The Most Popular Thanksgiving Side In Every State (Spoiler: Mashed Potatoes Are Still The Best)

By Kathy Morris
Nov. 21, 2022

Best Thanksgiving Sides Research Summary

  • The most popular Thanksgiving side in the U.S. is mashed potatoes, which reigns supreme in 9 states.

  • The second most popular side is rolls, being favored by Utah, Florida, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

  • 74% of Americans expect to be eating at least 4 side dishes on Thanksgiving.

  • 75% of Thanksgiving meals feature mashed potatoes and stuffing or dressing, 69% feature dinner rolls, 64% have cranberry sauce, and 59% serve sweet potatoes.

While some workers work holidays, the majority of workers can be thankful on Thanksgiving for a day off work.

This year the trend of more companies delaying Black Friday hours continues, allowing even more workers the opportunity to pile plates high and spend more time with loved ones.

It got us thinking, what foods will everyone be eating? Are some states crazier for corn than others? Is anyone cheesing out? We analyzed Google searches to determine each state’s favorite Thanksgiving side.

The results? Thanksgiving may be called Turkey Day, but maybe it should be called mashed potato or bread day.
75% of thanksgiving dinners feature mashed potatoes

Other Interesting Findings

  • In general, carbs are where it’s at– crescent rolls, stuffing, and dressing all made the map.

  • While most states are reaching for the carbs, Rhode Island is all about those carrots.

  • But bread should step aside, potatoes are the real choice of the people.

  • A staggering 15 states should be celebrating potato day.

  • No judgment, but can we talk about how Montana’s most popular side is turkey gravy? Hopefully, eaten with other foods and not gulped solo.

  • Louisiana likes dressing best- which is Southern for stuffing.

  • Unsurprisingly, if you want a casserole the south is where you should go- preferably made by someone’s Meemaw or Granny

  • Mac N’ Cheese took a nosedive from last year’s performance.

  • Only two states (Virginia and Vermont) are sane enough to recognize it’s cheesy, gooey, baked goodness.

How We Figured This Out

Using Google Trends, we determined what Thanksgiving side each state eats a disproportionate amount of. We examined over 20 Thanksgiving classics. From there, we determined which side is searched a disproportionately, high amount.

For example, while Nebraska eats all the Thanksgiving classics the rest of the country does, the search interest in crescent rolls is excessively higher than in the remaining states- making crescent rolls more popular in Nebraska than anywhere else.

Some controversial decisions were made, including counting gravy as a side. However, since it’s not the main dish and hopefully isn’t being consumed as a beverage, our hands were tied. Sorry if your family has an uncommon tradition of shrimp cocktails, Red Lobster Cheddar biscuits, or whatever oddity for Turkey day.

Your family is weird, and didn’t fall into our data. However, it should be a good representation of what most of us chow down on at Thanksgiving.

We looked at the month of November 2020 to determine what folks are searching for the most in each state. Traffic for most Thanksgiving sides skyrockets on Thanksgiving day (Turns out, when you’re googling “how to make mashed potatoes”, so is most of America.)

How this year changes (if it does) won’t be apparent until after Thanksgiving- and who wants to wait that long? Luckily, odds are good most of us will still be making mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and other favorites this year– and probably in 2050, too.

Have A Happy Mashed Potato Day!

Let’s be real, Thanksgiving turkey isn’t always that great.

We’ve all been forced to choke down a dry turkey, murmuring, “This is great,” to the chef. Or had to wait hours for the turkey to be done….and sometimes overdone.

Shoot, cooking a turkey is such a wild card, ham or another meat is often served side by side.

So, let’s give recognition to where it’s deserved- the sides. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and more are the real heroes of the day.

The best part? You don’t have to choose just one. So pile your plate high with green bean casserole and rolls, maybe some cranberry sauce too. Put it right over the turkey, why don’t you, and just enjoy.

Each State’s Favorite Thanksgiving Side

State Favorite Side
Alaska Stuffed mushrooms
Alabama Sweet potato casserole
Arkansas White gravy
Arizona Mashed potatoes
California Mashed potatoes
Colorado Mashed potatoes
Connecticut Mashed potatoes
Delaware Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Florida Rolls
Georgia Collard Greens
Hawaii Mashed potatoes
Iowa Green beans
Idaho Side salad
Illinois Mashed potatoes
Indiana Green beans
Kansas Creamed corn
Kentucky Hashbrown casserole
Louisiana Cornbread Dressing
Massachusetts Mashed potatoes
Maryland Collard Greens
Maine Stuffing
Michigan Rolls
Minnesota Charcuterie Tray
Missouri Charcuterie Tray
Mississippi Cornbread
Montana Turkey gravy
North Carolina Biscuit
North Dakota Fruit salad
Nebraska Crescent roll
New Hampshire Stuffing
New Jersey Stuffed mushrooms
New Mexico Side salad
Nevada Mashed potatoes
New York Sweet potatoes with marshmellows
Ohio Green beans
Oklahoma Baked potato
Oregon Mashed potatoes
Pennsylvania Stuffing
Rhode Island Glazed Carrots
South Carolina Collard Greens
South Dakota Baked Sweet Potatoes
Tennessee Hashbrown casserole
Texas Creamed corn
Utah Rolls
Virginia Macaroni and cheese
Vermont Macaroni and cheese
Washington Roasted Vegetables
Wisconsin Baked potato
West Virginia Rolls
Wyoming Baked potato

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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Topics: Food, Study