82 Southern Recipes to Make This Summer

Updated: Jun. 08, 2024

Enjoy these southern recipes on the front porch all summer long. We have ideas for fried chicken, fruit cobblers, cornbread and more.

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Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My husband is a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches, so my sister shared this incredibly easy recipe with me. At potlucks and family dinners, nobody can get enough of this root beer-braised version. —Carolyn Palm, Radcliff, Kentucky

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Quick Pickled Radishes

This recipe is the perfect addition to tacos, barbecue or just about any sandwich you can dream of. Each sliced radish is just a little bit sweet, slightly crunchy and has an amazing amount of zing. You're probably going to want to have a batch in your fridge at all times! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Tangier Island Virginia Crab Cakes

I grew up eating these crab cakes, which are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. They're absolutely delicious every time I make them. —Ann Girucky, Norfolk, Virginia
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Rhubarb Cherry Pie

As a young girl, I dreamed of being able to make pies like my mother. Her rolling pin, which I inherited, is 2 feet long and 8 inches wide! In fact, this is Mom's recipe, although I substituted cherries for the strawberries in her version. I first made this pie for a church gathering 20 years ago, and everyone's looked for it at every potluck since! —Eunice Hurt, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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How to Grill Ribs

Grilling ribs soon? Learn how to grill ribs as we share our step-by-step recipe and secret to grilling the best-ever baby back ribs.
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Southern Fried BLT

I’m really not big on tomatoes—but I do like them green and fried, so I decided to try them in a sandwich. It was a smash! If you’ve gotta have cheese, add sharp cheddar to this indulgent twist on the traditional BLT. —Stacy King, Rome, Georgia
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Grandma's Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

My grandma topped this treat with homemade vanilla ice cream. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Iced Raspberry Tea

Frozen raspberries lend fruity flavor and lovely color to this pretty iced tea that's good throughout the year. The recipe calls for just a few common ingredients and offers make-ahead convenience. —Lois McGrady, Hillsville, Virginia
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Peach Praline Upside-Down Cake

This cake is filled with fresh peaches, roasted Saigon cinnamon, roasted ground ginger and toasted pecans – and that makes it different. — Jeanette Nelson, Sophia, West Virginia
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Summertime Tea

You can’t have a summer gathering around here without this sweet tea to cool you down. It’s wonderful for sipping while basking by the pool. —Angela Lively, Baxter, Tennessee
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Shrimp Po'Boys with Pineapple Slaw

This twist on the traditional po'boy sandwich adds flavor and veggies while reducing fat and calories. For a smoked flavor, grill the shrimp. For a lower-carb option, serve the po'boy open-faced on a baguette half. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Grilled Cherry-Glazed Chicken Wings

When I take these grilled wings to events, there are never any leftovers! Friends and family love them. —Ashley Gable, Atlanta, Georgia
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Slow-Cooker Peach Crumble

I look forward to going on our beach vacation every year, but I don't always relish the time spent cooking for everybody. This slow-cooker dessert (or breakfast!) gives me more time to lie in the sun and enjoy the waves. Melty ice cream is a must. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Sweet 'n' Tangy Freezer Pickles

Now you can have all the goodness of crunchy sweet-sour pickles without going to the trouble of canning them. Even though these puckery slices can be stored in the freezer, they don't last long at my house. —Jean Vance, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all the flavors of a pina colada. It takes just one bite to escape to a tropical island! —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Crawfish Etouffee

Counted among Louisiana's most famous recipes, crawfish etouffee is a fragrant, flavorful, buttery seafood dish you can make in just about one hour.
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Foil-Packet Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

This hearty, satisfying dinner has all the flavors of an authentic jambalaya with little effort. The foil packets can be prepared a day ahead and cooked right before serving. These are also good on the grill! —Allison Stroud, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Orange Cornmeal Cake

This cake bakes up tender and light with a subtle orange taste. It tastes rich but is comparatively low in saturated fat. Serve the cake as is, or dress it up with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries. It is wonderful warm, but the flavor improves as it sits, so make it a day or two before you plan to serve it. Store the cake at room temperature. —Leigh Rys, Herndon, Virginia
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Peach-Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

My son and I collaborated in the kitchen one day to put our own unique twist on classic baby back ribs. We added a sweet peachy glaze and a little heat with chipotle peppers. It was a great bonding experience, and now we have a keeper recipe for fall-off-the-bone ribs. —Rebecca Suaso, Weaverville, North Carolina
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Southern Potato Salad

This easy southern potato salad recipe is an old-fashioned favorite that fits in perfectly at potlucks, luncheons, backyard cookouts and more.
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Favorite Barbecued Chicken

Is there a place better than Texas to find a fantastic barbecue sauce? That’s where this one is from—it’s my father-in-law’s own recipe. We have served it at many family reunions and think it’s the best! —Bobbie Morgan, Woodstock, Georgia
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Strawberry-Lime Bars

Our family loves fresh strawberries, so I look for different ways to use them. This tempting, yummy dessert has sweet strawberries, tart lime and salty pretzels. —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
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Corn Okra Creole

