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The South is known for its rich culinary heritage, and there is a growing interest in how to cook traditional Southern food. This selection of Southern recipes includes all-time favorites such as pimiento cheese, fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and pound cake. Creating great Southern food incorporates many ways to cook, such as grilling outside for a picnic, utilizing fresh seasonal produce from the garden for an easy summer meal, or creating hearty breakfasts or indulgent sweet desserts for special occasions. Southern food is synonymous with comfort food; just the delicious aroma from a bowl of chicken and dumplings can evoke fond memories of Grandma’s kitchen. It is no wonder that great Southern recipes, passed down from one generation to the next, are cherished and protected. Find a new favorite Southern food, or renew an acquaintance with an old favorite, in this collection of classic Southern recipes.
Bacon Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Bacon Pimiento Cheese
Spread homemade Bacon Pimiento Cheese on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato. Use leftover spread on crackers or celery for a snack.
Two-Step Pound Cake
Recipe: Two-Step Pound Cake
It takes only six ingredients and two easy steps to create this buttery, from-scratch Southern staple. Simply layer the ingredients in a bowl, mix, pour, and bake.
Southern Sweet Tea
Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits
A Southern breakfast is far from complete without flaky, buttery biscuits. This simple five-ingredient recipe gets rave reviews from readers who say it can result only in perfection. Save time by making the dough in a food processor. Pulse dry ingredients six or seven times, and then slowly add liquid through the food chute while processing
Hot Grits With Tomato Gravy
Recipe: Tomato Gravy
Tomato Gravy over hot grits makes a winning combination for any meal.
Recipe: Cheese Straws
If you like yours less spicy, use the smaller amount of red pepper.
Recipe: Tennessee Caviar
Instead of fish eggs, this Southern version of caviar features down-home veggies. Make it a day ahead for the best flavor.
Grilled Chicken With White Barbecue Sauce
Chicken thighs are seasoned with rub of dried thyme, oregano, cumin, and paprika. The versatile white sauce received our highest rating and is also good as a condiment for burgers.
Best Boiled Peanuts
Recipe: Boiled Peanuts
Southerners love shelling out these soft and salty nuts.
Pork Tenderloin on Cornmeal Biscuits
Running out of time to assemble sandwiches yourself? Let guests make their own—serve sliced pork on a platter with chutney and biscuits on the side.
Beer-Batter Fried Pickles
Recipe: Praline Pecans
Pralines are best made when the weather is dry--humidity tends to make them grainy. Be sure to use a heavy saucepan, and work quickly when spooning the pecan mixture onto the wax paper.
Southern-Style Collard Greens
Recipe: Southern-Style Collard Greens
It’s the slow cooking method that really brings out that mouth-watering smoky pork flavor and the tender texture of Southern-Style Collard Greens. But, the best part is dipping a piece of cornbread in all that leftover potlikker.
Herb-Grilled Chicken With Watermelon-Feta Salad
Forget to marinate the chicken in advance? No problem. This rub only takes 30 minutes. Simply add the refreshing, flavorful Watermelon-Feta Salad for a quick and easy meal your family will love.
Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding
Recipe: Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding
This super easy banana pudding calls for just four ingredients: a banana, thawed whipping topping, prepared vanilla pudding, and vanilla wafer.
Assemble-Your-Own Barbecue Stacks
Recipe: Assemble-Your-Own Barbecue Stack
Have a few of these yummy Barbecue Stacks ready to go when your friends arrive. The rest can be put together by your guests.
Recipe: Shrimp Po’boys
Try this authentic shrimp po'boy recipe to get a taste of New Orleans' famous cajun cuisine.
Crab Cakes With Lemon Rémoulade
Recipe: Crab Cakes With Lemon Rémoulade
Serve these classic crab-filled cakes atop a mixed baby greens salad.
Pineapple Upside-Down Carrot Cake
One quick flip and this moist cake with perfectly caramelized fruit slips from a skillet.
Warm Turnip Green Dip
Recipe: Warm Turnip Green Dip
It's Southern tradition to have a little hot sauce with your turnip greens, so be sure to offer guests several brands to choose from on the side.
