100 Best Comfort Food Recipes from the South – Southern Living

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Southern food brings comfort like nothing else on earth. There’s no better way to welcome a new neighbor or support a new mom, no more reliable cure for whatever ails you than classic comfort food—whether you make it like Mama or use every shortcut in the book. Your go-to comfort food recipes likely say a little something about where you grew up. Shrimp and grits or she-crab soup? You’re probably from South Carolina. King Ranch Casserole or chicken-fried steak? Tell all the folks back in Texas we say hey. Gumbo and jambalaya? You bleed purple and gold. (Geaux Tigers!). Of course, some Southern food crosses all regional boundaries. In kitchens from Baltimore to El Paso, you’ll find worn copies of comfort food recipes for pot roast, fried chicken, pound cake, buttermilk biscuits, and macaroni and cheese. The good news? They’re all right here. From dinner to dessert, here are the South’s best comfort food recipes.
Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese
There are countless ways to jazz up this Southern-favorite spread, but if you're looking for a classic, no-frills recipe, this is where to start.
Recipe: Instant Pot Chili Mac
Macaroni and cheese and chili. When two comfort food recipes meet, the ultimate comfort food is created.
Recipe: Big Mama’s Egg Pie
Jocelyn Adams of Grandbaby Cakes shared the sweet story of her Big Mama’s Egg Pie with us here, and it’s one you’ll want to read ASAP.
Recipe: Classic Beef Chili
On a fall day, a hearty chili hits the spot. This hearty beef chili features boneless chuck and a medley of traditional chili seasonings, like cumin, chili powder, and garlic. A dash of oregano and thyme makes this Southern beef chili anything but ordinary. Topped with crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, and as much shredded cheese as your heard desires for a meal you'll make again and again.
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili
This slow-cooker turkey chili recipe makes it easy for you to get those classic Southern comfort flavors with a minimum hands-on effort. This chili recipe is perfect for a cold day and packed with major flavor.
Recipe: Mississippi Mud Cake
There's no better way to feed dessert to the whole family than with an easy sheet cake like this fudgy, marshmallow-topped creation.
Recipe: Beef Stroganoff
Even though this classic comfort food dish is easy to prepare and made of simple ingredients, it inherently feels like a special occasion dish, even if it's just a cold winter night.
Recipe: German Chocolate Cake
Our resident confection extraordinaire Pam Lolley created this gorgeous new recipe for classic German chocolate cake, and you're going to love it more any you've tried before.
Recipe: Tomato Gravy
Even though it's usually made with canned tomatoes, we developed this version of the old-school classic with fresh tomatoes for a summery taste that will be delicious over biscuits or even grits or pork chops.
Recipe: Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup
There aren't many things a warm batch of classic French onion soup can fix, and this slow-cooker version saves you from standing by the stovetop for hours.
Recipe: 1234 Cake with Chocolate Frosting
This classic cake is so easy you might never buy a box of mix again.
Recipe: Easy Brunswick Stew
Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of hearty, flavorful Brunswick stew. This easy recipe comes together in just an hour so you can serve it up on a weeknight. Overloaded with chicken thighs, chicken sausage, Yukon Gold potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, this stew will satisfy your entire family.
Recipe: Smoked Turkey-and-Andouille Gumbo
When the temperature drops, you can bet that plenty of homes in Louisiana will have a pot of gumbo ready.
Recipe: Homemade Orange Rolls
There's nothing that brightens up a Saturday morning more than a batch of fresh-from-the-oven orange rolls.
Recipe: Twice-Baked Potatoes
Although these baked potatoes are the ideal side dish, a few quick and easy toppings can transform them into an incredible main dish.
Recipe: Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge
If you have an old-fashioned fudge recipe in your collection, we're guessing it looks a little something like this hallmark recipe.
Recipe: Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is a quintessential Southern comfort food at which every Southern chef should try their hand. We've made it easy to start. With deli-roasted chicken, cream of chicken soup, and canned biscuits, this quick and tasty version of the classic recipe comes together with minimal effort, but maximum flavor and comfort. When it comes to chicken and dumplings recipes, its hard to pick a favorite. We adore the tried-and-true versions that our grandmothers spoon-fed us, and the more innovative versions with unexpected additions like gnocchi, sweet potato, and cornbread. Even with new and exciting twists on the classic, this savory, steaming, and traditional chicken and dumplings recipe is worth holding on to.

Recipe: Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
We made old-fashioned sweet potato pie even more delicious with the addition of browned butter.
Recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Every part of this old-school casserole is homemade, so canned soup required. While it's a staple during the holiday season, we think this classic side dish is a great addition to your menu year-round.
Recipe: Candied Yams
Lightly spiced and oh-so-sweet, candied yams are a mainstay on Southern Thanksgiving tables.
Recipe: Sock It To Me Cake
We're revisiting this 1960s recipe that was a Southern hostess favorite.
