Skip to Content

Famous North Carolina Recipes

Sharing is caring!

Famous North Carolina recipes include Lexington-style barbeque, she-crab bisque, peach cobbler, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. These popular recipes will remind you of the best part of being in North Carolina.

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

 feature North Carolina pin with four images

Don’t forget to check out this North Carolina Unit Study to learn more about fun state facts and history.

North Carolina is a northeastern state on the coast of the Atlantic ocean. It’s known as the “Tar Heel State,” where the Wright brothers completed their first flight, and Pepsi-Cola was created. 

These ten food categories include three recipes 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 North Carolina.

Why do people love eating certain foods in certain states?

Food is a universal language that speaks to our senses, culture, and geography. Each state in America has its own culinary specialties and traditions.

It’s fascinating how certain foods become synonymous with a particular place and are desired by locals and tourists alike.

Food is not just about taste; it can evoke memories, emotions, and pride. Some may love the comfort of southern fried chicken or the tangy taste of deep-dish pizza in Chicago, while some may crave the Cajun spices of Louisiana or the lobster rolls in Maine.

The answer to why people love certain foods in certain states could be the cultural significance, the availabilities of ingredients, or simply the taste.

Food is not just about sustenance but an experience that speaks to our individual and collective identities.

Does every state have a specific state food?

Many people may assume that every state in the United States has a specific state food, but the reality is that not all states have one. In fact, currently there are only a little over 30 states that have officially designated state foods.

These state foods vary greatly, ranging from seafood dishes like Maryland’s crab cake and Louisiana’s gumbo to sweet treats such as Massachusetts’ Boston cream pie and Georgia’s peach cobbler.

While having a state food is not a requirement, many states have chosen to designate one as a way to celebrate their local cuisine and culinary traditions.

It’s interesting to note that some states have even designated multiple state foods, highlighting the diversity and richness of their local cuisine.

How do I find local delicious foods?

One of the best ways to find local delicious foods is to tap into the community. Check out local farmer’s markets, food festivals and events in your area. This is an excellent opportunity to find local food vendors and farmers, who are often passionate and knowledgeable about their products.

Another way to find out about the local food scene is to consult food blogs or social media groups that focus on food in your area.

You can also check out restaurant review sites and read through the comments about people’s favorite local restaurants.

Don’t be afraid to ask locals their favorite go-to places for delicious food as well.

Engaging with the community will help you discover hidden treasures that you might not have found on your own.

What makes a food famous?

The food industry is a dynamic one, with new trends and flavors emerging every year. But what separates the iconic dishes from the passing fads? It’s a combination of factors that come together to create a culinary sensation.

Some foods are famous because they are unique and unlike anything else on the market.

Others have a rich backstory that captures the imagination of consumers. A great recipe or secret ingredient can also elevate a dish to the status of legend.

But ultimately, it’s the customers who decide what foods become famous.

If a dish delivers on flavor, quality, and value, it’s sure to find its way onto menus and into kitchens around the world.

Famous North Carolina Recipes

Lexington-Style Barbecue Sauce 

This tangy sauce is made with apple cider vinegar and is used to coat slow-roasted pork, which is served on rolls as sandwiches. 

She-Crab Bisque

This soup is creamy and made with onions, lump crab, carrots, celery, rice, heavy cream, seasonings, and sherry. The crab is sourced right from the ocean the same day. 

Peach Cobbler 

Fresh, ripe peaches make this popular dessert topped with dough balls and baked. It’s best served with vanilla ice cream. 

Shrimp and Grits

This Southern dish is spicy and creamy. The cheesy grits are topped with shrimp made in a sauce with bacon, green peppers, garlic, and onions. It’s a famous North Carolina recipe. 

Fried Green Tomatoes

 Underripe tomatoes are sliced, tossed in breading, and fried. This is a fun, and tasty appetizer served all over the south. 

2 Pack Apronner Bib Aprons for Women Soft Cotton Linen Kitchen Cooking Chef Apron with Pockets Adjustable Machine Washable 003Meat Chopper, Hamburger Chopper, Premium Heat Resistant Mix Chopper, Ground Beef Chopper Tool & Meat Fork, Potato Masher,Safe for Non-Stick CookwareFarberware Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 15 Piece, PewterFast Defrosting Tray - Meat Thawing Board for Natural Thawing Frozen Meat and Food - Miracle Thaw for Fridge - Rapid Thaw Defrosting Plate to Keep Original Food Flavor - Large with Drip Tray


Biscuits and Gravy 

Warm biscuits cut in half are served with creamy sausage gravy. This breakfast dish is savory and sometimes topped with a fried egg. 

Pimento Cheese Spread

This famous dip is made with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimento peppers, seasonings, and jalapenos. You can spread it over crackers or dip fresh veggies. 

Fried Catfish 

Fried catfish is a classic Southern meal served with a lemon wedge, coleslaw, and french fries. 

Macaroni and Cheese 

Creamy cheese sauce poured over elbow macaroni pasta is a staple in households all over North Carolina, and it’s also topped with bacon, pulled pork, green onions, or bread crumbs. 

Sweet Potato Pie 

Sweet potato pie is similar to pumpkin pie but sweeter. This baked dessert is served with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. 

image of shrimp and grits for North Carolina pin

More North Carolina Resources

Sharing is caring!