30 Southern Recipes Everyone Loves

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These classic Southern recipes are perfect for feeding your family delicious cozy dishes loved throughout the South. From fried chicken to banana pudding, all the tastes you crave are here.

A photo collage shows a southern kitchen scene alongside 3 easy southern recipes.

After living in the South for over a decade, this is what I can tell you about the best Southern recipes:

  1. Always Delicious: Southern food isn't fussy. It's real home cooking for family and friends, food that everyone will love.
  2. Fresh Produce and Local Ingredients: Southern recipes put the spotlight on the South's best fruit, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Everything tastes farm fresh with just a few ingredients.
  3. Feeds a Crowd: Southern recipes tend to run on the large side because you're either planning a big family dinner or your fixing food to share with a friend. Have a small family like me? No worries, southern recipes often freeze really well!

If you want to try a taste of the south no matter where you live, I wanted to share with you my all time favorite Southern recipes for real family meals right at home.

Southern Banana Pudding

Perhaps one of the most southern recipes of all time, traditional banana pudding is served at every potluck and church picnic ever.

Do you even live in the South if you haven't spotted this at a local diner??

But what happens if you're like me? Well, then you need to go ahead and throw caution to the wind and make this banana pudding with no bananas . . .

Stop clutching your pearls. I included instructions for adding fresh bananas, if you must.

Banana Pudding {No Bananas}
This easy potluck dessert recipe is a classic southern church dessert. While it usually features fresh bananas layered in the creamy pudding mix, this recipe is completely banana free for anyone who has an allergy or strong aversion to banana flavor.
4.91 from 52 votes
A slice of banana pudding sits on a stack of white plates. You can see that there are no bananas in the layers.

Southern Peach Cobbler

While you'll be tempted to bake this classic southern peach cobbler with Georgia peaches, I'm here to tell you the ones from South Carolina are even better. Check the fruit sticker to be sure!

Southern Peach Cobbler
This classic southern peach cobbler made with fresh peaches is a quick and easy dessert to make for summer. Serve it topped with vanilla ice cream for an unforgettable treat.
4.56 from 9 votes
A dish of peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and a spoon.

Bourbon Pecan Pie

My easy pecan pie recipe has both Georgia pecans AND Kentucky bourbon in the mix.

Easy Pecan Pie Recipe
This easy pecan pie recipe can be made with or without corn syrup if you use the simple substitutions. A splash of bourbon adds depth of flavor but could also be omitted if you desire. This classic holiday pie is filled with salty crunch and an ooey-gooey filling everyone will love.
5 from 6 votes
The homemade pecan pie is in a white pie dish on a blue background.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Another popular potluck or church dessert, every Southern baker needs to have a strawberry pretzel dessert ready to go in a pinch.

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Dessert
Cool and creamy strawberry pretzel salad is the classic summer torte you've had at many church potlucks and backyard parties. Made with a salty pretzel crust and topped with a sweet layer of cream cheese and refreshing strawberry flavored Jell-O and fresh strawberries, this dessert is always a hit at a picnic.
4.67 from 6 votes
A 9x13-inch pan has finished strawberry pretzel salad for serving, a plate with a single slice and a fork is in front.

Bisquick Sausage Balls

This 3-ingredient sausage ball recipe is beloved by generations of southerners. You'll spot platters of them alongside cups of honey mustard dip at many potlucks and church events.

Bisquick Sausage Balls
Classic Southern sausage balls make a cozy, down home appetizer to bring to a potluck party or church gathering. Serve them with a sweet and tangy honey mustard dip for dunking.
5 from 43 votes
A white platter filled with Bisquick sausage balls made with just three ingredients

Blueberry Cobbler

We drove the North Carolina Sonker Trail just to get a taste of the local blueberry cobbler at mom and pop shops all along the way.

Old Fashioned Blueberry Cobbler
This old fashioned blueberry cobbler is just like grandma used to make. Fresh blueberry filling is topped with a buttery cake-like topping and baked. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for a classic summertime dessert.
5 from 1 vote
A white dish has the blueberry cobbler with golden brown topping ready to eat. A spoon is about to dig in.