This dish is representative of my area of the country, and particularly the Texas-Louisiana border. The okra, corn and Creole seasonings are all popular here. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas
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Jumbo Jalapeno Cheddar Rolls

Add some excitement to your buffet with these colorful rolls. The cheddar cheese and jalapeno flavors are mild, but everyone loves the zesty taste. —Linda Foreman, Locust Grove, Oklahoma
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Ginger Mint Julep

Mint juleps aren't just for Kentucky Derby day! Enjoy one while gathering with friends for baby shower or luncheon. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy pineapple pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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North Carolina Shrimp Saute

Seafood is very popular in my state. I altered this recipe several times and now it's truly a family favorite. —Teresa Hildreth, Stoneville, North Carolina
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Caraway Coleslaw with Citrus Mayonnaise

The combination of caraway and orange keeps this slaw from being anything but run-of-the-mill. I always get requests to bring a big batch to potlucks; proof positive that it's a keeper! I also like to make it a day ahead so the flavors can truly blend. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken

I live in Georgia, but I appreciate the tangy, sweet and slightly spicy taste of Carolina vinegar chicken. I make my version in the slow cooker. After the tempting aroma fills the house, your family is sure to be at the dinner table on time! —Ramona Parris, Canton, Georgia
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Flaky Bumbleberry Pie

When you want to make an impression, make this pie! The recipe produces one of the flakiest crusts ever, and the combination of rhubarb and different berries in the filling is delicious. —Suzanne Alberts, Onalaska, Wisconsin
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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Treat yourself to a classic southern breakfast with our easy recipe for biscuits and sausage gravy.
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Chunky Cherry & Peach Preserves

Out of all the jams I make, this is my grandmother’s favorite. She anxiously waits for late June to come because she knows I’ll put up as many batches as I can while peaches and cherries are at their peak. —Amy Seiger, McLoud, Oklahoma
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Green Beans in Bacon Cheese Sauce

I like to take this side dish to potlucks, because it is easy to make and always popular. —Karen Lewis, Pleasant Grove, Alabama
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Skillet Banana Fritters

This delicious banana treat is sure to be a hit in your home. They are so yummy served with ice cream on the side. For an extra-special treat, add chocolate syrup. —Sharon Yonts, Scottsboro, Alabama
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Mississippi Mud Cake

This cake features a fudgy brownielike base topped with marshmallow creme and a nutty frosting. Serve big slices with glasses of cold milk or steaming mugs of coffee. —Tammi Simpson, Greensburg, Kentucky
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Sunflower Strawberry Salad

We have an annual strawberry festival in our town, so recipes with strawberries are popular here. I have served this salad at luncheons and have always received compliments. —Betty Malone, Humboldt, Tennessee
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Grandma's Blackberry Cake

A lightly seasoned spice cake lets the wonderful flavor of blackberries shine through in this delectable blackberry cake recipe. —Diana Martin, Moundsville, West Virginia
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Chicken Spareribs

These inexpensive chicken thighs get all gussied up in a zippy sparerib-style sauce that's irresistible —Janice Porterfield, Atlanta, Texas
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Bacon Shrimp Creole

This dish is a compilation of two Creole recipes that I found in my mother's New Orleans cookbooks. The bacon adds flavor and the cayenne gives it a bit of spice. —Jan Tucker, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Banana Pudding

This banana pudding layered with vanilla wafers tastes just like Grandma's: creamy, simple, comforting and filled with sweet banana flavor.
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Kentucky Lemonade

Mint and bourbon give this drink a bit of a Kentucky kick, and ginger ale makes it a fizzy party punch.—Cathy Justus, Taylor, Michigan
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Banana Split Fluff

This pretty pink mixture, rich with yummy fruit and nuts, is sure to disappear in a hurry. It’s a sweet and speedy treat that can be served as a dessert or salad. —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama
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Coconut Macaroons

These crunchy, golden and chewy coconut macaroons are ideal for their simplicity and texture, and you can have this treat on the table in 30 minutes or less.
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Saucy Barbecue Shrimp

This old, rustic Cajun dish is one of our family favorites. Don't remove the shells from the shrimp—the beauty of this dish is peeling the shrimp and dipping it in the sauce. We've doubled and even tripled this barbecue shrimp to feed crowds and it's always perfect! —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits is the kind of down-home comfort food that tastes great any time.
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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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Green Tomato BLT

I absolutely love tomatoes, any kind, any size. Being from the South, that includes fried green tomatoes. I created a special summer sandwich to show them off. —Hillian Holmgren, Del Rio, Texas
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Lisa's All-Day Sugar & Salt Pork Roast

My family loves this tender and juicy roast, so we eat it a lot. The sweet and salty crust is so delicious mixed into the pulled pork. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
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Spicy Cajun Potato Salad

A sprinkle of Cajun seasoning makes this Cajun potato salad a deliciously spicy twist on the classic. The best part? The recipe is ready in just 30 minutes!
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BLT Chicken Salad

