Summer Grilling Recipes for All 50 States
“America the Beautiful.”
Our great nation is truly diverse, in every sense of the word. In terms of geography—it spans mountains and valleys, deserts and plains, wetlands, beaches, rivers, lakes, and borders two oceans. And in terms of demographics, the country is a melting pot of different races, ethnicities, and historical ancestry groups. All of these factors offer the United States a unique blend of climates, cultures, traditions, wildlife, vegetation, and many other benefits.
That uniqueness is a big part of what we honor next week on July 4th. Our Independence Day is a chance to rejoice in our freedom and celebrate our differences—and similarities—together.
Let this expansive list of American culinary greatness be your guide this summer for all your celebratory cookouts and barbecues. Cook up a burger recipe from your favorite state, test out a regional barbecue style, or try something new from one of your fellow countrymen. However you choose to celebrate, do it together with those you love!
Alabama – Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich w/ Alabama White BBQ Sauce
Alabama is famous for its White Barbecue Sauce made from mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, and horseradish. It was created in Decatur by Robert Gibson at Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in 1925 and is commonly served with pulled pork or, more often, chicken. Try it as a condiment for these Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches.
Alaska – Salmon burgers
Image and recipe from: www.jessicagavin.com
The wild salmon that swim off Alaska’s coast are some of the best in the country. What better summertime meal to celebrate Alaska’s fresh seafood than these Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Sauce?
Arizona – Fajita Burger
This southwestern state is unique in its combination of both Native American and Mexican cultures. The same can be seen in its cuisine, with dishes like Navajo Tacos and pico de gallo-topped Sonoran Hot Dogs or this Tex-Mex-style Fajita Burger.
Arkansas – Southern Stacked Burger OR Fried Pickle Sliders
Favorites from this state include such things as barbecue, cheese dip, and fried foods like hushpuppies and fried pickles. Try these Fried Pickle Sliders or this Southern Stacked Burger, which consists of two queso-topped burger patties, bacon, sautéed onions, and a fried green tomato (another Southern favorite).
California – California Turkey Burgers
Californians are proud of their locally sourced seafood and fresh produce, especially avocados, as well they should be. In fact, California is so synonymous with the avocado that practically any food dish topped with it can be termed “California-style.” These avocado-topped California Turkey Burgers incorporate another west coast trend of health-conscious eating (in that they are a beef-alternative).
Colorado – Loaded Nacho Lamb Burgers
In addition to the Mexican-influenced condiment of green chili, Colorado is known for its wild game such as bison and elk, as well as freshwater trout. It is also one of the highest producing states in the country for sheep and lamb. Try these Loaded Nacho Lamb Burgers as an homage to Colorado’s cuisine.
Connecticut – New England Lobster Roll
The New England states are well-known for their fresh seafood, particularly clams and lobster. The famed New England-style lobster roll, traditionally served warm with butter, originated in Connecticut. Check out this variation of a Lobster Salad Roll, served cold with a lemon juice-mayo mixture on Martin’s Long Potato Rolls.
Delaware – BBQ Chicken Burger with Peach Corn Salsa
Image and recipe from www.nutmegnanny.com
In addition to Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, Delaware is also well-known for chicken, corn, and peaches, some of its top agricultural products. Honor “The First State” by enjoying these open-faced BBQ Chicken Burgers topped with Peach Corn Salsa.
Florida – Cuban Sliders OR Miami Burger
With a large Cuban population, particularly in Miami, one of Florida’s most popular culinary creations is the Cubano, or Cuban sandwich. This variation on a ham and cheese sandwich also includes roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. For a fun summer option, try these Cuban Sliders on Martin’s Dinner Rolls or a Miami Burger using Martin’s Big Marty’s.
Bonus: Get a taste of Sarasota-favorite, Smacks Burgers and Shakes, with Chef Alex Floethe’s “Bacon Mac-n-Cheesiest Burger” recipe.
Georgia – Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich
While there’s plenty of comfort food to be found here, we think Southern-style fried chicken sure hits the spot. Pair these cole slaw-topped Fried Chicken Sandwiches with the three P’s—peaches, pecans, and peanuts, along with a glass of refreshing sweet tea.
Hawaii – Aloha BBQ Sliders
With its picturesque beaches and vacation-worthy climate, the 50th state is most commonly associated with tropical fruits, locally-sourced seafood, and Polynesian-style cuisine. Get a bite-sized taste of the tropics with these pineapple-topped Aloha BBQ Sliders.
Idaho – Meat and Idaho Potatoes Slider
Image and recipe from: www.idahopotato.com
Why not put your fries on your burger? Everyone knows Idaho is famous for their potatoes; in fact, it is the leading producer of potatoes in the United States. To honor this “meat and potatoes” state, grill up some Angus beef burgers topped with potato wedges and all the ingredients for a “loaded” baked potato—cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon.