Shortbread Pecan Pie Bars

Don't wait for Thanksgiving to make pecan pie, enjoy these shortbread pecan pie bars when you're needing a fix.

Shortbread Pecan Pie Bars
These rich and chewy shortbread pecan pie bars have a crispy cookie crust, a gooey caramel center, and salty pecans all over the top. Slice up a square to share with friends for fall entertaining.
4.96 from 41 votes
A stack of shortbread pecan pie bars on a cake plate for serving.

Strawberry Shortcake

If there's a biscuit involved, we must be in the South. This classic strawberry shortcake is easy to bake and serve.

Classic Strawberry Shortcake
This classic strawberry shortcake is just like the one grandma used to bake. A slightly sweetened shortcake biscuit is filled with fresh strawberries and sugar and topped with whipped cream. An essential summer dessert during strawberry season!
5 from 1 vote
A classic strawberry shortcake has been split in half with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Strawberry Cream Pie

I've heard that this strawberry cream pie is the #1 most searched for dessert in the South! There's great reason for that, this makes such an excellent potluck dessert.

Strawberry Cream Pie
Sweet strawberry cream pie is an easy no bake dessert that uses fresh strawberries and cream cheese. The longer chill time makes this an amazing make ahead dessert to serve at a party.
5 from 38 votes
The no bake strawberry pie has a graham cracker crust and fresh strawberries on top. It is in a clear pie plate so you can see the crust.

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Southern biscuits are so versatile. You'll see them served as a bread basket item with warm honey butter for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

But you'll also find them filled with fried chicken, spread with pimento cheese, and/or layers of fresh tomatoes.

Split them in half and serve them with a ladle of sausage gravy.

Easy Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
These easy buttermilk drop biscuits can be made in just minutes and bake up so light and flaky. Try the classic butter biscuit recipe first and then switch things up with one of the 3 fun flavor variations listed in the notes below!
5 from 39 votes
A white plate has a pile of fresh baked buttermilk drop biscuits.

Southern Cornbread

All you need is a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey to enjoy a square of this southern buttermilk cornbread.

Grandma's Buttermilk Cornbread
This classic southern buttermilk cornbread recipe can be made with or without buttermilk (see the notes for the easy substitution.) Serve it warm with a drizzle of honey and butter.
5 from 37 votes
A white ruffled platter has large squares of homemade buttermilk cornbread.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are an essential southern party appetizer.

Think you made enough? You thought wrong.

Go ahead and make another batch.

Classic Deviled Eggs
These creamy deviled eggs can be made with or without mayo using ranch or sour cream. Easy to prep ahead to bring to a potluck party or serve at a special event.
5 from 42 votes
A platter of deviled eggs has a yellow salt and pepper shaker in the center.

Pimento Cheese

Is this pimento cheese recipe a spread for crackers?
Or does it go on inside a grilled sandwich?
Or is it a topping for fried green tomatoes?

Yes. Yes. and Yes.

Homemade Pimento Cheese
This delicious classic pimento cheese spread is perfect for serving alongside a platter of buttery crackers or using as the base for a pimento cheese sandwich. Just a touch spicy with a little dash of sweetness, it is the perfect texture.
5 from 1 vote
A bowl of homemade pimento cheese is served on a plate with butter crackers.

Southern Chicken and Waffles

Stop at any breakfast diner in the south and you'll likely spot southern chicken and waffles on the menu!

Making it homemade is as easy as pie with my quick tips. Don't forget the sweet and spicy sauce for chicken and waffles to drizzle over the top.

Southern Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and waffles is absolutely delicious when you make everything from scratch at home. To save time, you can prep the waffles in advance and freeze them or swap the homemade buttermilk fried chicken with your favorite frozen fried chicken tenders instead.
5 from 1 vote
A buttermilk waffle has buttermilk fried chicken on top and a special pitcher of spiced maple syrup in the back.

Southern Tomato Pie

If you've got heirloom tomatoes, pimento cheese, and peppered bacon, then you must be making southern tomato pie!

Southern Tomato Pie
Classic southern tomato pie has layers of pimiento cheese and mayo with fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil. You can make it with or without the peppered bacon as long as you bake it in a buttery pie crust and top with fresh basil!
5 from 6 votes
A southern style tomato pie in a deep pie dish.

