20 Essential Southern Recipes

Last Updated October 02, 2017
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Buttermilk biscuits and other essential southern recipes

Southern food is comfort food, whether sipping sweet tea on a hot day, digging through a Lowcountry crawfish boil, or breaking open a buttermilk biscuit fresh from the oven. Here are 20 essentials, even a classic Mint Julep, to help you celebrate all the flavors of the South.

Great-Gramma Wolfe’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Chef Orr Buttermilk Biscuits
I always remember my Gramma Kolb’s biscuits. She inherited the recipe from her mother, Great-Gramma Wolfe, who made them on the family farm in Gibson County near Princeton, Indiana. Gramma Kolb...

Smoked Pimiento Cheese Dip

Smoked Pimento Dip
Fourth-generation dairy farmer Eddie Gibson milks his Holstein herd in northern Kentucky and turns it into Ed-Mar Dairy farmstead cheeses. Smoked Maddie’s Gold is a Double Gloucester cheese, perfect...

Cracklin' Cornbread

Acclaimed Southern chef Sean Brock shares his recipe for cornbread made with heirloom cornmeal. He calls for cornmeal from Anson Mills, a South Carolina–based company specializing in heirloom grains...

Southern-style Collard Greens

A great side dish for your holiday table.


There are many variations on jambalaya. Our version is adapted from a recipe originally published in a 1970s Junior League cookbook in New Orleans.

Nashville Hot Chicken

Hot chicken has become a classic in Music City, being served up at a multitude of restaurants in a multitude of styles and tastes. Here is an easy (baked) version to do at home. Adjust pepper...

Barbecued Chicken with Yellow Mustard Sauce

BBQ Chicken in yellow mustard BBQ sauce
You’re going to fall in love with this Carolina-style sauce.

Shrimp & Grits

Nothing says quintessential Charleston like Shrimp & Grits. Recipe by Chef Ennio Vasquez, Drawing Room

Old Timey Peach Tart

There are no measurements here; part of the charm of these recipes is that they have been shared from generation to generation, meaning nothing is written down. “They’re all in here,” Jackson...

Pecan Pie Recipe

A very popular use for pecans, at least in the southern U.S., is pecan pie. Other popular uses are pralines, snacking, and smoking meat (using pecan wood). Fresh pecans roasted with butter and salt...

Peach Sweet Tea

There’s nothing better than homemade sweet tea. Add the flavor of fresh peaches and you’ll be in heaven.

Mint Julep Cocktail

mint julep cocktail recipe
Pair a julep with fried oysters, a burger, or a club sandwich. The mint brings refreshment to a salty, heavy lunch. Today, juleps are associated with bourbon, mint, and the Kentucky Derby, but the...
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