Recipe: Baked Ziti with Sausage
Classic and comforting, cheesy baked ziti casserole is always a family favorite. This easy Southern comfort casserole comes together with homemade tomato sauce with crumbly, flavorful, and savory sausage. Double the sauce, and freeze it for a quick and delicious homemade pasta sauce. Then, pour the rest over baked ziti, top with mozzarella cheese, and enjoy homemade baked ziti.
Recipe: Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas
Southerners love their black-eyed peas (especially on New Year's Day!), and the Instant Pot makes this old-school recipe easier than ever.
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Pie
When the farmers' market is bursting with fresh tomatoes in the summer, the first thing we rush to make is tomato pie.
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie
No other dish describes comfort quite as well as chicken pot pie.
Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes
It doesn't get much more Southern than a plate of Fried Green Tomatoes. Great on sandwiches, on top of salads, or plain eaten off a plate and dipped in sauce, this is a recipe that every Southern could should master – and make weekly. Always pick firm green tomatoes that will hold their texture during the fry process. We dip our fried green tomatoes in a blend of self-rising cornmeal mix, salt, pepper, and all-purpose flower. Each fried green tomato is hand-dredged in buttermilk, tossed in the crispy coating, and then fried to golden perfection in popping vegetable oil. The crispy coating flakes off with each perfect bite.
Recipe: Homemade Mashed Potatoes
We have a feeling that you'll be licking the bowl clean after you make these perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes yield a texture that's just right for holding a pool of flavorful turkey gravy or melted butter. These potatoes are perfect for all occasions, from weeknights to special occasions. No potluck, church supper, or pot roast is complete without a bowl of steaming mashed potatoes, served with a large wooden spoon.
Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits
In the South, Biscuits are to breakfast what tires are to a car: no Southern breakfast is complete without flaky, buttery biscuits. Actually, make that no Southern meal is complete without flaky, buttery biscuits. Don't be afraid to make your own – homemade buttermilk biscuits are worth the labor. Once you try homemade buttermilk biscuits steaming from the oven, you'll think twice before buying store-bought canned biscuits again. We've found the perfect biscuit recipe that makes the process easy. This versatile biscuit recipe only takes five ingredients to make, and you can amp it up with any of our four flavor variations, like cinnamon-raisin, black pepper bacon, feta oregano, or pimiento cheese.
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie
Southerners are well versed in comfort food, but this old-fashioned recipe has roots over the pond.
Recipe: Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Our chicken and Rice Casserole is savory, creamy, filling, and everything that a classic Southern casserole should be. This staple casserole can be dressed up for special occasions, but its crowd-pleasing flavor is perfect for a weeknight or family dinner. Roasted sliced almonds, water chestnuts, and fresh breadcrumbs give it that irresistible crunch that will keeps you coming back for seconds. Using a long-grain and wild rice mix and toasted almonds in the classic chicken casserole makes it a little bit dressier, and fit for company during the holidays. You can also prepare this recipe in advance – it keeps in the freezer for up to one month.
Recipe: Best Cornbread Dressing
Nothing tastes more like home than a warm scoop of cornbread dressing (and don't dare call it stuffing!).
Recipe: Company Pot Roast with Creamy Mushroom Grits
A flavorful pot roast is, perhaps, the most underrated classic Southern comfort food. Not only is a well-cooked pot roast tender and savory, but it is also incredibly versatile. Eat it hot from the slow cooker, or cold, piled between two slices of French bread. Our test kitchen carefully developed this flavorful roast to be the only roast recipe you’ll ever need. Bacon, garlic, and red wine imbue humble chuck roast with robust flavors and character. Rich beef-bourguignon flavor grows as the meat transforms from simple to extraordinary in your slow cooker. Serve sliced or in chunks over Creamy Mushroom Grits.
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
Our favorite casserole? King Ranch, of course. Our favorite side dish? Dare we say mac and cheese? All of the flavors of one of our favorite casserole recipes come together in the filling comfort mac and cheese. Packed with cellentani pasta, buttery onions and peppers, diced tomatoes, and two blends of creamy cheese, this mac and cheese dish sets a high standard for all other sides and main dishes. Serve this five-star dinner dish to your family, and it will become a quick favorite. One reviewer raves, "This is the best casserole I have ever made and I have been cooking for over 30 years… My family loved it, and we did not have any leftovers! I make it weekly now."
Recipe: Chicken-and-Brisket Brunswick Stew
Some recipes are quick. Brunswick stew is not one of these recipes. But trust us, the results are worth every minute. You'll wind up with enough to feed a crowd, or enough to freeze for several great meals to come. Flavors of sautéed onions and garlic, beef soup based, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, mustard, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce come together in a two-hour long simmering period that results in this craveable classic stew of tender chicken, filling vegetables, and intensely delicious barbecued beef brisket. Purchase your barbecued brisket from your favorite local shop, and stir in to make this comfort dish fit for your family.
Recipe: 30-Minute Chili
Do you want delicious chili but don't want to wait all day? Our 30-Minute Chili recipe will have you enjoying one of our quick-fix suppers in no time. This simple-to-make chili recipe only has six ingredients, but you'll marvel at its slow-cooked flavor. Simmering the ground beef is probably the hardest part; once you've finished that, you just pour everything else in, and stir. If you prefer an Italian-style take on 30-Minute Chili, spice this up and use 1 pound of ground sausage and 1 pound of ground beef. Whether you prefer a traditional chili or you would like to enjoy some Italian-infused flavors, this easy-to-make chili will always be ready when you are.
Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup
Instead of waiting for a whole chicken to cook, we sped this comfort food classic up by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Recipe: Southern-Style Collard Greens
A true Southern chef knows that part of what makes Southern-smoked meat taste good are the perfect side dishes. And a true Southern chef also knows that this perfect side is often collard greens. Packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron, collard greens are a type of cabbage that does not develop into a head of lettuce. This recipe fixes the greens up with some traditional Southern flavors. Crispy hickory-smoked bacon, bacon, sautéed sweet onion, smoked ham, apple cider vinegar, and garlic perfect these savory Southern-Style Collard Greens, making this side dish an essential part of your traditional Southern feast.
Recipe: Peppered Beef Soup
A steaming hot bowl of hearty soup served out of a toasted bread bowl warms our hearts in such a distinct and fulfilling way. This comfort soup requires some prep work, but the soul warming worth every minute. Sirloin tip beef roast is coated in flour and seared for a crispy finish, and a healthy load of vegetables gives the soup simmering flavor. Make a huge pot, and freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Add a bit of canned broth when reheating to reach desired consistency. For a decadent finish, serve in Toasted Bread Bowls.
Recipe: Caramel Cake
This old-fashioned recipe has remained, over the years, as one of our best-ever homemade cakes. Our caramel cake has competed against plenty of fancier and more complicated cakes, but it still satisfies our sweet cravings in ways that other cakes never do. Rich and moist from a container of sour cream, dense from butter and eggs, and sweet from sugar, the cake is simple and satisfying. What makes this classic Southern cake stand out is the homemade caramel frosting spread between and on top of the cake's layers. This traditional cake will seal your reputation as the family's best baker.
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken
This slow-cooker version of the fan favorite King Ranch Chicken Casserole is sure to please your whole family. What's more comforting than chicken, cheese, and tortillas? Layers of tender shredded chicken, onions, bell peppers, creamy soup, diced tomatoes, green chiles, garlic, and chili are separated with flaky tortillas and sharp shredded Cheddar cheese. Put this recipe in your slow cooker in the mid afternoon, and it'll be ready just in time for dinner. It is filling and oh-so-rich, so you will not need to spend time making a fancy Southern side dish. Try serving it with a simple garden green salad, or roasted broccoli, for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
Recipe: Two-Step Pound Cake
Pound cakes are one of the easiest cakes to bake. This classic dessert is one of those sweet treats that you can whip together with minimal effort. This staple cake comes together with only 6 ingredients that everyone keeps on hand; you can jazz it up to suit any occasion. While you're enjoying the buttery, crumbly cake, have you ever wondered where it gets its name? The original recipe dates back to the 1700s, and calls for a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs. Now, that's a lot of cake. A lot of soft, dense, sweet, and absolutely perfect cake. Test Kitchen Tip: Sift the flour prior to adding to the mixing bowl for a smooth cake that will best absorb icing.
Recipe: Baked Smokin’ Macaroni and Cheese
If you're craving the ooey, gooey cheesy comfort of mac and cheese, but looking for a lighter option, this baked macaroni dish is perfect for you. The cheesy sauce comes together with Gouda, milk, flour, and oil and coats the cellentani pasta in flavor you'll want to lick straight from the bowl. This delicious mac and cheese is light on butter and cheese, yet still melts in your mouth. We love this recipe so much that we asked for more like it! Try one of our four flavor variations for a perfect twist on the traditional flavor, like pepper jack, sweet pea and prosciutto, pimiento, or ham and broccoli.
Recipe: Chicken-Andouille Gumbo with Roasted Red Potatoes
You can't go wrong with this classic Southern dish to fill you up on chilly nights. We made it even heartier by adding roasted potatoes to the traditional mix of Andouille sausage, Cajun seasonings, and veggies. The key to any great gumbo all starts is all in the roux. This recipe calls for a caramel-colored roux, but some Southern chefs prefer to add a subtle burnt flavor to their gumbo pots by slow simmering the flour and oil until its deep, dark, and smooth like chocolate. Make sure you monitor the roux at all times – if you burn your roux, the whole gumbo will taste wrong. If you're in a rush, don't turn the heat higher. Instead, use deli roasted chicken in place of skinned and boned chicken breasts.
Recipe: Tee’s Corn Pudding
This classic Southern recipe has a rich, soufflé-like texture that tastes fancier than the recipe really is – but we won't tell your guests that. With a scoop of sugar, a dash of flour, plenty of eggs and a heavy serving of cream and butter, this fresh corn casserole comes together with fresh corn kernels. It's an fancier version of our favorite side dish: homemade, crispy, buttery cornbread. A perfectly Southern side for holiday potlucks and dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas, this southern corn pudding also works great at summertime barbecues and Easter brunches. The result is an impressive Southern side dish that the entire party will love. We like to add chopped fresh chives to the top.
