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The Most Popular Christmas Recipe in Every State

Sweet potato casserole has a LOT of fans.

There's a lot to love about Christmas—the decorations, the music, watching the classic movies (Elf, anyone?), and, of course, enjoying a holiday feast.

Many families have a go-to Christmas dinner that's become part of their holiday tradition. But, unlike Thanksgiving, there's not one specific main course that we associate with the holiday. And as it turns out, the most popular Christmas recipes run the gamut depending on what state and region you're in.

Treetopia mapped out the most popular Christmas recipes in every state, and some of the answers are pretty surprising. From eggnog to a whole lot of sweet potato casserole, here's what's being cooked across America on Christmas.

And for more, check out The Most Popular Cake Flavor in Every State.

ALABAMA: Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole

This dish is a favorite in Southern states, and Alabama is no exception. Made with butter, brown sugar, pecans, and a cinnamon topping, this recipe could be mistaken for a dessert—but hey, sweet potatoes are healthy, right?

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy

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ALASKA: Cranberry Sauce

healthy orange cranberry relish
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You might think of cranberry sauce as the quintessential Thanksgiving side dish, but in Alaska, it has a home on Christmas dinner tables across the state. Our recipe has a secret weapon: orange juice and zest, plus fresh ginger.

Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish


Roasted goose

Goose is one of the more traditional Christmas dishes—in fact, it's been a staple in Europe since ancient times. It's a popular choice in Britain, and it turns out Arizonans love it, too.

It doesn't hurt that goose is a grass-fed meat full of vitamin A, vitamin E, and CLAs [conjugated linoleic acids], which means it's a bit healthier than other meat recipes.

 21 Best Healthy Baked Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss

ARKANSAS: Sweet Potato Casserole

sweet potato casserole

Southerners love their sweet potato casserole, and for good reason. If there's any day to eat dessert as a main course, it's Christmas.

CALIFORNIA: Roast Carrots

Vegetarian honey roasted carrots
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Carrots are grown year-round in California; they're planted between July to September to harvest from November through February. The veggie is at its peak in December, so Californians make good use of carrots by serving them at Christmas dinner.

Get our recipe for Roasted Carrots

 41+ Best Carrot Recipes for Weight Loss


christmas goose on serving platter

Geese are permanent residents of Colorado, but thanks to migration, there's an especially large number during the fall and winter months. Coloradoans take advantage of this and cook up a classic Christmas dinner.

CONNECTICUT: Roasted Potatoes

Gluten-free crispy rosemary potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Connecticut is known as "The Nutmeg State," but on Christmas, roasted potatoes take center stage. This recipe is perfect for anyone who's allergic or sensitive to gluten (don't worry, we didn't sacrifice the taste one bit).

Get our recipe for Gluten-Free Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

DELAWARE: Mashed Potatoes

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Why should we limit the deliciousness of mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving Day? In Delaware, they don't, and we fully support this decision. Our recipe is so simple that even amateur chefs will find it a breeze.

Get our recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes

 I Tasted 5 Instant Mashed Potatoes & This Is The Best

FLORIDA: Christmas Turkey

roasted turkey

Florida is sticking with the classic Christmas Turkey, so it turns out the state has at least one thing in common with Britain (although it's certainly not the sunshine!). Fun fact: Rumor has it that Henry VIII was the first person in Britain to eat turkey for his Christmas feast.

Get our recipe for 90-Minute Roasted Turkey With Orange-Cranberry Relish

GEORGIA: Roast Carrots

Roasted carrots

Due to Georgia's climate, the carrots harvested in the state have a sweeter flavor because they naturally develop more sugar while growing. A Christmas dish that's healthy and sweet? Sign us up!

Get the recipe from Cookie + Kate

HAWAII: Cranberry Sauce

homemade cranberry sauce with cranberries outside the bowl

Alaska and Hawaii don't have much in common 364 days of the year. But on Christmas day, both states enjoy cranberry sauce as part of their main course.

Get the recipe from Recipe Tin Eats

 Our 50 Best Christmas Recipes

IDAHO: Roasted Potatoes

roasted potatoes on grill pan

Thanks to its climate and volcanic soil, Idaho is known for growing incredible potatoes. On Christmas Day, they're served up roasted.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker

ILLINOIS: Roast Carrots

tricolor roasted carrots

Roast carrots also take the top spot in The Prairie State. This recipe details how to make the dish either sweet or savory, depending on your preference.

Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron


Homemade gravy recipe in a gravy boat on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Gravy isn't just for Thanksgiving. If you're not making a turkey, homemade gravy is still an option; the drippings from roast chicken can also be used.

Get our recipe for Homemade Gravy

 30 New Twists on Classic Christmas Recipes

IOWA: Pheasant

roasted whole pheasant on serving platter

There's a large number of pheasants—and people who hunt them—in Iowa, and the number is only increasing. In 2020, there was an 18% increase in the number of birds in the state. Iowans enjoy the old-fashioned (but delicious dish) on Christmas Day.


Turkey gravy

Gravy also took the top spot in Kansas. If you're a vegetarian or simply want to mix things up, try this recipe, which uses mushrooms rather than meat drippings as a base.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven

KENTUCKY: Sweet Potato Casserole

tray of sweet potato casserole topped with pecans and marshmallows
Zigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Should we officially add sweet potato casserole to the list of quintessential Christmas dishes? Based on the number of states that can't get enough of it, we're thinking the answer might be yes.

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LOUISIANA: Sweet Potato Casserole

sweet potato casserole in a skillet topped with marshmallows
Natalia Wimberley/Shutterstock

What can we say? People love sweet potato casserole, and it's particularly popular in Southern states.

MAINE: Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

We love that Mainers are focused on the cocktails—after all, it's a day to eat, drink, and be merry. Plus, a good hot toddy is a perfect way to warm up in one of the chilliest states.

Get the recipe from Cookie + Kate

MARYLAND: Stuffing

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Stuffing is another dish that's popular on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This160-calorie recipe amps up the flavor by adding apple sausage.

Get our recipe for Apple Sausage Stuffing

 24 Best Vintage Christmas Dinner Recipes

MASSACHUSETTS: Roasted Potatoes

roasted potatoes

One of Massachusetts' many nicknames is "The Codfish State," but on Christmas, it's all about the roasted potatoes.

Get the recipe from Well Plated

MICHIGAN: Roast Carrots

roast whole carrots closeup

There are many ways to make this popular Christmas dish. For example, this recipe steps it up by adding garlic and Parmesan cheese. Yum!

Get the recipe from Diethood


two roast pheasants with carrots

Iowa isn't the only state that saw an increase in pheasants this year. In Minnesota, there were also more birds to hunt and turn into a Christmas meal.

 20 Best-Ever Christmas Eve Side Dishes

MISSISSIPPI: Sweet Potato Casserole

baking tray of sweet potato casserole with pecans
Ksenija Toyechkina/Shutterstock

We told you that sweet potato casserole is beloved! It doesn't hurt that there are many ways to make the dish. For example, this recipe includes bourbon and bacon pecans.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest

MISSOURI: Crescent Rolls

crescent rolls

Who can turn down a buttery carb? Plus, crescent rolls are much prettier than regular old rolls, so be sure to snap that perfect Instagram photo before you dig in.

Get the recipe from Julie's Eats and Treats

MONTANA: Prime Rib

prime rib steak with bones

You can't go wrong with this classic dish. This recipe's garlicky crust and au jus sauce are the perfect additions to make prime rib extra special for your Christmas feast.

Get the recipe from Diethood.

 17 Best Healthy Steak Recipes


prime rib steak with bones

Nebraskans also love a good prime rib on Christmas.

Get the recipe from Recipe Tin Eats

NEVADA: Mashed Potatoes

Vegan smashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Nevada has an arid climate, so one might think that it isn't the ideal place to grow crops of potatoes. But it turns out that great potatoes are grown in areas where the land can be irrigated, and they're a favorite on Christmas. As this recipe proves, the vegan version is also delicious.

Get our recipe for Vegan Smashed Potatoes

 What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Potatoes


Vegetarian melted brie vegetables
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Brie is hands-down one of the best appetizers out there, and in New Hampshire, it's the Christmas favorite—to which we say, "good choice!"

Get our recipe for Melted Brie Cheese with Vegetables

NEW JERSEY: Roast Carrots

whole roasted carrots with herbs
Adam Calaitzis/Shutterstock

New Jersey also loves their roast carrots. One of the best things about this dish is how many variations you can make. If you're feeling adventurous, try this recipe, which includes farro, chickpeas, and an herbed crème fraîche.

