The Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dish
in Each State
Thanksgiving is the food holiday for the year. It’s a time to gather together with friends and family to eat and celebrate being together. What’s so great about this holiday (outside of just all the delicious things to savor) is that every dinner is just a little different. Whether it’s that you serve broccoli casserole instead of green bean casserole, or you do a deep fried turkey instead of a roasted one, or if it’s because your family recipe has that special ingredient, no two dinners will look the same.
Along with that, no two dinner plates will look the same either. We all have our favorite dishes to cook and to enjoy. With that in mind, our team at Grill Cook Bake conducted a study to find the most popular Thanksgiving side dish in each state. We analyzed five years of Google search interest data to compile our results — keep reading to find out which dish is your state’s favorite!
In This Study
Above is a map of our results for each state. As you can see, there are a few definite trends across the country!
Interesting Call Outs
- Mac and cheese and mashed potatoes tied for the dish with the most states at 10 apiece.
- Green bean casserole was third with 8 states followed by stuffing with 6.
- Rolls was an interesting one to round out the top 5 with 5 states. A lot of people looking for rolls recipes!
- 5 dishes had one state each: broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, creamed corn, dressing, and white gravy.
- Out of the 18 dishes we analyzed the data for, 13 were a favorite in at least one state.
Above are all the findings listed out by state. We wanted to provide this table so you can clearly find which is the favorite in your state! These are the same findings are the map above.
The above chart is another way to look at the data. In this case we define count of states as the number of states where the favorite is that dish. As in, mac and cheese is the favorite in 10 states, thus its count of states is 10. While this doesn’t take into account state population, it’s an interesting way to determine the overall most popular or favorite Thanksgiving dishes in the U.S.
Using this view, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes are tied for the most popular with green bean casserole coming in third.
Thanksgiving is a holiday to look forward to whether you enjoy the cooking, the eating, the time spent together, or all of the above. We each have our favorite things to make and to savor. Our study shows that different states have different preferences and that no two dinners will look exactly the same!
We used 5 years of Google Trends search data to determine the most popular Thanksgiving side dish in each state. We used search interest data for the entire month of November in 2016-2021. We examined 18 different traditional side dishes and then averaged the search interest data for the five years. From that data we determined the favorite.
Each state had data for most of the different dishes. Where the search interest was highest for that term made it the favorite.
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