Blue Ribbon-Worthy State Fair Foods You Can Make at Home
Mix-and-Match Baked Chicken Fingers and Dipping Sauces
Fair foods often involve mash-ups of epic proportions, so why not try breading chicken with crushed tortilla chips and serving with a Cooled-Down Mexican Salsa dipping sauce. (Unlike the fair, these are baked rather than fried. That means we can eat more, right?)
DIY Pineapple Whip
In the list of favorite state fair foods (or even county fair foods), nothing cools us off faster while walking the fairgrounds than a frosty pineapple whip. If you can't get to the fair this year, or want one when it's not fair time, this DIY take of the classic Dole whip is only 5 ingredients and a couple minutes of blending away from being ready to enjoy.
Carnival Cookie Fries
Don't miss out on enjoying fair cookies all year long. Strawberry jam and mango puree make for spot-on dessert stand-ins for ketchup and mustard. Serve bowls of these dipping sauces with the colorful sprinkle cookie fries for a look-alike snack that will make everyone smile.
Air-Fryer Pickle Chips
Make this classic state fair food a little bit healthier at home by frying up pickle slices in your air fryer. Since the trendy appliance cooks food using high heat and circulating air instead of oil, you can indulge in these crispy, crunchy pickle chips guilt-free. Serve with a spicy sriracha dipping sauce, and you'll love these pickle chips even more than the ones you find at the fair.
Donut Hole Pops
Fried. Bacon. On a stick. For the ultimate fair experience, fry the Battered Bacon on skewers so you can snack on the go. Fried bacon definitely falls into the category of unique things to toss in the fryer, so when you also turn it into a food on a stick, this recipe becomes everything Americans love about the state fair in one crunchy dish.
Classic Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
It's just not the state fair until you find a pork tenderloin sandwich that's almost as big as your face. The super oversize sandwiches don't have to be limited to just the fairgrounds though. When you make this recipe at home, pound the pork tenderloin nice and thin for the maximum ratio of crunchy fried exterior to savory, meaty tenderloin and you'll feel like you're standing right on the main drag of the fair.
Right up there with corn dogs and funnel cakes, it's just not a fair without churros. The ingredients needed for this well-loved treat are quite simple; odds are you've got everything you need in your pantry. To get the classic churro shape, pipe the dough using a pastry bag with a large star dip.
Bacon Cheeseburgers with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce
Bye-bye, basic burgers. These spiked bourbon, bacon, and beef burgers are towering with salty and savory elements that will keep you coming back for bite after drippy bite. These burgers are worthy of a blue ribbon at the fair!
Honey-Pepper Bacon Pops
Mini Cinnamon-Sugar Donuts
Itty-bitty cinnamon-sugar donuts, warm from the fryer, attract long lines of hungry fairgoers for good reason. Who can resist the moist cake and the sweet coating? To make them simply at home, try our low-fuss baked method. Craving even more sweetness? Dunk in, or drizzle with, a powdered sugar glaze!
Philly Cheesesteak on a Stick
Nope, this is not your usual meat and veggie kabob idea. This is a Philly cheesesteak deconstructed and rebuilt on a stick to transform it into fair food. Hoagie bread cubes and cheese sauce are what give the must-have cheesesteak flavors.
Italian-Style Corn Dogs
Corn dogs are definitely one of the easiest fair foods to re-create at home, even when you give them a little twist. In place of standard hot dogs, this spicy on-a-stick recipe starts with Italian sausage. Dunk in marinara sauce and enjoy alongside a tall glass of lemonade.
Cherry Hand Pies
State fair food is known for being easy to eat on the go—just like these cherry hand pies! While they might not be quite the same as a slice on a stick, these handheld cherry pies can't help but remind us of all of the sweet finger foods we love at the fair. Whenever you miss walking down the midway, just bake up a batch of these cherry pie treats to make you think of summer.
With a spiralizer, homemade curly fries are a breeze to fry up in your own kitchen. The secret to the crispiest and most crave-able fries ever? Soaking the spiralized spuds in water overnight, then giving them a ride in the salad spinner to remove as much water as possible.
Cookies served on a stick? Yes, please! Add a lollipop stick, wooden skewer, ice pop stick, or even a straw to long and thin blondie cookies for a showy sweet that’s way easy to decorate (since you have a handle!). To give them a little extra sweetness and flair, dip them in melted chocolate or frosting and add sprinkles.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce
Warning: You're going to want to roll up your sleeves before you take a bite of this sweet and spicy pulled pork sandwich. For a hands-off roast that's fall-apart tender, simmer it in your slow cooker in a sauce of root beer and chili sauce.
Peach Melba Pie Pops
Whether you like your fair pickles fried whole or in slices, this recipe lets you make them just the way you like. Coat pickles in buttermilk and a classic cornmeal batter, then deep-fry for a salty, crunchy swap for french fries. Try making a creamy dipping sauce for dunking this deep-fried food to make each bite extra tasty.
Banana Split Cupcakes
Banana cupcakes are good. But banana cupcakes topped with ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, and a cherry? Definitely worthy of a first place ribbon. Like any good state fair food, this deliciously sweet recipe is a mash-up of decadent cupcakes and a luscious banana split sundae.