The Most Popular Christmas Dish in Every State

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the popular dishes that define the culinary traditions of the season. The food eaten around Christmas time in the United States is special and regionality plays a huge part in what you’ve got on the dinner table after the presents are opened. 

So, the team at Food Fire + Knives analyzed search term volumes (how many times users searched for the term) and Google Trends (each point is calculated by dividing the total number of searches and time range to represent the popularity in a given timeframe and area) to arrive at a definitive list of the top Christmas foods from sea to shining sea, based on user queries in Google! Let’s dig in!


Alabama sure does love sweet potato casserole around the holidays! According to Google Trends data, this casserole dish is usually only searched for around Thanksgiving and Christmas, hitting a search volume of 18,100 and a Google Trends score of 98 for December 2022 compared to the rest of the year! The popularity of the dish falls off the rest of the year with the Trends score staying below 10, which makes total sense when you take into account that the best time to harvest sweet potatoes is from late August to early November. 

It only feels right to pair this tasty side with a less intricate, but still delicious main course- baked ham. Baked ham takes second place, with a search volume of 590 and a strong Google Trends score of 91 in December for last year’s holiday dish. Pairing sweet potato casserole with baked ham sounds like a win-win no matter where you live.


The Alaskan version of cranberry sauce is something special when it comes to popular Christmas dishes. Abundant wild cranberries grow in 3 varieties in Alaska, but only 1 is a genuine cranberry! Alaskan cranberry sauce, made from lowbush cranberries, is a unique US holiday food. According to our data, this is one tradition the entire state comes together to celebrate during the holiday season, with the dish hitting peak popularity at a score of 100 during the holidays compared to the rest of the year. 

These aren’t your regular cranberries either; the cranberries grown in Alaska have been shown to have stronger antioxidant properties than the cranberries harvested in the states below. Another fun fact is that while Alaskan cranberries are best when they are picked after the first frost, don’t worry if you’re late to the picking party. They are also edible frozen or will be ready to pick again in spring.


Leave it to the South West to kick it up a notch for Christmas. Tamales are the food of choice among holiday foods, not only in Arizona but in California, New Mexico, and Texas. Arizona in particular, however, stands out for its passion, having just hosted its consecutive 21st Annual Tamale Competition

With a search volume of 9,900 and a trend score that spiked up last Christmas season to a solid 71, it’s clear that families in Arizona love making tamales for the holidays. During the rest of the year, however, tamales take a back seat to the runner-up, enchiladas, which sees a consistent Google Trends score above tamales throughout the year.

“Here in Arizona, or specifically in Phoenix, a big tradition is to make tamales. You can find homemade tamales all over the city! My favorite is green chile pork tamales.” – Jessica Spencer, Private Chef


Pecan pie is the Christmas food of choice in Arkansas with a Trends score of 69 and a search volume of 1,900 last December, but it may not stay that way for long. Since 2021, a challenger has been attempting to claim the coveted title of “Most Popular Christmas Dish” in Arkansas, and it’s called sweet potato casserole. Searches for this really spike up only around the holidays with a huge search volume of 8,100 last December. It’s safe to say as Arkansans/Arkansawyers become more health conscious, they may be leaving the more sugary pie behind in favor of an option that can be made to suit more health-conscious individuals.

Don’t call it quits yet on pecan pie though, as it still maintains its title this year! This particular dish is also incredibly easy and fun to make at home with your loved ones for a fun brunch. Get cooking! 


Tamales are California’s leader in popular Christmas dishes. Its popularity over decades has been nothing short of impressive, maintaining a Trends score of at least 72 each holiday season at a massive monthly search volume last December of 135,000. Primarily eaten around Christmas time, tamales have a rich history going all the way back to Mesoamerica and the time of the Aztecs. They are known as being food for the gods and are eaten on special occasions. Due to this history, and the somewhat difficult nature of making them traditionally, they are the perfect food to make when families come together as they allow for people to talk and bond while making them. 

