Comfort Food Recipes
29 Recipes Inspired by Classic Appalachian Foods
The Appalachian region of America developed its own distinct culture—and iconic foods. Enjoy these Appalachian-inspired recipes for cornbread, stack cake, pickled vegetables and more.
My mom loved to bake this sky-high apple stack cake. Layer the apple goodness two days before serving. Later, a dusting of confectioners' sugar is the only topping you'll need. —LeVa Clement, Jackson, Missouri
On this westernmost ridge of the Appalachians, we get abundant rain and sunshine, which allows our children to grow a super sweet corn crop. With staggered plantings, there is enough to eat from mid-July through August, plus plenty to freeze for the long winter. This cornbread is just one way we use some of the bounty! —Anne Wiehler, Farmington, Pennsylvania
Browned potatoes are a simple but perfect side for country ham. Not only do the potatoes pick up the flavor of the ham, but they look beautiful! Just add veggies or a salad and dinner’s done. —Helen Bridges, Washington, Virginia
Perfect for chilly winter nights, this main course is speedy, low in fat and a delicious one-dish meal. —Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls, Kansas
Alabama has some tasty fresh blackberries. Decades ago my mama was going to pick blackberries to make a cobbler, but she went to the hospital to have me instead. This is her mama's recipe. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia
You can make this fruity dessert on your stovetop, but to really impress your guests, simmer it in an electric skillet right at the dinner table. There’s no more convenient way to enjoy the fruits of the season. —Patricia Frerk, Syracuse, New York
I use this dish often when the schedule gets tight and I need a "hurry up" vegetable to cook. It adds plenty of substance to a simple meal.
Oregano, garlic and sage add savory flavor to these ground pork patties. I've had this Pennsylvania Dutch recipe for years, and it always brings compliments.
Jiffy mix and canned corn make this Southern corn pudding casserole a snap to prepare. Now this is real comfort food! —P. Lauren Fay-Neri, Syracuse, New York
I scribbled down this recipe when our family visited The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York, more than 25 years ago. I must have gotten it right, because these biscuits turn out great every time. —Patricia Kile, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
When my boys were young, they couldn’t drink milk but they could have yogurt. This was a cake they could eat. And it’s one dessert that doesn’t taste overly sweet, which is always a nice change of pace. —Linda Leuer, Hamel, Minnesota
Out of all my beef stew meat recipes, this one is my favorite. Here's a good old-fashioned easy beef stew recipe with rich beef gravy that lets the flavor of the potatoes and carrots come through. This is the perfect hearty dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
My husband would eat pork chops every day if he could. Luckily, they're good all sorts of ways, including with pears. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
You'll be surprised that a skillet potato recipe this simple has so much flavor. I love how the whole garlic cloves turn sweet after being caramelized. Yum! —Anita Osborne, Thomasburg, Ontario
This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always at all of the family get-togethers.—Suzette Pruit, Houston, Texas
As a comfy side dish, cheese grits have great potential but sometimes need a flavor boost. For add-ins, try red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary or crushed garlic. —Paula Hughes, Birmingham, Alabama
This is the treasured "Golden Oldie" that my grandmother made so often whenever we'd come to visit. Grandma grew her own pecans, and we never tired of cracking them and picking out the meat when we knew we'd be treated to her special pie! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
I came up with this recipe one fall when I had an abundance of apple cider. Adding some to a down-home classic was a delectable decision. —Margaret Sumner-Wichmann, Questa, New Mexico