30 Classic Church Recipes Southerners Serve Every Sunday
When preparing for a church homecoming, potluck, or post-service spread, Southerners pull from a collection of church recipes we deem our Sunday Best. Through the generations, we’ve archived these classic recipes in church and community cookbooks, keeping them poised and at the ready, should Sunday morning mayhem ensue.
Known by many names, these church luncheon recipes fill every church basement and fellowship hall throughout the South. From the classic cold salads to the warm, creamy casseroles, these church food recipes are definitely worth praising. And praise we shall.
Hot Chicken Salad
Transform your favorite summer dish into a bubbling, hot chicken salad casserole.
Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
Recipe: Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
The name says it all. This classic potato salad was practically made to be a church potluck staple.
Don't mess with a good thing, the church ladies would say. A version of poppyseed casserole shows up on every Southern table, from time to time.
Mama's Fried Chicken
Recipe: Mama’s Fried Chicken
Consider this the ultimate church potluck all-star. Add some mashed potatoes, collard greens, and biscuits? You're set with a happy congregation.
Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Recipe: Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
The church hostesses sure love tricking us into eating raw broccoli by serving it up in this creamy pasta salad.
Recipe: Extra-Easy Lasagna
We know why this lasagna recipe is a potluck staple: It has only five ingredients. It's the perfect dish to bring when you almost forgot altogether. (It happens.)
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad
Dress up classic chicken salad with lemon and tarragon. Chopped pecans, Granny Smith apples, celery, and red onion give amazing crunch.
Recipe: Ham-and-Vegetable Cobbler
We have to serve up salty, cubed ham somehow. It's practically a rule. This savory cobbler uses frozen veggies for ultimate ease.
Recipe: Pear Salad
The church hall might be the only place some Southerners still see this retro salad. It's made with lettuce, canned pears, mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, and maraschino cherries.
King Ranch Chicken
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken
This Tex-Mex dish is a familiar face at our parties and potlucks. We just know it originated in a Junior League or church cookbook.
Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Recipe: Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Because Sunday morning shouldn't be spent peeling and slicing potatoes. For this recipe, frozen hash browns offer a hearty base for the cheesy casserole.
Recipe: Ham Salad
Nostalgic for many, this old-school spread can be made ahead and kept at the ready in the fellowship hall.
Cheesy Sausage-and-Croissant Casserole
Ah, the brunch spread after an early church service is something delicious to behold. This cheesy casserole is a no-brainer.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Recipe: Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
In a sea of chicken casseroles, this old-school spaghetti bake stands out as the star.
Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad
Recipe: Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad
Is it a real church spread without a bowl full of creamy fruit salad? We think not. With a base of canned fruit for convenience and a creamy, whipped "dressing," this recipe is a hidden weapon in any hostess' arsenal.
Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Recipe: Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Fancy, but also relatable? This is the perfect casserole for a crowd. It's chock-full with chicken, pasta, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese.
Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Recipe: Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
There are few things that belong together as much as chicken and rice. This crowd-pleasing casserole gets a special crunch from water chestnuts.
Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
Recipe: Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
It's hard to beat the light and fluffy cloud of whipped cream that coats this fresh corn salad. Dressed up and dreamy, this dish calls for only four ingredients.
Boarding House Meatloaf
Recipe: Boarding House Meatloaf
Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods Southern folks crave in the fall and winter seasons. This might be our most popular rendition ever.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
As far as we're concerned, this classic dish can go wherever it pleases, including the church hall.
Recipe: Spaghetti Casserole
When the church hall needs something hearty, comforting, and warm, this easy casserole is the universal answer. Not to mention, it's a slow-cooker version, which means it'll be even simpler than your usual recipe.
New Tuna Casserole
Recipe: New Tuna Casserole
Tuna noodle casserole is an old-fashioned favorite that still makes a regular appearance on our supper tables. We’re not retiring this recipe anytime soon.
Old School Squash Casserole
Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole
No matter the season, you'll see this classic on the fellowship spread.
Recipe: Basic Deviled Eggs
It's not all about the hot dishes. A tray of well-seasoned deviled eggs will disappear quicker than any casserole.
Recipe: Quiche Lorraine
Fast and fancy, quiche is never a bad idea. Popular first in the 70s, this recipe has always been beloved by Southern Living readers.
Recipe: Hashbrown Casserole
Because we know that the whole congregation will swoon over this creamy, cheesy, cornflake-topped casserole that starts with a bag of frozen potatoes.
Thai Noodle Salad
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. This salad is a crowd-favorite.
Creamy Egg Strata
Recipe: Creamy Egg Strata
This brunch classic lets simplicity rule. Bread, eggs, cheese, and a creamy filling make it a Southern Sunday staple.
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Because it's the only way mashed potatoes can make it until after the service. These make-ahead potatoes are the perfect side dish.
White Lightning Chicken Chili
Recipe: White Lightning Chicken Chili
This hearty chicken chili comforts those nursing wintertime sniffles. And it lives up to its name, ready in just 30 minutes.