Louisiana. Find out the best pie recipe from every state.
Hawaii: Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
“I got this grilled chicken recipe from a friend while living in Hawaii. It sizzles with the flavors of brown sugar, ginger and soy sauce. Huli means ‘turn’ in Hawaiian. This sweet and savory glaze is fantastic on pork chops, too.” —Sharon Boling, San Diego, California Here’s what you should know before you take a vacation to Hawaii.
Idaho: Hearty Potato Soup
“Having grown up on a dairy farm in Holland, I love our country life here in Idaho’s “potato country.” My favorite potato soup originally called for heavy cream and bacon fat, but I’ve trimmed down the recipe.” —Gladys DeBoer, Castleford, Idaho
Illinois: Homemade Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza
“Since I live near Chicago, I’ve managed to sample more than my share of deep-dish pizzas. This recipe lets you re-create the best of my town—right in your town!” —Lynn Hamilton, Naperville, Illinois. Here are the best tourist attractions in every state that you won’t pay a cent for.
Indiana: Sugar Cream Pie
“I absolutely love sugar cream pie, especially the one that my grandma made for me. Here in Indiana, we serve it warm or chilled.” —Laura Kipper, Westfield, Indiana
Iowa: Stuffed Iowa Chops
“Here’s a hearty dish for big appetites. The corn and apples make a tasty stuffing for the chops.” —Judith Smith, Des Moines, Iowa. Here are some handy kitchen shortcuts you’ll wish you’d always known.
Kansas: Multigrain Cinnamon Rolls
“This simple and easy-to-work-with recipe is sure to become a family favorite. And the wholesome cinnamon rolls will fill your kitchen with a wonderful, warm aroma.” —Judy Eddy, Baldwin City, Kansas
Kentucky: Mini Hot Browns
“Here’s my take on the famous Hot Brown sandwich. Guests quickly saddle up for juicy turkey slices and crispy bacon, piled on toasted rye bread and then topped with a rich cheese sauce.” —Annette Grahl, Midway, Kentucky. If you think that looks delicious, get a look at some more of America’s most famous sandwiches.
Louisiana: New Orleans Gumbo
“I’ve been making this gumbo for at least 30 years. I’m originally from New Orleans, and I think it’s a nice taste of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter). Everyone who tastes this gumbo wants the recipe. It’s an old standby for my family, who requests it frequently.” —Dolores M. Bridges, Danville, Kentucky. Here’s a bucket list–worthy item for every U.S. state.
Maine: Lobster Rolls
“Mayonnaise infused with dill and lemon lend refreshing flavor to our Test Kitchen’s super sandwiches. Try toasting the buns for something special.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Maryland: Easy Crab Cakes
“Ready-to-go crabmeat makes these delicate patties ideal for dinner when you are pressed for time. You can also form the crab mixture into four thick patties instead of eight cakes.” —Charlene Spelock, Apollo, Pennsylvania
Massachusetts: Boston Baked Beans
“Simmered in molasses, these beans are perfect to take to your next potluck. The sauce is sweet, dark, and rich and they complement anything you serve with them.” —Darlene Duncan, Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Here are America’s 50 best diners.
Michigan: Michigan Cherry Pie
“This tart Michigan cherry pie is delicious with the streusel topping but even better crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.” —Diane Selich, Vassar, Michigan
Minnesota: Wild Rice Soup
“As the oldest of eight girls growing up on the farm, I began cooking at an early age! This soup—which I first had at my sister’s house—brings me compliments no matter where I serve it.” —Elienore Myhre, Balaton, Minnesota. Here’s a fascinating fun fact for each of the 50 states.
Mississippi: Frozen Mud Pie
“Here’s one of those ‘looks like you fussed’ desserts that is so easy it’s become a standard for me. I love the mocha version, but pure chocolate lovers may prefer using chocolate chip ice cream. The cookie crust is a snap to make.” —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
Montana: Grilled Marinated Ribeyes
“These juicy steaks are a favorite meal of ours when we go camping. Let them sit in tangy, barbecue-inspired marinade overnight and you’ve got a rich and hearty dinner ready to grill up the next day.” —Louise Graybiel, Toronto, Ontario
Nebraska: Nebraska’s Stuffed Beef Sandwiches
“When I moved to Nebraska, I discovered many ethnic foods that I had never heard of before. A friend introduced me to this German-Russian beef sandwich, and it quickly became a family favorite.” —Dolly Croghan, Mead, Nebraska. Do you know which famous food was invented in your state?
Nevada: Ensenada Shrimp Cocktail
“Tomatoes, peppers, onions and cilantro replace traditional cocktail sauce in this lively Southwestern makeover of the popular appetizer.” —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
New Hampshire: Apple Pumpkin Muffins
“The combination of apples and pumpkin makes this recipe a perfect treat for cool fall day. The muffins are great for breakfast, dessert or an after-school snack.” —Beth Knapp, Littleton, New Hampshire
New Jersey: Jersey-Style Hot Dogs
“I grew up in northern New Jersey, where hot dogs with grilled potatoes were born. It’s a combo you’ll love.” —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Here’s where to find the best hot dog in every state.
