34 Vintage Southern Salads You'll Find in Any Church Cookbook

Molded Cranberry Salad
Photo: Hector M Sanchez

A church cookbook combines two steadfast pillars of every Southern congregation: fellowship and food. When a group of church members puts together a collection of recipes, it's not about putting on a show. It's not about macarons, croissants, or coq au vin. It's about binding comfort and community into a spiral notebook of dependable, no-fuss recipes every Southerner should have at her disposal. Think classic dishes like hashbrown casserole, chicken bog, and tamale pie.

In every church cookbook, you'll find more than a few cold salad recipes tucked into the pages, and the selection makes it instantly apparent that Southerners use the term "salad" quite fast and loose. Whether crisp or creamy, garden-fresh or gelatinous, Southern salads are as faithful as it gets. Many use pre-packaged ingredients, like Duke's mayo and Miracle Whip, with wild abandon; while some are more sweet than savory. One thing's for certain: Church salads are definitely worth praising. Check out these classic Southern salad recipes that deserve to be served forever.

01 of 34

Heirloom Tomato-Cracker Salad

Heirloom Tomato-Cracker Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato-Cracker Salad

In this recipe we bring together two Southern favorites, heirloom tomatoes and saltine crackers, to create a colorful salad that will wow any crowd.

02 of 34

Orange Sherbet Salad

Orange Sherbet Salad
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Orange Sherbet Salad

Appearing in the pages of Southern Living in 1966, this was the first congealed salad recipe to ever be featured in the magazine.

03 of 34

Cajun-Style Potato Salad

Cajun-Style Potato Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Cajun-Style Potato Salad

Creole mustard and Cajun seasoning make potato salad worthy of being served alongside classic Louisiana dishes like Gumbo.

04 of 34

Cranberry Fluff Salad

Cranberry Fluff Salad
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Recipe: Cranberry Fluff Salad

This retro salad is easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and requires no cooking.

05 of 34

Citrus-Avocado Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Citrus-Avocado Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Citrus-Avocado Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Our version of this recipe from 1928 is tossed in a light vinaigrette that's made with grapefruit juice and a hint of Dijon mustard.

06 of 34

Whipped-Cream Corn Salad

Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Whipped-Cream Corn Salad

Dressed up and dreamy, this corn salad transforms fresh corn with a light and fluffy cloud of whipped cream. Another magic touch: It calls for only four ingredients.

07 of 34

Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham

Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
Jen Causey

Recipe: Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham

With only two steps, this recipe couldn't be easier. Plus, you can easily double it if you'll be serving a larger crowd.

08 of 34

Picnic Egg Salad

Picnic Egg Salad
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

Recipe: Picnic Egg Salad

Egg salad is the most nostalgic of spreads. This 15-minute, 5-ingredient recipe is an easy go-to rendition.

09 of 34

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad
Jen Causey

Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad

Elevate fresh fruit so it's potluck-worthy by soaking it in a marinade made with orange juice and honey,

10 of 34

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad

Give classic chicken salad a little makeover. Lemon and tarragon flavor the creamy mixture, while chopped pecans, Granny Smith apples, celery, and red onion give amazing crunch.

11 of 34

Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

Candied Jalapeños
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

The whole congregation will be singing its praises if you show up with this classic potato salad. Like many favorite traditional recipes, it includes mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and hard-boiled eggs.

12 of 34

Creamy Grape Salad

Creamy Grape Salad
therecipecritic.com

Recipe: Creamy Grape Salad

Deliciously creamy, slightly crunchy, and subtly sweet, this cold salad is a church cookbook staple.

13 of 34

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

This salad is about the only way you're getting a Southerner to eat raw broccoli. Grapes add even more crunch and little sweetness to the cherished pasta salad.

14 of 34

Ham Salad

Cheese Puffs with Ham Salad
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Ham Salad

Nostalgic for many, ham salad is an old-school favorite. It has frequented many a Southern church hall, as well as their beloved cookbooks.

15 of 34

Thai Noodle Salad

Thai Noodle Salad
Jennifer Davick / Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine / Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Thai Noodle Salad

Whether it be this nutty noodle salad or a crunchy noodle slaw, every church cookbook holds a dish with some Asian flair. It covers every sweet, sour, salty and spicy note.

16 of 34

Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad

Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad
Abigail Wilt

Recipe: Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad

We've all seen a crystal bowl full of creamy fruit salad. With a base of canned fruit for convenience and a creamy, whipped "dressing" reminiscent of the flavors of lemon curd, this recipe is a hidden weapon in any church hostess' arsenal.

