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45 Carnival Food Recipes That Are Easy To Make At Home

Quick Answer: What Are Some Of The Tastiest Popular Carnival Foods?

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The most popular carnival foods are corn dogs, hot dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes, turkey legs, snow cones, and elephant ears. When it comes to carnival food, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s how long it’ll take to prepare carnival food.

45 Tasty Carnival Food: Quick Table

RecipeCalories Per Serving Preparation Time
Funnel Cake Fries  37025 Minutes
Kettle Corn3020 Minutes
Cotton Candy11045 Minutes
Doughnuts3004 Hours 45 Minutes
Fruity Shaped Pastries26540 Minutes
Corn On Cob17713 Minutes
Hot Dogs29015 Minutes
Nachos36025 Minutes
Deep Fried Twinkies42022 Minutes
Deep Fried Pizza Dough1432 Hours 50 Minutes
Corn Dogs33530 Minutes
Chili In A Bread Bowl72020 Minutes
Sweet Potato Fries25035 Minutes
Summer Sausage42626 Hours 15 Minutes
Poutine5292 Hours 15 Minutes
Mashed Potatoes54433 Minutes
Pronto Pups11630 Minutes
Bugz506 Minutes
Cupcakes35019 Minutes
Deep Fried Chicken6985 Hours 5 Minutes
Deep Fried Turkey3631 Hour 40 Minutes
Fried Chicken And Waffles50630 Minutes
Deep Fried Candy Bars12001 Hour 30 Minutes
Deep-Fried Chicken Nuggets29650 Minutes
Deep-Fried Pickles10725 Minutes
Deep Fried Cinnamon Rolls32025 Minutes
Pibil3881 Hour
Baked Chicken (And Waffles)2121 Hour
Deep-Fried Oreo Cookie8325 Minutes
Deep Fried Cheeseburgers60040 Minutes
Sweet Potato Fries1251 Hour 17 Minutes
Deep Fried Pickles With Ranch Dip7330 Minutes
Deep Fried Avocado71120 Minutes
Deep Fried Candy Canes1071 Hour 5 Minutes
Deep Fried Pumpkin Pie3231 Hour
Deep Fried Meatloaf4903 Hours
Deep Fried Butter40050 Minutes
Deep Fried Cookies 66430 Minutes
Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos29320 Minutes
Deep Fried Jelly Donuts48620 Minutes
Deep Sea Biscuits12030 Minutes
Dill Pickles Fries10715 Minutes
Deep-Fried Cheesecake935 Hours 30 Minutes
Lemonade10315 Minutes
Caramel Apple38255 Minutes

There’s something about carnival foods that make us want to eat them all the time. Yes, you guessed right. That unmistakable blend of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy flavors combined in one mouth-watering bite.

From caramel apples to cotton candy and everything in between, there’s nothing quite like carnival food to tantalize your taste buds.

Many people have been enjoying the delicious samplings at the carnival but never knew that some foods are also very easy to make at home.

With little time and simple ingredients, many carnivals’ favorite food can be recreated to your taste bud’s satisfaction. No need to go out of your way or spend exorbitant amounts to enjoy these delicious tastes from childhood.

The midway is the heartbeat of any carnival, and as a celebration of the best foods and shows that can be found there, we’ve compiled a list of 45 mouthwatering dishes you can eat at home.

From sweet to savory, these are some of your favorites available for the taking.

1. Funnel Cake Fries

Funnel cake fries are the best carnival food because they are easy to prepare and delicious. Funnel cake fries are a tasty and unique twist on the classic French fry.

They’re a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory with a crispy outside and soft, doughy center. The shape of the fry makes it easier to pick up than other foods, making them perfect for sharing at a carnival or fair.

Calories Per Serving: 370

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

2. Kettle Corn

Kettle corn is one of the most versatile foods you can make at home. It’s great for snacking, dipping, and all kinds of sweet treats. You can eat it plain or mix it with other snacks.

You can enjoy it plain as a sweet treat, top it with melted butter or peanut butter for a savory snack, or add it to your favorite recipes for some extra crunchy goodness.

Calories Per Serving: 242

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

3. Cotton Candy

Cotton candy is one of the tackiest foods ever to grace a carnival. That’s why we love it. Cotton candy is your new best friend if you’re looking for a fun festival.

All you need is a few ingredients and a cotton candy machine. Don’t worry if you don’t have the machine; you can also try this recipe with a few twists of your own by adding in your favorite flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 110

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

4. Doughnuts

Let’s be real—you can never go wrong with doughnuts. With a classic recipe that’s been around for decades, these sweet treats are the perfect addition to your carnival-themed party.

For a fun twist on traditional doughnuts, try adding a few spices to your batters, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom. You can also add some fresh herbs to create a unique and flavorful doughnut.

Calories Per Serving: 300

Preparation Time: 4 Hours 45 Minutes

5. Fruity-Shaped Pastries

These fruity-shaped pastries are a great addition to any carnival-themed party. They are easy to make and are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

You can make these pastries with either a ready-made pastry dough or one from scratch. Both ways are equally delicious.

Calories Per Serving: 265

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

6. Corn On Cob

Corn on the cob is one of the most delicious and satisfying carnival foods. It’s also super easy to make at home and can be customized to suit your taste.

When it’s cooked right, it’s tender, sweet, and delicious. You can add butter, salt, and pepper to taste, but it’s best served plain and simple.

Calories Per Serving: 177

Preparation Time: 13 Minutes

7. Hot Dogs

Who doesn’t love a classic hot dog at the carnival? Well, we all do. Yes, they’re simple, but they taste so good with a variety of condiments.

The great thing about hot dogs is that they can be eaten with almost anything. Whether you like them plain or with lots of condiments, you can enjoy a classic treat at home any time of the year.

Calories Per Serving: 290

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

8. Nachos

Nachos are the perfect party food—you can make them in advance, and they go with almost everything. This Mexican-inspired dish is as delicious as it is colorful.

Nachos are the perfect party food, whether you make them in the oven or stovetop. They are easy to make and can be enjoyed by all.

Calories Per Serving: 360

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

9. Deep-Fried Twinkies (Snack Cake)

These deep-fried cream-filled donut holes are one of the unhealthiest things you can eat. One of the best parts is that they are super easy to make from a donut and frosting mix; it just takes some time in the deep fryer.

If you want to be more health conscious, try using low-sugar frosting and sugar-free jelly for a healthier option. Enjoy!

Calories Per Serving: 420

Preparation Time: 22 minutes

10. Deep Fried Pizza Dough

Whether you’re making deep-fried Twinkies or deep-fried pizza dough, you probably should avoid frying while preparing your treats.

However, if you’re deep-frying pizza dough (which is essentially just like a thick donut), you might as well go the whole way and make some deep-fried pizza dough.

This will give you all the best parts of a good pizza: the crust, tomato sauce, and all your favorite toppings. The only thing it’s missing is cheese!

Calories Per Serving: 143

Preparation Time: 2 Hours 50 Minutes

11. Corn Dogs

These days, you can find corn dogs at pretty much any food event that involves hot dogs. However, if you want to avoid eating so many processed foods, then it might be better to make them at home using your favorite hot dogs and homemade cornbread bites.

If you need some inspiration, we’ve got plenty of ideas to put together a perfectly fried hot dog.

Calories Per Serving: 335

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

12. Chili In A Bread Bowl

This classic campfire food is one of the most popular options at any food event or street fair.

That’s probably because it’s really hard to mess up; you just stick your spoon into the bread bowl, which is filled with chili, and top it with whatever fixings you have.

Calories Per Serving: 720

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

13. Sweet Potato Fries

If you’re looking for something a little different, then sweet potato fries might be the way to go. They’re not as common as regular fries, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as delicious.

After all, they have plenty of vitamins and minerals; it’s just a matter of finding a good side dipping sauce that fits your tastes.

Calories Per Serving: 250

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

14. Summer Sausage

One of the most popular foods at any carnival is probably summer sausage. It’s a classic meat-and-sausage product that you can use in a variety of recipes.

The value comes from the fact that you can use it to make all kinds of dishes, such as barbecue chicken and plain old sausages. Since the sausage is already cooked, you won’t have to worry about any mess when it is eating time.

Calories Per Serving: 426

Preparation Time: 26 Hours 15 Minutes

15. Poutine

Poutine is one of the most popular foods at any food event or street fair. Most people don’t even realize that there are different variations on this old favorite.

This is an excellent option for anyone looking to spice up how they feel about this old classic.

Calories Per Serving: 529

Preparation Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

RELATED: 40 Best Party Food Ideas

16. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the most popular side dishes on the menu at any restaurant, whether fast food joints or high-end fine dining establishments.

If you’ve never made your mashed potatoes, you should try them; it’s surprisingly easy to do!

Calories Per Serving: 544

Preparation Time: 33 Minutes

17. Pronto Pups

Pronto Pups are a long-time favorite in some areas of the country and were even featured in ‘Eat This, Not That’ as one of their best drunk foods.