New Mexico: New Mexico Green Chili Breakfast
“Back when I lived in the Southwest, we wrapped everything up in a tortilla. Breakfast burritos in every possible combination are very popular in New Mexico.” —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
New York: Crustless New York Cheesecake
“This rich cheesecake is incredibly creamy. Even though the cake doesn’t have a crust, I guarantee everyone will love it.” —Mrs. George Parsell, Flushing, New York
North Carolina: Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken
“I live in Georgia, but I appreciate the tangy, sweet taste of Carolina barbecue chicken. In fact, my sons are more likely to show up to dinner if they know I’m serving this slow cooker recipe.” —Ramona Parris, Canton, Georgia. Love the slow cooker? Check out the best slow cooker recipe in every state.
North Dakota: Blueberry Kuchen
“In the summer, we can get beautiful, plump blueberries, which I use in this easy-to-make coffee cake. I like to freeze extra blueberries so I have them available any time I want this treat.” —Anne Krueger, Richmond, British Columbia
“These candies are always popular at my church’s annual Christmas fundraiser. They resemble chestnuts, or buckeyes, hence the name.” —Merry Kay Opitz, Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Find out the best Christmas cookie from every state.
Oklahoma: Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy
“As a child, my grandmother taught me how to make chicken fried steak. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are bigger, I’ll show them, too.” —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
Oregon: Oregon’s Best Marionberry Pie
“I believe Oregon marionberries make about the best berry pie in the world. And when you add some cream cheese and flavorings, you’ll be making the best even better!” —Frances Benthin, Scio, Oregon
Pennsylvania: Pat’s King of Steaks Philly Cheese Steak
“This ultimate cheesesteak, an iconic sandwich in Philly, is a best-seller at Pat’s King of Steaks Restaurant. Patrons praise its thinly cut beef and crusty Italian rolls.” —Frank E. Olivieri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Learn the crazy slang words that no one outside your state will understand.
Rhode Island: Dad’s Famous Stuffies
“The third of July is almost as important as the Fourth in my family. We make these stuffed clams on the third every year, and it’s an event in and of itself!” —Karen Barros, Bristol, Rhode Island
South Carolina: Southern Shrimp and Grits
“A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch, dinner, and when company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest.” —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina. Casserole is one of the tastiest comfort foods—find out the best casserole recipe from every state.
South Dakota: Grilled Beef Kabobs
“Many times, I must come up with recipes requiring only ingredients already in my pantry. This is one of them. It’s my husband’s favorite meat dish.” —Dolores Lueken, Ferdinand, Indiana
Tennessee: Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken
“I call this America’s best-loved oven-fried chicken. The secret is in the breading, which makes the chicken super moist and flavorful, herby and golden brown.” —Elaina Morgan, Rickman, Tennessee
Texas: Sizzling Tex-Mex Fajitas
“My family likes garlic, so I dreamed up this delicious marinade for our summer fajita dinners. The marinade needs eight hours to work its magic, but it’s even better if the steak marinates overnight. Try it on chicken breasts, too.” —Karyn “Kiki” Power, Arlington, Texas. Here are the dumbest laws in every U.S. state.
Utah: Panguitch Potatoes
“When my husband was in charge of our large pioneer celebration a few years ago, he decided to multiply our family favorite for a crowd. The dish is easy to fix and has become a standby for the event. Here is the original recipe, cheesy and comforting.” —Lucile Proctor, Panguitch, Utah. Can’t get enough potatoes? This is the best potato recipe from every state.
Vermont: Maple Sticky Buns
“My family has a small sugaring operation in our backyard. This recipe makes good use of the maple syrup we make. It’s a family tradition to serve these sticky buns on Thanksgiving every year.” —Priscilla Rossi, East Barre, Vermont
Virginia: Broccoli-Ham Hot Dish
“One of my best friends shared this recipe with me. My family loves it because it includes one of our favorite vegetables—broccoli. For potluck, it’s a delicious and colorful way to use up leftover ham.” —Margaret Allen, Abingdon, Virginia
Washington: Washington State Apple Pie
“This pie won Grand Champion in the Apple Pie category at the 1992 Okanogan County Fair. The pie looks traditional, but making your own filling gives it a different flair and great taste.” —Dolores Scholz, Tonasket, Washington. Here’s the story of how apple pie became America’s favorite dessert.
West Virginia: Pepperoni Roll-Ups
“Here is a fast appetizer recipe that goes over well at my house. Each bite has gooey, melted cheese and real pizza flavor. Try serving them with pizza sauce for dipping.” —Debra Purcell, Safford, Arizona. While snacking, watch the most famous movie set in your state.
Wisconsin: BBQ Brats
“In Wisconsin, brats are a food group! We are always looking for new ways to cook them. This recipe is easy and a hit at any tailgate party or cookout, any time of year.” —Jessica Abnet, DePere, Wisconsin
Wyoming: Wyoming Cowboy Cookies
“These cookies are very popular here. They’re great for munching anytime.” —Patsy Steenbock, Shoshoni, Wyoming. Continue your culinary journey with the one food you have to try from every U.S. state.