Recipe: Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie is the comfort food sent down to the South straight from heaven. A creamy filling of vegetables and chicken covered by not one but two flaky crusts makes this double-crust chicken pot pie one of our best-ever chicken pot pies. One reviewer raves, "Best Chicken Pot Pie I've ever had! This meal is appropriate for any occasion! I've made this for friends and family and they we very impressed and pleased." Serve the dish with a lightly dressed green salad and roasted asparagus for a complete, veggie-packed meal perfect for special occasions, but also easy enough for a weeknight family dinner.
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings
As the name suggests, this classic chicken and dumplings recipe is a comfort food sure to satisfy the whole family. A warm bowl of chicken and dumpling soup can turn around even the rainiest day. Handmade dumplings come together with just a few ingredients, and add rustic flavor to the deliciously creamy dish. Boiling and cooking the chicken at home saves cost and creates a rich broth that you can only get from scratch, but adds time. If you're in a rush, pick up a deli-roasted chicken.
Recipe: Pecan Pie
Every Southerner knows that no Southern dessert table is complete without a syrupy sweet Pecan pie. Because pecan pie is such an integral part of a Southerner's diet, it's important that when you bake a homemade pecan pie with fresh Georgia Pecans, it comes out right. Our test kitchen tried over and over again to make the perfect Southern pecan pie, but attempt after attempt, there's just no better pecan pie than our Pecan Pie recipe. This traditional pecan pie recipe is versatile and delicious. For a rich, holiday flavor, try using dark corn syrup. For a lighter and clearer pie, use light corn syrup. Both variations received high marks in our Test Kitchen.
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits
If we had to compile a list of the "top ten most Southern dishes ever," Shrimp and Grits would certainly rank in the top three. This original Shrimp and Grits recipe is from Bill Smith, executive chef at Crook's Corner, a landmark Southern restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Our favorite part about Shrimp and Grits that it is so quintessentially Southern that it works for any meal – breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or even as a midnight snack. Nobody ever turns down buttery, rich Shrimp and Grits. Packed with crispy bacon, buttery shrimp, fresh mushrooms, chopped green onions, garlic, lemon juice, and cheese, this dish is as impressive as it is delicious.
Recipe: Pecan-Peach Cobbler
This classic Southern dessert combines two of our favorite Southern-grown products: peaches and pecans. Great for summer, fall, and every season, this sweet cobbler suits any occasion. Covered in a golden-brown, latticed crust made easy from refrigerated piecrusts, the filling is where the real flavor lies. Gooey, sugar-covered peaches envelope crunchy local pecans. Test Kitchen Tip: Make sure that you take the extra 10-20 minutes to toast your pecans. Toasted pecans have a much more delicate flavor and crispy texture than their raw counterparts, which often taste waxy. Serve this classic Southern dessert with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream for a dessert that everyone will love.
Recipe: Chicken-fried Steak
There’s a reason that chicken-fried steak has such an iconic reputation down South. This classic Southern comfort dish has that savory, melt-in-your-mouth taste that every Southern chef seeks. Make this iconic Southern chicken-fried steak recipe and savor every bite of this simple and delicious dish. It comes together with minimal ingredients, too – you’ll only need steak, salt, pepper, flour, eggs, chicken broth, milk, and cracker crumbs. Serve with green beans, mashed potatoes, and plenty of gravy. Now, next time you go to your favorite meat-and-three restaurant, you’re free to order something new – you can get your chicken-fried steak fix from your own kitchen.
Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
This holiday-worthy breakfast staple is as comforting as it is cinnamony. If you love store-bought cinnamon rolls made from a can, then you have got to make the homemade version – you will jump for joy after tasting how much better the homemade version is. Our homemade cinnamon rolls have all of our favorite Southern ingredients, like pecans, brown sugar, milk, and cinnamon. The homemade dough mixture rises to fluffy, golden-brown perfection; topped with cream cheese icing, these cinnamon rolls are literally heaven in a pastry. They're so good, we bet you won't mind putting in the effort on any average Saturday!
Recipe: Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Make a classic family comfort food with this creamy chicken casserole. This family-friendly casserole dish takes less than one hour to make, and provides a filling one-dish meal. With plenty of butter, a rich sauce thickened with flour, milk, white wine, and chicken bouillon, this classic Chicken Tetrazzini is pure comfort food. Folded in Parmesan cheese provides an even richer element of flavor. Older, drier Parmesan will add a richer, nuttier, more sophisticated flavor; lower-quality Parmesan provides the same cheesy texture without such a strong flavor. Test Kitchen Tip: This recipe freezes beautifully.
Recipe: Baked Potato Soup
A thick and creamy baked potato soup is perfectly ideal for cold winter days. Pile on your favorite baked potato toppings, like cheddar cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, and a dollop of sour cream. Rich mashed potatoes serve as the base for this creamy baked potato soup. Flavored with onion, butter, ground white pepper, and milk, this heart-warming comfort soup comes together in less than an hour. Make a big pot, and freeze the rest for an easy weeknight meal. To complete the meal, serve this baked potato soup with a roll for dipping, like our easy Yeast Roll.