Another notable California favorite is Dungeness crab. Slowly growing in popularity around the holidays year over year, this shellfish has been searched for 22,200 times in the past month in California alone— a number that will only increase as more Californians turn to seafood for their preferred Christmas feast. 


The Mile High State loves Christmas Prime Rib as does Idaho, where it also leads among Christmas food in the United States. This shouldn’t be too surprising as this state’s top agricultural commodity is beef. However, when looking at the longer trends of search behavior for this, we see in December 2021 the Trends score dropped from 100 in 2020 to 72, then in 2022 it fell to 49. These drops indicate that the dish is waning in the popularity it had achieved a few years ago.

On the flip side, the dish coming in second during the holiday season, popovers, have a very chaotic trend throughout the year, but spiking heavily during the colder months. As you set the Christmas table with the year’s best rib, and some warm, fluffy popovers, make sure to find the best wine pairing and make it a holiday to remember. 


Nothing goes together quite as well as roasted potatoes and roast beef, which happen to be the first and second most popular Christmas dishes in Connecticut. Roasted potatoes are also the favored Christmas food in Massachusetts, rivaling the national domination of Christmas tamales and sweet potato casseroles. Interestingly, roasted potatoes were closely matched in popularity by roast beef in terms of the Google Trends scores with roasted potatoes scoring a 63 and roast beef hitting a 60 in December 2022 compared to the rest of the year. But the potatoes having a search volume of 2,900 and the roast beef only came up 500 searches shy, it seems like it’ll be another year before we see if the beef passes the potatoes. 

These two foods being a Christmas staple harkens back to the colonial days, as settlers from the UK made their way to the East Coast and brought their culinary traditions with them. They do make for a timeless combo after all.


delaware gingerbread cookies

It’s an analytical fact that Delawarens love their gingerbread cookies, and not just during the holidays! While the Google Trend score for this popular Christmas dish is much higher during the holidays, sitting at 69 with a search volume of 880 for December 2022, the data shows that the second highest score for the year (44) is during July. Seems like people here are firm believers that Christmas flavors aren’t only just for December. Talk about “Christmas in July”! That said, the search interest for these unique cookies does seem to be decreasing since the holiday season of 2020.


As far as Christmas foods in the United States go, Key Lime Pie has always been one of the top choices for Floridians (even outside of the holiday season!).  A high search volume of 18,100 last December shows us that interest is as strong as ever. As Floridian as alligators and Tim Tebow, Key Lime Pie has a rich, mysterious history dating back to the 1800s. Key Limes are smaller and more tart than regular limes and were commonly found in the Florida Keys. 

No one really knows the exact origin of this one-of-a-kind pie. Some people believe that it was first created by fishermen to prevent sickness, others think it was made by a rich man’s cook whom people refer to as Aunt Sally. The popularity of this dish just goes to show that Floridians love their history as much as they love a good Pub Sub.


Nothin’ says Southern like a plate of collard greens, and we know that Georgia has them on its mind for Christmas. Featuring a mild, classic flavor that has made it a staple in the southern state for decades, collard greens are a comfort food that’s great all year. Their popularity really shoots up in the Google Trend score around the holidays, hitting 100 for 2022 and 2023, respectively. That means collard greens are always a hit when everyone is gathered and in the mood for some good home cooking. 


Being in the middle of the ocean, it’s not surprising that poke is Hawaii’s favorite of all popular Christmas dishes in the state. This raw fish salad isn’t just one of the most unique Christmas foods in the United States. Poke is enjoyed year-round, with a Google Trends score that hasn’t gone lower than 29 in the past 5 years, indicating it maintains a relatively steady interest no matter the season. Hawaiians love mixing this dish up, using different varieties of seafood from octopus to shellfish. 

The second most searched dish, haupia, is considered the state dessert!  With a search volume of 590 and a Google Trends score of 100 in December 2022 compared to the rest of the year, this traditional, pudding-like dessert is made with coconuts and was originally brought over to Hawaii from Polynesia.


