Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes in Michigan

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

As it is around the country, stuffing proved to be the most popular Thanksgiving side dish in Michigan. Folks in the state chose that more than twice as often as the side dishes tied for second, macaroni and cheese and green bean casserole, according to our research. In Detroit, stuffing was the top choice of approximately 40% of people, with that number dropping to 37% in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Using Google Trends, BetMichigan.com – your source for Michigan sports betting promos – analyzed the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes of Michigan. We looked at the search results of each side dish from No. 1, 2022, to Nov. 30, 2022. These dishes were the most in total searches in the United States, giving us the following list to choose from: Mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, candied yams, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.

Cornbread is the most popular stuffing base in Michigan, and apples make their way into many Michigan stuffing recipes. Another option adds Michigan cherries, for a sweeter taste to balance out those tart cranberries.

Those products add local flavor to holiday menus to accompany that traditional Lions Thanksgiving Day game (follow Detroit Lions Super Bowl odds with us).

Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes In Michigan

RankSide DishesInterest Over Time Period
T2Macaroni & Cheese7
T2Green Bean Casserole7
4Mashed Potatoes6
5 Sweet Potato Casserole3

Cheese, Please, For Michigan Residents

As for macaroni & cheese, it’s so popular in Michigan (a state only a lake away from cheese capital Wisconsin) that the state hosted the first ever Mac & Cheese Festival in Kalamazoo in 2019. Since then, this sold-out event has moved around the state, leaving a trail of carbs and dairy in its wake. The 2023 version was at LMCU Ballpark in Grand Rapids and featured 18 food vendors and even more breweries.

Gorgonzola is a popular cheese in Michigan and that’s an okay option for an offbeat macaroni & cheese, but if you need a classic fix before Turkey Day, one of the best in the state is from Slows in Detroit (with other locations). The BBQ at this joint is terrific, but folks who prefer pasta to pig also rave about the creamy M&C, which goes heavy on the cheddar, baked to a crisp on top like some kind of cheddar jerky.

Let’s not leave out the top college rivals for Michigan sports betting. You would think Michigan State would be big on the GREEN Bean Casserole and the Maize and Blue of Michigan would favor something like corn pudding. In fact, the Maize & Blue Cupboard out of Student Life in Ann Arbor has Google’s top Michigan green bean casserole recipe. It’s a classic with cream of mushroom soup and crispy onions. So far there’s no evidence that Michigan stole the recipe from any other Big Ten school.

For our No. 4 choice as a Thanksgiving side, mashed potatoes, buy local. Michigan white potatoes do very well with cream and butter, but what doesn’t? Because it does well in colder temperatures, the “Beauregard” is the most popular sweet potato grown in Michigan. But for your sweet potato casserole (the No. 5 choice), just load it up with marshmallows, which are not grown anywhere. Happy Thanksgiving, and check back with us at BetMichigan.com for more fun stories as well as the best Michigan online casino bonuses out there.


Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the Michigan sports betting market for BetMichigan.com. Before his focus on U.S. sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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