Recipe: Classic Strawberry Shortcake
With juicy strawberries spooned over sweet and tender biscuits, these old-fashioned strawberry shortcakes are the perfect dessert for all lovers of classic Southern comfort dishes. Fresh strawberries, sugar, almond extract, and whipping cream tucked between two slices of homemade shortcake biscuits – these are the elements that compose this easy take on a deliciously sweet strawberry shortcake. this classic Southern dessert is both light on the palette and just sweet enough to satisfy the strongest sweet tooth. If the berries are very sweet, decrease the sugar to suit your taste. Drop the dough easily by using a lightly greased 1/3-cup dry measure.
Recipe: Old-fashioned Meatloaf
This classic comfort meatloaf recipe is as close as we could get to how your momma used to make. In fact, it might be your momma's recipe. This Southern meatloaf recipe features Creole and Greek seasonings and a hint of garlic. A few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce spice up the traditional ketchup topping. One reviewer raves, "This meatloaf has an excellent flavor; best meatloaf I have ever had! I served carrots and broccoli as a side along with mashed potatoes. My daughter, very picky eater, loved it. I did add a little bit of brown sugar to the sauce on top to reduce the tartness of the tomato sauce."
Recipe: Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
Although there are plenty of pecan pie recipes out there, we can vouch for this one – and so can mom. Any way you serve it – warm, cold, with ice cream, or with a dollop of whipped cream – pecan pie is always a favorite, and this recipe proves it's best made in a cast iron skillet.
Recipe: Skillet Cornbread
The ultimate side dish for any hearty Southern meal, cornbread is great slathered in butter or used for sopping up stews. This classic yet easy comfort food recipe comes together with savory irresistible bacon drippings, creamy buttermilk, white cornmeal, and a dash of salt. Like all great Southern breads, it comes from the oven in a steaming cast-iron skillet. Adapted from Hoppin John’s Lowcountry Cooking by John Martin Taylor, our go-to comfort corn bread recipe is timeless and well loved by our readers for its moist texture and just-sweet-enough taste. For a flavorful variation, try one of our creative cornbread variations.
Recipe: Mom’s Signature Roast Beef
You can almost hear the dinner bell calling for you in this comforting meat-and-potatoes meal. With chopped onions, plenty of garlic, tender carrots, hearty potatoes, and, of course, slow-roasted beef that falls apart when your fork hits it, this recipe for classic beef roast shows you just how mom used to make it so darn good. Marinate the beef in a bottled dark beer seasoned with savory spices for at least 8 hours before searing it in your large, heavy-duty roasting pan. You'll need to slow cook it for at least four hours to get that tender, home cooked texture. You can also replace the beer with Cola for a classic Cola Pot Roast.
Recipe: Classic Lasagna
A classic, beefy lasagna recipe perfectly matches these traditional, zesty Italian ingredients and creamy homemade ricotta sauce. Tall layers of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, ground beef, and pasta will seriously satisfy your casserole cravings. Seasoned with Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder, this lasagna is anything but bland. Plus, any leftovers for lunch the following day are always welcome.
Recipe: Ultimate Carrot Cake
Now, there are two types of people in this world. People who like Carrot Cake, and people who don't. And after trying this classic, rich, and moist Carrot Cake recipe, we think there will be only one type of person in this world. Truly our best-ever Carrot cake recipe, make this classic favorite for a crowd and you might not have any leftovers to bring home. Made with grated carrots, pieces of Granny Smith apple, and sweetened coconut, the resulting cake layers are moist, sweet, and soft. It's important to cool the cakes completely before frosting, otherwise the frosting will just melt right off. To expedite the cooling process, you can put the cakes on their wire racks in the freezer (don't worry, it's not cheating), checking until they're thoroughly cool.
Recipe: Fried Pork Chops with Cream Gravy
Any dish with gravy is bound to be delicious and comforting, and these pork chops are certainly no exception. Crispy fried in a coating of flour, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, pepper, and buttermilk, these fried pork chops are ready in minutes for a quick, flavorful meal that even the pickiest of eaters will love. With a gravy that comes together from the flavor-packed pan drippings, this classic Southern dinner is well worth working into your weekly menu. To make this dish like a Southern grandmother, cook it in a cast iron skillet. For variation, feel free to substitute the pork chops for chicken breasts or cube steak. Serve with a light green vegetable, like crispy green beans.
Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole
You simply cannot go wrong with this eggs, cheese, and grits combination. It's unassuming but absolutely delicious, and a true Southern favorite. It comes together with ingredients that all Southerners have on hand – milk, butter, grits, eggs, and cheese. This creamy grits casserole can be served as is for a casual morning breakfast or as a main dish. Add a sprinkle of crumbled breakfast sausage or diced baked ham for added bulk. Don't limit this crowd-pleaser to breakfast or brunch. Serve it on the side of a main meat, such as shrimp or brisket for a classic, rich, and comforting Southern supper.