Get the recipe from Cookies + Kate

 23 Healthy Mushroom Recipes for Meatless Dinners

NEW MEXICO: Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes bowl

Mashed potatoes are the favorite in New Mexico. The state is, of course, known for its chile peppers, so we wouldn't be surprised if many at-home chefs make sure they're included in the classic dish. Gotta get that spicy kick, after all!


christmas roast goose in pan
Liliya Kandrashevich/Shutterstock

New Yorkers are known for being on top of all the latest trends, but on Christmas, they stick with the classic goose dish.

23 Restaurant Chains Open on Christmas Day


roast carrots on a plate
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

In North Carolina, roast carrots reign supreme, despite sweet potatoes being the state vegetable. This recipe tosses them in a homemade honey garlic butter sauce. Yum!

Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar


stuffing side dish

Stuffing is the favorite in North Dakota. As with roast carrots, there are many variations for people who are feeling adventurous in the kitchen. For example, this recipe amps it up with butter and herbs, and it can easily be made without a turkey.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats

OHIO: Roast Carrots

roast baby carrots
Nicky Rhodes/Shutterstock

We're back to roast carrots! If you prefer sweet over savory, try this recipe—it uses honey to add flavor.

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy

 17 Recipes That Use Leftover Christmas Ham


roux gravy made with cornstarch poured on to turkey

Oklahomans love gravy on Christmas just as much as on Thanksgiving. It can be made with chicken, turkey, beef, and even vegetables, so it's a great option regardless of your main course.

Get the recipe from Inspired Taste

OREGON: Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes thanksgiving

At 53,000 pounds of potatoes per acre, Oregon boasts the highest yield per acre of potatoes in the world. It's no surprise that potatoes take center stage on Christmas.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest

PENNSYLVANIA: Christmas Turkey

Roasted turkey

Pennsylvanians stick with the tried-and-true classic Christmas turkey. If you have a slow cooker, it can be used to make a delicious and juicy turkey.

Get the recipe from Recipe Tin Eats

 The Most Popular Slow Cooker Dish in Every State


thanksgiving stuffing

In Rhode Island, stuffing takes the top spot. Like roast carrots, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your recipe. For example, this one is made with wild mushrooms.

Get the recipe from What's Gaby Cooking

SOUTH CAROLINA: Sweet Potato Casserole

square of sweet potato casserole on blue plate
Ivana Lalicki/Shutterstock

In South Carolina, sweet potato casserole is also the most popular Christmas dish.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

South Dakota is mixing up the casserole game. Rather than featuring sweet potatoes, residents of this state opt to use green beans as the casserole base.

Get our recipe for Healthy Green Bean Casserole

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TENNESSEE: Sweet Potato Casserole

bowl of sweet potato casserole with pecan topping
Zigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Another vote for sweet potato casserole!

TEXAS: Christmas Turkey


Texans are known for their killer BBQ dishes, but they keep it simple and classic on Christmas with turkey as the main course.

UTAH: Stuffing

traditional stuffing

Stuffing is the most popular Christmas recipe in Utah.

 We Tasted 5 Stuffing Mixes & This Is the Best


two cups of eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg next to two cookies
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Like Mainers, Vermonters aren't messing around when it comes to holiday beverages. (We're sensing a theme in New England!) Their drink of choice is classic eggnog.

Get our recipe for Eggnog

 We Tasted 9 Store-Bought Eggnogs & This Is the Best

VIRGINIA: Christmas Turkey

carving tukey

Turkey hunting is a popular sport in Virginia, so they have high-quality meat to cook their Christmas turkeys.


stuffing image

Washingtonians are throwing it back to Thanksgiving by eating a whole lot of stuffing on Christmas.

 30 Healthy Stuffed Chicken Recipes to Make Tonight


christmas eggnog with candy cane

In West Virginia, eggnog is the Christmas favorite. Although no one knows for sure if it's true, it's rumored that George Washington loved eggnog. Either way, this classic recipe will leave you feeling cheerful and satisfied.

Get the recipe from The View from Great Island


roast christmas goose

In Wisconsin, goose hunting season begins in September, so it's timed perfectly to make a fresh and delicious goose dish for Christmas dinner.

WYOMING: Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

You can never go wrong with mashed potatoes, and Wyoming is sticking with the classic, universally beloved dish.

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Caitlin Flynn
Caitlin Flynn is an award-winning writer and reporter who experienced early age corporate burnout in 2015 and traded New York City for the misty air and superior coffee of Seattle. Read more about Caitlin
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