18 Iconic Meals That Are Made in the USA

There are so many beloved meals that come from the USA, and many of them are family favorites. With so many delicious meals on this list, if you haven’t tried them all, it won’t be long before you have. Here are 18 iconic meals that are made in the USA.

Apple Pie

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If there’s one meal that symbolizes American culture more than any other, it’s apple pie. This is supported by Travel Food Atlas, which writes, “Just the words ‘apple pie’ conjure up images of white picket fences and good old fashioned home cooking.” It consists of a sweet apple filling and is often served with ice cream.


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While the hamburger may have originated in Hamburg, Germany, it’s still an American invention. This American meal is served with various toppings that include cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. You’ll often find it served with a side of fries. Since its popularization, it’s become a symbol of fast food and globalization.

Texas Barbecue

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Texas barbecue is known for its tender and flavorful meats that are cooked over a long period of time. You can eat the meat on its own, but many people often include sides such as macaroni and cheese or cornbread, as these usually help to complement the meat.

Mac and Cheese

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Nothing is more comforting than a helping of mac and cheese. You can choose whether you want to eat it as a main dish or on the side, where it’s usually accompanied by meat. Depending on your cooking abilities, this macaroni dish can be bought ready-made or you can bake it from scratch.

Fried Chicken

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Recipes.net writes, “In the southern United States, fried chicken became a staple dish, especially among African American communities.” Fried chicken is now loved across the country, mainly thanks to its crispy and seasoned coating. You can eat it on its own or add a side of mashed potatoes or coleslaw.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

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This meal is so popular in the USA that it even has its own day. April 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Day in the U.S. Many people have grown up with this meal, mainly because it’s so simple to make.

Chicken and Waffles

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If you love to mix sweet and savory flavors, then nothing beats this famous dish. The meal consists of crispy fried chicken on top of fluffy waffles. Depending on your own personal preference, you can serve this dish with either maple syrup or hot sauce.

Buffalo Wings

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These wings originated in Buffalo, New York. They’re chicken wings coated in a spicy cayenne sauce, which makes them truly delicious. They’re commonly served with celery sticks and a blue cheese dressing to give them an extra tang. If you want something more substantial, then you can also serve it with fries.


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This is a cajun dish straight from Louisiana, and thanks to its richness from so many different spices, it’s become an all-time favorite. Gumbo consists of roux, vegetables, and various meats or seafood. It’s usually served over white rice to make it extra filling.


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Eat This, Not That! writes, “Poke is traditionally made with chunks of marinated raw fish, which is served over rice and topped with vegetables and other seasonings.” It’s a traditional Hawaiian dish and is usually served over rice or accompanied with lots of vegetables.

Loco Moco

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Loco moco is also a traditional Hawaiian dish, but this one is for breakfast. It consists of rice, a hamburger patty, and an egg, which are all then smothered in gravy. For some, it may not sound like a breakfast dish, but it’s a popular dish in Hawaii.


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This is a Native American dish that has a light and fluffy inside and a crispy exterior. It’s a bread that can be eaten on its own or with various toppings—no matter how it’s eaten, it tastes delicious.

Corn Dogs

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Corn dogs are sausages coated in cornmeal batter, and they became popular thanks to American fairs. This meal represents the combination of German sausage traditions and the innovation of America. You’ll find that they’re often served on sticks, making them much easier to eat.

Maxwell Street Polish

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This meal is a Chicago specialty that consists of a Polish sausage served with onions and mustard. It helps to reflect the city’s rich immigrant history and its creativity with culinary dishes. Maxwell Street Polish only became famous thanks to rivalries between local vendors, and now it’s loved across the country.

Tater Tot Hotdish

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A tater tot hotdish is a staple in comfort food. For example, Bring Me the News writes, “For tater tot hotdish, ground beef and tater tots (naturally) are added, though there’s variety in terms of the amounts you use, the base soup you use, and what vegetables you add.” It’s a hearty meal that’s often served at family gatherings.

Mississippi Mud Pie

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This is a classic dessert that features chocolate pudding, cake, and whipped cream. It’s supposed to resemble the muddy banks of the Mississippi River, but luckily, it tastes and looks much better. The pie is known for its rich flavors and is a dessert that’s loved across the country.

Toasted Ravioli

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Toasted ravioli originated in St. Louis, Missouri, and is a unique twist on the Italian classic. Ravioli is breaded and fried until it turns crispy, then served with a tasty marinara sauce for dipping. It shows just how innovative America is when it comes to food.

Hot Dog

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The hot dog is an iconic American food that’s especially popular at sporting events. It’s usually served in a bun and topped with a variety of condiments, like mustard and ketchup. You can also add extras, such as onions or sauerkraut, for an additional crunch. Hot dogs have a rich history and are tied to American immigration.

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