Traditional recipes

Thanksgiving Dishes Across America

Thanksgiving Dishes Across America


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Although the emblematic turkey will forever be a mainstay, different regions bring different dishes to the Thanksgiving table

Our food choices, even on national holidays like Thanksgiving, are as diverse as our accents. And while the basic idea remains constant, regional influences make each table across the country slightly different.

America is a vast country, and its diversity is expressed in the ingredients that appear on the holiday table in various parts of the country — like oyster stuffing in the Northeast or red chile gravy in the Southwest. Some are even city-specific: Baltimore residents, for instance, proudly serve sauerkraut (a nod to German influences in the area) next to their turkey.

To celebrate our nation's various heritages and traditions, we have rounded up a collection of the best regional Thanksgiving delicacies from across America. Maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new this holiday.

Thanksgiving Dishes Across America

Our food choices, even on national holidays like Thanksgiving, are as diverse as our accents. Maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new this holiday.

Cranberry Fluff

Decidedly American (and weird), cranberry fluff has made appearances on tables across America but really is a favorite in the Heartland. Similar to ambrosia salad, cranberry fluff is made with whole cranberries processed in a food processor and folded with non-dairy whipped topping, mini marshmallows, and crushed pineapple chunks. Best made in advance, the fluff is first frozen then thawed just before serving so it still contains slivers of ice.

Cranberry Sauce With Chiles

Many regional dishes from the Southwest borrow flavors from neighboring Mexico, which is why it is no surprise that the Southwest opts for a spicier take on a traditional cranberry sauce. This version doctors a can of cranberry sauce with spicy chiles — like chipotles or jalapeños — and can include chopped onions, lime juice, cumin, and cilantro. Here, the chipotles mingle with whole berry canned cranberry sauce, thyme, and black pepper. For the Cranberry Sauce With Chipotle Peppers recipe, click here.

Red-Chile Gravy

Guajillo and ancho chiles are the usual flavor influencers in this gravy. The spiciness combined with turkey pan drippings add up to a twist on Thanksgiving gravy that is sure you make you sweat a little.

Southern Egg Gravy

In the South, it is not uncommon to see sliced or crumbled hard-boiled eggs mixed into turkey gravy.

Cornbread Stuffing

Southerners are serious about their cornbread — the South is basically the cornbread capital of the U.S., after all — so it is hardly surprising that sweet, crumbly cornbread is a base for Southern-style Thanksgiving stuffing (or "dressing" to use the proper Southern vernacular). The rough, lively texture paired with the signature sweetness of the cornbread is a magnificent complement to the savory quality of the turkey. For the Classic Cornbread Stuffing recipe, click here.

Tamale Stuffing

A Southwestern rendition, this Tex-Mex stuffing adorns a classic cornbread stuffing with chopped tamales. Of course, chiles, corn kernels, spices, and cilantro are some crowning flavors of this dish, too.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Wild rice is one of America’s native foods, grown across the nation in brackish water. On the holiday, the Northwest, West, and parts of the Midwest tend to showcase a wild rice-based stuffing instead of a plain bread-based one. It is usually studded with dried cherries or cranberries or other fruits like apples that contain an inherent sweetness to offset the deep earthiness of the wild rice. For a textural contrast to the rice’s chewiness, nuts and fresh chestnuts are also often added into the mix. For the Wild Rice, Olive, and Chestnut Stuffing recipe, click here.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Creamed Onions

A bowl full of whole pearl onions in a rich sauce may not peak much interest, but this is a common dish served in New England and parts of the Midwest and South. The pearl onions gently braise in a sauce made from flour and cream, then is traditionally sprinkled with paprika. On their own, they may not seem like much, but next to the turkey is where these onions shine. For the Creamed Onions recipe, click here.

Frog Eye Salad

This comically named fruit salad is a lot like ambrosia salad and features chopped pineapple, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, and mandarin oranges. But here’s the strange part: orzo pasta, a whole egg, and non-dairy whipped topping are also added into the mix. This salad is popular in the Southwest and West (most famously Utah) where Jell-O salads reign supreme. For the Frog Eye Salad recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Empanadas

You really can’t go wrong with stuffing fresh, fall pumpkin into a crisped pastry shell, which is probably why people in the Southwest are likely to serve pumpkin empanadas at their Thanksgiving feast. For the Pumpkin Empanadas recipe, click here.

Concord Grape Pie

Using New England’s iconic and famously sweet and flavorful grape, this pie is a simple pleasure; it is essentially grape jelly baked inside a buttery pie crust.

Indian Pudding

Indian pudding is a tradition the Pilgrims brought with them from England, but since wheat flour wasn’t readily available, the settlers subbed in cornmeal, creating this distinctly American dish, still enjoyed today at New England Thanksgiving celebrations. This long-cooked cornmeal porridge is stewed with molasses and spiced with cinnamon and ginger, then served with a big scoop of ice cream. It’s surprising that this dish isn’t better-known. For the Indian Pudding recipe, click here.

Key Lime Pie

Thinkstock

Lime Jell-O Salad

This Utah/ Midwest staple is deemed quite delicious by those who partake. There are a few variations of the dish, but typically lime Jell-O, Miracle Whip, cottage cheese, pineapple, and pecans is a common version seen at the Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkin Flan

Sugar Cream Pie

This Indiana staple — often called Hoosier Cream Pie — is made exactly how the title sounds: Sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract make up the filling, which is poured into the flaky butter pie dough and baked.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.


Thanksgiving across America: we want your regional recipes

Do you live in New England, the midwest, or the south? Are you a west coast native or a life-long east coaster? We want to know what traditional Thanksgiving food you’re making and how you’re going to give it a local touch. (Not quite sure where your state falls? Here’s a handy guide . or a guide that will make you over-think everything.)

Tell us your regional recipes with the form below, and you might get featured on the Guardian this Thanksgiving!

America has spread far from Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims famously first made landfall on the Mayflower. Each part of the country has developed its own special identity – and with that, its special foods.

Each region has signature cuisines. We want to highlight the ways different parts of America take on Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin, yams and cranberries. Dishes like this cornbread stuffing from the south or these chili-spiced sweet potato tamales from the southwest already have our mouths watering, but we’re starving for more kitchen inspiration.



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