5 Southern Food Recipes You Need to Try

From Brunswick stew to collards to peach cobbler and more, here are five Southern food recipes you need to try right now.

baby back ribs
Fall-Off-the-Bone Baby Back Ribs

There are different types of Southern food.

Southern food can vary by region, and each one has its own flavor, literally and figuratively speaking. From the low country to the Deep South and beyond, Southern food represents a beautiful tapestry of people, places, and foods recognized as “belonging” to each. When the term “Southern food” is used, many people think it is the same as soul food; however, there is a difference.

best fresh peach cobbler
Southern Buttermilk Peach Cobbler

What is Soul Food?

Soul food is the type of food traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans. This term began in the 1960s when people began to use the term “soul food” to describe the recipes that Black Americans had been cooking for generations. Soul food classics are “down-home” dishes made with minimal ingredients. Below are a few of the most popular dishes in the “soul food” category:  

  • Beans/peas: black-eyed peas, field peas, pinto beans, lima beans
  • Greens: collard greens, turnip greens, kale greens, and mustard greens. These are usually seasoned with fatback or ham hock.
  • Fried chicken.
  • Fried catfish.
  • Macaroni & cheese.
  • Cornbread.
  • Sweet potato pie.
best cornbread
Southern buttermilk cornbread

What is Southern food?

Southern food is a cuisine that has its roots and popularity in the South. A typical Southern meal includes any of the above dishes in the “soul food” category in addition to some other items. Below are a few of the most popular “Southern foods.”

  • Fried okra & fried green tomatoes.
  • Chicken-fried steak.
  • Brunswick stew
  • Buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy
  • Deviled eggs
  • Sweet potato casserole.
  • Peach cobbler.
  • Chess pie.
Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

What is Southern BBQ?

Southern BBQ is not only about the food;  it encompasses regional subcultures. White BBQ sauce is native to Alabama. Memphis is known for its red, sweet hickory flavored sauce. Yellow mustard BBQ sauce originated in the Carolinas. Some of the most popular Southern BBQ meats are as follows:

  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Boston Butt for pulled pork.
  • Barbecue chicken with white sauce.
  • Beef brisket.
Boston Butt pulled pork
Boston Butt Pulled BBQ Pork

What is New Orleans Style Food?

New Orleans, Louisiana, or NOLA, has a style of Southern food all its own. The combination of celery, bell peppers, and onions (aka “The Trinity”) is the backbone of Cajun cooking. Key foods in Cajun Southern-style cooking are shrimp, crab, oysters, okra, and andouille sausage, almost all accompanied by a bed of rice. Some New Orleans Southern-style recipes include the following:

  • Shrimp & Grits.
  • Red Beans & Rice.
  • Crawfish & shrimp boil.
  • Gumbo
  • Jambalaya
  • Bourbon Street Bird

If you want to hear all about Cajun food, culture, and recipes straight from a true-blooded Cajun, check out this blog post and podcast with my Cajun friend (and outstanding Cajun cook) Duane Donnor. Duane shares 3 of his favorite Cajun recipes. If you listen to the end, he even tells a Beaudreaux joke:-)

Cajun shrimp & cheddar cheese grits
Cajun Shrimp & Cheddar Cheese Grits

5 Southern Food Recipes You Need to Try

To sum it up, try any of these five recipes if you want to experience the gamut of Southern food. If you make these, you will have a great idea of how each Southern cuisine has its own unique characteristics.

  1. Southern-Style Collard Greens (Instant Pot) or Southern Style Collard Greens (Stovetop)
  2. Perfect Black Eyed Peas From Fresh or Frozen
  3. The Best Cajun Shrimp & Cheddar Cheese Grits Ever
  4. Fall-Off-the-Bone Baby Back Ribs (Oven Method)
  5. Best Buttermilk Peach Cobbler Recipe

If you try one or more of these Southern recipes, I’d love to hear your thoughts!!! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

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