When you think Idaho, you think about potatoes right? While they are the second most searched food for Idahoers/Idahoans, the most popular Christmas food is prime rib. Ranking in the top 15 states for beef production in the U.S., Idaho shares its love of Christmas Prime Rib with Colorado. 

Primarily only peaking in popularity around Christmas time, the Google Trends data of the past few years shows a decline that started in December 2021 by dropping from 100 to 92. In 2022 it fell even more down to 54. This shows that people may be looking for cheaper alternatives for future Christmas gatherings, especially due to another expected price jump. Will the search volume this year return to 2020 levels the week of Christmas 2023, or will the interest continue to wane? So far it’s looking like that latter, but time will tell! 


With over ½ a million residents of Italian descent in Chicago alone, this state’s most popular Christmas dishes were bound to take us to Italy! With a Google Trends score of 100 in December year-over-year with a search volume of 9,900, Italian Beef is the clear winner. Braised with pickled vegetables, herbs, and spices, Italian Beef is distinctly Italian.


Swapping out sweet potatoes for one of the most produced crops in Indiana, corn casserole is a highly-anticipated part of Indiana’s Christmas feast, finally hitting its peak popularity in 2023 with a Google Trends score of 100 compared to the holiday season the past several years. This dish is also a great fit for those looking to shift to sustainable dining

Corn casserole can be prepared completely organically using ingredients that reduce waste and contribute to local communities. It is followed by glazed ham and roasted carrots as the favorite Christmas foods in Indiana.


Indiana’s pork/corn complex is reversed in Iowa, with ham balls topping Holiday foods, and corn casserole at number two. Made from leftover ham and drizzled with a sticky-sweet sauce, these meatballs are the Iowa bomb! Ham’s status as a popular Christmas dish in Iowa is hardly surprising, with the state being the largest producer of pork in the country. This dish also happens to be connected to older Pagan traditions in the region, which have later been assimilated into the jolly Christmas spirit we see today. 

As popular as ham is in any US Christmas foods list, corn casserole’s high popularity in Iowa could indicate a wider shift to plant-based holiday foods. 


kansas smoked meats

In a city where barbecue is a way of life, meat dominates our top three spots. Just in the Kansas City Metropolitan area alone, there are over 100 barbecue restaurants and more than a few of those have gained national recognition.

Smoked meats are the winner in Kansas’ popular Christmas dishes race, ticking up in search volume slightly compared to last year. Turkey’s also finally showing up on this list at #2!  In third place is barbecue with a search volume of 420 and a Trends score of 47, which unsurprisingly signals that BBQ is popular all year round! 


Among Christmas dishes in Kentucky, salt-cured and hardwood-smoked country ham reigns supreme on the Christmas dinner table, punching in with 1,600 search volumes and peak Google Trends scores for December 2022 and 2023. It has been a culinary tradition for pioneers in Kentucky that still sticks around to this day. There’s even a well-known area called the “Country Ham Trail” where you’ll find the best-of-the-best ham producers who have been creating this delicious meat for over 100 years. 


Gumbo is an absolute staple in the state of Louisiana throughout the year, but during Christmas time, Louisianians love nothing more than to share this warm, spicy dish with those they care about most. The word ‘gumbo’ itself originates from a West African translation of ‘okra’. Gumbo wins as Louisiana’s leading Christmas food from the US, with a consistent Google Trends score peaking each year in December. This sustainable seafood dish is one of Food Fire + Knives’ favorite opportunities to support local producers

The second favorite food of the Creole State is none other than the Cajun classic: boudin. 9,900 people searched for this dish in December 2022 in Louisiana alone. This French-style sausage can be prepared many different ways and, much like the “Country Ham Trail” in Kentucky, Louisiana also has its own “Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail” where you can find all the different variations of the interesting dish.


