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This is What Every State Would Bring to a Summer BBQ

We found the quintessential summer BBQ dish from every state.

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If America held a cookout, what would each state bring? Our great country is known for its diverse melting pot of cultures, so it’s no surprise that different regions boast different recipes. From sea to shining sea, we found each state’s quintessential summer dish. Make these flavorful recipes at your own summer BBQ to send your taste buds on a cross-country road trip—no toll money required.

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Alabama: Baked two-cheese and bacon grits

“In the South, everyone loves three things: bacon, cheese, and grits! After playing around with this recipe, I took it to my first family party as a newlywed, and it was a huge hit. This recipe has become a family tradition that I’m sure will be passed down for generations.” —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Alaska: Barbecued Alaskan salmon

“We eat salmon all summer long, and this is our favorite way to fix it. The mild sauce—brushed on as the fish grills—really enhance the taste.” —Janis Smoke, King Salmon, Alaska
If salmon could talk, here’s what it would tell you.
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Arizona: Arizona cornbread

“Unlike other cornbreads, this one uses yeast. With oil and sour cream, this moist, tender loaf has a bit of a zip to it from the peppers.” —Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona
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Arkansas: Apricot lemonade iced tea

“Every special occasion deserves a refreshing beverage (and a lovely punch bowl). Our tea has a tangy flavor from lemonade, apricot nectar, and mint.” —Kay Chon, Sherwood, Arkansas
See these five refreshingly different iced tea recipes.
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California: California lemon pound cake

“Citrus trees grow abundantly in California, and I’m always looking for new recipes that use the fruit from the orange and lemon trees in my yard. This is one of my favorites! My mother passed this recipe down to me.” —Richard Killeaney, Spring Valley, California
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Colorado: Green chili ribs

“I like my food with a spicy kick; my wife does not. These ribs with green chiles suit her taste. For more firepower, add cayenne or jalapenos.” —Guy Newton, Nederland, Colorado
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Connecticut: Bacon avocado salad

“Everyone in my family loves this bacon avocado salad—even the younger kids! I serve it at pretty much every get-together I’ve hosted, and at this point, the recipe’s been shared too many times to count.” —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Delaware: Strawberries and cream torte

“This festive strawberry summer treat is one of my mom’s favorites. It wows guests every time yet is simple to make.” —Cathy Branciaroli, Wilmington, Delaware
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Florida: Florida citrus meringue pie

“Why limit a great dessert to just one kind of citrus fruit? Thanks to orange and lemon, this lovely pie packs a bold sweet-tart flavor!” —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida

Check out this pie recipe that has been viewed over one million times.

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Georgia: Georgia peach ice cream

“My state is well known for growing good peaches. This delicious recipe has been a family favorite for more than 50 years.” —Marguerite Ethridge, Americus, Georgia
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Hawaii: Pineapple pie with coconut cream

“You’ll find pineapples and coconuts everywhere in the South Pacific, so we play them up in this creamy cool pineapple pie, dolloped with coconut cream. Divine!” —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii
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Idaho: Grilled potato packets

“Potatoes require a little extra time on the grill, so remember to give these pouches first dibs on the flames.” —Anna Bjornn, Rexburg, Idaho
Check out these things potatoes wish you knew.
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Illinois: Corn ice cream

“You have to give this novel ice cream a try. It’s actually made with corn, sweetly flavored by vanilla extract and maple syrup. I plan to make this surprising treat every summer.” —Diana Burrink, Crete, Illinois
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Indiana: Indiana-style corn dogs

“One of the best parts of the many fairs and festivals in Indiana is the corn dogs! My family loves corn dogs, so I fix them fairly often at home.” —Sally Denney, Warsaw, Indiana
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Iowa: Stuffed Iowa chops

“Here’s a hearty dish for big appetites. The corn and apples make a tasty stuffing for the chops.” —Judith Smith, Des Moines, Iowa
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Kansas: BBQ country ribs

