7 Hearty Southern Dishes to Get You Through Winter

These simple, filling dishes are big on flavor.

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski

Simplicity, heartiness and tradition are the three ingredients that make Southern cuisine so enduring. These seven dishes exemplify cooking in the South and are sure to please a crowd, no matter where you serve them.

Biscuits and Gravy

Simple biscuits were a carryover from the early Jamestown settlers, but topping them with creamy gravy and pork sausage didn’t come around until after the Revolutionary War. Farmers in the South needed a hardy and cheap meal to get them through the grueling days cultivating their land and this simple dish did the trick. Using ubiquitous ingredients such as flour, salt, buttermilk and meat from their pigs, Southerners turned the boring and bland biscuit into a crave-worthy dish.

Find the full recipe by clicking here.

Pulled Pork

This North Carolina staple is so tender and juicy you don’t even need to cover it in sauce. Commonly made with a large pork shoulder, the best way to describe the cooking method used to yield such tender meat is "slow and low". Originally cooked for hours over smoldering hardwood, you can now easily recreate this dish at home with a slow cooker. Using a mix of chili powder, salt, cumin and brown sugar and pressing little more than a button, you can create this simple and easy meal.

Click here for the full recipe.

Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is another dish that was adapted from early recipes taught to settlers by Native Americans. Taking the abundant cornmeal and using bread baking techniques from Europe, Southerners created a dish that has stood the test of time. To this day, this quick bread can be found on tables stretching from Virginia to Texas. Because of its use of baking powder rather than yeast, this bread can be made in a relatively short amount of time. Whether served with chili or on its own with a slab of butter, every Southerner can attest to the importance of a good cornbread recipe.

The full recipe can be found here.

Shrimp and Grits

Grits have been a staple of diets in North America since the Native Americans began cultivating corn centuries ago. It became a decidedly southern dish when shrimping activities exploded along the coastline of Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. By 1976, it was named the official food of South Carolina, cementing its place in Southern homes and restaurants. Simple, yet hearty, this dish can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The full recipe can be found here.

Black-Eyed Peas

Becoming abundant in Virginia and the Carolinas in the 18th century, black-eyed peas are still a common ingredient found in soul food throughout the South. Cooked with pork for flavoring, a heaping bowl of these peas are more than just an easy side dish, it’s also a tradition. You’ll still find Southerners all over the United States ringing in the New Years with a bowl of black-eyed peas for luck and prosperity.

Find the full recipe here.

Gumbo

Gumbo is the epitome of Creole cooking, and it seems that everyone in Louisiana has their own secret family recipe for the dish. Served with rice and made with the Cajun holy trinity of celery, bell peppers and onions, the possibilities for other ingredients are endless. Going as far back as 1802, written recipes of gumbo include ingredients ranging from shrimp and sausage to turkey and squirrel. In its early days, it was really a dish that varied from family to family based on whether they were farmers, hunters or fishermen. These days the two most popular variations are made with shrimp or chicken, both being served with sausage as well.

The full recipe can be found here.

Chess Pie

No one knows exactly where the name for this pie came from, but that doesn’t make it any less of a Southern staple. Originally found in Virginia, chess pie is a simple dessert made with sugar, butter, eggs, cornmeal and milk. With such few ingredients, chances are you have everything you need to make this pie in your pantry and refrigerator already.

The full recipe can be found here.

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