Maine loves lobsters so much that they are popular all year round, so while it might not only be considered a popular Christmas dish, lobster naturally wins the day as the king of holiday foods in Maine. It also helps that December is one of the best months to buy lobster in Maine as the lobsters are more active and the prices have dropped since many of the tourists have departed. 

This checks out with 2,900 users searching for lobster around the holidays, outpacing queries about other potential Christmas dinners. Though the crustacean’s popularity in search peaks each year in late July, it is still the most popular Christmas dish in the state.


Stuffed ham is a classic Maryland dish made with a bunch of mixed greens, ham, and a mixture of popular spices. Eaten all throughout the year in Maryland, this dish’s search volume around the holidays jumped up from 880 to 1,600 in 2023 compared to last year, while it maintained its peak popularity compared to the rest of the year. 

Even though it might not be seen as the usual Christmas food in the United States, stuffed ham almost always doubles in sales during the holiday season. As Southern Maryland’s signature dish, stuffed ham’s roots can be traced all the way to the Caribbean islands, and the dish has managed to both retain its iconic flavor and transform with the times, with younger generations even transforming it into a burger. Stuffed with kale, cabbage, and onions, this is an early colonial dish that has remained unchanged after 3 centuries!


a bowl of roasted potatoes

Massachusetts folk love their holiday roasted potatoes and they clearly love to eat them with roast goose, one of their most popular Christmas dishes. Roasted potatoes in particular also more than doubled in terms of popularity around Christmas 2022 compared to any other season – that’s a trend we saw replicated in Connecticut as well. This increase in country-wide demand for potato-based dishes stems from bumper harvests in certain states, and the dish’s affordability compared to fancier Massachusetts favorites like lobster rolls. 

In effect, this means that Americans in Massachusetts might just be consuming double the amount of roasted potatoes this year. And what is the best side to compliment roast goose and roasted potatoes? Cranberry sauce of course!

“Cranberries are a true labor of love here in Massachusetts. The acidic bogs and marshes provide ideal conditions for growing cranberries, making it a local staple and a source of pride for the region.

Particularly around the holidays, cranberries make their appearance from chutneys to salads, and luscious sauces for a variety of dishes from roast pork tenderloins and winter squash sides.

My favorite application and way to make cranberry sauce is by pickling the cranberries first. The sugar, salt & vinegar showcase the cranberries’ sweet-tart flavor, and adding a bit of citrus zest brightens them! You can use these for making an aioli, or simply adding them to a roasted sweet potato with butter!”

– Jillian Rivers, Private Chef


Michigan’s most searched Christmas food around the holidays is sugar cookies. Every month, an average of 18,000 Michiganders search them online, and that number only increases every December!

Michiganders of European descent are known to prefer Polish Christmas cookies to sugar cookies, but this spike in popularity is most likely due to how suitable these cookies are for the holiday season. They’re pretty much a blank slate for all the decoration and frosting you have! We can also tell from the data that Michiganders definitely have a holiday sweet tooth with cherry pie. This is helped by the fact that Michigan churns out more tart cherries than any other state in the US, producing more than 300 million pounds annually. 


In frosty Minnesota, it figures that something called hotdish would be one of the most popular Christmas dishes! Lutefisk, another warm dish, also spikes in popularity every Christmas season with a high trend score compared to steady lower interest the rest of the year. Both of these dishes are coveted for their balance of protein and carbs, keeping folk warm in a state that regularly experiences temperatures of  -11°F during Christmas. 

Lutefisk in particular is beloved by Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish-descended Minnesotans and is prepared with cod, butter sauce, veggies, and cheese. This dish’s increasing popularity is also helped by the fact that more and more Minnesotans are turning to sustainable seafood for their everyday nutrition. Both affordable and festive, Minnesotan seafood staples like the Walleye are leading the holiday charge. 


mississippi pie

We know that pecan pie is Mississippi’s favorite United States Christmas food with a strong Trends score each holiday season, and a 2x increase in search volume from 2021 to 2022. It’s looking like demand for this particular dish is likely going to double again this year. It turns out that pecan pie is such a popular Christmas dish in Mississippi that a law was recently passed to deter people from stealing pecans to mass-produce pies. 