It’s a good option for anyone who likes hot dogs with their favorite toppings. Choose how to enjoy your tasty pronto pups.

Calories Per Serving: 166

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

18. Bugz

Bugz is one of the most unique and unique-tasting treats you can find. Essentially, they’re crispy rice cereal covered in Nutella, which serves as the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.

If you’re looking for a simpler option, you could just go with plain old corn flakes covered in chocolate powder.

Calories Per Serving: 50

Preparation Time: 6 Minutes

19. Cupcakes

Cupcakes are a lot of fun to make, and you can use your favorite flavors or mix in different sauces to spice them up a bit.

Just be sure to make enough for everyone so that they can try all of your yummy cupcake creations!

Calories Per Serving: 350

Preparation Time: 19 Minutes

20. Deep Fried Chicken

If you’re looking for something that tastes like it’s coming right off the grill, then deep-fried chicken might be the answer you’re looking for.

It’s one of the easiest things you can make at home, but it packs a flavor punch! Have yourself some homemade deliciousness.

Calories Per Serving: 698

Preparation Time: 5 Hours 5 Minutes

21. Deep Fried Turkey

Deep-fried turkey might be the answer you need if you’re looking for something festive or just can’t stand the idea of roasting a turkey.

This is one of the most unique Thanksgiving dishes out there, but it’s also one of the tastiest!

Calories Per Serving: 362

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

22. Fried Chicken And Waffles

It’s hard to go wrong with fried chicken and waffles; they’ve been a favorite pairing since long before anyone was taking pictures of food and posting them on Instagram.

If you’re in the mood for some Southern comfort food, fried chicken and waffles are an excellent place to start.

Calories Per Serving: 506

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

23. Deep Fried Candy Bars

This is another one of the most unique and unusual deep-fried treats that you can find. All you need to do is take your best candy bar, break it up into smaller pieces, and then fry them up in hot oil!

Enjoy your homemade deep-fried candy bars. Serve it to a party or gathering as a quick and yummy appetizer.

Calories Per Serving: 1200

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

24. Deep-Fried Chicken Nuggets

If you’re a big fan of chicken nuggets, then deep-fried chicken nuggets might be the treat for you.

While they might not have quite as much flavor as their original version, many people love these treats because they come out so crispy!

Calories Per Serving: 296

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes

25. Deep-Fried Pickles

You might want to try deep-fried pickles. They’re small, salty treats enjoyed by almost everyone worldwide.

The best part is they are incredibly easy to make, and you don’t have to invest in any real equipment to get started!

Calories Per Serving:107

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

26. Deep Fried Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re looking for something a little newer age, then deep-fried cinnamon rolls might be your answer.

It’s essentially just a sweet, cinnamon-flavored donut that you drop in a deep fryer and then enjoy!

Calories Per Serving: 320

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

27. Pibil

Pibil is a tasty new twist on a traditional dish that even the most veteran foodies haven’t heard of. It’s essentially stew chicken wrapped in banana leaves, which imparts all sorts of unique flavors and makes the chicken nice and tender.

If you’re looking for something with a little more kick, you can always try Korean or Mexican versions of this dish.

Calories Per Serving: 388

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

28. Baked Chicken (And Waffles)

Chicken and waffles are among the most popular dishes to order from restaurants like Waffle House.

It’s got a little bit of everything and is rich in flavor, which makes it ideal for a big game. If you’re looking for something that is just plain amazing, then try this out.

Calories Per Serving: 212

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

29. Deep-Fried Oreo Cookie

This is a fun little indulgence if you want to get a little spicy this holiday season! Essentially, you cut open an Oreo cookie, dip it into some of your favorite chocolate spice, and deep-fry them together.

It’s like eating a power bar but with much less fat.

Calories Per Serving:: 83

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

30. Deep Fried Cheeseburgers

The deep-fried cheeseburger is one of the most unique offerings you’ll find at any fast-food joint.

It has a unique twist, and it is the perfect sandwich if you’ve got a lot of people to feed.

Calories Per Serving: 600

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

RELATED: 61 Delicious Finger Foods For Your Next Big Party

31. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries are the perfect blend of sweet and salty, making them a great alternative to regular French fries.

If you’re looking for something healthier, then sweet potato fries might just be your answer!

Calories Per Serving: 125

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

32. Deep Fried Pickles With Ranch Dip

The combination of ranch and deep-fried pickles has been around for ages. It’s a delightful treat for everyone.

If you’re a fan of these two flavors, then it’s something you should try.

Calories Per Serving: 73

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

33. Deep Fried Avocado

Avocado is one of the most delicious foods you can eat, especially when it is deep fried.