“I created this country ribs recipe many years ago when I adapted a sauce I saw in a magazine. The original called for much more oil. I usually triple the sauce and keep some in my freezer to use on chicken, beef or pork.” —Barbara Gerriets, Topeka, Kansas
You can also try these ginger, garlic, and honey grilled baby-back ribs recipe.
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Kentucky: Root beer pulled pork sandwiches

“My husband is a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches, so my sister shared this incredibly easy recipe with me. At potlucks and family dinners, nobody can get enough of this root beer-braised version.” —Carolyn Palm, Radcliff, Kentucky
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Louisiana: Cajun gazpacho

“Horseradish, spices and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar give this gazpacho its Cajun flair. Served chilled, it’s one of the best starters you can have in the heat of the summer.” —Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Maine: Blueberry Lattice Bars

“Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for new berry recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely, yummy bars won a blue ribbon one year.” —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine
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Maryland: Maryland corn pops

“Fresh-picked sweet corn is a big thing in Maryland. Here’s my homespun version of Mexican street corn.” —Kristie Schley, Severna Park, Maryland
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Massachusetts: Slow-cooked Boston beans

“These slow-cooked beans have a little more zip than usual Boston baked beans, and the rum helps lighten the flavor.” —Anne Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Michigan: Cherry bars

“Whip up a pan of these festive bars in just 20 minutes with staple ingredients and cherry pie filling. Between the easy preparation and pretty color, they’re destined to become a holiday classic.” —Jane Kamp, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Check out these health benefits of eating cherries.
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Minnesota: Northwoods wild rice salad

“This is my Minnesota version of a vintage German slaw served at church suppers. The wild rice has a nutty flavor that’s perfect with tangy sauerkraut.” —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Mississippi: Southwestern catfish

“Catfish fillets are rubbed with a blend that includes chili powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne and paprika, then topped with homemade salsa. A green salad, garlic bread, and baked sweet potatoes round out the meal nicely.” —Bruce Crittenden, Clinton, Mississippi
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Missouri: Ultimate chocolate chunk pecan pie

“Our family hosts an annual barn party for our close friends, complete with a pie cook-off. A few years ago, this recipe won first prize!” —Janice Schneider, Kansas City, Missouri
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Montana: Crispy fried chicken

“If you’ve wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep-fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken!” —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana
Check out this fried chicken recipe that has been viewed over 1.9 million times.
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Nebraska: Nebraska’s stuffed beef sandwiches

“When I moved to Nebraska, I discovered many ethnic foods that I had never heard of before. A friend introduced me to this runza recipe, a German-Russian beef sandwich, and it quickly became a family favorite.” —Dolly Croghan, Mead, Nebraska
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Nevada: Orzo vegetable salad

“Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish.” —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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New Hampshire: Homemade antipasto salad

“This colorful antipasto salad is a tasty crowd-pleaser. Guests love the homemade dressing, which is a nice change from bottled Italian.” —Linda Harrington, Windham, New Hampshire
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New Jersey: Jersey-style hot dogs

“I grew up in northern New Jersey, where hot dogs with grilled potatoes were born. It’s a combo you’ll love.” —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Find out where to get the best hot dog in every state.
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New Mexico: Frito pie

“Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic.” —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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New York: Italian sprinkle cookies

“Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian-American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations.” —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York
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North Carolina: Six-bean chili

“When it’s cold and frosty outside this meatless chili is sure to warm you up. It’s packed with fiber, protein, and flavor. Serve it with sliced avocado. Or add shredded cheese, corn tortilla chips or a side of your favorite cornbread.” —Liz Bellville, Jacksonville, North Carolina
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North Dakota: Batter-up walleye

“Nothing is more rewarding than celebrating the day’s catch with friends when you share this fresh dish. Substitute your favorite panfish!” —Alesha Oster, Williston, North Dakota
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Ohio: Sweet and salty peanut butter bites

