What Food Is Kentucky Known For?

Kentucky is known for its Southern cuisine, and there are plenty of iconic dishes that the state is known for. From fried chicken to Louisville Slugger baseball bats, here are 10 things Kentucky is known for food-wise.

Checkout this video:

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the most well-known foods that the state of Kentucky is known for. The restaurant chain was founded in 1952 by Harland Sanders, and it has since become a global phenomenon. KFC is known for its delicious fried chicken, and its secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices.


Kentucky is well-known for its bourbon. Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s bourbon, and there are over four million barrels of bourbon aging in the state. The most famous bourbon brands include Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, and Wild Turkey. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is made from at least 51% corn and aged in new oak barrels.

Hot Browns

Hot Browns are a traditional dish from Kentucky that dates back to the 1920s. The dish consists of an open-faced sandwich made with turkey, bacon, and tomato, and is typically topped with a Mornay sauce (a cheese sauce made with Gruyere cheese). Hot Browns are typically served at lunch or dinner, and are a popular menu item at Kentucky Derby parties.


Mutton is a type of meat that comes from sheep that are at least a year old. It has a strong, gamey flavor that some people love and others find off-putting. Mutton is popular in some parts of the world, including Kentucky, where it is often used in stews and other dishes.

country ham

Few dishes are as synonymous with Kentucky as country ham. This cured and smoked pork product has been a staple of the state’s cuisine for centuries, and it can be enjoyed in a number of different ways. Whether you’re enjoying a traditional country ham breakfast or using it to add flavor to other dishes, there’s no doubting that this is a food that Kentuckians are proud of.


Kentucky is known for its spoonbread, a cornmeal-based dish that is similar to a pudding or casserole. It is often served with vegetables or meat, and can be either savory or sweet. Other popular dishes from Kentucky include fried chicken, country ham, and biscuits and gravy.


Kentucky’s official state barbecue dish is burgoo, a thick stew of mutton, pork, chicken, and beef slow-simmered with an assortment of vegetables. It was created in the early 19th century by African American slaves who worked on local plantations.

chess pie

Kentucky is known for a variety of food items, but one of the most iconic is chess pie. This dessert is a rich, creamy pie made with a variety of different ingredients like sugar, butter, eggs, and cornmeal. It’s believed that chess pie originated in England, but it’s become a staple in Kentucky kitchens over the years.


Kentuckyaki is a type of BBQ sauce that is unique to the state of Kentucky. It is made with a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and spices, and it is typically used on chicken or pork.

Pecan pie

Kentucky is known for a few different things when it comes to food. One of the most iconic and well-loved dishes from Kentucky is pecan pie. This dessert is made with a sweet and sticky filling, typically made with brown sugar or molasses, and plenty of pecans. The filling is then poured into a flaky pastry crust and baked until golden brown. Pecan pie is often served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, making it an indulgent treat that is perfect for any occasion.

Scroll to Top