29 Recipes Inspired by Classic Appalachian Foods

Updated: Apr. 24, 2024

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.

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Apple Stack Cake

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
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Appalachian Cornbread

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
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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This biscuits and sausage gravy is an old southern recipe that I’ve adapted. Homemade sausage gravy is a classic, hearty breakfast that takes you on a trip to the South every time it’s served. —Sue Baker, Jonesboro, Arkansas
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Country Ham and Potatoes

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
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Chicken and Dumplings

Perfect for fall nights, my simple version of comforting chicken and dumplings is speedy, low in fat and a delicious one-dish meal. —Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls, Kansas
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Refrigerator Garden Pickles

Canning isn't necessary for these crisp-tender, tangy pickles. Keep them in the fridge and eat them up within a month. —Linda Chapman, Meriden, Iowa
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Mama's Blackberry Cobbler

Alabama has some tasty fresh berries. Several decades ago, my mama was going to pick blackberries to make a cobbler, but she went to the hospital to have me instead! This wonderful dessert is her mama’s recipe. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
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Best-Ever Fried Chicken

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
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Oven-Fried Cornbread

Nothing says good southern cooking like a crisp cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet. This old family recipe has been passed down to each generation. —Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
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Cherry-Peach Dumplings

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
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Skillet Cabbage

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. —Charmaine Fricke, St. Charles, Illinois
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Old-Fashioned Stack Cakes

My grandmother has always fixed these at Christmas and they are the first thing everyone asks about. "Where is the stack cake?" The super thin layers are what make this recipe stand out...delicious! —Stephanie Gilbert, Whitesburg, Kentucky
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Homemade Sage Sausage Patties

Oregano, garlic and sage add savory flavor to these easy ground pork patties. I've had this Pennsylvania Dutch recipe for years, and it always brings compliments. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Corn Pudding

Cornbread 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
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Spiced Pickled Beets

With sweet, tangy and spiced flavors, these pickled beets are so good that they'll win over just about everyone in your house. Jars of colorful beets make great gifts, too! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Rolled Buttermilk Biscuits

I scribbled down this recipe when our family visited The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York, many years ago. I must have gotten it right, because these biscuits turn out wonderful every time. —Patricia Kile, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
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Rustic Honey Cake

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
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Pickled Green Beans

This recipe produces zippy little pickled green beans, preserving my veggies for months to come ... if they last that long. I crank up the heat a bit with cayenne pepper. —Marisa McClellan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It's the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Glazed Smoked Chops with Pears

My husband would eat pork chops every day if he could. Luckily, they're good prepared in all sorts of ways, including with pears. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Hearty Quinoa & Corn Chowder

My grandmother lived in the Appalachian Mountains and always served straight-from-the-garden corn and beans. I updated her dish with quinoa and herbs. — Kari Napier, Louisville, Kentucky
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Skillet Potatoes with Red Pepper and Whole Garlic Cloves

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
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Grandma Pruit's Vinegar Pie

This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always served at our get-togethers.—Suzette Pruit, Houston, Texas
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Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

This is a meal I have my students make in our nutrition unit. It has a delicious lemon-herb flavor and is simple to make. —Mindy Rottmund, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Cheese Grits

As a comfy side dish, cheese grits have fantastic potential but sometimes need a flavor boost. For add-ins, try red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary or crushed garlic. —Paula Hughes, Birmingham, Alabama
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Buttermilk Pecan Pie

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
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Pork Chops with Gravy

This is an impressive and elegant dish that can be served to guests. You can use any fresh herbs you like, even the ones you have one hand.—Betty Slivon, Sun City, Arizona
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Apple Cider Chicken 'n' Dumplings

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
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One-Skillet Pork Chop Supper

My husband, Clark, and I reserve this recipe for Sundays after the grandkids have gone home and we're too tired to prepare a big meal. It's comforting and quick. —Kathy Thompson, Port Orange, Florida