Illinois – Baby Back Rib Sandwich
Illinois, particularly Chicago, is commonly associated with many unique dishes such as deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches. However, the city also has a rich barbecue scene as well, specializing in baby back ribs and smoked sausage. Try this Baby Back Rib Sandwich on Martin’s Big Marty’s Rolls.
Indiana – Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Image and recipe from: www.foodnetwork.com
One of The Hoosier State’s famous foods is the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, where a pork chop is pounded thin, breaded and deep fried, then served on a bun. Try this recipe on a Martin’s Sandwich Potato Roll. (Bonus points if your tenderloin is quite a bit bigger than the bun!)
Iowa sweet corn is some of the best there is. The state is an agriculture powerhouse with tens of millions of acres of farmland supporting their top commodities like corn, soybeans, pork, eggs, and beef. Hungry yet? You’ll love these Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet Corn Slaw.
Kansas – Chicken Fried Steak Sandwiches
Image and recipe from www.missinthekitchen.com
As in numerous Midwest and Southern states, you’ll find a multitude of places in Kansas serving up heaping portions of chicken-fried steak. The name, interchangeable with “country fried steak,” just means that something has been fried in the typical method of chicken—breaded, then deep fried. Try it for yourself with this recipe for Chicken Fried Steak Sandwiches.
Kentucky – Pulled BBQ Lamb Sandwiches with Black BBQ Sauce
Image and recipe from: www.thefoodinmybeard.com
A style of barbecue that is especially unique to Kentucky is mutton (meat from a mature sheep). It is typically smoked and served with a barbecue sauce called “mutton dip,” or “black BBQ sauce.” Test your cooking skills with these Mutton BBQ Sandwiches topped with Black BBQ Sauce
Louisiana – Blackened Chicken Sandwich with Cajun Mayo
This state’s strong Cajun and Creole influence can be found in popular dishes such as jambalaya and gumbo, and is especially prevalent in the method of cooking called “blackening.” Blackened chicken (or fish, or shrimp) means that it has been seared over very high heat, usually after being rubbed with a special Cajun spice blend. Kick it up a notch with this Blackened Chicken Sandwich with Cajun Mayo.
Maine – Surf n Turf Burger
Being the main (no pun intended) state associated with lobster, this certainly tops the list of famous foods. These Surf n Turf Burgers are the perfect summer bite—mini burgers topped with lobster salad and served on Martin’s Dinner Potato Rolls with a shrimp for garnish.
Maryland – Old Bay Burger
Situated conveniently beside the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is a great place to find a variety of seafood, particularly the namesake Chesapeake blue crab. You’ll frequently find it seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning, which originated in Baltimore, MD. Taste it for yourself with these Old Bay Burgers!
Massachusetts – New England Clam Rolls
Image and recipe from: www.savvysavingcouple.net
New England is known for its fresh-caught seafood, especially in sandwich form. Lobster rolls may be the most popular, but fried clam rolls are equally delicious and mouth-watering. Try making your own by breading and deep-frying fresh shucked whole-belly clams, or using prepared clam strips as in this recipe for New England Clam Rolls.
Michigan – Olive Burgers
Image and recipe from: www.percolatekitchen.com
Here’s a hyper-regional food in Michigan that most outsiders have never heard of: olive burgers. As the name implies, these burgers are topped with a mayo-based spread mixed with chopped green olives. Try these Chicken Olive Burgers with Black Pepper Mayo for a unique variation on a Michigan original.
Minnesota – Jucy Lucy Cheeseburger
While certain details of its origin may be disputed, the famous “Juicy Lucy” Cheeseburger did originate in Minneapolis, MN. The crazy creation involves a cheese-filled patty, that when bitten into creates a lava-like flow of molten cheesy goodness. Check out our recipe for a Jucy Lucy Cheeseburger on a Martin’s Potato Roll.
Mississippi – Shrimp Po’ Boy with Cajun Aioli
Mississippi cuisine is a fun blend of Southern-style cooking (think: fried foods), comfort food, barbecue, and lots of seafood thanks to its proximity to the Gulf. Louisiana may have invented the Po’ Boy, but this Mississippi version takes it up a notch with grilled shrimp and aioli with a Cajun flair: Shrimp Po’ Boy with Cajun Aioli. (Tip: you could also bread and fry the shrimp for even more authenticity.)