Southern Macaroni Salad

When the southern summer heat goes skyrocketing, you'll find this chilled southern macaroni salad at all the barbecue parties.

Southern Macaroni Salad
This classic southern macaroni salad has the BEST macaroni salad dressing that pairs perfectly with the crispy raw veggies and tender pasta. Serve it as a refreshing chilled side dish alongside your favorite backyard party main dishes like grilled chicken and hot dogs.
5 from 34 votes
A white bowl is filled with classic macaroni salad that has onions, red pepper, and celery peeking out of the dressing.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Dine at any classic southern restaurant and you might find fried green tomatoes offered as an appetizer, tucked into a sandwich, or even served as a unique eggs benedict base.

I'm always amazed at the clever ways I find this awesome recipe put to use.

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes
These classic southern fried green tomatoes make an amazing appetizer with pimento cheese but could also be used to make a crispy tomato sandwich or served on a bed of lettuce for a vegetarian dinner you could serve to company.
5 from 1 vote
A serving of fried green tomatoes has a bowl of pimento cheese for topping.

Southern Mac and Cheese

I know what you're thinking:
"Mac and cheese is southern? No, it's not. I eat it here in the Midwest/New England/West Coast!"

But do you eat baked mac and cheese as a Thanksgiving side??
If not, then you're not southern.

Make Ahead Mac and Cheese
This easy baked mac and cheese recipe is the perfect side dish or dinner fix. Topped with plenty of crunchy breadcrumbs and perfectly cooked pasta, it will be your go-to recipe at the holidays.
4.57 from 41 votes
A blue baking dish filled with mac and cheese with bread crumb topping. A serving spoon has removed a portion to show the creamy elbow noodles.

Remoulade Sauce

Remoulade sauce is my favorite southern condiment for crab cakes or an easy shrimp po'boy sandwich.

Remoulade Sauce for Crab Cakes
This spicy cajun remoulade sauce for crab cakes is a great dipping sauce for shrimp or po'boy sandwich spread, too! Made from easy things you have in your pantry mixed with a few classic creole ingredients for a creamy sauce you'll want to use again and again.
4.97 from 52 votes
The remoulade sauce is on a plate with mini crab cakes and a spoon. Lemon wedges are scattered around and green onions sprinkled on top.

Chow Chow Relish

I bought my first jar of chow chow relish at a farm stand near Tybee Beach, Georgia. It's been a staple in my pantry ever since.

Spoon it over pork chops or chicken breasts, pile it high on a barbecue platter, or even top a hot dog.

Chow Chow Relish
This popular southern condiment is the perfect vinegary topping for savory meats and barbecue. Garden fresh vegetables are cooked in a sweet vinegar dressing and seasoned with mustard and turmeric for color. The base recipe has a jalapeño pepper for extra flavor but isn't too spicy. Check the notes for easy heat level adjustments.
5 from 37 votes
The chow chow has been spooned over a baked chicken breast. Green beans and a couscous side dish are in the background.

Chick-Fil-A Sauce

It is my pleasure to offer you this Copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce. You best be baking a batch of waffle fries to go with it.

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce
Make the deliciously famous chicken nugget and french fry dip everyone adores with this easy copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce recipe that uses easy pantry ingredients you have right at home.
Serve the sauce chilled from the fridge with a warm fresh batch of oven baked or air fried frozen chicken nuggets or your favorite baked french fries or potato wedges.
5 from 1 vote
A platter of chicken nuggets has a cup of copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce for dunking.

Blackening Seasoning

When you're at a southern restaurant anywhere near the shore, be sure to ask if you can have your fish sandwich blackened. It is our favorite way to have it prepared, especially if there's some remoulade sauce to go with it.

Not heading to the beach any time soon? Whip up your own blackening seasoning right at home and sprinkle it on grilled tilapia, baked chicken breasts, or shrimp in the air fryer.

Homemade Blackening Seasoning
Get ready for a mouthwatering meal thanks to this incredible spice blend. Taking cues from the rich and zesty Cajun cuisine, this seasoning rub is the ultimate game-changer for your grilled fish, chicken, steak, or pork. It's got just the right balance of sweetness and a spicy kick to make every bite better than the last.
5 from 1 vote
A jar of homemade blackening seasoning lays on the counter next to a baking pan with chicken.