Recipe: Praline-Pecan French Toast
Dress up your ordinary French toast breakfast recipe with a sweet praline mixture and a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. Find freshly baked French bread at your local grocer, and you’ve got the basis for a decadent breakfast worthy of Saturday-morning company. The twist: A short-order breakfast special gets an easy hands-off finish in the oven. One online reviewer claims that this Praline-Pecan French Toast recipe is, “sinfully delicious.” With brown sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, chopped pecans, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, there’s not much this breakfast dish is missing – besides you, and a tall glass of ice-cold milk!
Recipe: Summer Squash Casserole
Summer squash casserole is the most versatile Southern side dish. It pairs well with everything from fried chicken at a summertime Sunday lunch to roast turkey at Thanksgiving.
Recipe: Classic Chess Pie
You can't get more basic than classic Southern chess pie. This old-fashioned pie typically has two distinctive ingredients, cornmeal and vinegar, plus other on-hand ingredients such as sugar, flour, eggs, milk and vanilla. This version is made easy with the use of refrigerated piecrusts. Ever wonder where the name "Chess Pie" came from? The topic is subject to much folklore. One theory is that the original Chess Pie contained cheese, but over the years, cheese disappeared from the recipe. The word "chess," remained as the name. But our favorite explanation is straight from a storybook: a cook was asked what she was baking that smelled so great. "Jes' pie" was her answer.
Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
In our list of favorite Southern comfort foods, Chocolate Chip Cookies are always in our top ten classic dessert dishes. For lovers of tried-and-true classics, whip up a catch of these all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies. They're the best of the best – our test kitchen has proven it. Although there are a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, this one stands above the rest in texture, flavor, and sweetness.
Recipe: Classic Fried Catfish
Fried fish are a Southern staple, and the same applies to fried catfish. Spices like ground red pepper, garlic powder, and salt bring out the naturally salty flavors from the catfish in a deliciously spicy batter. A mixture of yellow cornmeal and flour provide the ultimate crispy crust on your fried catfish filets.
Recipe: Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese
Simple, Southern, and oh-so satisfying, hot tomato soup is the perfect diner time comfort food on a cold winters' day (especially when paired with a crispy, gooey grilled cheese). This easy-to-fix tomato soup starts with plum tomatoes. The addition of savory chicken broth, onion, thyme, balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground black pepper brings the taste to life. You can upgrade with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, crunchy seasoned croutons, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe: Jambalaya
Jambalaya – the dish of countless cookouts, tailgates, and supper clubs across the entire state of Louisiana. Often prepared by a mens' club in a large iron pot, Jambalaya has many variations across its home state. From dry and spicy to creamy and stuffed with sausage, Jambalaya is only as versatile as it is beloved. In our classic version, we have loaded the Cajun dish with andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp for big, bold flavor. A true Cajun chef will tell you that what makes a good Cajun dish is good meat, so don't skimp when it comes to choosing your protein.
Recipe: Home-Style Butterbeans
A true Southerner can tell the difference between butterbeans and lima beans, although this recipe would technically work with both. Lima beans are small and green, and butter beans are large and yellow. Both absorb flavor in the most miraculous way, and work great as both side and main dishes. These Southern comfort style butterbeans are flavored with bacon, brown sugar, and onion, and come together in a flash thanks to frozen butterbeans. For being a Southern comfort recipe, the beans bring a few healthy benefits along with their ample amount of bacon. Cook up this classic Southern comfort dish for a healthy dose of fiber and Vitamin B.
Recipe: Sausage-Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Combine crispy hash brown potatoes with savory sausage, fresh eggs, and creamy Cheddar cheese for a hearty, 5-star-rated breakfast or brunch casserole that can be prepped ahead and baked the next morning. Flavors of classic Southern comfort come together in a casserole that will please even the pickiest of eaters – who can turn down pork sausage stuffed into a cheesy, egg-filled dish? Sauté one large onion and one bell pepper in the pork drippings for extra flavor and color. Tip from the recipe developer: To make mini frittatas, cook in 6-inch cast-iron skillets for 30 minutes at 375. Top with sliced avocados, pico de gallo, and a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with green onions.
Recipe: Praline Pull-Apart Bread
In the South and everywhere else, carbs are the ultimate comfort food. What better way to improve upon the deliciousness of pull-apart bread than coat the gooey, delicious carb cake with indulgent, sugary pecan praline sauce? This is one Southern comfort food you have to try for yourself – trust us, it tastes as good as it looks. Don't skip the quick step of whipping the cream before stirring in the brown sugar—that's the secret to the smooth texture of the caramel-flavored sauce. With sugar, cinnamon, frozen bread, butter, pecans, whipping cream, and brown sugar, this recipe tastes as decadent as the recipe list reads. One reviewer raves that this praline pull-apart bread (one of our best-ever dessert breads, for sure) is "like cinnamon rolls in a cake form."
