(WXIN/WTTV) — While turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing are a staple at nearly every Thanksgiving across the country, the Hoosier State brings some other unique sides to the table.
As Hoosiers prepare for yet another Thanksgiving celebration, we are taking a look at some of the dishes that make our state stand out from the rest. And no, this time there isn’t only corn in Indiana.
Cream cheese mashed potatoes
This year, lifestyle outlet “Taste of Home” solicited readers to submit their home creations that make their Thanksgivings unique, and Indiana residents did not disappoint.
One submission, sent in by Washington, Indiana, resident Jill Thomas, caught the eyes of readers nationwide: cream cheese mashed potatoes.
“Whenever I serve this easy mash, the bowl is always scraped clean,” Thomas wrote. “Before holiday feasts, I make it early and keep it warm in a slow cooker so I can focus on last-minute details.”
Thomas’ recipe, which was published on the “Taste of Home” website, calls for 8 lbs. of russet potatoes, a package of cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper and finely chopped green onions.
For the full recipe, click here.
Career website Zippia conducts an annual study surveying which Thanksgiving dinner side is most popular and breaks down the results state-by-state.
Despite mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, casserole and dressing being popular choices in 2020, Indiana was the only US state to select an egg-based side dish.
Other unique selections in the 2020 survey included Alaska choosing hashbrown casserole, Oregon choosing biscuits and New Hampshire going with cranberry sauce.
Sugar cream pie
The unofficial “official” dessert of Indiana, the sugar cream pie is a Hoosier staple.
In 2020, culinary website “Eat This, Not That” compiled a list of the “Top Thanksgiving recipes” in the US. The list, which included everything from Buckeyes to blackberry muffins, delved into the top sides that are unique to each of the 50 states.
For Indiana, the choice was obvious.
One of the most recognizable recipes in the Crossroads of America, the sugar cream pie is a custard-based pie filled with butter, flour and cream and topped with cinnamon sugar.
“This unique sugar cream pie has a custard-like filling with a hint of cinnamon,” the website wrote. “Make sure you chill it after baking for the best taste.”
There are several different iterations of the dessert that exist throughout the state. For more information on the Hoosier sugar cream pie, and other Indiana delicacies, click here.
Ham and carrots
While turkey is the main protein associated with the November holiday, some studies show that Hoosiers prefer other types of meat on Thanksgiving.
In 2022, Shane Co. used Google Trends to compile a list of what each US state’s ideal Thanksgiving plate looks like, and Indiana’s was once again unique compared to the rest.
The ideal plate for Indiana, which Shane Co. defined as consisting of one meat, three sides and a dessert, is as follows:
- Meat: Ham
- Side 1: Sweet potato casserole
- Side 2: Corn (typical Indiana)
- Side 3: Carrots
- Dessert: Pudding
A few shockers are present in the list, such as Indiana residents preferring pudding over pumpkin pie and ham over turkey.
The oddest selection, however, may be the inclusion of carrots over popular dishes such as stuffing, mashed potatoes and rolls.
While Shane Co. did not define whether the carrots are cooked, raw or served in some other form, the choice sure caught the attention of local media outlets.
While some of the studies and surveys referenced above show some wacky Thanksgiving preferences in the Hoosier State, it goes without saying that many Indiana residents still value the classics like turkey, gravy and potatoes.
One interesting takeaway from looking over these surveys came from an Aug. 2023 article published by Crestline.
In the article, the website ranks the most and least popular holiday foods in each state. For Indiana, the most popular dish was said to be green bean casserole while the least popular was reportedly sweet potato pie.
Do you agree with these surveys’ findings? Do you have an Indiana delicacy you serve every Thanksgiving? Submit your feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.