It may be a little too hot and spicy for some people, but if you love heat and avocado, this is your treat!

Calories Per Serving: 711

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

34. Deep Fried Candy Canes Bark

It’s hard to beat the classic combo of chocolate and peppermint. Deep frying candy canes and dipping them into some chocolate is a great solution for your sweet holiday tooth.

This is one of the most unique treats you will get, but it’s also one of the tastiest!

Calories Per Serving: 107

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

35. Deep Fried Pumpkin Pie

If you’re looking for a unique twist on pumpkin pie, then deep-fried pumpkin pie is the answer.

It’s a little more time-consuming than your traditional pumpkin pie, but the results are so satisfying and delicious.

Calories Per Serving: 323

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

36. Deep Fried Meatloaf

If you’re looking for something truly unique, then deep-fried meatloaf is the dish to go for.

It’s essentially a classic meatloaf recipe, but it’s dipped in some batter and then deep-fried. This meatloaf is a great way to enjoy traditional American food differently.

Calories Per Serving: 490

Preparation Time: 3 Hours

37. Deep Fried Butter

In the world of deep frying, few things are more enticing than deep-fried butter!

It takes less than five minutes to make, and it’s a perfect way to indulge in your favorite spread on game day or dessert day.

Calories Per Serving: 400

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes

38. Deep Fried Cookies 

If you love cookies and cream, try deep-fried cookies and add some cream pie. It’s a delicious new take on your favorite treat.

It is ideal if you’re looking for something sweet but also different.

Calories Per Serving: 664

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

39. Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos

Deep-fried red velvet cake is one of the most unique desserts, especially for those who are fans of red velvet cake and chocolate.

It combines all the best flavors you love in one savory treat that is sure to please on a special occasion or holiday!

Calories Per Serving: 293

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

40. Deep Fried Jelly Donuts

Jelly donuts are among the most delicious treats you can find out there! If you’re an enthusiastic jelly donut fan, then this is a perfect treat for you.

It’s like biting into a doughnut with all the fantastic jelly in it.

Calories Per Serving: 486

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

41. Deep Sea Biscuits

Deep sea biscuits are essentially savory biscuits that have been deep-fried and then dipped into a mix of olive oil and ground spices.

If you love unique culinary creations and are a crowd pleaser, then this is the perfect dish for you!

Calories Per Serving: 120

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

42. Dill Pickles Fries

Pickles are one of the most unusual treats around. However, if you love saltiness and ranch flavor, it is time to try dill fried pickles fries. The fries are easy to make and can be enjoyed by all.

Calories Per Serving:: 107

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

43. Deep-Fried Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of the most popular desserts in the world, and you should make it your favorite on a game day.

Take your favorite cheesecake recipe and turn it into a deep-fried delicacy. It’s sweet, creamy, and delicious!

Calories Per Serving: 93

Preparation Time: 5 Hours 30 Minutes

44. Lemonade

Lemonade is the best food, Seriously. It’s refreshing, fruity, and it makes your mouth water when you think about it and sometimes when you don’t. Most importantly, it comes with over half a day of vitamins and calcium.

Calories Per Serving:103

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

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45. Caramel Apple

Caramel apples are one of the best foods to eat in the fall and winter. They are sweet, crunchy, warm, and taste great.

There is much more going on under the surface than what meets your eye! Caramel apples are made from hard apple cider (which has a whopping 4% alcohol content) that is boiled to create a thick syrup consistency.

Calories Per Serving: 382

Preparation Time: 55 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Good Choice To Eat At The Carnival?

An excellent choice to eat at a carnival is typically fried since they’re usually greasy. However, you can also try other options, such as pizza or chicken. You could also go with something healthier like fruits or vegetables dipped in honey and then fried too.

What Is The Most Served Food At Carnivals?

Many interesting cuisines are served in most carnivals, but corn dog remains the most popular. This tasty portable hot dog is believed to have been invented in the late 30s at a Texas State Fair. To date, the recipe remains a favorite at most carnivals.

What Foods Sell Best At Fairs?

The foods sell best at fairs would be the various types of foods that are typically sold at fairs and festivals, such as food items that are fried, smoked, or prepared on a grill. Most of the foods sold at fairs are snacks and sweet treats. Some examples of foods that sell well at fairs are ice cream, corn dogs, and cotton candy.

45 Carnival Food Recipes That Are Easy To Make At Home

Many people have been enjoying the delicious samplings at the carnival but never knew that some foods are also very easy to make at home.


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review
Jess Smith