“My son Micah and I love peanut butter cups, so we made them into a new treat. We entered these peanut butter no-bake cookies in a creative baking contest and won first place!” —Autumn Emigh, Gahanna, Ohio
Don’t miss this peanut butter solution for how to wisely incorporate peanut butter.
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Oklahoma: Chili cornbread salad

“A co-worker brought this wonderful dish to a potluck several years ago. She had copies of the recipe next to the pan. Now I make it for get-togethers and also supply copies of the recipe. I never have any leftover salad or recipes.” —Kelly Newsom, Jenks, Oklahoma
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Oregon: Oregon’s best marionberry pie

“I believe Oregon marionberries make about the best berry pie in the world. And when you add some cream cheese and flavorings, you’ll be making the best even better!” —Frances Benthin, Scio, Oregon
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Pennsylvania: Pat’s King of Steaks Philly cheesesteak

“This ultimate Philly cheesesteak recipe is a best-seller at Pat’s King of Steaks Restaurant. Patrons praise its thinly cut beef and crusty Italian rolls.” —Frank Olivieri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Check out this surprising trick for a delicious steak.
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Rhode Island: Rhode Island hot wieners

“Many Rhode Islanders spell wiener with an ‘ei’ and serve theirs ‘all the way’ with meat sauce, mustard, onion, and a sprinkle of celery salt.” —Karen Barros, Bristol, Rhode Island
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South Carolina: Grilled chipotle shrimp

“I created this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo party, and it was a hit! It’s so easy, yet has a serious wow factor. The creamy dipping sauce mellows out the shrimp’s heat perfectly.” —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
See how to cook shrimp perfectly every single time.
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South Dakota: Rich fruit kuchens

“This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the ‘Kuchen Room’ for this coffee cake.” —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota
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Tennessee: Banana skillet upside-down cake

“My grandmother gave me my first cast iron skillet, and I’ve been cooking and baking with it ever since. Sometimes I add drained maraschino cherries to this banana skillet dessert and serve it with ice cream.” —Terri Merritts, Nashville, Tennessee
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Texas: Texas taco dip platter

“When I’m entertaining, this colorful dish is my top menu choice. My friends can’t resist the hearty appetizer topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and olives.” —Kathy Young, Weatherford, Texas
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Utah: Honey-peanut butter cookies

“When my husband wants a treat, he requests these chewy peanut butter honey cookies.” —Lucile Proctor, Panguitch, Utah
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Vermont: Chewy maple cookies

“My husband, Bob, and I have a small sugaring operation with Bob’s father. I love to put some of our syrup to use in these golden cookies.” —Reba Legrand, Jericho, Vermont
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Virginia: Peachy jalapeno guacamole

“Fresh jalapenos and summer-ripe peaches give this creamy guacamole so much flavor. It’s got a little kick, but I love that it’s not so spicy it burns off my taste buds!” —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

Don’t miss these tips on how to keep your guacamole staying fresh for longer.

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Washington: Washington state apple pie

“This pie won Grand Champion in the Apple Pie category at the 1992 Okanogan County Fair. The pie looks traditional, but making your own filling gives it a different flair and great taste.” —Dolores Scholz, Tonasket, Washington
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West Virginia: Aunt Lou’s fresh apple cake

“My Great-Aunt Lou made a luscious fresh apple cake recipe that became a family tradition. My mom makes it for our annual beach trip to the Outer Banks.” —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia
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Wisconsin: Barbecue brats & peppers

“We live in brat country, and this barbecue-style recipe feeds a crowd. The sauce gives it a welcome change from the same old grilled bratwurst.” —Maria Zrucky, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin
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Wyoming: Wyoming whopper cookies

“These big country cookies are made to travel—in fact, I came up with this recipe while trying to match a commercial cookie that was good, but too crumbly to carry.” —Jamie Hirsch, Powell, Wyoming
Next, check out the most delicious food in each state.
Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home