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Famous Iowa Foods

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These Famous Iowa Foods include Maid-Rite sandwiches, steak de Burgo, fried catfish, strawberry pretzel salad, and taco pizza. These popular recipes will remind you of the best part of being in Iowa.

Check out our 50 states unit study for some fun states info!

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Don’t forget to check out this Iowa Unit Study as well to learn more about fun state facts and history.

Iowa is known for its flat plains and cornfields. It’s one of the nations’ biggest corn-growing states. Their capital city is Des Moines and the local food scene includes comfort food and classic dishes.

These 10 food categories include three recipes each from notable professional chefs and home chefs with the recipe testing and dish development done for you. All you need to do is enjoy the wonderful combinations that make these dishes uniquely Iowa.

Maid-Rite Sandwiches 

Maid-Rite sandwiches are loose meat sandwiches made with ground beef, onions, spices, and mustard, served on a hamburger bun. They are classic mid-western food and are loved in Iowa.

Steak de Burgo 

This steak tenderloin is covered with a creamy mushroom and garlic sauce. This decadent dish was first created in Des Moines, Iowa in 1939 and is still served in restaurants all over the state. 

Fried Catfish

Catfish is a mild fish that is breaded and fried until golden brown. This crunchy dish is served with a side of tartar sauce on lunch and dinner menus in Iowa. 

Taco Pizza 

This fun take on a traditional pizza is made with a pizza crust and topped with taco toppings. These include taco meat, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and cheddar cheese.

Hot Beef Sandwich 

 This sandwich is made with slow-cooked beef piled between two pieces of sandwich bread and topped with gravy. Sometimes it’s served open-faced with mashed potatoes and green peas. It’s the ultimate comfort food! 


Panino sandwiches are packed with deli meats like roast beef, ham, or turkey, vegetables like tomatoes, and lettuce, melty cheese, and often a sauce. The sandwich is then grilled on both sides with a special grill called a press. It’s warm and delicious!  

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This dessert is made with a pretzel crust topped with a layer of cream cheese, and then strawberry jello with fresh strawberries inside. You’ll find this at most picnics and pot-luck gatherings. 


Scotcheroos have a crunchy bottom made with rice cereal and peanut butter and topped with a layer of chocolate. These bars are no-bake and perfect for after-school snacks. 

Rhubarb Pie 

This pie is made with rhubarb and strawberries and is often tart. It’s the perfect summer dessert. 

Puppy Chow Mix 

This snack is made with Chex cereal and coated in melted chocolate and peanut butter and then tossed with powdered sugar. They are addictive and delicious! 

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