One factor that may stand in the way of this pie’s popularity growing again this year is that more and more Americans are looking for cheaper alternatives this year due to inflation rates, making apple and cherry pies more appealing options for dessert. It’s possible that this also played a role in the increased popularity of savory options like cornbread dressing in Mississippi.


Gooey butter cake is Missouri’s most popular Christmas dish. While the name of the dish might sound unremarkable, it actually stands out from every other dish on our list for one simple reason – 5 points for guessing why.

Gooey butter cake’s simple (and affordable!) ingredient list makes it the perfect dish for the holidays, and Missouri folk are sticking with this classic dish for a cozy Christmas.

So, what is gooey butter cake? It was invented in St. Louis in 1930, when a baker messed up a recipe, creating a Missouri legend! This simple dish embodies all the warmth of Christmas and also makes for a memorable date night dish that you can cook for your special someone throughout the year. 


Gingerbread is Montana’s preferred holiday food, followed by prime rib. It’s worth mentioning that we noticed a pattern across the board of search volumes for gingerbread dropping this holiday season compared to last in a number of states. This is likely due to changing consumer preferences across the country, with younger consumers favoring less spicy options like cherry pies. 

Prime rib’s popularity in Montana makes it one of the states with the most demand for prime rib as Christmas food in the United States. Interestingly, Nebraska shares the same top 2 favorite holiday specialties with Montana.


The difference between Montana and Nebraska’s most popular Christmas dishes is data. While Montana’s Google Trends Score for gingerbread is 71 around the holidays, Nebraska’s is only 58. So it seems Nebreskans actually have gingerbread top of mind relatively the same throughout the year. But the extreme winter temperatures in both of these states explain gingerbread’s enduring popularity, with folks using the spicy and sweet dish as a way to build their immunity and keep warm in the winter. Gingerbread is also known to aid in digestion and can help with joint inflammation – something that is incredibly problematic for the older folk in these cold states. 

The search volume for gingerbread in Nebraska is double that of Montana, though this is in line with each state’s population with Nebraska (1.964 million as of 2021) being slightly under double that of Montana (1.104 million as of 2021). And in both states, the interest in gingerbread around the holidays beats out any other potential favorite Christmas treats.


beef wellington

For Nevada, beef Wellington is the star of Christmas food in the United States. While beef Wellington has been popular ever since Gordon Ramsay’s show, its higher interest over the past 5 years consistently spikes around the holidays. Not only that, it’s on track to its peak popularity now in 2023 compared to the past 5 years, reaching a projected Trends score of 100. 

This drastic jump in popularity is likely due to the influence of pop culture, with Ramsay and Nick DiGiovanni breaking the world record for the world’s largest beef Wellington in 2023. Baked inside a layer of pastry, beef Wellington is a deliciously indulgent Christmas treat that is a treat for all of the senses. More importantly, it’s also easily reheatable and easy to eat as a takeout for a special occasion, making it a cozy choice for those post-Christmas morning leftovers.

Mashed potatoes, the perfect complement for succulent beef Wellington also maintained their popularity this year over searches and interest in other side dishes. This timeless dish is definitely here to stay.

New Hampshire

Mississippi might love its pecan pies, but New Hampshire makes clear its preferences for popular Christmas dishes with pumpkin pie in the lead. What’s notable here is that pumpkin pies as a dish experienced an unmatched surge in search volume this year, spiking up to 2,900 compared to just 480 in December 2022. It’s no coincidence that New Hampshire was one of the few states this year to have a great pumpkin harvest, with drought crippling pumpkin production throughout most of the country in 2023. 

