50 Casseroles for the 50 United States
Most states have an official state food, and we think they also need an official state casserole. If we could sum up each state with a hotdish recipe, we would. Oh, wait—we just did.
The pecan is the official state nut of Alabama. Adding these little nuts to a sweet potato casserole gives this side dish an extra-special touch, especially at Thanksgiving.
With a shoreline of more than 6,600 miles, it’s no surprise that Alaska harvests some of the best salmon. Wild Alaskan salmon is popular throughout the United States and can be enjoyed in many ways. In honor of this superior fish, we chose a salmon egg bake as the unofficial state casserole.
With Arizona sitting on the Mexican-American border, much of its cuisine is inspired by our neighbors to the south. Chiles rellenos are a traditional dish of stuffed poblano peppers. We say it can only be improved by turning it into a casserole.
Rice is Arkansas’ top export and the official state grain. About half of U.S. rice production is done in Arkansas, and America’s Rice Capital is located in the city of Stuttgart. Rice is a common ingredient in many casseroles, like this creamy turkey supper.
Colorado has the third highest lamb population in the States and is known for its high-quality meat. Many out-of-state restaurants import Colorado lamb because it’s thought to be the best. So a Centennial State casserole has to use lamb somehow. What better way than in a Greek-style bake?
If you live in Connecticut, then you’re not far from a good supply of crabmeat. That’s why a Connecticut state casserole has to be made with crab. This fun egg bake would fit right in at an East Coast brunch.
The Sunshine State’s official state fruit is…the ORANGE! Florida produces the majority of citrus grown in the U.S., so an orange-y French toast casserole fits this state perfectly. Linger over this breakfast before stretching out on the beach.
Grits, which are made from corn, are found in a lot of Southern cooking. They are Georgia’s official prepared food (yes, that title does exist), which can be enjoyed morning, noon or night. Our cheesy grits casserole is a breakfast treat!
Hawaii’s famous for its once-booming pineapple industry, and we still fondly associate the spiky fruit with the Aloha State. This pineapple casserole is a well-loved potluck side dish that will make everyone dream of Hawaii.
Where do potatoes come from? Idaho, of course! Idaho has ideal environmental conditions for growing spuds, which is why so many of them come from this state. There are endless ways to eat a potato, but one of our favorites is a twice baked potato casserole.
The Midwest is known for cold winters, which is why cozy casseroles are so popular there. All-in-one meals like this Tater Tot casserole are just the thing to keep people keep warm during a blustery Chicago winter.
The Hawkeye State has a well-suited climate for growing corn, which is why it’s their leading crop. In fact, Iowa corn farmers produced more than 2 billion bushels of corn in 2017. Holy smokes! There’s no denying Iowa’s state casserole has to be a corn casserole.
Kansas is known for its bierocks: mini meat pies stuffed with ground beef and cabbage, which were invented by German immigrants. If we unstuffed the bierock and put it into a 13×9 pan, we’d get something like this cabbage roll casserole.
No explanation needed here. Cajun food is synonymous with Louisiana cooking.
Maine is known for its lobsters, but unfortunately we don’t have any lobster casseroles! Other seafood is abundant in the state, too, so we choose a casserole with not one but TWO kinds of shellfish.
Massachusetts’ biggest city, Boston, is known as Beantown because of its famous baked beans. Here we have a wicked-good bean casserole that’s always devoured at potlucks.
Pasties are an iconic Michigan dish. They are mini hand pies traditionally stuffed with beef, potato, onion and rutabagas. This pasty pie isn’t technically a casserole, but we think it’s close enough.
Mississippians love their cornbread, which is common at many Southern meals. This cornbread casserole is easy to serve a large group.
Peanut butter has roots in the state of Missouri: The peanut butter machine was introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Today, we put peanut butter on and in almost anything, including a French toast casserole.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s mascot is the Cornhusker, which suggests that corn is a pretty big deal in those parts. Bring a corn casserole, and it will be demolished almost immediately.
You can’t think of Nevada without thinking of Las Vegas casinos and their all-you-can-eat buffets. This breakfast casserole combines those things you’d find at the breakfast buffet into an all-in-one meal.
Pumpkin is the official state fruit of New Hampshire (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!). Add it to French toast, and you have a super cozy fall breakfast.
New Jersey is home to many Italian-Americans. Sunday dinner with the relatives is a cherished tradition that centers around food and family. Here’s what to bring next week.
This choice is self-explanatory. Substitute Hatch chilies for the green ones when they’re in season!
The sweet potato has been North Carolina’s official state vegetable since 1995. You don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy this creamy sweet potato casserole.
North Dakotans are big on church suppers and fellowship dinners. We think our potluck-ready spaghetti would be a big hit with that crowd.
Did you know Oklahoma has an official state MEAL? It consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, black-eyed peas, strawberries, chicken fried steak and pecan pie. I’m stuffed just thinking about it!
Only two states have designated a state mushroom: Oregon and Minnesota. Oregon’s is the Pacific golden chanterelle, which is lovely in this side dish.
The smallest casserole for the smallest state seems appropriate.
Shrimp and grits are on iconic Southern dish, especially in South Carolina.
Like Ohio, the official state fruit of Tennessee is the tomato. It’s the star of this baked side dish.
This casserole captures the Southwest flavors and ingredients you find in Texas.
It comes as no surprise that Vermont is the U.S.’ biggest producer of maple syrup. They churn out about 500,000 gallons a year!
Virginia ham is a popular commodity, particularly the Smithfield ham. One of the best parts about making a ham for the holidays is using the leftovers in a tasty casserole the next day.
The pepperoni roll is a famous food from West Virginia, and we can thank coal miners for that. You see, they needed something portable to bring for lunch while working in the mines. Enter the pepperoni roll: a handheld sandwich stuffed with pepperoni.
Wisconsin is known for many things, including cheese, brats, beer and kringle, so it was hard to choose a casserole that encompassed all that this state has to offer (we’re a little biased since the Taste of Home offices are located in Milwaukee!).