Traditional Southern Food

If you have ever had the pleasure of eating traditional Southern food, you know that it is an unforgettable experience. The flavors, spices, aromas, and textures are unique and absolutely decadent. If you know the history of the South, you know that it is a melting pot of different cultures and peoples. As such, there is great culinary diversity to be enjoyed. Here are some of our favorite Traditional Southern food that we think that you should definitely try:


First up we have grits. This dish is made from ground white corn. In this form, it's called hominy. Basic grits are made by boiling the corn and combining it with cream, salt, and butter to taste. There are several ways to add your own twist to grits.

It is usually served for breakfast with eggs, but it can be on the menu for dinner paired with shrimp, bacon, and greens. This delicious dish became a staple in the South because corn was grown extensively in the area. Grits originated with the Native Americans and they shared the recipe with the early colonists who settled the South.

Deviled eggs

Nothing says Southern food like deviled eggs does. The recipe is simple and anyone can make it. All you do is boil your eggs, slice them and scoop out the yokes and place them in a bowl. Then you mixed the yokes with mustard, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. You can add relish to the taste. Finish it off with a sprinkle of paprika and you are all set. They are truly versatile. They can be a part of a brunch menu, a delicious lunch side, or an appetizer. Deviled eggs are awesome whenever you choose to have them. The recipe was brought to the South by the British settlers and Southerners made it their own.

Fried Chicken

This one is no surprise! This traditional Southern food combines chicken, herbs, and spices in a flour batter that is fried to golden perfection. It can be served with fries, coleslaw, sandwiches, and wraps. Or just enjoy its yummy goodness by itself! This dish started during the African slave period. There is also some Scottish immigrant influence. The world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken was started in the South.

Blackened Catfish

The reason why Blackened Catfish definitely makes the traditional Southern food list is due to the fish being easily caught in the rivers and creeks of the South. As such, they have been on the menu for as long as Southerners can remember. The fish is layered in a cornmeal batter and fried until it takes on a blackish color. Blackened Catfish is usually enjoyed with coleslaw, fried potatoes, and hushpuppies. If you are a fish lover, be sure to try it!

Sweet Potato Pie

Nothing says Southern decadence like Sweet Potato Pie! This dessert combines baked sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, butter, flour, corn syrup, vanilla extract (optional), and eggs in a piecrust. It is baked and often served with a little whipped cream on top for a little extra flare. No Thanksgiving is complete without a bit of sweet potato pie. This dessert has African roots and dates back to the days of the Southern plantations.


This quick bread is made from cornmeal, water, and salt but Southern chefs add bacon fat, eggs, and buttermilk for extra flavor. Cornbread can be sweet or savory. It all depends on your preference. Native Americans were the first to make cornbread and it soon became popular in the South.

Hoppin John

This food is usually enjoyed on New Year's Day. It combined black-eyed peas and chunks of pork in a delicious stew. It is served with rice. Eating it on New Year's Day is said to bring good luck for the coming year. This is an African tradition that was brought to the American colonies.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are prepared by boiling leafy green vegetables together with some ham for flavor. The water that the collard greens are boiled in is called pot liquor. This liquid is extremely nutritious and it is used to soak your cornbread or as a base for a soup.

These Traditional Southern foods are a part of the Southern tapestry and they have pervaded the American culinary landscape. Be sure to try these comfort foods when you are next in the South.