Our Best Summer Comfort Foods

Cherry-Plum Pie with Cornmeal Crust
Photo: Alison Miksch

There's just something about summertime that makes us crave our favorite comfort foods, especially ones that are bursting with indulgent summer flavors. With things like fresh summer produce, cool treats, and savory family-style suppers on our minds, we put together our favorite summer comfort foods to make sure you weren't forgetting any all-time winners this season. This summer is ripe with chances to enjoy the company of family and friends and some good Southern cooking, so get to it.

01 of 26

Creamed Corn

This creamed corn recipe is milky, creamy, and perfectly salty!

02 of 26

The City and The Country Mac and Cheese

The City and The Country Mac and Cheese
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: The City and The Country Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is THE comfort food. In this recipe, smoky cubes of brined city ham and salty bits of country ham give the dish its name and decadence. Creamy sauce and plenty of melty cheese make this your go-to summer indulgence.

03 of 26

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: MindI Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

The dry rub on these ribs give a savory crisp on the outside, while the meat is super juicy and tender. A vinegar wash at the end of the cooking process gives even more flavor.

04 of 26

The Ultimate Classic Collards

The Ultimate Classic Collards
Alison Miksch

Recipe: The Ultimate Classic Collards

A big pot of classic bacon-flavored, ham hock-essenced collard greens is the perfect thing to serve at your family dinner or summer cookout. It's our favorite at any time!

05 of 26

Mama's Fried Chicken

Mama's Fried Chicken
Southern Living

Recipe: Mama's Fried Chicken

You won't ever go back to any fast-food, bucket-style chicken again—ever. This crispy goodness is the real deal and perfect for the summer.

06 of 26

Sour Cream Potato Salad

Sour Cream Potato Salad
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Sour Cream Potato Salad

Potato salad is a cookout staple, and your guests will love this salad complete with bacon and a cool sour cream dressing.

07 of 26

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Banana Pudding

What's better than homemade banana pudding? It's an all-American summer favorite—serve in individual ramikens for a special display.

08 of 26

Fried Pecan Okra

Fried Pecan Okra
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Fried Pecan Okra

Southerners love okra more than anybody, and there are plenty of delicious ways to use it. But, at the end of the day, it's just darn good when it's fried. This recipe uses crushed pecans and baking mix to give extra crunch.

09 of 26

Easy Peach Cobbler

Easy Peach Cobbler
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Easy Peach Cobbler

The flavors of summer truly shine in this simple cobbler with peaches, butter, and sugar. Top with some homemade vanilla ice cream to make it even better.

10 of 26

Classic Fresh Field Peas

Classic Fresh Field Peas
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Classic Fresh Field Peas

There's not many things that don't taste better when you add some ham hocks in the mix. Take advantage of fresh field peas from the farmer's market this summer by adding smoky ham hocks to get a delicious pot of peas.

11 of 26

Barbara's Big Juicy Burgers

Barbara's Big Juicy Burgers

Recipe: Barbara's Big Juicy Burgers

It's hard to beat these no-fail, all-American burgers—set out as many toppings as you can think of and let your guests go to town.

12 of 26

Tomato, Cheddar, and Bacon Pie

Tomato, Cheddar, and Bacon Pie
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Tomato, Cheddar, and Bacon Pie

Change up your classic tomato pie with a sour cream crust accessorized with bacon, layers of colorful tomatoes, and plenty of cheese and herbs. You can't beat the flavor and texture of handmade crust. Quick tip: seed the tomatoes and drain the slices before baking.

13 of 26

Classic Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Classic Skillet Cornbread

Baking cornbread in a cast-iron skillet should be the only way to cook it. It gives the best crunchy crust you could ask for.

14 of 26

Chocolate Icebox Pie

Chocolate Icebox Pie
Southern Living

Recipe: Chocolate Icebox Pie

Chocolate is a welcome treat no matter the season, but this cool decadent dessert is perfect for your summer party guests.

15 of 26

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes exist as their own entity in Southern cooking. They are perfect on sandwiches, on top of salads, or just eaten off a plate and dipped in a tangy sauce. Firm, ripe green tomatoes and this not-too-heavy batter are the keys to getting this dish right.

16 of 26

Sticky Baked Chicken Wings

Sticky Baked Chicken Wings
via Food & Wine

Recipe: Sticky Baked Chicken Wings

A spicy glaze with hints of Korean flavors make these baked wings mouthwateringly sticky and delicious.

17 of 26

Cherry-Plum Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Cherry-Plum Pie with Cornmeal Crust
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Cherry-Plum Pie with Cornmeal Crust

There's nothing that says summer in the South like a good 'ole cherry pie. This one is tasty and pretty.

18 of 26

Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette

Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette
Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Recipe: Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette

Summer squash is a favorite from the farmer's market, and it's very easy to just put in a casserole. But this galette is tasty, a little lighter, and quite pretty.

19 of 26

Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans

Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Recipe: Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans

This smoky-style baked beans dish is a little lower on the sugar, so you don't need to be worried about having dessert too! Bacon, chiptole, and paprika really make the flavors stand out in this recipe in a way just plain brown sugar doesn't.

20 of 26

Grilled Mexican Corn with Crema

Grilled Mexican Corn with Crema
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

Recipe: Grilled Mexican Corn with Crema

This grilled corn on the cob is fun and refreshing, topped with crema and sprinkled with chili powder and lime juice.

21 of 26

Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime

Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime

A watermelon salad makes some nervous, but once you try it, you won't regret it at all. Tomatoes and watermelon just scream summer, and the feta cheese adds in just the right amount of salty creaminess. You don't have to use skewers, but they make the presentation pretty cute!

22 of 26

Classic Pimiento Cheese

Classic Pimiento Chese
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Classic Pimiento Cheese

In our opinion, you can't go ever wrong with classic pimiento cheese, especially in the summer. Serve with little toasts or crackers, or just make a hearty sandwich!

23 of 26

Dixie Caviar Dogs

Dixie Caviar Dogs
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Recipe: Dixie Caviar Dogs

We love some Dixie Caviar (some know it as Cowboy Caviar) in the summer, and put it smack-on-top of a perfectly grilled hotdog and we're set!

24 of 26

Ice Cream Sundaes

Ice Cream Sundaes
Photo: Erin Kunkel

Recipe: Ice Cream Sundaes

Ice cream sundaes are a Southern staple when it's broiling hot outside in the summer. Caramelized walnuts make this recipe a little different, but setting out many toppings for your family and friends to choose from is another favorite way to serve these treats.

25 of 26

Pan-Seared Shrimp Po'Boys

Pan-Seared Shrimp Po'Boys
via Cooking Light

Recipe: Pan-Seared Shrimp Po'Boys

A homemade, five-ingredient tartar sauce made with your pantry staples is the secret to this classic New Orleans dish. Pan-seared shrimp is a lighter alternative to fried.

26 of 26

Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Use your slow cooker for this classic, crowd-pleasing casserole, and you'll have more time for fun summer activities! Don't forget those French-fried onions.

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