soul food southern food chicken collards

There are many popular Southern dishes that can make for an inspired menu! From fried chicken to country-fried steak, try out some classic recipes and spice up your family dinner tonight!

Cooking can be fun, but sometimes it can be hard to get away from the grill in the summer months! But summer kicks off with June as National Soul Food Month, which means it’s the perfect time to prep some Southern dishes. Whether you want to get into gumbo or try out fried chicken, learn more about this popular food tradition.

What is Southern Food?

Southern food is often synonymous with “comfort food”.  While there are nutritious alternatives to many favorite dishes, when you’re eating dishes like ham biscuits, chicken and dumplin’s, and country fried steak, calorie counting isn’t your top priority! You’re often enjoying a decadent meal, often followed by an equally rich dessert. Think Cracker Barrel.

Soul food” makes up a great portion of Southern food, but not all Southern recipes would be considered soul food. So what makes soul food special?

Soul food has strong Tex-Mex and Cajun influences, and much of it originated in West Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas. That gives you an idea of the flavors and spices these Southern dishes have. The term “soul food” became prominent in the 1960s and was associated with African American culture. While soul was associated with gospel music, the word came to define a variety of things related to the culture.

Chicken and waffles are a popular Southern dish.

When you think of Southern dishes, what comes to mind?

There are a variety of foods that come to mind when one thinks of Southern recipes for Sunday dinner. However, the most prominent among them and the centerpiece of many a meal is everybody’s favorite: fried chicken! What else do you eat with those for a classic Southern meal? Black-eyed-peas and candied yams are popular, as are macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes, fried green tomatoes, and buttermilk biscuits. While fried fish and chicken-fried steak serve as mains, banana puddingpound cake or sweet potato pie make delicious desserts. You may want to share your favorite food finds and Southern dishes on a family app!

What are some good Southern dishes and recipes for dinner?

Whether you’re indulging in potlikker soup or springing for slow cooker pork, there are few foods as comforting as Southern-style! But the following are the best of the best when it comes to indulging right.

  • Fried Chicken– It might seem like a complicated classic, but there’s not much to one of everyone’s favorite Southern dishes. Simply soak the chicken in buttermilk for two hours and coat with flour and spices for delectable, crispy chicken. And, you can even consider baked chicken if you’re looking for a healthier option instead! My family loves “crispy chicken” where you dip the chicken in Rice Krispies and bake, so you get the crunch of fried chicken without having to fry it.
  • Pimento Cheese– For the perfect party trick, mix together cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos for a spicy dip for vegetables and crackers. Share your recipe findings on FamilyApp!
  • Collard Greens– Few foods outside of fried chicken have the popular appeal that collard greens do. Luckily, this is among the easy Southern recipes for dinner you can whip up quickly! Simply pan fry bacon, onions and add greens and apple cider vinegar for the perfect side dish.
    slow cooker pork
    Print Recipe
    5 from 4 votes

    Slow-Cooker Pork

    Delicious southern-style slow-cooker pork your whole family will love!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time6 hrs
    Total Time6 hrs 10 mins
    Course: dinner, Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: comfort food, dinner, easy dinner, pork
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 331kcal
    Cost: $15

    Equipment

    • slow-cooker

    Ingredients

    • 1 3-4lb pork roast
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 2 tsp minced garlic
    • 2 tsp cornstarch

    Instructions

    • Place roast in slow cooker Combine remaining ingredients (except cornstarch) in a 2-cup measuring cup. Whisk together and pour over roast.
    • Cook on low 10-12 hours for that fall-apart, insanely tender type of meat. (Or on high 6-8 hours.)

    Pork Roast Gravy

    • Prior to serving, ladle out about 1/4 cup of the juice in the crock pot and strain into a measuring cup.
    • Whisk in 2 tsp cornstarch. Add in enough juice to make 1 cup.
    • Microwave on high for 30 seconds and whisk again. Drizzle sauce over meat prior to serving.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 3oz | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 51g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 877mg | Sugar: 5g

What is your favorite home-cooked Southern meal?

 There are plenty of Southern dishes that are easy to make in your own home! Fortunately, if you’re planning a big meal, the following are some of the South’s most prominent meals.

  • Shrimp and Grits– Pairing this cornmeal-based starch with some fried shrimp will push it off the charts in terms of flavor! You may even want to dress it up with bacon or gravy for added appeal.
  • Fried Catfish– Fried food may be pretty common when it comes to the Southern kitchen, and this popular food is no different! Simply coat catfish in a cornmeal seasoning for a crispy crust you won’t be able to get enough of. You can pair it with salad, mashed potatoes or beans for a bit of balance!
  • Gumbo– This may be a Louisiana classic, but it’s still one of the best Southern recipes with shrimp. Simply make a base with onions, bell peppers, and celery and add in sausage or shrimp or okra. A little hot sauce will make for a perfectly simmering stew! You may even want to share your version on a family app.

Whether you start your meal with sweet tea or end it with red velvet cakeSouthern recipes are all about comfort! In fact, it’s dishes like fried chicken and cornbread that have made it a favorite for people everywhere. What are your perfect Southern dishes? Share it with us in our comments! If you’re just starting out with this fun food tradition, there are plenty of favorites you have yet to discover.

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Sarah LopezAuthor posts

Sarah Lopez

Just watching Sarah makes us feel tired- she's always on the go, and loves meeting new people or trying new things. She never stops coming up with new delicious meals, but is a pro when it comes to balancing food with fitness. After starting off her day with a high intensity workout, she refuels with an acai bowl or chia seed pudding.

2 Comments

  • Nice Article. Soul food is indeed hugely popular all over the country. I’m particularly partial to shrimps and grits. The combination of corn grits and the seafood people-pleaser tastes especially wonderful with a thick layer of Texas Pete on top of it.

  • 5 stars
    My family can’t get enough of southern food, and this slow-cooker pork was a hit with everyone! Definitely putting it in the rotation of our crowd-pleaser dinners. Was great with a little hot sauce, too.

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