Classic Southern Side Dishes for Fried Chicken and More
Round out your meal with a little comfort food on the side. Each of these classic side dishes has its own Southern twist, from adding crispy bacon or cheese to deep-frying. From favorites like collard greens and sweet potato casserole to updates on classics like three-bean salad and dirty rice, these side dishes are like scooping up a bite of nostalgia. Whether for the potluck, the cookout, or a Wednesday night dinner with your family, these Southern side dishes are comforting, easy, and crowd-pleasing. In Southern cuisine, a main dish is best complemented by a host of incredible side dishes.
Southern-Style Collard Greens
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.
Tee's Corn Pudding
Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding
This classic recipe has a rich, soufflé-like texture without the hassle. The result is an impressive side dish the entire family will love.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Recipe: Home-Style Butterbeans
Bacon, onion, and brown sugar pack these beans with amazing flavor.
Fried Pecan Okra
Recipe: Fried Pecan Okra
Crushed pecans and baking mix form the crisp breading for this classic Southern-style side.
Green Peas with Crispy Bacon
Recipe: Green Peas with Crispy Bacon
The addition of mint and orange really brightens this often underrated veggie, while the bacon lends a smoky flavor.
Summer Squash Casserole
Fresh Corn Cakes
Recipe: Fresh Corn Cakes
Fresh corn, mozzarella cheese, and chives make up the base of this classic side dish.
Recipe: Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes
A feta cheese, breadcrumb, and fresh herb mixture fills these large tomatoes for a tasty side.
Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux
Recipe: Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux
Use fresh corn and okra in this Maque Choux dish for best results. If you don't like spicy food you can easily sub the hot sausage for a milder version to fit your tastes.
Fried Confetti Corn
Recipe: Fried Confetti Corn
Cream, bacon, and sweet peppers take this dish from down-home to top shelf.
Caramelized Spicy Green Bean Recipe
Recipe: Caramelized Spicy Green Beans
The great thing about cooking with fresh green beans is that they are incredibly versatile vegetables. Whether you sauté, boil, or bake, these green bean recipes are amped with flavor.
In our first recipe, salty-sweet ingredients, some caramelization, and a bit of spice give these green beans a little pep in their step.
Recipe: Twice-Baked Potatoes
There’s nothing like a classic twice-baked potato loaded with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, and green onions.
Recipe: Best-Ever Succotash
Colorful, fresh, and bountiful during Southern summers, succotash is a staple on our tables.
Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole
We’re not sure if we’ve ever attended a Southern holiday that didn’t have a green bean casserole on the menu.
Southern-Style Potato Salad
Recipe: Southern-Style Potato Salad
If your potato salad isn’t Duke’s mayo-laden, it might not be well-received at the church potluck.
Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Casserole
If you don’t prefer your veggies covered in melty cheese and crushed buttery crackers, are you even Southern?
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Recipe: Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are ideal for Southern gatherings because they’re filling and can be served cold or at room temp.
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
At Thanksgiving dinners in the South, sweet potato casserole is as essential as the turkey.
Black-Eyed Pea and Grain Salad
Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea and Grain Salad
Black-eyed peas are an essential part of a Southern diet, and this fresh salad is a beautiful summer side dish.
Fresh Corn Spoonbread
Recipe: Fresh Corn Spoonbread
Surprise Mama with this old-fashioned recipe she’ll love.
Chubba Bubba's Broccoli Salad
Recipe: Chubba Bubba’s Broccoli Salad
Crunchy, fresh, and with a little bacon and cheese, this broccoli salad recipe is our favorite.
Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes
You don’t have to worry about taking home leftover of this creamy, five-ingredient potato dish.
Old-School Squash Casserole
Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole
Creamy, cheesy, buttery, and go-back-for-seconds good, squash casserole is a classic favorite Southern side.
Classic Okra and Tomatoes
Recipe: Classic Okra and Tomatoes
This essential summer side is the perfect pair.
Recipe: Pineapple Casserole
For many Southern families, Easter just wouldn’t be the same without a pineapple casserole on the table.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
Brussels sprouts and bacon are a match made in side-dish heaven.
Recipe: Hashbrown Casserole
There aren’t many side dishes quite as easy and delicious as a cheesy hashbrown casserole.
Hot Water Cornbread
Recipe: Hot Water Cornbread
Although many prefer cornbread straight from the cast-iron skillet, hot water cornbread is an old-school method we love.
Recipe: Creamed Corn
So few ingredients, so much creamy goodness. Classic creamed corn is truly nostalgic for many Southerners.
Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Classic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
There’s nothing more reminiscent of Mama’s cooking than a steaming hot pot of mashed potatoes.
Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese
If you’re eating macaroni and cheese out of a box, you’re doing it wrong.
Classic Candied Yams
Recipe: Classic Candied Yams
Although sweet potato casserole reigns supreme, candied yams are a true Southern classic at Thanksgiving.
Basic Deviled Eggs
Recipe: Basic Deviled Eggs
No one was ever mad at the person who showed up with a tray of deviled eggs.
Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Recipe: Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Budget-friendly and delicious, wild rice is a longtime favorite for Southern casseroles and side dishes.
Ben Mims’ Perfect Cornbread
Recipe: Ben Mims’ Perfect Cornbread
We call it perfect, and we stand by it. Try it for yourself!
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
Pretty enough for company but easy enough for weeknights, bacon-wrapped is our favorite way to eat asparagus.
Ombré Citrus Salad
Recipe: Ombré Citrus Salad
A beautiful citrus salad is one of the most simple but stunning dishes to add to a holiday spread.
Recipe: Hush Puppies
What plate of food isn’t made better by the addition of a few hush puppies? Not a single one.
Recipe: Permanent Slaw
In a lineup of smoked meats, baked beans, mac and cheese, and other hearty barbecue dishes, a crisp, tangy cole slaw is the perfect side to add a little acid and freshness.
Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
Recipe: Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
Reminiscent of cold layered salads you used to see at every Southern potluck, this macaroni salad tastes like a nostalgic cookout.
Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
We can’t turn down a mess of greens, especially when they’re made with ham hocks for comforting depths of flavor.
Perfect Pot of Grits
Recipe: Creamed Spinach
Eating your greens is easy with this creamy, cheesy, comforting recipe.
Classic Cranberry Salad
Recipe: Classic Cranberry Salad
For some Southerners, canned cranberry sauce is the tradition, but we prefer it from scratch.
Recipe: Potato-Bacon Hash
Every Southern cook has an easy, versatile hash recipe in his or her back pocket.
Picnic Egg Salad
Recipe: Picnic Egg Salad
This no-fuss recipe has been a potluck party starter for years.
Collard Green Creole Dirty Rice
Recipe: Collard Green Creole Dirty Rice
Collard greens add some good-for-you benefits to Creole classic dirty rice.
Three-Bean Pasta Salad
Recipe: Three-Bean Pasta Salad
Old-school favorite three-bean salad meets pasta salad in this potluck-perfect side dish.
Southern-Style Green Beans
Recipe: Southern-Style Green Beans
Green beans are best when cooked with a ham hock, in our humble opinion.