The most Googled Thanksgiving recipes, state by state

Minnesota wild rice casserole

Last fall The New York Times generated a bit of controversy with its 50 dishes for 50 states Thanksgiving feast. Minnesotans were stymied by the selection of grape salad, a dish that very few people had even heard of, much less prepared for a holiday dinner. (Although I am not a native Minnesotan, I have lived here long enough to know that grape salad is not popular.) Other states were likewise perplexed or offended by the dishes chosen to represent their locales as well.

Those dishes were selected by someone who isn’t even a resident of the state, which explains why some of the foods didn’t fit very well. But the Times redeemed itself somewhat by also providing a list of the most Googled Thanksgiving recipes in each state. Presumably people in the state would search for recipes that they were actually going to serve for their holiday meal. The results do seem to better reflect regional preferences. 

In performing the research, the Google staff did not focus on the most popular dish in every state, because that would be “turkey” in all 50 states. Instead, they looked for more distinctive foods. The results reflect “how much more popular searches for [the listed food] were in a given a state than in the rest of the country during the week of Thanksgiving over the past 10 years. In Michigan, for example, “cheesy potatoes” is 9 times more commonly searched (relative to population size) than in the rest of the country.”

In this list, Minnesota’s top selection – wild rice casserole – is much more representative of a food that would actually be served at a holiday dinner. The second place search, Snickers salad, is also likely to find its way onto many tables (but it won’t be on mine). One mystery remains, however – why would anyone Google their recipes instead of searching on EYB?

Photo of Minnesota wild rice casserole with pecans from The Washington Post

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  • ellabee  on  November 19, 2015

    Loving that Oregon's dish is vegan mushroom gravy.

  • hillsboroks  on  November 20, 2015

    Of course our top search is vegan mushroom gravy! What else would you put on your vegan mashed potatoes and vegan stuffing before you serve the vegan pumpkin pie? Not all of us Oregonians are vegans though. I think we've just sucked in all the vegans from the rest of the country over the past twenty years or so.

  • Bloominanglophile  on  November 20, 2015

    This was a fun read! I want to go back and print out some of the recipes in this article, but I will be skipping the one for the current state in which I reside (and will probably officially make my home here in the near future). Pecan pie and gravy does not sound appealing–you would have to be stoned to want a combo like that!

  • ellabee  on  November 20, 2015

    As a Virginian, have to say a word about collard greens (which are just called 'greens' here). They're a core local food, part of the Appalachian subsistence framework of corn-beans-greens plus occasional pork. I have some greens on hand right now, as it happens. But I've never known them to be a Thanksgiving dish. Even in households where there's a distinct southern spin to the t-day menu, greens are a little too down-home. Cornbread-sausage stuffing, sure; sweet potato pie with little marshmallows, check. Them as eats 'em regularly ain't the ones Googling.

  • darcie_b  on  November 21, 2015

    I wish we had a like button for these comments!

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