Featuring all the fun fixings for a BLT chicken sandwich, this salad is so lovable. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Barbecue sauce in the dressing gives it unexpected flavor. Even picky eaters love my chicken salads. —Cindy Moore, Mooresville, North Carolina
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Southern Peach Upside-Down Cake

A dear friend from the South gave me the idea for this peachy cake. I add bourbon and top each slice with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. —Trista Jefferson, Batavia, Ohio
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Lisa's All-Day Sugar & Salt Pork Roast

My family loves this tender and juicy roast, so we eat it a lot. The sweet and salty crust is so delicious mixed into the pulled pork. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
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Carolina Crab Boil

This pot is a fun way to feed a crowd for a tailgate. You can serve it two ways: Drain the cooking liquid and pour out the pot on a paper-lined table so folks can dig in, or serve it as a stew in its liquid over hot rice. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Key Lime Pie

We created this refreshing mini pie with a homemade crumb crust and a pudding-like lime filling. If you can’t find Key lime juice, regular lime juice works just fine. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hush Puppies

Our recipe for hush puppies is easy enough for anyone to make. The result? Golden brown, airy, savory hush puppies perfect for anytime snacks and sides.
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Georgia Peach Ice Cream

My state is well known for growing amazing peaches. This ice cream has been a family favorite for more than 50 years! —Marguerite Ethridge, Americus, Georgia
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Tangy Barbecue Sandwiches

Since I prepare the beef for these robust sandwiches in the slow cooker, it's easy to fix a meal for a hungry bunch. The savory homemade sauce assures I come home with no leftovers. —Debbi Smith, Crossett, Arkansas
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Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia salad is a retro dessert that’s so good, it has stood the test of time. Whip up this fruity, airy, marshmallow-studded treat for summer gatherings or winter holidays.
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Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I can never get enough of this baked sweet potato fries recipe! Even though my grocery store sells them in the frozen foods section, I still love to pull them out of my garden and chop them up fresh! —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

My family is stationed in Italy with my husband, Lt. William Robert Blackman. William grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m from Texas, so the dish that spells "home" for us is a good ol' barbecue. I have my own recipe for barbecue sauce that we like to pour all over sliced brisket. Eating it reminds us of weekend barbecues with our families. —Tina Blackman, Naples, Italy
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Sweet Onion Creamed Corn

A friend from church gave me this easy and delicious recipe more than 40 years ago, and I still make it regularly. She was from the South, and whenever I cook it, I remember her fondly. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Barbecue Brisket

You don’t need a smoker to make a juicy, tender barbecue brisket. Simply set your grill up to cook with indirect heat, and close the lid to create this crowd-pleasing entree.
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Cola Cake with Strawberries & Cream

We Southerners have been eating cola cake for decades. This easy version has strawberries too. Chill it in the fridge for a dreamy summer dessert. —Peggy Walpert, Fort Worth, Texas
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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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Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken

I call this America’s best-loved oven-fried chicken. The secret is in the breading, which makes the chicken super moist and flavorful, herby and golden brown. —Elaina Morgan, Rickman, Tennessee
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Pineapple Carrot Cake

This pineapple carrot cake is sweet, tangy, fluffy and soft. It's perfect for snacking or when you want a dessert that isn't as sweet as other cakes or cookies.
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Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

A classic southern comfort food, this spread is used as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips or celery. It is also smeared between two slices of white bread for sandwiches and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. —Eileen Balmer, South Bend, Indiana.
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Corn Bread with a Kick

Nothing says southern cooking like crisp corn bread made in a cast iron skillet. I use a very old skillet that belonged to my great-aunt. It will be passed on for generations. —Geordyth Sullivan, Cutler Bay, Florida
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Fried Okra

Crispy, crunchy and absolutely delightful. It’s hard to stop eating fried okra once you pop a few of these tasty bites!
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Lemonade Iced Tea

I have always loved iced tea with lemon, and this delightful thirst quencher just takes it one step further. Lemonade gives the drink a nice color too. I dress up each glass with a slice of lemon on the rim. —Gail Buss, New Bern, North Carolina
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Mississippi Mud Pie

Mississippi mud pie is a classic, crowd-pleasing dessert. With a little help from boxed pudding mix and frozen whipped topping, it's ready in a flash without any fuss.
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Cornbread Salad

Craving a taste of summer? Whip up this classic southern cornbread salad! Layers of sweet cornbread, creamy dressing, and fresh veggies take sweet and savory to a whole new level.
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Down South Sweet Tea Cake

I think this recipe combines two of the best and most famous ingredients from the South: sweet tea and pecans! Using a cake mix simplifies prep and helps ease the holiday time crunch. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina
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Bananas Foster Sundaes

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
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Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

My mother's family owned peach orchards in Missouri. I currently live in Tennessee, a top consumer of buttermilk. This summery ice cream combines my past and present. —Kim Higginbotham, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Smooth Sweet Tea

A pinch of baking soda eliminates bitterness in this smooth and easy-to-sip tea and it has just the right amount of sugar so it's not overly sweet. —kelseylouise, Taste of Home Community Member