17 of 34

Summer Hoppin' John Salad

Summer Hoppin' John Salad
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Summer Hoppin' John Salad

Church cookbooks find a way to serve Hoppin' John all year long. This summer salad variationis perfect for a picnic.

18 of 34

Tomato Aspic

Tomato Aspic
Southern Living

Recipe: Tomato Aspic

Polarizing? Yes. Vintage? Definitely. Tomato aspic hails from a time when savory-sweet gelatin salads were quite en vogue.

19 of 34

Tangy Tzatziki Pasta Salad

Tangy Tzatziki Pasta Salad
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Tangy Tzatziki Pasta Salad

This Greek-inspired take on old-school macaroni salad is church cookbook-approved. A fresh, tangy yogurt dressing gives it something special.

20 of 34

Pear Salad

Pear Salad Still
Southern Living

Recipe: Pear Salad

Though it feels so wrong, it somehow tastes so right. This retro salad deserves to be kept in the loop, if only for posterity's sake. It's made with lettuce, canned pears, mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, and maraschino cherries.

21 of 34

Hot Potato Salad

Hot Potato Salad
Helen Norman

Recipe: Hot Potato Salad

Someone decided to combine creamy potato salad and cheesy potato gratin, and we're forever indebted. This 7-ingredient recipe is a no-brainer.

22 of 34

Classic Cranberry Salad

Classic Cranberry Salad
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Classic Cranberry Salad

Church cookbooks don't forget the holidays. Think of all those Christmas potlucks. This festive salad is filled with pears, pineapple, celery, and pecans for a fresh, crunchy finish.

23 of 34

Herbed Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

Herbed Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Herbed Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

Simple and easy, this familiar salad goes with just about anything. The vinegar-infused marinade gives a tangy touch.

24 of 34

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

How To Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad Still
Southern Living

Recipe: Strawberry-Pretzel Salad

A salad? In a casserole dish? With strawberry gelatin? Yes, yes, and yes. Nostalgic churchgoers clean this dish easy.

25 of 34

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Black-eyed peas are a Southern staple, and this lucky salad is sure to wow the crowd. Peppery watercress, fresh peaches, and cilantro give it major flavor.

26 of 34

Dianne's Southwestern Cornbread Salad

Dianne's Southwestern Cornbread Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Dianne's Southwestern Cornbread Salad

Bring layered salads back, we say! This recipe features delicious cornbread, convenient store-bought Parmesan-peppercorn dressing, and smoked turkey.

27 of 34

Permanent Slaw

Permanent Slaw
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Recipe: Permanent Slaw

Meet the tangy side every Southerner loves. Like a cross between vinegar-based coleslaw and chowchow, this slaw is dubbed "permanent" because it's designed to be made ahead and gets more flavorful the longer it sits.

28 of 34

Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad

Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad

Chicken salad, made the old-school way. This recipe harkens back to chicken salad of generations past, with chopped chicken, mayo, celery, and a splash of lemon juice.

29 of 34

Chubba Bubba's Broccoli Salad

Chubba Bubba's Broccoli Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Chubba Bubba's Broccoli Salad

You need just nine simple ingredients to pull this cold salad together.

30 of 34

Field Pea and Pasta Salad

Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Julia Levy

Recipe: Field Pea and Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is incredibly versatile, easy to make, and universally crowd-pleasing. A Dijon-honey vinaigrette makes this 15-minute recipe cookbook-worthy.

31 of 34

Southern-Style Potato Salad

_Southern-Style Potato Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Southern-Style Potato Salad

Church cookbooks know it would be a sin to exclude this classic. Packed with onions, celery, sour cream, and bacon, this recipe is an essential.

32 of 34

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans

When you need a fall-inspired slaw, this'll cover all the bases. Crunchy apples, chopped pecans, shaved Brussels sprouts, and nutty Parmesan cheese work in perfect harmony.

33 of 34

Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

Can't have a church cookbook without it: the citrus salad. Spiced honey is the secret in this elevated version.

34 of 34

Molded Cranberry Salad

Molded Cranberry Salad
Hector M Sanchez

Recipe: Molded Cranberry Salad

Congealed salads were once quite the phenomenon, and we're happy to have rediscovered this jewel of a recipe. It's like finding a timeless dress at a vintage store.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles