49 Southern Comfort Foods for Winter

Updated: Nov. 03, 2023

Fierce winter weather makes comfort food a necessity, and nobody does it better than Southern home cooks!

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Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

The recipe for these four-ingredient biscuits has been handed down for many generations. —Fran Thompson, Tarboro, North Carolina

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Southern Hoppin' John

This is a quick and easy side dish that will become a favorite of your family.—Anne Creech, Kinston, North Carolina
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Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches

Rich and creamy pimiento cheese is a southern favorite. It makes this grilled pimiento cheese sandwich shine, especially when sweet hot pepper jelly is added. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida
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Classic Red Beans N Rice

After living where Cajun cooking is common, we rely on this staple dish. Even If you’ve never tried red beans and rice, you’ll like this recipe! —Jackie Turnage, New Iberia, Louisiana
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Bacon Corn Pancakes

Pancakes are always tops in my book. But stir in bacon and corn, and they become the best breakfast-for-dinner option. I always cook gluten-free, but you can easily use regular all-purpose flour to make these corn fritters. —Anne-Marie Nichols, Watkinsville, Georgia
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Pecan Pie Cobbler

I couldn't find a recipe, so I took it upon myself to devise this amazing dessert that combines the ease of a cobbler and the rich flavor of pecan pie. It tastes even better with ice cream or whipped topping. —Willa Kelley, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Best Sausage Gravy

This gravy is a specialty among the country folds in our area. It’s the best sausage gravy recipe, especially when served over fresh hot, biscuits. It makes a real “stick to the ribs” dish that we always enjoy and carries a traditional flavor that can showcase locally produced sausage. —Mrs. J. N. Stine, Roanoke, Virginia
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Red Velvet Pound Cake

This delicious red velvet pound cake is the perfect combination of flavors. Make sure the cake has cooled before icing it; for extra crunch sprinkle some roasted pecans on top. —Robin Smith, Old Fort, North Carolina
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Southern Black-Eyed Peas

I find pork the secret to a good black-eyed pea recipe. A double dose of ham for flavor and slow and gentle cooking creates this perfect side dish. —Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
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Pumpkin Pecan Custard

My family loves pumpkin pie flavor, but this is a delicious, creamy, healthier alternative—and we don’t miss the crust at all. It firms up as it cools. —Abby Booth, Coweta, Oklahoma
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Southern Pineapple Casserole

When I make pineapple casserole, I double the amount —because guests frequently request a second helping for dessert! Sweet-tangy fruit is even better combined with savory cheddar cheese and buttery cracker crumb topping. —Catherine Ann Goza, Leland, North Carolina
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Bog

Chicken bog is a South Carolina tradition with lots of variations (think herbs, spices and fresh veggies), but the standard ingredients remain: sausage, chicken and rice. This slow-cooked rendition is a simple take on the classic. — Anna Hanson, Spanish Fork, Utah
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Sugar-Glazed Ham

This old-fashioned ham glaze gives a pretty golden brown coating—just like Grandma used to make. The mustard and vinegar complement the brown sugar which adds a tangy flavor to this glazed ham recipe. Be prepared to serve seconds! —Carol Strong Battle, Heathville, Virginia
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Bourbon Pecan Pie

When I first made the original recipe for this bourbon-splashed pie, I added some vanilla extract and eliminated the flour. We loved the result. —Paul Falduto, Efland, North Carolina
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Chili con Carne

At chili suppers, this chili con carne recipe always disappears first! It's nice at home, too, since the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better the taste seems to get. —Janie Turner, Tuttle, Oklahoma
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Butter Pecan Cake

My husband has a sweet tooth and I enjoy making great desserts like this cake for him! We have two farms – both of which are wonderful – but I also love being in the kitchen. I collect cookbooks and have written one myself.
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Grandma's Southern Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best southern collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida
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Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I love the excellent texture of this easy cinnamon coffee cake recipe. Always a crowd-pleaser, its pleasing vanilla flavor enriched by sour cream may remind you of breakfast at Grandma’s! Make it the night before a holiday to save time in the morning. —Eleanor Harris, Cape Coral, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Country Captain Chicken

Legend has it that the recipe for country captain chicken was brought to Georgia in the early 1800s by a British sea captain. Although it's traditional to serve this over rice, it's also delicious with noodles or mashed potatoes. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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Venison Stew

I had no choice but to learn to cook many years ago while my wife recuperated from surgery. But I found I really enjoyed trying different recipes and adapting them to my own taste—that’s how my now-famous venison stew recipe came to be! —Gene Pitts, Wilsonville, Alabama
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Southern Peanut Butter Mayo Sandwich

Yep, Southerners love the combo of peanut butter and mayo. The mayonnaise flavor disappears into the peanut butter, just making it creamier and more delicious. I add cheddar to mine because, hey, I'm from Wisconsin. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits

There’s nothing like juicy meat served over creamy grits. And the pumpkin in these grits makes them taste like a spicy, comforting bowl of fall flavors. Your family will come running to the table for this one. —Erin Renouf Mylroie, Santa Clara, Utah
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Bourbon-Soaked Bacon and Ginger Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The bourbon-soaked bacon adds a smoky, savory, bold taste to normal cinnamon rolls. The ginger and pecan topping makes for a crunchy, spicy finish. —Shannen Casey, Berkeley, California
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Southern Shrimp and Grits

A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this shrimp and grits recipe tastes fantastic for brunch or dinner, or anytime company’s coming. This recipe is perfect for winter dinners as it’s down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Turkey Pinto Bean Salad with Southern Molasses Dressing

This salad is a welcome alternative to the usual post-Thanksgiving fare. It's a tasty main dish loaded with good-for-you protein. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Air-Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken

I live in Tennessee and absolutely love our state’s famous Nashville hot chicken. To make cooking it easier, I thought I’d try air-frying. I’m so glad I did—this Nashville hot chicken recipe is almost better than the original. —April Lane, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Air-Fryer Southern-Style Chicken

I call this America’s best-loved air-fryer chicken recipe. The secret is in the herby, golden brown breading that makes the chicken super moist and flavorful. —Elaina Morgan, Rickman, Tennessee
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Southern Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington
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Chicken Biscuit Potpie

This hearty meal in one takes just 10 minutes to assemble before you can pop it into the oven. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas
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Aunt Ione's Icebox Cookies

Whenever we went to visit my Aunt Ione in south Georgia, her icebox cookies were our favorite treat. My mother later make these cookies, and I remember begging for a slice of the raw dough—I thought the unbaked cookies tasted just as great as the baked! —Jenny Hill, Meridianville, Alabama
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Bourbon Chocolate Pumpkin Latte

I created this by adapting two of my favorite recipes. It’s the perfect beverage to warm you up at a special occasion or a weekend breakfast. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Cornbread Dressing

There’s nothing quite like cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving. —Drew Weeks, Edisto Island, South Carolina
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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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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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Apple Spice Cake

I am a healthy eater most of the time, but this apple spice cake is worth the splurge! Every year I treasure the opportunity to make my own birthday cake, and I choose this. You can add a cup of raisins to the batter before baking if you'd like. —Jennifer Owen, Louisville, Kentucky
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Pumpkin Sausage Soup

This dish is well suited to my lower-carb way of eating. It’s definitely soul food, and I love that it’s very simple to prepare. —Paula Diaz, Billings, Montana
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Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans

This recipe is a hit with guests and family. It’s sweet, simple and delicious, and someone always asks for the recipe. —Elliot Wesen, Arlington, Texas
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Pulled Pork Taters

This recipe is as hearty as it gets—part barbecued pork, part potatoes, but completely delicious. My family can't get enough of this comforting, warm-you-up baked potato dish. —Shannon Harris, Tyler, Texas
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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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Hush Puppies

A fish dinner isn’t complete without a side of hush puppies, and my mom is well-known for this recipe. It's the best! —Mary McGuire, Graham, NC
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Banana Bread Pudding

When I visited my grandmother in summer, I always looked forward to the comforting banana bread pudding she'd make. With its crusty golden top, custard-like inside and smooth vanilla sauce, this pudding is a real homespun dessert. Now I make it for my grandchildren. —Mary Detweiler, Middlefield, Ohio
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Honey-Bourbon Hot Chocolate

My husband and I like to enjoy this grown-up version of hot chocolate on a cold winter evening. It’s even better made with honey-flavored bourbon if you can find that in your local store. —Andrea Harvath, Duncannon, Pennsylvania. Don’t forget to check out these recipes you can cook on a cold day.
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Chicken-Fried Steak

As a child, I learned from my grandmother how to make these chicken-fried steaks. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are older, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Chicken and Rice Dinner

My family lines up seconds of this hearty main dish from my mother-in-law, Mary Lou Baumert—a great cook! In this easy tasty recipe, the chicken bakes to a beautiful golden brown.—Denise Baumert, Dalhart, Texas
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Polly's Perfect Potato Soup

My stepmom, Polly, would often place bowls of this creamy potato soup in front of us, along with salad, homemade bread and orange slices for dessert. Always perfectly seasoned, this recipe never disappointed.—Teresa Ambord, Anderson, California
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Apple Dumpling Bake

I received this recipe for baked apple dumplings with Mountain Dew from a friend of mine, then tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. The soda is definitely the secret ingredient in this rich apple dessert. —Chris Shields, Monrovia, Indiana
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Potluck Bacon Mac & Cheese

This wholesome mac & cheese is slow-cooker easy. Make it during the week or take it to your next potluck!—Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Cornmeal Oven-Fried Chicken

This cornmeal fried chicken dish perks up the dinner table. Its flavorful cornmeal/bread-crumb coating is a good variation form the usual. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona