35 Special Southern Recipes To Make Together With Your Mama This Mother's Day (Even Virtually!)

Pineapple-Ginger Upside-Down Cake
Photo: Antonis Achilleos

No matter how old we get, there are certain recipes that just don't taste the same when we whip them up in the kitchen as they did when our mothers used to make them when we were young and would watch it all unfold, begging to grate the cheese or peel the potatoes. Anyone who has ever tried to master her grandmother's perfectly smooth and sweet caramel cake icing knows the struggle. Some of it is undoubtedly due to nostalgia. Of course it can't taste as good; a memory can't be mimicked.

What you can do is make new memories surrounding yourself, your mama, and food by cooking a classic Southern recipe together in honor of Mother's Day, be it in the same kitchen or virtually over the iPhone or iPad. Since you've likely mastered the heirloom stuff like buttermilk biscuits and squash casserole, we've instead rounded up a super fun set of classic Southern recipes with a twist to ensure it's a memorable experience for both of you, whether you try a long-forgotten chocolate wacky cake, better-than-it-looks tomato gravy, or authentic andouille sausage jambalaya for the very first time.

Here are 35 mother-daughter recipes to make this Mother's Day.

01 of 35

Heirloom Tomato Pie with Parmesan-Buttermilk Crust ​​​​​

Heirloom Tomato Pie Recipe
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Pie with Parmesan-Buttermilk Crust ​​​​​

This is the only tomato pie recipe worth making with your treasured haul from the farmers' market. And trust us, the parmesan-buttermilk crust is so worth skipping the store-bought stuff. Seriously.

02 of 35

Jalapeno Cornbread Sticks

Jalapeno Cornbread Sticks
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Jalapeno Cornbread Sticks

Cornbread is always welcome on the table, but make it feel brand-new by using an old-fashioned cast-iron corn stick pan and adding a major flavor kick with jalapenos and cheese.

03 of 35

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Fresh Peach Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel

This coffee cake uses fresh peaches and pecans to create delicious streusel-topped harmony that you'll both love to snack on all day long. It's just too good to walk past without having a bite.

04 of 35

Tomato Gravy

Tomato Gravy
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Anna Hampton; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: Tomato Gravy

There's a good chance that neither of you have made this old-school Southern classic, and you'll be happy to have the experience together. It's usually served over biscuits, pork chops, or grits (fried fish optional).

05 of 35

Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Étouffée
Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Shrimp Étouffée

Step outside your recipe box with this traditional Louisiana recipe that is basically a Cajun dream complete with fresh shrimp and a brothy sauce that'll make your mouth water from the smell alone. It's worth the first-time make.

06 of 35

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Hadas Smirnoff

Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie

Pretzel pie is an essential part of summertime, especially when it's topped with rhubarbs, which are a longtime-beloved raspberry-colored legume in the South that pairs well with strawberries.

07 of 35

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Wacky Cake

Also known as depression cake, this quirky old-school chocolate cake can be thrown together right there in the baking pan—no mixing bowl required! A layer of fudgy frosting and chopped toasted pecans gives you the money shot.

08 of 35

Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings

We're just putting this here to tantalize the taste buds and remind you that this ultra-comforting classic is always waiting in the wings to make cooking with your mama feel extra nostalgic.

09 of 35

Crispy Cheese Wafers

Crispy Cheese Wafers

Recipe: Crispy Cheese Wafers

What makes these cheese straws stand out from the long list of slightly variated but all very cheesy recipes is the genius addition of rice cereal. It ensures that you turn out the most crispy, crunchy cheese straw batches you or your mother have ever made.

10 of 35

Nannie's Chow-Chow Relish

Nannie's Chow-Chow Relish
Southern Living

Recipe: Nannie's Chow-Chow Relish

Only the real Southern cooks always have homemade chow-chow in the fridge. It's the most versatile of condiments, and we like to drop a heavy dollop of this perfect relish on everything from hot dogs to collard greens.

11 of 35

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

You'll never forget the first time you cook perfectly crisp, golden fried green tomatoes—because it's about to happen right now. Say hello to the simple recipe that gets the job done. Pair with our Comeback Sauce.

12 of 35

Dr Pepper Texas Sheet Cake

Dr Pepper Texas Sheet Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Dr Pepper Texas Sheet Cake

We took crowd-pleasing Texas sheet cake and gave it an old-fashioned cola cake twist. Dr Pepper has the subtle flavoring of spices like ground cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which is perfect for a sheet cake topped with chocolate frosting and pecans.

13 of 35

Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler

Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler

Everyone needs to try a new cobbler recipe every now and then. Put down the can of peaches! May we suggest you and mom try our triple-berry cobbler made in a deep-dish for more to love?

14 of 35

Homemade Blackberry Jelly

Blackberry Jelly
Southern Living

Recipe: Homemade Blackberry Jelly

Once you make this simple recipe, you'll never go back to those bland, plasticky renditions in the grocery store. Here, homemade makes all the difference. Your biscuits are begging for it.

15 of 35

Bacon Deviled Eggs

Bacon Deviled Eggs
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Bacon Deviled Eggs

You've both made dozens of classic deviled eggs, to be sure. Spruce up the Sunday lunch with these smoky bacon-studded deviled eggs with tiny slices of pickled okra for extra texture and acidity.

16 of 35

Julie Yoste's Mississippi Roast

Julie Yoste's Mississippi Roast
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Julie Yoste's Mississippi Roast

This best-ever pot roast will change dinnertime forever. The secret ingredient that takes it to the next level? Pepperoncini peppers.

17 of 35

Marinated Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Marinated Watermelon Tomato Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Marinated Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Southerners know that watermelon has way more potential than just being sliced for the cookout. Enter this summer side dish that pops on the plate and tastes even better. Watermelon, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and fresh herbs like basil and mint come together with a honeyed lime dressing that gives tangy sweetness similar to balsamic vinegar.

18 of 35

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits
Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Angel Biscuits

Maybe you've both perfected the buttermilk biscuit or want something decidedly lower maintenance. That's where light, fluffy cast-iron angel biscuits come in.

19 of 35

Marble Molasses Cake

Marble Molasses Cake
Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Marble Molasses Cake

Take things back with molasses, a sweet, dark syrup that Southerners have loved for centuries. This marbled loaf treat is delightfully airy in texture and reminiscent of both gingerbread and pound cake in taste.

20 of 35

Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

You'll both feel oh-so accomplished after making this classic confection. Be warned: These mouthwatering pralines will fall flat if made on a very humid day. Otherwise, go forth and get to caramelizing.

21 of 35

Coconut-Banana Pudding

Coconut-Banana Pudding
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Coconut-Banana Pudding

Put a twist on your favorite homemade banana pudding with just a tiny touch of coconut extract. After tasting how well the flavors of vanilla pudding, bananas, and coconut go together, you'll instantly wonder why you've never done it before.

22 of 35

Quick King Ranch Chicken Skillet

Quick King Ranch Chicken Skillet
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Quick King Ranch Chicken Skillet

This beloved Tex-Mex dish gets an easy skillet makeover that's worth making with Mom (virtually or not!) on any night, especially when paired with homemade guacamole, Austin Diner-Style Queso, and a margarita. In less than an hour and with the help of rotisserie chicken, you're golden.

23 of 35

Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread

Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread

This is our kind of veggie plate—as in, still studded with smoked ham hock, because obviously. Greens without ham is like biscuits without butter. Not interested. Plus, quick skillet-fried cornbread is a game-changer to learn.

24 of 35

Field Peas in Herbed Broth

Field Peas in Herbed Broth
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Field Peas in Herbed Broth

The scent wafting up from these herby, aromatic brothed peas is going to be enough to make you swoon. Serve alone with cornbread or as a side dish.

25 of 35

Country Ham Corn Cakes

Country Ham Corn Cakes
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: Country Ham Corn Cakes

Only four ingredients will get these crispy cakes made with fresh corn and country ham on the table, which leaves plenty of time for you and mom to catch up and enjoy some quality time, stress-free.

26 of 35

Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with Shrimp

Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with Shrimp
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with Shrimp

If you're not regularly a Cajun cook, get ready to wow the whole family with this authentic jambalaya recipe studded with spicy sausage, fresh shrimp, and tomatoes. Oh, and one more thing: You can make it in your slow-cooker. You're welcome.

27 of 35

Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Kentucky Bourbon Pie
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Fashioned after George Kern's Derby Pie, this recipe combines chocolate, bourbon, and pecans for a souped-up version of pecan pie that's deliciously decadent and stops the show every time.

28 of 35

Key Lime Pound Cake

Key Lime Pound Cake
Jen Causey

Recipe: Key Lime Pound Cake

Get a taste of the tropics with this glazed masterpiece that's a cross between Key lime pie and Southern pound cake. Consider cooking night with your mama made.

29 of 35

Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie

Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie

We couldn't let this thing slide without buttermilk pie or icebox pie. How about a lemony, berry-topped treat that does both and is the perfect amount of sweet and tart?

30 of 35

Country Captain Chicken

Country Captain Chicken
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Country Captain Chicken

You might not have heard of this regional delicacy before, but it's been a Junior League cookbook staple for decades. You brown chicken in butter or bacon fat before braising in tomato sauce riddled with aromatic spices such as curry powder, nutmeg, and plenty of pepper.

31 of 35

Oyster Stew

Oyster Stew
Cedric Angeles; Prop Styling: Thom Driver

Recipe: Oyster Stew

A favorite seafood stew of the South, oyster stew is meant to be enjoyed with the memories of salty beach breezes in mind. It's a warm, comforting dinner made for casual summer nights.

32 of 35

Goat Cheese and Gouda Pimiento Cheese

Goat Cheese and Gouda Pimiento Cheese
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Goat Cheese and Gouda Pimiento Cheese

Turn up the jazz factor on classic pimiento cheese by adding goat cheese and Gouda cheese to the grater lineup. You might never go back to the plain stuff again.

33 of 35

Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal

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

Recipe: Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal

This simple, six-ingredient recipe gives the crispiest okra without feeling super greasy. As the okra fries in the skillet, you sprinkle it with cornmeal for ultimate crunch.

34 of 35

Pineapple-Ginger Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple-Ginger Upside-Down Cake
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Pineapple-Ginger Upside-Down Cake

The caramelized bottom of an upside-down cake is enough to make us go ga-ga. This rendition calls for zingy ginger and fresh pineapple—so basically this ain't your grandmother's pineapple upside-down cake. Grab mom and give it a go.

35 of 35

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges

Make your baking date even more fun with this whimsical take on beloved Hummingbird Cake. It has all the pineappley, nutty flavor in a cute little package topped with candied pineapple rings you can find at the grocery store.

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