Watch: Our Best Praline Pull-Apart Bread
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken Casserole
This classic, tried-and-true Southern Living original chicken casserole is everything that a comforting Southern classic should be. Spiked with tomatoes and green chiles, creamy layers of chopped cooked chicken and corn tortillas make this Texas casserole too tempting to resist. It's super-easy to fix for a crowd, and always a hit. Many Southerners grew up eating this decadent casserole; in modern times, it's the perfect Southern comfort dish when you're craving something extra rich and cheesy. One reviewer raves, "Absolutely love it! Easy ingredients, easy to prepapre and delicious. This recipe needs to be in everyone's book at home. Great for dinner anytime of the week or to take to potluck. Enjoy!"
Recipe: Fresh Peach Ice Cream
What's better than fresh Georgia or South Carolinian peaches in the summertime? How about taking those sweet, juicy peaches, combining them with a few classic and rich Southern ingredients, and whipping up an even sweeter peach ice cream? Take advantage of fresh peaches and make this five-star homemade peach ice-cream to cool off on a hot Southern summer day. With fresh peaches, sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, whole milk, and egg yolks, you won't find a creamier dessert anywhere else. And don't let the thought of homemade ice-cream intimidate you – all you need is a food processor and a large bowl, and you'll make this easy and classic Southern comfort dish in merely hours.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Pot Roast
This hearty Southern comfort pot roast is perfect for a busy weeknight. A slow cooker makes preparing this tender dish easy – simply throw the ingredients into the slow cooker, and let the appliance do the work. Flavored with beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, and thyme, this roast is great alone or served on hot, crispy French bread. In fact, as far as leftovers go, we highly encourage slathering some mayo on to a slice of airy French bread and eating this classic Southern meat cold.
Recipe: Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy
This ground beef recipe helps you make the most of your busy weeknights. You can make the patties ahead, then simply thaw them in the fridge overnight before using. You'll love how the gravy keeps these moist and tender, while the onion adds just the right hint of sweetness and the garlic adds that little bit of spice. Mushrooms make this burger even richer, and sop up that gravy to make your burger even better. We love ground round for this burger. So get your skillet ready to brown this burger and cover it in sweet onion-mushroom gravy. You'll love how good this burger tastes.
Recipe: Extra-Easy Lasagna
When we say easy lasagna, we mean easy lasagna. You don't even have to cook the noodles for this speedy yet impressive pasta dinner that always gets rave reviews. Homemade lasagna is a family favorite Southern comfort food, but this easy version is extra-special because it only requires 5 ingredients: savory ground beef, store-bought pasta sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella (we don't count the water!). It's rated 5 stars for a reason. Pro tip: Make a double batch: Enjoy one now and freeze the other one for a quick meal on a busy weeknight.
Recipe: Braised Cola-and-Bourbon Brisket
For brisket that's tender, juicy, and full of flavor, try making this oven baked brisket a few days ahead. This classic recipe flavors the meat with cola and bourbon for a taste that's certainly Southern. Trimmed and cubed, the brisket becomes a comforting, flavorful base that goes with almost every side. Shred it to serve on sandwiches, or serve on a pretty platter beside vegetable for a party-ready recipe that's as delightful to look at as it is to devour.
Recipe: Spinach Ravioli Lasagna
This top-rated and reviewed spinach-ravioli lasagna uses convenience items, like store-bought pesto sauce, jarred Alfredo sauce, and frozen cheese-filled ravioli, to deliver a delicious main dish with little time and effort on your part. Made with fresh baby spinach, high-quality pesto sauce, a jar of creamy Alfredo sauce, frozen cheese-filled ravioli, and Italian six-cheese blend, it is really hard to mess up, and will please even the pickiest eaters. Who doesn't like cheese, blended with creamy Alfredo sauce? One reviewer raved, "make this every so often and it's one of my favorites. My 5 year old son will eat it, and I get some spinach in him this way!"
Recipe: Hashbrown Casserole
In the South, we love hash browns and we love casseroles, so it comes as no surprise that this potato bake breakfast is loved by all. With iced hash browns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, melted butter, and cornflakes, this decadent casserole is rich, filling, and worthy of weekend brunch – or just a quick breakfast! Since it uses frozen hashbrowns and canned soup, it comes together quicker than you'd expect with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
When chocolate and peanut butter combine, faith in the world is restored, and we get one step closer to peace on Earth. Starting with a boxed devil's food cake mix makes this classic and decadent Southern comfort dessert just as easy as it is delicious. Kids and adults alike will love the creamy peanut butter mousse between layers of moist chocolate cake. Made from melted peanut butter morsels and given authentic crunch from chopped roasted peanuts, this will please a crowd. And this chocolate cake recipe is great because you can make either a cake or 8 parfaits. The peanut butter mousse filling in the cake really makes it rich and unique. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts and serve with a scoop of ice cream.
Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice
While some people swear by soaking the beans overnight, a slow-cooker makes the process easier by reducing the hands-on time – so you can start preparing this meal the day that you plan to eat it. Andouille sausage and red beans come together in this classic, easy slow-cooker recipe. Serve over long-grain rice for an amazing meal.
Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
Kentucky Hot Browns were made famous in Louisville's Brown Hotel in the 1920s, when Chef Fred Schmidt would whip up famous late-night suppers for band-hopping folks out on the town. Based off the classic knife-and-fork sandwich, which is made from hearty toast topped with sliced turkey smothered in homemade Mornay Sauce, this tasty casserole is cremy, crunchy, and comforting. If you've never had Mornay Sauce before, you've got to get this rich, buttery sauce made from flour, milk, and Parmesan cheese in your life, as soon as possible. You'll spoon it over this casserole twist in the classic Kentucky Hot Brown for a satisfying finishing touch.
Recipe: Banana Pudding
There's nothing worse than a banana pudding that tastes artificial or overly sweet. Luckily, this is not that type of banana pudding recipe. This top-rated Banana Pudding recipe always inspires us to whip up a batch over the weekend. One reviewer raves, "This recipe is perfect! You need to try this recipe if you're making banana pudding. It tastes authentic, just like a good 'ole Southern meat-and-three restaurant would have, and it's fairly easy to make. It's my go-to, and I'm never using any other banana pudding recipe again." Made from low fat milk and fat-free sweetened condensed milk, this recipe is relatively healthy. Because the bananas bring light sweetness, you won't miss the extra fat in this classic Southern dessert. Served in individual bowls, this banana pudding recipe makes a great party display. We love serving it with extra vanilla wafers.
See more Sweet & Creamy Banana Pudding Recipes
Recipe: Black Bean Chili with Steak
Ready in under an hour, this quick, black bean chili proves that a bean chili doesn't have to be meatless. The recipe makes 12 servings, so it's great to make when you have company, or if you make it for a weeknight supper you'll have plenty of leftovers to eat for lunch. Top with a dollop of sour cream, corn chips, and chopped fresh cilantro just before serving.
Recipe: Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
This dessert’s appeal speaks for itself – who would turn down a dessert with the word “Creole,” and who would turn down something that includes pudding?” Moreover, it would win our heart with the bourbon sauce. And readers seem to agree. As one reviewer raves, “This is, without a doubt, the most delicious bread pudding ever! It is worthy of a formal dinner, family supper, or special event. You will not regret taking the time and making the effort. And you will make numerous new friends.” Still unconvinced? Look at the ingredients – evaporated milk, eggs, French bread, crushed pineapples, Red Delicious apples, both white and brown sugar, sweet raisings, butter, bourbon, and vanilla. And yes, it does call for vanilla – 5 tablespoons to be exact. This classic New Orleans bread pudding comes from the famed New Orleans Chef Leah Chase, a Queen of Creole Cuisine. And after tasting this bread pudding, you’ll know she’s worthy of the title.
Recipe: Roast Spatchcock Chicken
While we're some of the biggest fans of convenient deli-roasted chickens you'll find, roasting your own whole bird is a feat that every seasoned Southern chef should set out to accomplish. You can better control the spices, oils, and ultimately, the flavor, of your chicken when you roast the whole thing in your own kitchen. Show your culinary skill with this recipe for savory Roast Spatchcock Chicken. The taste speaks for itself.
Recipe: Basic Deviled Eggs
We dare you to find a Southern gathering where there isn't a pretty plate of deviled eggs on display, and this recipe is our go-to.
Recipe: Classic Tuna Melt
This diner favorite is a surefire way to have the most comforting lunch of your week.
Recipe: Heavenly Key Lime Pie
For some Southerners, comforting desserts are chocolate or coconut, but for many, it's all about the Key limes.
Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes With Ham
It wouldn't be a Southern holiday without a dish of scalloped potatoes on the table, and for a weeknight-friendly version, we added ham for extra protein.
Recipe: Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
Sausage gravy and biscuits is one of the South's signature dishes, and every Southern cook should learn how to make it from scratch.
Recipe: Banana Bread
Classic banana bread is one breakfast go-to that every Southerner should have a recipe for.
Recipe: Southern-Style Potato Salad
There probably aren't many potlucks in the South that don't include a bowl of potato salad in the side dish lineup.
Recipe: Alabama Hush Puppies
These poppable bites of pure Southern goodness are a delicious accompaniment to just about any comfort food meal.
Recipe: Classic Patty Melt
Bring the diner to your dinner table with this dinner that will delight kids and adults alike.
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Sloppy Joes
Budget-friendly, super-quick, and totally satisfying, Sloppy Joes are a Southern favorite for busy families.
Recipe: 7UP Bundt Cake
Baked goods made with soft drinks are a tradition that dates back decades, and this lemon-lime confection is one of the most popular recipes.
Recipe: Classic Southern BLT
The BLT is one of the simplest yet delicious creations, and it will always be on our list of favorite comfort foods.
Recipe: Mama’s Fried Chicken
Remember what it’s like to eat “real” fried chicken, like Mama used to make? Skip the bucket of fast-food fried chicken and return to the classic, skillet-fried crispy chicken. We promise, you’ll taste a difference. Seasoned with simple salt and pepper and dredged in buttermilk and flour, you can add your own spices to the breading to make your Southern fried chicken your own fried chicken. We’ve added paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon pepper with delicious results. You can even add lard or butter to the oil, for super-special occasions. Serve with our Perfect Mashed Potatoes to complete this classic Southern meal.
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