40 Old-Fashioned Recipes for Southern Food

From ham balls to buttermilk biscuits, these southern food recipes will surprise and delight you!

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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 first saw him at the airport last fall, I just grabbed hold of him and busted out crying. Back 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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Bourbon Meatballs

Kick-start your meatballs with a splash of bourbon and vinegar for punchy sweet-and-sour flavor. These Kentucky Derby bourbon meatballs are perfect to snack on while you watch the race. —Kimla Carsten, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Sweet Tea Concentrate

Sweet iced tea is a southern classic, and this is a fabulous recipe for tea lovers or for a party. The concentrate will make 20 servings. —Natalie Bremson, Plantation, Florida
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Ham Salad

I first made this ham salad recipe for a shower, and everyone raved about it. Now when I go to a potluck, I take it—along with copies of the recipe. —Patricia Reed, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

The recipe for these four-ingredient homemade buttermilk biscuits has been handed down for many generations. —Fran Thompson, Tarboro, North Carolina
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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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Southern Green Beans with Apricots

Green beans and apricots have become a family tradition. Enhanced with balsamic vinegar, this dish will make your taste buds pop. —Ashley Davis, Easley, South Carolina
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Plum Upside-Down Cake

Since my husband liked pineapple upside-down cake, I decided to give this recipe a try one night when we were expecting guests for dinner. Everyone pronounced this cake "Delicious!" and asked for seconds.—Bobbie Talbott, Veneta, Oregon
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Oven-Fried Green Tomato BLT

For years I have used this same idea to cook eggplant slices, and recently I decided to try it on green tomatoes. It worked! Now my family loves them in BLTs. —Jolene Martinelli, Fremont, New Hampshire
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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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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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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Orange Cream Chiffon Cake

Light and luscious, this sponge cake is bursting with orange flavor. It’s the perfect dessert to serve after a filling meal, or with afternoon tea or coffee.—Faith Sommers, Bangor, California
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Milk Cake

This is a simple recipe—and especially easy in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The result is a deliciously light, airy cake. —Suzanne Coelman, Rabun Gap, Georgia
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Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

Warm, buttery dinner rolls are absolutely irresistible. I save time and use a stand mixer to make my dough. —Jennifer Patterson, Shoshone, Idaho
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Copycat Chicken Salad

Inspired by Chick-fil-A chicken salad, this recipe is incredibly easy to make, and your family will love it. The sweet pickle relish gives it that signature taste. I like to use a thick crusty oat bread. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Kentucky Butter Cake

I found this Kentucky butter cake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
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Mini Chicken & Biscuit Sandwiches

My 11-year-old son invented these sliders at dinner one night when he set his chicken on a biscuit. The rest of us tried it his way, and now we enjoy these sandwiches all the time. —Jodie Kolsan, Palm Coast, Florida
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Creamy Sweet Corn with Okra

A bit of cream and a few crumbles of bacon lightly coat these delightful veggies the whole family will love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mint Julep

It wouldn't be Kentucky Derby Day without this mint julep recipe! But, really, this Kentucky Derby mint julep recipe is good anytime. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Apricot Ham Balls

My family requests these ham balls for our annual Christmas Eve open house.
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Raisin Pecan Pie

I remember my Grandmother Voltie and Great-Aunt Ophelia making this southern-style pie for Thanksgiving. It was always one of the many cakes and pies lined up for dessert. —Angie Price, Bradford, Tennessee
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Coconut Chiffon Cake

Toasted coconut adds visual appeal to this tall and impressive cake. With an airy texture and heavenly coconut-ginger flavor,it's a lovely end to meals throughout the year.
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Mom's Buttermilk Biscuits

These fluffy buttermilk biscuits are so tasty slathered with butter or used to mop up every last drop of gravy off your plate. I can still see Mom pulling these tender gems out of the oven. —Vera Reid, Laramie, Wyoming
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Chicken Salad Croissants

This tempting chicken salad that gets its special taste from Swiss cheese and pickle relish. It's a favorite of my brother, who insists I make it whenever he visits. —Laura Koziarski, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Fluffy Biscuits

If you're looking for a flaky basic biscuit, this recipe is the best. These golden brown rolls bake up tall, light and tender. They're good on their own, but taste even better served warm and spread with butter or jam. —Nancy Horsburgh, Everett, Ontario
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Tiny Tim's Plum Pudding

In A Christmas Carol, everyone claps for plum pudding. Our family has made this pudding our own tradition, and it really is something to clap for. —Ruthanne Karel, Hudsonville, Michigan
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Okra and Butter Bean Stew

This stew is adapted from my mom's down-home Louisiana recipe, and it turns okra-haters into okra-lovers. Guaranteed. —Kaya Mack, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Herb Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

When I couldn't find a recipe for dinner rolls, I created my own using a variety of herbs for extra flavor. —Sue Friesen, Thorold, Ontario
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Shrimp with Warm German-Style Coleslaw

We love anything that is tangy or has bacon. With fennel and tarragon, this is a super savory dish. I use the medley from Minute Rice if I don't have time to make my own. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Spicy Applesauce Cake

This picnic-perfect cake travels and slices very well. With chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins, it's a real crowd pleaser. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington
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Sweet Sausage Rolls

Refrigerated dough makes these appetizers a snap to prepare. Sausage gives them a little smoky heat, while honey and brown sugar lend a touch of sweetness. It all adds up to a finger food that's downright addicting! —Lori Cabuno, Canfield, Ohio
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Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, this fried okra recipe is crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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Southern Seafood Gumbo

I tasted a similar dish at a local restaurant and later duplicated it pretty closely. I trimmed it down a bit and no one in my family seemed to mind. —Susan Wright, Champaign, Illinois
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Cinnamon Fruit Biscuits

Because these sweet treats are so easy, I'm almost embarrassed when people ask me for the recipe. They're a snap to make with refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, sugar, cinnamon and your favorite fruit preserves. —Ione Burham, Washington, Iowa
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Moist Lazy Daisy Cake

We always called this Mama's never-fail recipe. I guess the same holds true for me since I've won contests with this lazy daisy cake. The tasty dessert always brings back fond memories of Mama. —Carrie Bartlett, Gallatin, Tennessee
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Gran's Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
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Grandmother's Corn Pudding

My grandmother always served this pudding for holidays and family reunions. Everyone loves it. Corn pudding is a popular side dish on Maryland's eastern shore. —Susan Brown Langenstein, Salisbury, Maryland

Carrie Madormo, RN
Carrie is a health writer and nurse who specializes in healthy eating and wellness through food. With a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into interesting, actionable articles. During her six years at Taste of Home, Carrie has answered hundreds of reader questions about health and nutrition, such as if pomegranate seeds are safe to eat, why pregnant women crave pickles and how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Carrie is also a former health coach and food blogger.