Chicken and Dumplings

Southern food is nothing if not cozy dishes served with love.

This easy dutch oven chicken and dumplings is the perfect family dinner when you're folk are needing some extra lovin'.

Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings
Warm and cozy chicken and dumplings comes together in 25 minutes with a few easy prep tips. This delicious chicken soup has savory fluffy dumplings that cook perfectly right on your stovetop thanks to the design of a Dutch oven.
5 from 1 vote
A Dutch oven is filled with chicken and dumplings with fresh chives sprinkled over the top.

Pulled Pork

While the choice of BBQ sauce you drizzle over it may cause a spirited debate, everyone loves a barbecue plate with pulled pork and sides.

You'll often see it listed as an option at a traditional "Meat and Threes" diner, then just pick your favorite sides to go with it.

Our favorites? Hush puppies, Mac and Cheese, and squash casserole.

Pulled Pork
This is the best pulled pork recipe for the oven or slow cooker. Seasoned with a delicious pulled pork rub before it is cooked, enjoy it with or without BBQ sauce drizzled over the top.
5 from 2 votes
A barbecue pulled pork sandwich is on a plate next to potato chips.

Baked Boneless Pork Ribs

When pulled pork seems like too much effort, you can turn to the other southern favorite: oven baked boneless pork ribs!

Brush them with bbq sauce and broil them or serve it on the side as a dip. This is a quick 30-minute dinner for when you need a ribs fix on a weeknight.

Baked Boneless Pork Ribs
Learn how to bake boneless pork ribs for a budget-friendly dinner idea in just 30 minutes. Seasoned pork ribs are delicious on their own or brushed with barbecue sauce and broiled to a crispy finish.
5 from 1 vote
The white serving platter has two sets of baked boneless pork ribs coated in seasonings.

Sweet Potato Casserole

My make ahead sweet potato casserole has been beloved by southern cooks because the key to a stunning Thanksgiving spread is lots of options.

You can prep this one far in advance of the holiday and freeze it making light work of all those side dishes.

Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
This delicious make ahead sweet potato casserole with pecans is the perfect holiday side dish. Split the recipe into two 8x8-inch pans and serve one for Thanksgiving and freeze one to be served later at Christmas.
4.35 from 64 votes
A baking dish filled with the finished sweet potato casserole with pecan topping.

Old Fashioned Squash Casserole

Creamy, cheesy, with breadcrumbs on top?! Yes, ma'am, I'll take a scoop of old fashioned squash casserole please.

This easy zucchini and yellow squash side dish works perfectly for family dinner any week but is right at home on the holiday table for Thanksgiving or Easter since it pairs so well with turkey or ham.

Old Fashioned Squash Casserole
Turn ordinary fresh zucchini and yellow squash into a decadent side dish for a special meal by pairing them with a touch of cream, shredded cheese, and crispy bread crumbs. This is the perfect side dish for grilled fish or chicken when your garden is overflowing with squash!
4.99 from 51 votes
A white bowl is filled with sliced zucchini squash covered in cheddar cheese and bread crumbs.

Savannah Red Rice

Another beach side favorite is this Savannah baked red rice with bacon. I love the tomato based rice dish when I'm enjoying grilled shrimp or fish during our annual beach vacations.

Red Rice with Bacon
This spicy rice recipe is a classic Southern side dish served at our favorite beach restaurants under the name Charleston red rice or Savannah red rice. Filled with savory bacon and veggies, it goes great with grilled fish or chicken and is so easy to make at home.
5 from 1 vote
The finished baked rice dish with tomato and bacon has a spoon ready to serve.

More Southern Recipes

While I've shared the vast majority of my favorite southern recipes with you, there are a few big classics I haven't had a chance to publish just yet.

Stay tuned for:

  • Carolina Shrimp and Grits
  • Sausage and Gravy
  • Chess Pie
  • Hummingbird Cake

Did I miss a favorite? Leave a comment, I'd love to know!

A photo collage shows a scene of eggs being cooked in a kitchen against blue next to 3 photos of southern recipes.

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