Grandma’s Favorite Summer Sides

Grandma knows best!

a blue bowl holds buttermilk coleslaw
Photo: Photo: Will Dickey

On those hot summer days when all you want to do is sit back with some sweet tea, you can be sure that there is a grandparent somewhere shelling peas or snapping green beans on her back porch. Getting summer meals ready for supper or setting fresh fruits and veggies aside for canning was how Grandma spent a great deal of her summer, and now you likely do the same. We’ve pulled some of her favorite old-school, fresh from the garden recipes that we just know that Grandma made for you growing up. She taught you not to waste anything. She taught you how to snap those beans. She taught you everything you know in the kitchen, and now it’s your turn to cook up some Homemade Baked Beans, Hush Puppies and Heirloom-Tomato Salad in her memory. Bring these recipes to the church potluck, the family reunions and all of the cookouts because if they were good enough for Grandma, they are certainly good enough for your company, too.

01 of 15

Roasted Tomato Macaroni And Cheese

Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Grandma is all about the classics, but she also loves to use what's in her garden, too. Roasted Tomato Macaroni And Cheese allows for her to use the fresh tomatoes in her garden while also making a tried-and-true recipe the whole family will love.

02 of 15

Homemade Baked Beans

Southern Living Homemade Baked Beans in the dish ready to serve

Fred Hardy II; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Would Grandma ever serve something that wasn't at least somewhat homemade? We sure don't think so. This recipe has a little bit of a trick as it uses two cans of pork and beans, but you have to doctor it up to make some of the most delicious Baked Beans ever.

03 of 15

Fresh Corn Spoonbread

Fresh Corn Spoonbread

Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Spoonbread is a staple in a Southern kitchens, and our Fresh Corn Spoonbread will be an instant hit. The addition of chives and thyme and other herbs gives this version a bright, inviting taste.

04 of 15

Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Living Fried Green Tomatoes on a board ready to serve

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Christina Dailey

We have Fannie Flagg to thank for making these delicacies mainstream, but Grandma has been making them longer than tongue can tell. Fry up your green tomatoes in a cornmeal mixture and thank us later.

05 of 15

Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad

Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad


Whether it's a picnic or a potluck you can be sure at least one Southern grandma will be serving up Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad. While some might say that it is more dessert than salad we say to them "Bless your heart."

06 of 15

Cucumber-And-Vidalia Onion Salad

Cucumber-and-Vidalia Onion Salad
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Vidalia onions are always the taste of Southern summers and we know Grandma's will approve of our Cucumber-And-Vidalia Onion Salad. It's also a great recipe to store in your mayonnaise jars.

07 of 15

Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal

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

Okra is hearty enough to withstand the blistering temperatures of hot summer days just like Grandma. Coming together in just under 30 minutes, it's a real go-to!

08 of 15

Classic Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

We love a good deviled egg and if you don't, we might just have to revoke your Southern card. Our Classic Deviled Eggs got Grandma's seal of approval long ago and we think they should get yours, too.

09 of 15

Oven-Roasted Corn On The Cob

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cobb
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

We love firing up the grill, but sometimes we love to do something that requires a little less effort. We cover corn cobs with butter and herbs and other goodness, wrap them in tin-foil and throw them in the oven. It's that simple!

10 of 15

Old-School Squash Casserole

Southern Living Old School Squash Casserole with a serving scooped out onto a plate with a fork

Fred Hardy II; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

It's the most searched casserole recipe in the South because you want to make a version just like Grandma's, and here it is. Full of cheesy goodness and covered in a buttery cracker crust, it's just the recipe you need to serve at the family reunion.

11 of 15

Heirloom-Tomato Salad

Southern Living Heirloom-Tomato Salad on a platter to serve

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Grandma always used what she had and that included fresh veggies from her garden. Heirloom-Tomato Salad is beautiful and just simple enough that all ages can appreciate it.

12 of 15

Buttermilk Coleslaw

a blue bowl holds buttermilk coleslaw
Photo: Will Dickey

A side of slaw is just what Grandma ordered to complement her fried chicken. Make sure you let the flavors meld just like Grandma taught you!

13 of 15

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies. on a plate with coleslaw beside

Hush puppies are what Grandma would serve when she wanted to make sure that everyone would be on their best behavior. We've included to variations, Bacon-and-Caramelized Onion and Jalapeño-Pineapple which might have been a little too exciting for Grandma, but perfect for the next generation.

14 of 15

Whipped-Cream Corn Salad

Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
Southern Living

Grandma will tell you everything is better with some whipped cream, and our Whipped-Cream Corn Salad proves her right. It's the sweetest way to use your fresh corn.

15 of 15

Best-Ever Succotash

Southern Living Best Ever Succotash in the pan ready to serve

Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Grandma always told us to eat our veggies, and what better way to enjoy them than in a Succotash? The Southern staple is just exactly what we love.

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