This pie’s legacy dates back to colonial times, with pumpkins acting as a primary food source for many settlers. Over time, this dish has come to symbolize a mixture of cultures and is a great way to show gratitude to your loved ones, making it a popular choice for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. 

New Jersey

Creamed spinach might not be at the tip of your tongue when thinking about Christmas dishes, but the numbers don’t lie with this one at a steady surge in interest and search volume each winter. New Jersey is home to a vibrant immigrant population with Southeast Asian cultures heavily favoring spinach-based dishes. Additionally, people in NJ and NY are aggressively turning to health-conscious options like spinach and kale. Rich in key nutrients like calcium and a host of vital antioxidants, spinach is one of the most efficient ways of getting some greens into your diet, especially when paired with a great Christmas steak. 

Such a significant increase in popularity in a short amount of time hints at this dish’s massive potential as a popular Christmas food in the US. It’s also a great contender for our elevated plant-based cuisine list! 

New Mexico

New Mexico’s love affair with tamales is rivaled only by its reverence for posole, made with grits, pork, and vegetables. As far as comfort foods go, posole is remarkably easy to make with just a few simple ingredients, making it an easy choice for inflation-hit households. 

Both of these dishes are commonly eaten together during special holiday dinners, explaining their consistent popularity and why one doesn’t cannibalize the other. 2023 was also marked by a few notable cultural events that pushed up Posole’s popularity in New Mexico. For example, the Special Olympics threw together a very popular event called Posole Ole to raise money and appreciation for local communities in need. We’ll see if this year ends up outpacing the years prior for these two popular dishes!

New York

new york roast goose

Like Massachusetts, the Euro-tradition of roast goose endures in New York, with this bird edging out second-place roast turkey by a huge margin. Almost 15,000 New Yorkers consistently search online for roast goose each month, making it not only the winner among popular Christmas dishes for the state beating out other options, but a popular meal all year round as well. This could partially be explained by the sheer diversity in New York’s holiday cuisine, with hundreds of different takeout options available at any given time to suit a multitude of tastes. 

If you’re inspired to feature roast goose for your loved ones this holiday season, use the Food Fire + Knives in-home dining event essential guide to find out how to craft the perfect Christmas night dinner with the help of a private chef in your home. 

North Carolina

honey baked ham

Searched by more than 110,000 people each holiday season the past few years, honey-baked ham was the United States Christmas food most preferred in North Carolina in 2022. This exquisite dish involves glazing smoked ham with honey. Honey-baked ham has been a holiday hit in North Carolina for decades due to how easy it is to prepare, and also its ability to feed more people per serving. Huge family dinners, anybody? 

North Dakota

Brought by German immigrants leaving the Russian Empire, knoephla soup is a thick chicken and potato soup. With 30 to 40% of the population of German-Russian descent, this dish is favored as the most popular of all Christmas dishes in the state. Looking at the past 5 years, knoephla soup is on track to hit a Trends score of 100 this holiday season. The skyscraper growth is evident in the now second highest peak comparatively sits at a mere 59. This also makes North Dakota one of the very few states on this list with a soup-based Christmas dish as its most popular choice. 



With a large Ukrainian presence, Ohio is bound to have pierogies on the holiday table as the state’s favorite! What you might not have expected is the surge in the popularity of pierogies this year in terms of Christmas foods in the United States. This surge coincides with Cleveland hosting its second Pierogi Week for the 2nd year in a row, an already wildly popular event. Hundreds of restaurants and bars offered a delectable variety of these dumplings, featuring fillings ranging from sauerkraut to chicken and even plant-based meats! Ohio is also home to a notable community of Polish immigrants dating all the way back to the 19th century. 


Oklahoma puts gravy at the very center of the Christmas table. This popular Christmas dish saw a surge in search volume this year, going from 480 in 2022 to 1,300, potentially due to how affordable and versatile a dish gravy is. From chicken fried steak to prime rib, gravy’s a great fit for any dinner table at Christmas. 