Luscious Lemon Bars
Recipe: Luscious Lemon Bars
Classic lemon squares are always a popular dessert at teas, luncheons, and showers. As an added bonus, you can make them ahead and freeze for up to one month.
Sour Cream Cornbread
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Give up the box mix, making Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese from scratch is easier than you think. Even if you have never tried to make your own mac ‘n’ cheese at home before, this simple recipe will have you enjoying a bowl of warm, creamy, cheesy goodness in a matter of minutes. Baked macaroni and cheese is rich and delicious, and this is one of our most-requested recipes. So step up to the stove and step away with a dish full of this mac ’n’ cheese delight.
Test Kitchen Tip: It’s best to shred your own block of cheese, especially if using a reduced-fat product. Pre-shredded brands don’t always melt as well or deliver that extra-sharp flavor. You can use a box grater or a food processor with a shredding device.
Step-by-Step Video: Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Easy Brunswick Stew
Recipe: Easy Brunswick Stew
Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of hearty Brunswick stew. Sop up every flavorful last bit with crusty bread or crispy cornbread crackers.
Classic Mint Julep
Recipe: Classic Mint Julep
The classic version is served in silver julep cups. These are filled to the rim with a refreshing concoction of the finest bourbon, simple syrup, fresh mint, and crushed ice. See our tips and techniques for stirring up a mint julep.
Step-by-Step Video: Make a Classic Mint Julep
Ham-Stuffed Biscuits With Mustard Butter
Yeast biscuits—also called angel or bride’s biscuits—hold together well, so they’re a good choice to serve at gatherings. The so-Southern combination of ham and biscuits is always a hit!
Pecan Bourbon Balls
Recipe: Old-fashioned Meatloaf
Meatloaf may be one of the ultimate comfort foods, so a classic meatloaf recipe is always a reader favorite. Beginning with lean ground beef, this Southern meatloaf recipe features Creole and Greek seasonings and a hint of garlic. Celery, breadcrumbs, onion, and tomato paste all add flavor, richness, and depth to this delicious delight. A few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce—that's the fantastic taste you're trying to figure out—spice up the traditional ketchup topping which keeps this meatloaf moist, tender, and juicy. This may be called the Old-Fashioned Meatloaf, but it is one of the best-tasting meatloaves you will eat today.
Mississippi Hush Puppies
Easy Three-Seed Pan Rolls
Recipe: Easy Three-Seed Pan Rolls
These rolls start with frozen bread dough but taste as if they're made from scratch--perfect for no-fuss entertaining. You'll get a spectacular look and big flavor while saving time.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
Shrimp and Grits
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits
The original recipe for this hearty shrimp and grits dish is from Bill Smith, executive chef at Crook's Corner, the landmark Southern restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Pork Chops with Pepper Jelly Sauce
The sweet and spicy pepper jelly sauce creates a beautiful glaze on the pork chop and keeps the meat moist and tender.
Recipe: Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls
These rolls feature a buttery, brown sugar-pecan filling as well as a rich and creamy vanilla glaze. Better yet, the easy yeast-roll dough rises in just 30 minutes.
Honey-Bourbon Glazed Ham
Recipe: Herb-Grilled Chicken
We've concocted a simple, healthful recipe to start your season of outdoor cooking. Choose your favorite fresh herb to enhance the flavor of grilled chicken. Remove the herb sprig before serving, or leave it as a garnish.
Banana Pudding Pie
Recipe: Banana Pudding Pie
Pie just doesn’t get much easier or better than this tasty twist on banana pudding. In fact, once you try our speedy version of homemade custard, you’ll never be tempted to make instant pudding again. If you’re a big fan of vanilla wafers like we are, pick up an extra box and tuck a few into the meringue before baking. For party-pretty slices, dip the knife blade in cold water or lightly coat with vegetable cooking spray.
Southern-Stuffed Rosemary Chicken
This surprisingly easy recipe takes less than an hour to prepare and consistently receives top ratings from reviewers. Chicken breasts are stuffed with toasted pecans and cornbread stuffing, then topped with a creamy sauce, parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh rosemary.
Peach-and-Toasted-Pecan Ice Cream
This sublime ice cream is packed with two Southern favorites, refreshing peaches and nutty pecans.
Macaroni-and-Pimiento Cheese Bites
Wow family and friends with these easy party poppers. You can also bake the mixture in a casserole dish and use the breadcrumb coating as a crispy topping.
Classic Fried Catfish
Recipe: Classic Fried Catfish
Red pepper and garlic seal the flavor of the cornbread mixture that coats these catfish fillets. For an extra-crispy crust, use stone-ground yellow cornmeal.
Recipe: Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo
After preparing the roux, most of the time spent making gumbo is basically hands-free. You’ll just need to stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking. This flavorful stew recipe is worth the effort.
Vanilla Ice Cream With Fruit Blend
Serve this soft right out of the ice-cream maker's container, or freeze it for a firmer consistency.
Southern Shrimp Cocktails
Recipe: Southern Shrimp Cocktails
Have the seafood market steam shrimp to save time, or follow our easy instructions in the recipe. Serve the shrimp, okra, and breadsticks on a platter around a bowl of the sauce, or make individual cocktails. Use 4-oz. votive candleholders, shot glasses, cordial glasses, or mini-martini glasses.
Recipe: Blueberry-Cinnamon Muffins
Fat-free buttermilk and a teaspoon of cinnamon take the traditional blueberry muffin recipe to the next level. Tip: To prevent berries from bleeding, toss them in flour, and then gently fold them into batter.
Georgia Peach Trifle
Recipe: Georgia Peach Trifle
Layers of bourbon-drizzled pound cake, creamy vanilla pudding, and juicy peaches meld together in an elegant trifle presentation that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Italian Pot Roast
Recipe: Italian Pot Roast
This Italian pot roast is an easy weeknight dinner. Play around with the mushroom selection; try baby portabellas or creminis.
Roast Pork with Garlic-Onion Gravy
It's worth purchasing a meat thermometer for this recipe. We used an instant-read version, but a standard one would work equally well. Cook the roast to 180° to 185° for incredibly tender but sliceable meat, making a pretty holiday presentation.
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dark brown sugar adds surprising richness to this cookie dough. Bake each batch 8 minutes for soft and gooey cookies, or up to 14 minutes for crisp results.
Recipe: Watermelon Cooler
Watermelons are a classic summer road stand fruit that sometimes goes to waste because they are so large. Make use of your leftover watermelon slices and cool down from the heat with this fresh, tangy summer sipper.
Spicy Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers
Recipe: Spicy Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers
This burger will make you the envy of the neighborhood. Start by mixing the ground beef with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Then press two patties together, both topped with cheddar cheese. The result is a thick, spicy, and delicious cheese-filled burger.
Recipe: She-Crab Soup
Top off a creamy bowl of this iconic Charleston soup with a spoonful of sherry at the table.
Fresh Peach Salsa
Recipe: Fresh Peach Salsa
Add fresh, fruity flavor to grilled chicken, fish, or baked pita chips for a snack with this versatile salsa. Sautéing peaches with onions and jalapeño intensifies the flavors.
Key Lime Pie Recipe
Recipe: Key Lime Pie
As the weather gets warmer, cool down with a classic summer treat! These sweet-tart key lime pie recipes will have your guests diving in for another bite.
This first slice of tropical heaven offers the best of both worlds—rich, creamy texture with fewer fat grams. Don't be tempted to substitute bottled lime juice—it doesn't compare to fresh.
Recipe: Crawfish Étouffée
This recipes call for fresh crawfish because they’re readily available in Cajun country. Don’t fret if you can’t get your hands on the fresh seafood―frozen crawfish tails work very well.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Recipe: Sweet Potato Biscuits
Serve simple Sweet Potato Biscuits with golden honey for a mouthwatering snack.
Green Barbecue Sauce
Recipe: Green Barbecue Sauce
This Tex-Mex twist on traditional barbecue sauce combines tangy green tomatoes and crisp tomatillos for a tongue-tingling flavor sensation. You have to try this over your favorite recipe for barbecue chicken or shrimp. Better still, you can make this up to 1 week ahead.
Zesty Lemon Pie
Recipe: Zesty Lemon Pie
Impress your guests or family with the goodness of classic lemon icebox pie. This recipe features from-scratch buttery crust, lemony-rich baked filling, and homemade whipped cream.
Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies
Honey Barbecue Chicken
Recipe: Honey Barbecue Chicken
Try this classic barbecue chicken recipe with bone-in chicken breasts and drumsticks. You'll most likely have all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce on hand.
John's Red Beans and Rice
Double Apple Pie With Cornmeal Crust
Don't skip the apple jelly in this to-die-for pie recipe—it makes the baked pie juices extra rich. It also decreases the cloudiness that sometimes occurs with a flour-thickened apple pie filling.
Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Recipe: Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
This classic creamy pasta is pure Southern comfort. We love its made-from-scratch Mornay sauce and toasted almond-and-Parmesan cheese topping. Plus, the casserole freezes beautifully.
Mississippi Mud Cake
Recipe: Mississippi Mud Cake
Imagine the richest, darkest, most decadent chocolate dessert you’ve ever eaten. Now add some marshmallows, and you've got this decadent yet simple-to-bake cake.
Golden Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Golden Macaroni and Cheese
This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe beats the boxed kind any day of the week. For a divine main dish, stir in chopped cooked ham before baking, and then sprinkle top with chopped cooked bacon before serving.
Honey Yeast Rolls
Recipe: Honey Yeast Rolls
Tender, delectable Honey Yeast Rolls are a must-serve and best warm from the oven and slathered with sweet honey butter.
Easy Blackberry Cobbler
Recipe: Easy Blackberry Cobbler
In less than an hour you can serve up this simply divine dessert. Pop it in the oven just before you sit down to eat, and your family can enjoy it warm at meal’s end. For individual servings, bake for the same amount of time in 6 (8-oz.) ramekins on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
Step-by-Step Video: Make Easy Blackberry Cobbler
Bayou Fried Shrimp
Recipe: Bayou Fried Shrimp
For these Cajun-flavored fried shrimp, peel the shrimp but leave the tails on and coat the shrimp in fish fry mix to get a crispy brown coating.
Hot Roast Beef Party Sandwiches
Recipe: Hot Roast Beef Party Sandwiches
This is an updated version of a recipe that used ham, cheese, and mustard. Eyes lit up at our tasting table when these roast beef sandwiches came out of the oven.
Lemonade Iced Tea
Recipe: Lemonade Iced Tea
Lemonade Iced-Tea is a fun, thirst-quenching update on two classic Southern favorites.
Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken
Recipe: Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken
Add additional moistness and flavor by replacing the wire roasting rack with a colorful rack of carrots and celery ribs. Tuck in a few sprigs of fresh herbs, some unpeeled whole shallots, and apple slices to enhance the flavor of the chicken.
Crunchy Pan-Fried Chicken
Recipe: Crunchy Pan-Fried Chicken
Seasoned breadcrumbs and self-rising cornmeal give Crunchy Pan-Fried Chicken a crisp golden-brown crust without a skillet full of extra oil. This crispy coating is also terrific on skinned and boned chicken thighs or pork chops.
Recipe: Praline-Apple Bread
Sour cream is the secret to the rich, moist texture of this bread. There's no butter or oil in the batter―only in the glaze.
Classic Chicken and Dumplings
Recipe: Classic Chicken and Dumplings
With its tender homemade dumplings, this from-scratch favorite makes for luscious comfort food.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad
This surprising salad combination will please your palate. The bright hues and refreshing flavors make Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad the perfect summer side dish.
Ham Steak With Orange Glaze
Ham steak has been around for ages, but you might have never thought to put it on your grocery list. Well, add it to your cart, because it's quick to prepare and makes a great meal. Ham steak is traditionally 1/4 to 1-inch thick, fairly lean, and cooks in about 15 minutes for a speedy supper in the middle of the week. Make a fruit sauce, such as Orange Glaze, for a jazzy topping.
Fried Pecan Okra
Recipe: Fried Pecan Okra
Crushed pecans and baking mix form a crisp breading for this Southern-style appetizer.
Recipe: Peanutty Coleslaw
This zesty Asian twist on classic slaw is wonderful with smoked chicken and pork. Wasbi paste and fresh grated ginger give this colorful mix a delightful eye-opening kick. And the surprising peanutty crunch takes it right over the edge. Don’t worry about leftovers, it’s even better the next day piled high on a leftover pulled pork sandwich.