Missouri – Burnt Ends Sandwich
Image and recipe courtesy of Hey Grill Hey
Kansas City, MO is possibly the most iconic in terms of barbecue styles. Its namesake BBQ sauce is a tomato-based sauce with a good amount of sweetness (typically from molasses and/or brown sugar) and tanginess (from vinegar and spices). Try it atop these Burnt Ends Sandwiches (Kansas City’s famous style of BBQ) from blogger Hey Grill Hey.
Montana – Steak Burger
This northwestern state spans mountainous regions as well as plains and prairies. Its diverse terrain makes it ideal for both wild game and also livestock ranches. Celebrate “Big Sky Country” with these Steak Burgers and a side of Huckleberry BBQ Sauce or Chokecherry Jelly, two popular berries that grow in the region.
Nebraska – Grilled Ribeye Steak Sandwich
Image and recipe from: www.foodnetwork.com
Nebraska is one of the largest beef purveyors in the country. What better way to honor this Great Plains state than with a Ribeye Sandwich? Try it on Martin’s Big Marty’s Rolls, with a side of corn.
Nevada – Grilled Elk Onion Burgers
Image and recipe from: www.nevadafoodies.com
Las Vegas may be an eclectic mix of cultures, but rural Nevada is quite different. Its vast landscape which includes areas such as the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Mojave Desert, and Lake Tahoe, is home to many wildlife creatures as well as ranches. Check out these Grilled Elk Onion Burgers.
New Hampshire – Brunch Burger
With favorite foods like maple syrup, apple cider, pancakes, eggs, and donuts, New Hampshire is certainly big on breakfast. Celebrate this northeastern state with a Brunch Burger topped with a maple-mustard spread (maybe even mix in some apple cider for extra flair!)
New Jersey – Diner Burger
Image and Recipe from: www.thrillist.com
New Jersey has more diners than any other state and is home to popular breakfast ingredients like bagels and pork roll (or Taylor ham), as well as popular hamburger slider joints. Celebrate the “Diner Capital of the World” with a classic Diner-Style Burger on Martin’s Potato Rolls.
New Mexico – Green Chile Queso Burger
Image and recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles
As the name might suggest, this southwestern state has strong Latin and Spanish roots, but also those of Native American influence as well. In terms of its cuisine, nearly everywhere you go, you’ll find one key ingredient: green chile. Try it for yourself in this Double Stacked Green Chile Queso Burgers recipe from foodie blogger Jess Pryles.
New York – Hard Times Sundaes’ Bacon Cheeseburger
Image and recipe courtesy of Hard Times Sundaes
New York is famous for a lot of foods—Pizza, bagels, hot dogs, Jewish delis and pastrami—not to mention the regional trends like Buffalo sauce and Spiedies (Binghamton, NY). It’s also home to plenty of great restaurants. Check out this exclusive recipe for the best-selling Bacon Cheeseburger from Chef Andrew Zurica of Hard Times Sundaes, which is touted as NYC’s #1 Burger Truck.
North Carolina – Carolina Style Burger
When discussing barbecue, we certainly couldn’t leave out North Carolina. This state is famous for its two distinct barbecue styles—Lexington style and Eastern style—both of which use pork, but have their own unique cooking methods and sauces. If you’re a fan of Southern comfort food, you’ll appreciate these Carolina Style Burgers topped with chili and slaw.
North Dakota – Cowboy Bison Burgers
Image and recipe from: www.cookingchanneltv.com
Bison is a popular staple in this northern Midwest state. These Cowboy Bison Burgers with Whiskey-Glazed Charred Onions are the perfect recipe to depict the Great Plains region. Try them with Martin’s sesame-seeded Big Marty’s Buns!
Ohio – Double Chili Cheeseburger
Image and recipe from: www.womanandthewhisk.blogspot.com
Cincinnati, OH is known for its thin, meat-sauce-style chili often used as a topping for spaghetti and coney hot dogs. This summer, try your burger “three-way” (topped with chili and cheese) using this Double Chili Cheeseburger recipe!
Oklahoma – Oklahoma Onion Burger
Image and recipe from www.jesspryles.com
This state is famous for “fried onion burgers,” where a beef patty is smashed into a pile of shredded onions on a hot griddle, using the back of a spatula. Try blogger Jess Pryles’ recipe for Oklahoma-Style Onion Burgers on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls!
Oregon – Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger
Image and recipe from: www.tillamook.com
Grilled Cheese Grill in Oregon is famous for its indulgent burger called “The Cheesus” which replaces the traditional burger bun with two grilled cheese sandwiches. Check out this Spanish-inspired version called the Quesus Cheeseburger, which uses both pepper jack and cheddar cheeses, from Oregon-based cheese company, Tillamook.