Oregon is all about the mashed potatoes, eating them with roast beef as a typically counter-cultural move on their part. What’s not counter-culture is mashed potatoes surging to a search volume of 8,100 from just 3,600 last year paired with an increased Google Trends score, firmly making this one of the key Christmas foods in Oregon right now. Similar to Oklahoma’s gravy, this dish’s Christmas popularity stems from its affordability and how well it complements other popular Oregon meals like Roast Beef. 

Keen-eyed observers will also notice that this makes Oregon folk the biggest fans of mashed potatoes in the US.


The sweet Italian cookies, pizzelles, are a regional favorite with Pennsylvanians spotlighting them as their favorite Christmas food in the United States and performing over 18,000 online searches for them last December. Beloved by a massive Italian-descended population in PA, pizzelles are such a huge tradition in Pennsylvania that one particular bakery has been selling them for over 80 years now. 

These thin cookies are made with a unique utensil that leaves a snowflake pattern on them after cooking – it doesn’t get more Christmas than that. 

Rhode Island

While stuffing may be on track for lower popularity in terms of Trends this year compared to last, Rhode Island is still most likely going to be the #1 consumer of this popular Christmas dish in the holiday season. As the home of the wildly popular Rhode Island Greening variety of apples, this state is also the second most popular destination for apple pies in the country, beaten only by Maine in terms of popularity around the holidays. Rhode Island apple pies are a unique mix of sweet and tart, featuring a flaky crust that people will cross state lines for!

South Carolina

south carolina sweet potato casserole

South Carolina continues the southern love for this baked dish with sweet potato casserole having a massive search volume of each holiday season. It’s a more popular dish for Thanksgiving than Christmas, though SC doesn’t hesitate to prepare this meal again for Christmas, as we can see in it beating out searches for other side dishes in the state.

South Dakota

Green bean casserole nudges past deep-fried turkey in South Dakota as a popular Christmas dish. This dish is often made with canned green beans, making it an easy choice for families that might be looking for a cheaper option this holiday season. Green bean casserole is also incredibly versatile, allowing for fried onions, bacon, and mushrooms to be added in for hundreds of unique flavor combinations. 

It’s looking like more South Dakotans are going to be eating green bean casserole than ever this holiday season, but they’re going to do it with a bit of turkey on the side. 


Sweet potato casserole is this state’s favorite, continuing the southern trend with a monthly search volume of more than 22,200 last Christmas season, and also anticipating an increase this December. This year’s record-breaking harvest of sweet potatoes is largely behind the surge in popularity, mitigating national inflation and making this already-popular Christmas dish a statewide favorite. 

In fact, since sweet potatoes are easy to store for a long time, we can expect sweet potato-based dishes to maintain their popularity well into 2024. All that aside, sweet potato casserole might just hit peak demand in Tennessee this year when it comes to Christmas food in the United States.


Tamale-crazy Texas searched on Google for this Mexican food over 110,000 times last December. Tamale’s relative popularity at Christmas time is consistently seen in the clockwork-like spikes each year at that time, hitting peak popularity over the past 5 years in 2020.

This year, Texans headed out to events like the Houston Tamale Festival in record numbers, potentially indicating that consumers in this relatively well-off state preferred to eat out rather than make tamales at home. 

“Christmas in Texas is a tamale affair – a symphony of flavors wrapped in tradition. For me, it’s the heartbeat of the season, especially resonating with our vibrant Latinx community. And if tamales take center stage, brisket isn’t far behind, offering a Texas-sized feast for all. Join us from the Lone Star State in savoring the warmth of the holidays, one tamale at a time!” – Niomi Cezares, Private Chef


With a healthy search volume of 14,800 last December, funeral potatoes lead as Utah’s most searched Christmas food. While this dish is also served at Mormon funerals and is consumed year-round, it still holds an important place on the dinner table during Christmas time. This casserole-based dish is popular due to how easy it is to make and transport from one’s home to a funeral or party, as the case may be. 