Recipe: Succotash Salad
Put a summertime spin on this traditional Southern dish of beans and corn by mixing with lemon juice and chives and serving cold. It’s easy to prepare in advance and pull out of the fridge to serve with meat hot off the grill.
Lemon Chess Pie
Recipe: Lemon Chess Pie
A simple twist in the traditional recipe plus a buttery shortbread crust give this Southern favorite a whole new look. The filling separates when baked, creating a thin golden brown cake layer on top of a delicious lemon custard.
Fipps Family Potato Salad
Recipe: Fipps Family Potato Salad
One of the staff’s all-time favorite potato salads. The secret to this 6-ingredient star is Duke’s Mayonnaise (a Greenville, SC culinary institution), a touch of spicy brown mustard, and boiled eggs, which are grated on the largest holes of a cheese grater. The recipe calls for baking potatoes, but we also love it with red-skinned potatoes.
Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy
Recipe: Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy
The hardest part about making Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy is waiting for the chocolate to firm up before devouring it.
To get the marbled effect, alternate white and dark chocolate squares on a baking pan. Bake as directed, remove from oven, and immediately swirl the warm chocolate with a wooden pick.
Chicken and Cornbread Casserole
Shrimp-and-Grits Eggs Benedict
Recipe: Shrimp-and-Grits Eggs Benedict
Chef Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill in Charleston put a delicious twist on classic Lowcountry shrimp and grits using fried grits squares, asparagus spears, and a creamy shrimp sauce.
Baby Hot Browns
Recipe: Baby Hot Browns
Get your party started with mini open-faced turkey sandwiches. Pile turkey, bacon, and cheese high on pumpernickel for a guaranteed party hit.
Fried Strawberry Pies
Traditional King Cake
Recipe: Our Most Traditional King Cake
User Review: "I have been using this recipe for nearly 20 years, and it not failed me yet. The only change I have made is to the glaze recipe. I use an 8 ox. package of softened cream cheese creamed together with 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 stick of butter (room temperature), 1 to 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. I don't like overly sweet things and this glaze is just right for this not-too-sweet pastry. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!" --Marybeth
Recipe: Pecan Squares
If you like the taste of pecan pie, you'll love this easy alternative. Serve the squares with vanilla ice cream for an over-the-top dessert.
New Ambrosia With Buttermilk-Coconut Dressing
Navel oranges and ruby-red grapefruit take center stage in this refreshing salad. Arugula adds a peppery bite to the sweet citrus, but the recipe is equally good when prepared with other salad greens.
Layered Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad
Crumbled cornbread is layered with shredded lettuce, smoked turkey, shredded Swiss cheese, bacon, fresh tomatoes and more in this crowd-pleasing salad.
Recipe: Coca-Cola Cake
Our Coca-Cola Cake is simply one of the best sheet cake recipes on earth. The magical brew of carbonated cola is the secret to the tender texture.
Fried Green Tomatoes With Bread-and-Butter Pickle Rémoulade
Recipe developer Linton Hopkins prefers to fry in peanut oil because of its higher smoke point.
Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice-Cream Pie
Recipe: Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice-Cream Pie No cooking is needed to make this simple Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice-Cream Pie. Just be sure to freeze Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice-Cream Pie after adding each layer to ensure easy assembly and a layered look.
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
A classic Thanksgiving side dish spread isn't complete without a delicious offering of sweet potato recipes. This Classic Sweet Potato Casserole is one of our favorites—and it is a reader favorite too. Just think of this recipe as a study in Thanksgiving comfort-food simplicity: sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, milk, eggs, and more, but for many people the pleasure is really the toppings. It is hard to beat cornflakes, marshmallows, sugar, and pecans. This classic casserole is nutty, buttery, savory, and sweet all in the same mouthful. So sometimes it truly is nice to stick with the classics, and to enjoy mouthwatering recipes like these.
1,001 Ways to Cook Southern Cookbook
Our most comprehensive cookbook ever published, 1,001 Ways To Cook Southern features 928 pages packed with the distinctly Southern recipes you love. Learn how to bake flawless fluffy biscuits and the perfect praline, straight from our test kitchen, plus so much more.