Southern cuisine is anything but boring; it incorporates influences from Native American, African, and European cultures and, of course, from the rest of the United States as well. An array of different spices, ingredients and techniques from around the world all contribute something special to the wide-ranging cuisine of the diverse region — there’s a reason why food is such a big part of culture and community for those who call the South home.
The culinary horizon of the South is expansive, but for this recipe roundup we decided to focus on a carefully curated selection of just 21 dishes — which was not easy. Consider barbecue alone — you could find yourself overwhelmed at the sheer number of regional recipes and preparations. That’s why barbecue is not on this list — it deserves its own spotlight, don’t you think?
Ribs and brisket aside, there are more than enough tasty morsels in this roundup to satisfy even the most voracious of appetites, from bananas Foster and catfish stew to fried okra, succotash and fried frog’s legs, these 22 recipes will certainly give your grandma a run for her money!
Cooked low and slow on a smoker, these baked beans are thick, rich, smoky, sweet and full of comforting flavor that everybody loves.
Ahh, what says “Southern breakfast” more than biscuits and gravy? Soft, buttery biscuits, smothered in thick, spicy sausage gravy — this dish is not for the faint of heart (or stomach)!
Black-eyed peas, diced tomato, chili powder, onion, jalapeno and bacon — this recipe has everything you need to make the perfect Southern side dish often called hoppin’ john.
Boiled peanuts are the perfect snack or appetizer. They’re salty and sometimes spicy — and for those who know them, they’re delicious.
This bourbon bread pudding features bourbon-soaked brioche and a rich custard infused with brown butter, vanilla and cinnamon and makes for the ultimate dessert!
For the Bourbon Bread Pudding recipe, click here.
What’s not to love about this sweet and savory combination? The fried chicken in this recipe is definitely not your Grandma’s recipe, with spices like curry, ginger and cayenne, but we’re sure even she would agree that it’s incredibly tasty.
Like barbecue, coleslaw is found in countless variations throughout the South. This fancied-up version uses a Greek yogurt-mayo mix and pickled raisins to cut through the traditionally stodgy dish and add great sweetness and acidity.
With bacon, onions, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, this is a savory dish that would be a great side to any entree.
In this Cajun crawfish étouffée, a thick, delicious sauce made from stock, tomatoes, peppers and onions smothers the sweet crawfish. Served with white rice, this dish is the epitome of the South.
Frogs’ legs aren’t just for France — these crispy buttermilk-fried (in other words, chicken-style) frogs’ legs will have you jumping for joy!
Like all good gumbos, this gumbo, made with chicken and andouille, is all about the roux — if you don’t skimp on the necessary stirring, you are in for a treat.
It’s fiery. It overtakes your taste buds and burns your mouth in just the right way. Nashville hot chicken, allegedly born out of infidelity, is nothing less than a Music City tradition — spicy, greasy, and indulgent.
Hush puppies are crispy balls of cornmeal batter, deep fried and delicious. Serve them with remoulade for a fantastic Southern side that everyone will gobble up with gusto.
Okra is a staple of the South, and it gets even more of a Southern kick when it's dusted in cornmeal and deep-fried.
Peach cobbler, using delicious ripe peaches gets even better when you use brown butter! Served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dish is simply delicious.
Pecan pie is often associated with fall and the holidays, but there’s no reason why you can’t make it all year round! In this recipe, sorghum lends its mild-sweet flavor to this Southern variation.
This is a fabulous, quick and easy version of the classic, messy and finger-licking-good Deep South sandwich. If you find yourself with some fresh Gulf shrimp, this is an excellent way to enjoy them.
Featuring plenty of butter, chopped sausage, and scallions amongst the grits and shrimp, this savory dish is an update on a classic Lowcountry staple.
Succotash is a Southern staple side dish traditionally made with corn and lima beans. This recipe utilizes corn, bell peppers, poblano peppers, and zucchini for a delicious summertime side.
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