Comforting ingredients like cheese, potatoes, and even cornflakes give this dish its unique nature, equally welcome at both festive and somber occasions. 

“Sadly, I live in Utah, which is not exactly known as a culinary haven.  iHeartRadio ran a poll on this topic, and found that the most popular food in Utah is Jell-O.  Add to that Fry Sauce, Funeral Potatoes, and Utah Fry Bread (called a ‘scone’), and you’ve got yourself a, um, er, ‘feast’…?  :-).” -Billy Moscella, Jr, Private Chef


Maple glazed ham and eggnog tie as the most popular Christmas dish and beverage in Vermont in 2023. Unfortunately, unusually cold temperatures this year reduced maple syrup production by 20% in the Green Mountain State, driving prices up the wall and resulting in reduced demand – this is reflected by maple glazed ham’s search volume appearing to be on a decline, as well as its overall Trend score the past 5 years, though it is still unlikely we’ll see another dish end up beating out maple glazed ham being on the dinner table for Christmas this year.


Virginia ended up being the first Southern state to break the casserole and ham pattern! According to our analysis of Google’s data, mini cheese balls came out on top in Virginia. Those delicious holiday curds are followed by Christmas salad and beef queso dip. A spicy Christmas is a warm Christmas- now that’s a philosophy we can get behind!


With over 12,000 monthly searches last December and a Google Trend score spiking around Christmas every year, mulled wine is Washington’s most popular Christmas dish. This also makes Washington the only state on this list to have wine as its most popular dish. Washington’s favorite version of mulled wine uses a shot of dark rum, spices like cinnamon and cloves, and a dash of brown sugar. Why not try this mulled wine for your next wine-pairing party

West Virginia

A West Virginia specialty, pepperoni rolls come first at Christmas, followed by eggnog. Pepperoni rolls have seen a slight jump in people seeking them out this year compared to last. And you know West Virginians are proud of their pepperoni rolls, with a fairly consecutive Trends score throughout the year. So it’s no surprise it’s a tradition for Christmas day as well. 


Wisconsin’s regional entry in the United States Christmas food list is kringle. The official pastry of Wisconsin, this Danish treat is stuffed and covered with icing and is a sweet comfort food during the cold months of the year. Despite a fall in relative popularity, this dish still boasts an impressive search volume around the holidays. Kringle’s dwindling popularity this year was likely fueled by the rise of new pastry trends in Wisconsin, like cronuts! 

In general, Wisconsin folk were less willing to splurge on luxury dessert offerings. The official pastry of Wisconsin, this Danish treat is stuffed and covered with icing and is a sweet comfort food during the cold months of the year.


Is there a popular Christmas dish more quintessentially American than bison chili? As Wyoming’s state animal, you’re going to find Bison wherever you look, but what sets this dish apart is its healthy and warm quality. Families all over the state come together to cook this fiery holiday dish to wait out those infamous Wyoming snowstorms. 

As one of the most unique Christmas foods in the United States, bison chili also happens to have the lowest search volume numbers on our list. Mind you, this is despite Wyoming having the largest bison population in the country. One possible reason for this could be the fact that this dish is relatively easy to make, with its recipe being passed down through generations of Wyoming residents. They simply might not be turning to Google for any bison chili related queries. If you’re looking for something unique to eat this holiday season, you’ve found it!

And There You Have It

The ULTIMATE guide to the most popular Christmas dishes in each state powered by the Google searches of the people who live there! Nothing left to do now but sip some eggnog, kick back, and enjoy all the Holiday foods during the most wonderful time of the year.

Most Popular Christmas Dish in Every State Infographic for Food Fire Knives

Published By Shamira Deshpande Shamira is a passionate Social Media Manager and avid foodie who brings creativity and enthusiasm to every project. With 7+ years of experience in the social media management field, she is responsible for creative strategy development and implementation, content creation, optimizing campaigns, and analysis of social media performance for Food Fire + Knives.