There are a few well-known facts about Minnesota:

  • The winters are absolutely horrendous.
  • There are a lot of lakes. Like, over 10,000.
  • Minnesotans spread a lot of time outside. Especially in the summer. See points 1 and 2 for reference.
  • Minnesotans are borderline obsessed with the Minnesota State Fair.
collage with 8 food photos and text overlay: "10 state fair recipes to make at home"

There’s no need to sugarcoat it. There is no borderline. We’re straight-up obsessed with the fair.

Millions of us come together for 2 weeks straight to eat everything on a stick, sample beers, see farm animals, and pack like sardines in the streets of St. Paul, on land that’s literally dedicated to the MN state fairgrounds.

crowd at mn state fair

You can imagine the devastation of not being able to gather this year. So much so that they’re actually organizing a state fair drive-through. If you’re not one of the lucky ones to snag a ticket in time, never fear! I’ve got you covered.

hand holding beer with crowd blurred in background

I’ve also got you covered if you don’t give two cents about how us Minnesotans do the fair, but you love good ol’ fair food.

You’ll find some classic favorites from MN (ahem, cookies!) and some fair-food twists in this collection, as well as vegetarian remakes of some favorite fair food classics. Enjoy!

Homemade Fair-Inspired Recipes

Mini Carrot Corn Dogs in serving container with ketchup on newspaper

Mini Carrot Corn Dogs

5 (2 ratings)
A vegetarian take on a fair favorite: mini corn dogs! Crispy, smoky, and fried to perfection!
Ingredients: marinated baby carrots, cornmeal, flour, milk, egg, oil for frying
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scalloped corn arancini piled on white plate

Scalloped Corn Arancini

A twist on a classic Midwestern favorite (corn casserole) and perfect for football games or fall potlucks, it's Scalloped Corn Arancini!
Ingredients: creamed corn, egg, fresh corn, Ritz crackers, panko
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Cinnamon Sugar Apple Fritters // Fork in the Kitchen

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Fritters

5 (3 ratings)
Sweet and tart apple bits in a light, cinnamon batter, fried to a crisp exterior and coated in cinnamon sugar; they're better than mini donuts at the fair!
Ingredients: apples, cinnamon, sugar, flour, egg, milk, oil for frying
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Beer Battered Fried Pickles -- light, crispy, and served with a buttermilk parsley sauce! // Fork in the Kitchen

Beer Battered Fried Pickles

Crunchy, salty, dill pickles dipped in a light, crisp beer batter coating and fried to perfection. Serve them with a buttermilk parsley dressing for a tasty snack!
Ingredients: beer, flour and rice flour, spices, dill pickle slices, oil for frying, buttermilk dressing
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Sweet Corn Caramel Ice Cream | Fork in the Kitchen

Sweet Corn Caramel Ice Cream

Creamy sweet corn ice cream swirled with caramel and topped with bits of chocolate covered sugar cone for a crunch!
Ingredients: fresh corn, heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, salted caramel, sugar cones, chocolate
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Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.89 (9 ratings)
The ULTIMATE chocolate chip cookies- full of rich, intense flavor. Buttery, salty, and not-too-sweet, these grown-up cookies will satisfying that cooking craving.
Ingredients: flour, baking soda, shortening, sugarn, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and butter extract, bittersweet chocolate chips
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Gouda Stuffed Pretzel BItes

Gouda Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Raspberry Pepper Jam

5 (1 rating)
Step aside, regular pretzel bites, these ones are filled with creamy Gouda cheese that pairs perfect with a sweet raspberry pepper jam. Savory, sweet, cheesy, delicious!
Ingredients: dry yeast, flour/etc, gouda, serrano pepper, raspberry preserves
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Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa | Fork in the Kitchen

Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa

There's nothing better than summer sweet corn, and putting making fresh salsa with grilled corn on the cob is exceptional! This recipe comes together in under 10 minutes and is bursting with flavor from in-season produce.
Ingredients: sweet corn, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro lime
Chicken wings on serving tray with celery.

Bourbon BBQ Chicken Wings

5 (13 ratings)
Up your wing game with these Bourbon BBQ Wings! They're baked to crispy perfection then tossed in a spicy, sweet, sticky Bourbon BBQ Sauce. They're finger-licking good!
Ingredients: chicken wings, bourbon BBQ sauce
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serving tray with buffalo cauliflower bites next to celery and blue cheese

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

4.88 (32 ratings)
A vegetarian wing option, serve these crispy cauliflower bites with buffalo sauce or Bourbon BBQ sauce (above) for a delicious meat-free option!
Ingredients: cauliflower, cornstarch, panko, spices
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Minnesota shaped pan with tater tot hotdish on cutting board.

Vegetarian Tater Tot Hotdish (Casserole)

4.79 (33 ratings)
It's not on a stick, but it's a classic Midwest casserole that is full of flavor, nostalgia, and texture.
Ingredients: mixed veggies, mushroom soup, lots of cheese, tater tots
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Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa | Fork in the Kitchen
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Get the Recipe 10+ State Fair Inspired Recipes: Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa

Missing your favorite State Fair foods this summer? We've got you covered with these fair-inspired recipes. They're fried, they're in season, and they're totally guilty-pleasure-worthy!


  • 2 corn-on-the-cob ears
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon red onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 to mato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced


  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place the shucked ears of corn on the cob on the grill and cook, turning every minute or so, until charred grill marks appear and kernels are tender. Remove and let cool slightly before cutting off kernels and placing them in a bowl.
  • To the corn kernels, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste test and adjust salt or other ingredients as desired. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!


Makes approximately 2 cups of salsa.
Calories: 7kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 147mg, Potassium: 55mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 171IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!