Pennsylvania – Whizburger Wit
Image and recipe courtesy of Philly Food Girl
Arguably one of the most iconic American sandwiches, the Cheesesteak, was born out of Philadelphia, PA. Transform this traditional comfort food into a summertime classic with Philly Food Girl’s “Whizburger Wit” on a Martin’s Potato Roll.
Rhode Island – Fried Calamari Sandwich
Image and recipe from: www.saveur.com
Despite its small size, this seaside New England state still packs a punch in terms of flavor. As with its neighbors, it’s big on seafood, especially hard-shell clams (called quahogs) and calamari (squid). These Fried Calamari Sandwiches would be delicious on Martin’s Hoagie Rolls.
South Carolina – Carolina Barbecue Pulled Pork
Just like its partner state to the north, South Carolina plays a big role in the history of barbecue. It also typically consists of pork, but differs in the style of sauce used. South Carolina BBQ Sauce, or “Carolina Gold,” is a tangy mustard-based sauce that is unique to this region. Try it as a topping for these Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches on Martin’s Potato Rolls.
South Dakota – Walleye Fried Fish Sandwich
Image and recipe from: www.honest-food.net
The Walleye, a fresh-water white fish frequently found in the Missouri River, which runs through the state, happens to be South Dakota’s state fish. Turn your catch into this Fried Fish Sandwich with Homemade Tartar sauce—it’s sure to be enjoyed by anglers and foodies alike!
Tennessee – Nashville Hot Chicken OR Memphis-Style BBQ
Image and recipe from: www.food52.com
With such food-centric cities as Nashville and Memphis, we couldn’t pick just one top food…so here are two:
Nashville: This iconic Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Sandwich (made with tear-inducing ingredients like hot sauce and cayenne) will blow your socks off. Try one on Martin’s Big Marty’s Rolls.
Memphis: This barbecue-loving city is loved for their own unique style—typically pork ribs, either wet (coated with sauce) or dry (rubbed with spices). Try this Memphis BBQ sauce atop your favorite ribs, pulled pork, or this Beef Brisket Sandwich.
Texas – BBQ Lover’s Burger
Texas is “big” on many foods, from Mexican influenced “Tex-Mex” cuisine, to comfort foods like chicken-fried steak, to burgers and barbecue. Try a mouthwatering combo of the latter two with this double-stacked BBQ Lover’s Burger.
Salt Lake City is home to the meat-lovers phenomenon known as the Pastrami Burger. This beef burger patty topped with thin-sliced pastrami and Utah Fry Sauce (a mayo-and-ketchup based “secret sauce”) was popularized by quick service restaurant chains like Crown Burger.
Vermont – New England Burgah
Image and recipe from: www.food52.com
Did you know that Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S? Enjoy the sweet condiment in this “New England Burgah” from Food52, topped with sliced MacIntosh apple and cheddar cheese, two more popular Vermont foods.
Virginia – Crab Cake Slider
Image and recipe from www.thecomfortofcooking.com
While there are a number of delicious Virginia-based foods—like oysters, peanuts, Smithfield ham, and apples—we had to mention the iconic crab cake here, being that the state borders the Chesapeake Bay. Try these Crab Cake Sliders (made from Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs), and don’t forget to mix in some Old Bay seasoning!
Washington – Crab Roll
On the other side of the country, you have a state famous for another type of crab—the Dungeness Crab. Make these summer-friendly Crab Rolls on Martin’s Long Rolls using Washington’s favorite catch.
West Virginia – Wild Mushroom and Swiss Venison Burger
Image and recipe from: www.outdoorlife.com
The “Mountain State” is big on many outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, skiing, and hunting. In addition, you’ll find lots of great seasonal produce like apples, ramps, and morel mushrooms. Celebrate the great outdoors with this Wild Mushroom and Swiss Venison Burger.
Wisconsin – Brown Butter Burgers
Everyone knows Wisconsin is famous for all things dairy; it even has the unofficial nickname, Dairyland. The state takes this title to a whole other level with their regional “butter burgers,” which are exactly what they sound like—burgers topped with a pat of butter that drizzles down over the sides of the patty as it melts. Try these Brown Butter Burgers variation, topped with Wisconsin cheddar cheese, or your favorite variety.
Wyoming – Great Plains Burger
Image and recipe from: www.myrecipes.com
This western state may be the least populous in terms of people, but its expansive landscape which includes both the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, is home to many varieties of wildlife, such as bears, moose, elk, bison, and bald eagles. In honor of Wyoming, enjoy this Great Plains Bison Burger (the state mammal) topped with a fresh corn and chipotle mayo spread.
Bonus: District of Columbia and US Territories – Red, White & Bleu Burger
And a special honorary recipe for the non-states of Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa): our special Independence Day Burger in the colors of our flag!
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