13 Famous Foods In Minnesota to Try in 2024 – A Taste of Culture, History, and Nature

I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life and love our local food. I’m excited to show you our best dishes. Minnesota’s food is diverse and creative, just like our state. Here are 14 classic dishes that really show what our food is all about. Each one has its own story and special place in the North Star State.

1. Juicy Lucy

Juicy Lucy

The Juicy Lucy burger, a Minneapolis innovation, has become iconic in the local cuisine. It’s a cheeseburger with a twist – the cheese is inside the beef patty, melting into a gooey core. Originating in 1954 at Matt’s Bar, it’s a must-try for burger enthusiasts. It is common in many bars in the Twin Cities.


Ingredient Quantity
Ground beef 1 lb
American cheese 4 slices
Salt and pepper To taste
Hamburger buns 4
  • Divide beef into 8 equal portions. Flatten into thin patties.
  • Place a cheese slice between two patties and seal edges.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill over medium heat until desired doneness.
  • Serve on buns with preferred toppings.

2. Lefse


Lefse, a Norwegian flatbread, has become an integral part of Minnesota’s culinary heritage. It’s a holiday staple, showcasing the state’s Scandinavian roots.


Ingredient Quantity
Russet potatoes 2 lbs
Butter, melted 1/4 cup
Heavy cream 1/4 cup
Salt 1 tsp
All-purpose flour 1-1/2 cups
  • Boil and mash potatoes. Mix with butter, cream, and salt.
  • Chill overnight. Mix in flour to form a dough.
  • Roll out thinly and cook on a hot griddle until brown spots form.
  • Serve with butter, sugar, or cinnamon.

3. Tater Tot Hotdish

Tater Tot Hotdish

Tater Tot Hotdish is the epitome of comfort food in Minnesota. It’s a hearty casserole combining ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and tater tots.


Ingredient Quantity
Ground beef 1 lb
Cream of mushroom soup 1 can
Frozen tater tots 1 package
Shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup
Frozen mixed vegetables 1 cup
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Brown ground beef and drain excess fat.
  • Mix beef with soup and vegetables in a baking dish.
  • Top with tater tots and cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

4. Lutefisk

Lutefisk, a dish made from whitefish treated with lye, is a unique part of Minnesota’s Scandinavian heritage. It’s a traditional holiday meal, often paired with butter or cream sauces.


Ingredient Quantity
Dried whitefish (preferably cod) 1.5 lbs
Lye 2 tbsp
Cold water As needed
Salt 1 tbsp
  • Soak the dried whitefish in cold water for 5-6 days, changing the water daily.
  • After soaking, handle the fish with gloves. Mix the lye with a gallon of cold water to create a lye solution. Soak the fish in this solution for 2-3 days.
  • Remove the fish from the lye solution and soak in fresh cold water for another 4-6 days, changing the water 2-3 times a day.
  • The fish will swell and its consistency will change. Once properly soaked, it should be soft and jelly-like.
  • To cook, place the fish in a pot and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is heated through and has reached the desired consistency.
  • Serve the Lutefisk with melted butter or cream sauce, and enjoy with side dishes like peas, bacon, or potatoes.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup

Wild rice, harvested from the state’s lakes and rivers, is a staple. Wild rice soup, often made with chicken or mushrooms, is a warm and comforting dish, perfect for Minnesota’s chilly weather.


Ingredient Quantity
Wild rice 1 cup
Chicken broth 4 cups
Chopped cooked chicken 1 cup
Diced carrots 1/2 cup
Diced celery 1/2 cup
Chopped onion 1/2 cup
Heavy cream 1 cup
  • Cook wild rice according to package instructions.
  • In a pot, sauté onions, carrots, and celery.
  • Add broth and cooked chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add cooked wild rice and cream. Heat through and serve.

6. Walleye


Walleye, Minnesota’s state fish, is a highlight in local cuisine. It’s often fried or grilled, and enjoyed in fish fries across the state.


Ingredient Quantity
Walleye fillets 4
Flour 1 cup
Cornmeal</td 1/2 cup
Paprika 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp
Egg, beaten 1
Milk 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil for frying As needed
  • Mix flour, cornmeal, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine egg and milk in another bowl.
  • Dip walleye fillets in egg mixture, then in flour mixture.
  • Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

7. Iron Range Porketta

Iron Range Porketta

Iron Range Porketta, rooted in Minnesota’s Italian community, is a seasoned pork roast. It’s known for its deep flavors of fennel, garlic, and parsley, often served in sandwiches or as a main dish.


Ingredient Quantity
Pork shoulder roast 3-4 lbs
Fennel seeds 2 tbsp
Minced garlic 3 cloves
Dried parsley 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Crushed red pepper 1/2 tsp
  • Rub pork with a mixture of fennel, garlic, parsley, salt, and red pepper.
  • Roast in a preheated oven at 325°F for 3-4 hours until tender.
  • Let rest, then slice or shred for serving.

8. Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs, embraced by Minnesota’s Scandinavian community, are a popular dish. These small, flavorful meatballs are typically served with lingonberry sauce and creamy gravy.


Ingredient Quantity
Ground beef 1/2 lb
Ground pork 1/2 lb
Breadcrumbs 1/2 cup
Minced onion 1/4 cup
Egg 1
Milk 1/2 cup
Allspice 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
Salt and pepper To taste
  • Mix beef, pork, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, milk, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  • Form into small meatballs.
  • Fry meatballs in a skillet until browned and cooked through.
  • Serve with gravy and lingonberry sauce.

9. Bundt Cake

Bundt Cake

The Bundt cake, with its distinctive ring shape, originated in Minneapolis in 1950. It’s a versatile cake, enjoyed in various flavors and often the centerpiece at gatherings.


Ingredient Quantity
All-purpose flour 3 cups
Granulated sugar 2 cups
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Butter, softened 1 cup
Eggs 4
Milk 1 cup
Vanilla extract 2 tsp
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
  • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat in butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Pour into pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool, then invert onto a plate. Serve as desired.

10. Wild Blueberry Pie

Wild Blueberry Pie

Minnesota, known for its wild blueberries, celebrates this natural bounty with delicious blueberry pie. The pie, with its flaky crust and juicy filling, is a testament to the state’s rich natural resources.


Ingredient Quantity
Fresh wild blueberries 4 cups
Sugar 3/4 cup
Cornstarch 3 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Pie crust (for top and bottom) 2
Butter 2 tbsp
Egg yolk (for brushing) 1
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Toss blueberries with sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
  • Place one pie crust in a pie dish and add the blueberry filling.
  • Dot the top of the filling with butter.
  • Cover with the second crust, seal edges, and make slits in the top for steam to escape.
  • Brush the top crust with beaten egg yolk.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool before serving.

12. Honeycrisp Apple Treats

Honeycrisp Apple Treats

The Honeycrisp apple, developed in Minnesota, is celebrated for its crisp texture and sweet flavor. These apples are perfect for snacks, pies, and other baked goods, showcasing Minnesota’s agricultural innovation.


Ingredient Quantity
Honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced 4
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup
Cinnamon 1 tsp
All-purpose flour 2 tbsp
Pie crust (for top and bottom) 2
Butter 2 tbsp
Egg yolk (for brushing) 1
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • In a bowl, combine sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
  • Place one pie crust in a pie dish and add the apple mixture.
  • Dot with pieces of butter.
  • Cover with the second crust, crimp the edges to seal, and make slits in the top.
  • Brush the top crust with beaten egg yolk.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool before serving.

13. Hmong Sausage

Hmong Sausage

Hmong sausage, significant in Minnesota, represents the Hmong community’s rich culinary traditions. It’s a flavorful sausage, often enjoyed in various dishes or on its own.


Ingredient Quantity
Ground pork 2 lbs
Minced garlic 2 cloves
Chopped green onions 1/2 cup
Soy sauce 2 tbsp
Fish sauce 1 tbsp
Ground black pepper 1 tsp
Sausage casings As needed
  • In a large bowl, mix ground pork with garlic, green onions, soy sauce, fish sauce, and black pepper.
  • If using sausage casings, stuff the mixture into the casings using a sausage stuffer.
  • If making patties, shape the mixture into patties of your desired size.
  • Cook the sausages or patties in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve hot, either on its own or with your choice of sides.


What fast food is MN known for?

Minnesota invented the Juicy Lucy, a cheese-stuffed burger patty. You can find this burger at many places in the state, especially in Minneapolis.

What drink is Minnesota known for?

Minnesota is known for the Bootleg Cocktail, a drink with limeade, lemonade, mint, and booze. This drink was created in the country clubs of the Twin Cities during the prohibition era.

What is Minnesota known for?

Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, although it has 11,842 lakes. The state has many outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, hiking, and skiing.

What is special about Minnesota?

Minnesota is special for its diverse culture, history, and nature. The state has influences from Native American, Scandinavian, German, and Hmong communities, and is the birthplace of Bob Dylan, the Honeycrisp apple, and the stapler.

What food does Minnesota grow?

Minnesota grows crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar beets, oats, and wild rice. The state also produces dairy products, such as cheese, butter, and yogurt, and is famous for its sweet corn and Honeycrisp apples.

The Bottom Line

Each of these recipes showcases what makes our state special, mixing traditional tastes with the comfort of home cooking. From the Juicy Lucy’s melted cheese to the homely feel of a Tater Tot Hotdish, these dishes are a big part of our local heritage and community life. I hope you feel encouraged to try these flavors and bring a bit of Minnesota’s culinary scene into your own kitchen.