30 Old-Fashioned Southern Recipes You Should Learn How to Make

Ben Mim's Perfect Cornbread Recipe
Photo: Brian Woodcock

There are some dishes that every Southerner should know how to make. From cheese straws and biscuits to sweet tea and peach cobbler, these recipes are staples on our dinner tables. They're beloved classics that have been passed down through the generations. We learned these recipes from our mothers and grandmothers—just like they did.

If any of these dishes aren't already in your repertoire, bring out the blank recipe cards. There's nothing like mastering a new dish, trying it out on family and friends, and tweaking the recipe until you know it's finally perfect. Whether you're cooking for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, these classic Southern dishes are bound to have a special place on the table and in your heart.

01 of 30

Old-School Squash Casserole

squash casserole on a plate with a casserole dish behind it
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole

Squash casserole is a staple dish found at meat-and-three diners and at church covered-dish suppers.

02 of 30

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

This hyper-Southern dish is so popular that there have been books and films dedicated to it.

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Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits

Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit on a plate with jam and butter
Will Dickey

Recipe: Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit

When in doubt, whip up a batch of classic buttermilk biscuits. They're perfect perched on the edge of your dinner plate or served for dessert alongside a warm cobbler or a scoop of jam.

04 of 30

Classic Sweet Tea

Classic Sweet Tea
Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Classic Sweet Tea

If you arrive for a Southern-style meal, a glass of sweet tea is sure to be on offer.

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Deviled Eggs

basic deviled eggs
Southern Living

Recipe: Deviled Eggs

Every Southerner should have a deviled eggs recipe. Add your own flourishes, or borrow one of our recipes and make it your own. Any backyard barbecue, shower, or luncheon should have plenty of deviled eggs on the menu.

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Pimiento Cheese

Basic Pimiento Cheese
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese

No matter the day or occasion, pimiento cheese is an easy choice.

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Tomato Tea Sandwiches

Tomato Tea Sandwiches
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

Recipe: Tomato Tea Sandwiches

You just can't have an elegant Southern luncheon or shower without an array of dainty tea sandwiches.

08 of 30

Skillet Cornbread

Ben Mim's Perfect Cornbread Recipe
Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread

The best way to make classic Southern cornbread? In a skillet—with browned butter. Hands down.

09 of 30

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

a square dish of banana pudding with baked meringue
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

You can never have too many servings of this delicious dessert. It's just indulgent enough.

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Southern Shrimp and Grits

Gulf Coast Shrimp and Grits
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Southern Shrimp and Grits

You don't have to be on the Gulf Coast to enjoy shrimp and grits—but it sure helps.

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Mama's Fried Chicken

Mama's Fried Chicken
Southern Living

Recipe: Mama's Fried Chicken

Who knows fried chicken better than a Southern mama? We rest our case.

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Classic Mint Julep

Mint Julep Garden Party
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Rachael Burrow

Recipe: Classic Mint Julep

Mint Juleps aren't just for the Derby. They're a refreshing cocktail choice for any and all hot summer days down South.

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Fresh Peach Cobbler

Fresh Peach Cobbler
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Recipe: Fresh Peach Cobbler

Once peaches come into season in the summertime, you know that peach cobbler is soon to follow.

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Chicken Pot Pie

Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pies
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pies

When a meal begins with a scoop of chicken pot pie—flaky on top and steaming inside—you know it's going to be one for the books.

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Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Caramel Cake

Every Southern baker needs an old-fashioned cake recipe for those occasions when they want to impress. This one does the trick.

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Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings

Arguably the ultimate comfort food, this meal is a perennial cold-weather favorite.

17 of 30

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake on a green cake stand
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Recipe: Hummingbird Cake

No Southern celebration is complete without a slice of heavenly Hummingbird Cake.

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Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Southern Living

Recipe: Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Every Southerner should have a good gumbo recipe at their fingertips. You know, just in case.

19 of 30

Pound Cake

Million Dollar Pound Cake

Recipe: Million Dollar Pound Cake

No one says no to pound cake. This recipe is so popular, it's practically an heirloom.

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Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies

Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies

If you have seafood on the table, you need a few hush puppies, too. Make a double batch of this recipe, because they'll disappear quickly.

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Tee's Corn Pudding

50 Best Thanksgiving Tee's Corn Pudding
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding

It's not just for Thanksgiving. Corn pudding is welcome at any special occasion.

22 of 30

Southern-Style Collard Greens

Southern-Style Collard Greens in a white bowl with a bowl of cornbread beside it
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Recipe: Southern-Style Collard Greens

When the weather turns cool, we know that the collards are soon to follow.

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Key Lime Pie

Heavenly Key Lime Pie
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Heavenly Key Lime Pie

Take a trip to breezy Key West with one bite of this classic Southern pie.

24 of 30

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
Southern Living

Recipe: Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Two of our favorite things combine to create this comfort breakfast food.

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Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

It'd be a shame to make it through autumn without running into a pecan pie or two. This skillet version is a "deadly" delicious variation.

26 of 30

Fried Okra

Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal Recipe
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal

How do you make your okra? Whether grilled, fried, or pickled, it is a classic of the highest order.

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Cheese Straws

Mamau’s Cheese Straws
Southern Living

Recipe: Spicy Cheese Straws

These are the quickest thing to disappear in the house, at all times. Luckily, they're easy to make.

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Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe in a dark casserole pan
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe: Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This dish goes from weeknight dinner to the holiday table, and that's true versatility.

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Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

When barbecue is on the grill, potato salad needs to be on the table. It's practically a commandment.

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Southern Barbecue

Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches

While every Southerner does barbecue differently, this is a great starter recipe for anyone new to the dish.

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