30 Classic Comfort Food Recipes That Can't Be Beat

Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Some of the best recipes seen on Southern tables aren't new and shiny, but instead old and time-tested—handed down from generation to generation on stained recipe cards and in tattered notebooks. These passed-down recipes include the hard-working comfort foods we've turned to again and again for decades. We're talking cheesy casseroles, traditional stews, fried bites, and even scrumptious desserts.

If you're feeling under the weather, we have just the thing: Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings, just like Grandma made them. We've got desserts like Million Dollar Pound Cake that will wow any crowd, and we have barbecue favorites like Kettle Chip-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasso Tartar Sauce. These are the weeknight staples for anyone wanting a hearty meal and a little taste of home, as well as standout centerpieces for holidays and family celebrations. One thing's for sure: You cannot go wrong with one of these classic comfort food recipes.

01 of 30

Mama's Fried Chicken

Mama's Fried Chicken
Southern Living

Recipe: Mama's Fried Chicken

Skip the bucket of fast-food fried chicken and remember what it's like to eat "real" fried chicken like Mama used to make.

02 of 30

Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pies

Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pies
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pies

Lose the big casserole dish for the day. These adorably mini pot pies are packed with major flavor.

03 of 30

Southern-Style Collard Greens

Southern-Style Collard Greens
Jim Franco; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Simon Andrews

Recipe: Southern-Style Collard Greens

Crispy bacon, sautéed onion, ham, and garlic perfect these collard greens, making them an essential part of your traditional Southern feast.

04 of 30

Classic Beef Pot Roast

Classic Beef Pot Roast
Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Recipe: Classic Beef Pot Roast

You can almost hear the dinner bell calling you in for this comforting meat-and-potatoes meal.

05 of 30

Classic Lasagna

Classic Lasagna

Recipe: Classic Lasagna

This classic lasagna recipe perfectly matches traditional Italian ingredients with a homemade sauce. Layers of cheese, meat, and pasta make the tastiest trio.

06 of 30

Smoky Mountain Brunswick Stew

Smoky Mountain Brunswick Stew
Southern Living

Recipe: Smoky Mountain Brunswick Stew

Nothing is more satisfying than a big bowl of hearty Brunswick stew. Using frozen vegetables and prepared meats make it super easy to throw together.

07 of 30

Classic Chicken Tetrazzini

Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Classic Chicken Tetrazzini

Freshly-grated Parmesan adds the cheesiest flavor to this casserole recipe that's great for making ahead and freezing.

08 of 30

Old-fashioned Meatloaf

Old-Fashioned Meatloaf
Southern Living

Recipe: Old-fashioned Meatloaf

This Southern meatloaf recipe features Creole and Greek seasonings and a hint of garlic. A few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce spice up the traditional ketchup topping.

09 of 30

Best Pecan Pie

Best Pecan Pie
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Best Pecan Pie

Any way you serve it―warm or cold, with or without ice cream―pecan pie is always a favorite. Feel free to use store-bought pie crust if in a pinch, because the filling is the star here anyway.

10 of 30

Southern Skillet Cornbread

Southern Skillet Cornbread
Southern Living

Recipe: Southern Skillet Cornbread

Great slathered with butter or for sopping up stews, cornbread is a must with hearty meals. Try this classic recipe and you'll never go back.

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Pecan-Peach Cobbler

Pecan-Peach Cobbler
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Pecan-Peach Cobbler

Showcase two of the South's most beloved products—peaches and pecans—in this old-fashioned peach cobbler recipe.

12 of 30

Pam Lolley's Crispy Chicken with Rice and Pan Gravy

Pam Lolley’s Crispy Chicken with Rice and Pan Gravy
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Pam Lolley's Crispy Chicken with Rice and Pan Gravy

You won't find a better weeknight meal than crispy chicken drenched in a savory pan gravy and herby rice.

13 of 30

Fried Pork Chops with Potatoes and Peas

Fried Pork Chops with Peas and Potatoes
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Fried Pork Chops with Potatoes and Peas

Any dish with hearty potatoes and tasty gravy is bound to stay in the weeknight rotation, and these pork chops are no exception.

14 of 30

Chunky Beef Chili

Chunky Beef Chili
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Chunky Beef Chili

This hearty beef chili features boneless chuck roast and a medley of traditional chili seasonings. Serve with these cast-iron cornbread sticks for a complete meal.

15 of 30

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipes
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Yukon gold potatoes yield a texture that's just right for holding a pool of flavorful turkey gravy or melted butter.

16 of 30

Classic Fried Catfish

Classic Fried Catfish
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Classic Fried Catfish

Catfish is an extremely popular fried treat throughout the South, and our fried catfish recipe is simple and oh-so crispy.

17 of 30

Two-Step Pound Cake

Two-Step Pound Cake
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Two-Step Pound Cake

This recipe is so easy you may start serving this classic dessert with every meal. Top with ice cream or seasonal fruits for a tasty combination.

18 of 30

Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole

Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole
Southern Living

Recipe: Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole

Packed with egg noodles, sour cream, cream cheese, and a delicious tomato-beef mixture, this might be our heartiest dinner casserole ever.

19 of 30

Grits and Greens with Brown Butter Hot Sauce

Grits and Greens with Brown Butter Hot Sauce
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Grits and Greens with Brown Butter Hot Sauce

You won't find a more Southern side dish to include on any spread, from brunch to dinner.

20 of 30

Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans

Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans
Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans

Flavored with thick-cut bacon, these barbecue beans are a surefire way to jazz up any cookout.

21 of 30

Beef Tamale Pie

Beef Tamale Pie
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Beef Tamale Pie

A sauced-up ground beef mixture with tomatoes and black beans is made even better when topped with traditional corn muffin topping and jalapeños.

22 of 30

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Hadas Smirnoff

Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie

A dynamic duo in the Southern baking world, strawberries and rhubarbs are a tart-and-sweet match made in heaven.

23 of 30

Old-School Squash Casserole

Old School Squash Casserole
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole

Southerners cannot get enough of buttery, creamy, cheesy squash casserole in all of its glory.

24 of 30

Kettle Chip-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasso Tartar Sauce

Kettle Chip-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasso Tartar Sauce
Cedric Angeles; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Kettle Chip-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasso Tartar Sauce

Watch these disappear from the snack plate or serve them on top of crusty white bread for the best po'boy ever.

25 of 30

Jessica Harris' Red Rice

Red Rice
Victor Protasio, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Jessica Harris' Red Rice

This flavor-charged rice has been a staple of Lowcountry cuisine for centuries.

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Egg Custard Pie

Egg Custard Pie
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Egg Custard Pie

This Depression Era pie is simple and perfect every time. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or fresh peaches or berries.

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Classic Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Classic Beef Stroganoff

We'll take this warm and comforting meal on any weeknight. This recipe is homemade and special without trying to be too fancy.

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Easy Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

Easy Chicken Spaghetti
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Easy Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

We love a vintage casserole, and this one has all the makings of a filling family meal. Feel free to use store-bought rotisserie chicken in lieu of cooking your own.

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Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Cowboy Casserole

It doesn't get any more tried-and-true than a tater tot-topped casserole, especially this recipe that includes a seasoned beef mixture with beans, corn, chiles, sour cream, and cheese.

30 of 30

Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings

As the name suggests, this is an old-school staple that will be sure to satisfy the whole family. It's a simple recipe that delivers every time.

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