25 Quick and Easy Southern Comfort Food Classics
When we think of Southern food, we think of comfort food and the classics. Fried chicken, shrimp and grits, casseroles packed full of whatever leftovers you’ve got on hand. These Southern dinner recipes, steadfast and soul-warming, bring the tastes of the South to your table. But on some nights, you simply don’t have time to put together an opulent Southern feast. These recipes deliver the authentic Southern flavor of their labor-intensive counterparts with super short prep time.
From crunchy Southern Fried Catfish to slow-cooker Red Beans and Rice, these quick Southern recipes make fixing delicious meals a breeze. So if you’re in the mood for Shrimp and Grits, think you might like a Skillet Chicken Pot Pie, or know it's time to dig into a sandwich slathered with Homemade Pimiento Cheese, these easy Southern recipes will have you sitting down and filling your plate faster than you can say lickety-split. Just be sure to have some Banana Pudding or Easy Peach Cobbler ready for dessert.
Classic Fried Catfish
Recipe: Classic Fried Catfish
This simple seafood supper comes together in just 20 minutes. For an extra-crispy crust, use stone-ground yellow cornmeal.
Chicken and Dumplings
Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings
If you’ve got leftover rotisserie chicken, feel free to use that instead of freshly-cooked chicken in this warming soup.
Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits Casserole
This hearty Lowcountry-inspired dish feeds 6, and it can be served for breakfast or dinner.
Smoky Mountain Brunswick Stew
Recipe: Smoky Mountain Brunswick Stew
Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of hearty Brunswick stew. Sop up every flavorful last bit with crusty bread or crispy cornbread crackers.
Fried Pork Chops with Potatoes and Peas
Meat, peas, and potatoes, all ready in 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a square meal, this simple pork chop supper checks all the boxes.
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Recipe: Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Although most gumbo recipes call for hours of time for all the flavors to simmer together on the stove, this Cajun seafood gumbo comes together in just an hour and a half.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken Casserole
All hail king ranch. With corn tortillas and two kinds of canned soups, this casserole is built on pantry staples.
Easy Southern Fried Chicken
Recipe: Easy Southern Fried Chicken
No deep fryer? No buttermilk? No problem. Our Test Kitchen calls this Easy Southern Fried Chicken “a hurried cook’s dream.”
Basic Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese
Spread homemade Pimiento Cheese on whole wheat bread with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Use leftover spread on crackers or celery for a snack.
Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken
Recipe: Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken
This delectable chicken dish comes together with barely any effort, thanks to an oven-roasting technique that keeps the chicken juicy and saucy.
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
Your family will never guess that this pot pie is actually made with rotisserie chicken and frozen peas.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice
Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice
Smoked turkey sausage, bell peppers, and red beans come together in this classic, easy slow-cooker recipe. Serve over long-grain rice for an amazing meal.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
It doesn’t get more comforting than a big pot of Southern-style mac and cheese.
Every Southerner grew up with some variation of a poppyseed casserole—this is the perfect one to pass down to the next generation.
Recipe: Ham Biscuits
We’ve never met a ham biscuit we didn’t like. This is our go-to dish when we just can’t bring ourselves to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.
Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole
Recipe: Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole
Egg noodles, ground beef, and plenty of cheese work together in the most delightful way in this Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole.
Southern Tomato Gravy
Recipe: Southern Tomato Gravy
Pour this tomato gravy over fried chicken, biscuits, chicken-fried steak, or just about anything you’d like.
Easy Chicken Spaghetti
Recipe: Easy Chicken Spaghetti
Cook and shred the chicken the day before to help this meal come together even faster.
Recipe: Meatloaf Casserole
Southerners will take Mama’s meatloaf in casserole form, thank you very much.
Recipe: Squash Casserole
This summertime BBQ staple is substantial enough to serve as a whole meal (especially if you add in some bacon).
Recipe: Chicken-and-Biscuit Cobbler
You’ve had a sweet cobbler, but this recipe will have you singing the praises of the savory, biscuit-topped cobbler. Use pre-made biscuit dough for added ease.
Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Recipe: Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
You can make this casserole with leftover rice and rotisserie for a chicken for an easiest-ever family meal.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Casserole
You can swap fresh broccoli for frozen in this simple, cheesy casserole—just don’t forget the crushed cracker topping.
King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
If you thought mac and cheese couldn’t get any better, try mixing it with cream of chicken soup.
Recipe: Easy Chili
We’re always looking for new uses for that pack of ground beef in the back of the fridge, and this Easy Chili fits the bill.