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45 Southern Comfort Foods for Winter

Fierce winter weather makes comfort food a necessity, and nobody does it better than Southern home cooks!

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Pecan Pie Cobbler

I couldn't find a recipe, so I took it upon myself to devise this amazing dessert that combines the ease of a cobbler and the rich taste of pecan pie. It tastes even better with ice cream or whipped topping. —Willa Kelley, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Blend of the Bayou

My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me when I first moved to Louisiana. It's been handed down in my husband's family for generations. It's quick to prepare, nutritious and beautiful. I've passed it on to my children, too. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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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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Slow-Cooker Chicken Bog

Chicken bog is a South Carolina tradition with lots of variations (think herbs, spices and fresh veggies), but the standard ingredients remain: sausage, chicken and rice. This slow-cooked rendition is a simple take on the classic. — Anna Hanson, Spanish Fork, Utah
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Sugar-Glazed Ham

This old-fashioned ham glaze gives a pretty, golden brown coating—just like Grandma used to make. The mustard and vinegar complement the brown sugar which adds a tangy flavor to this glazed ham recipe. Be prepared to serve seconds! —Carol Strong Battle, Heathville, Virginia
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Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie

When I first made the original recipe for this bourbon-splashed pie, I added some vanilla extract and eliminated the flour. We loved the result. —Paul Falduto, Efland, North Carolina
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Grandma's Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Country Captain Chicken

Legend has it that the recipe for country captain chicken was brought to Georgia in the early 1800s by a British sea captain. Although it's traditional to serve this over rice, it's also delicious with noodles or mashed potatoes. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Mini Sweet Potato Pies

My 2-year-old son, Levi, helped me create this delicious recipe one day and it was the first day he told me "I love you"! I will always remember making these with him. —Emily Butler, South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
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Cheesy Spoon Bread Casserole

I love this spoon bread casserole because it’s creamy with a little southwestern kick. It’s comfort food at its finest and is a vivid way to add a unique dish to the usual Thanksgiving Day lineup. Sometimes we scoop chili on top. —Barbara J. Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota
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Savory Mustard Chicken and Stuffing Waffles

Adding mustard to the chicken coating adds a tang that's amazing with the savory waffles and sweet maple syrup. —John Ginn, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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Southern Peanut Butter Mayo Sandwich

Yep, Southerners love the combo of peanut butter and mayo. The mayonnaise flavor disappears into the peanut butter, just making it creamier and more delicious. I add cheddar to mine because, hey, I'm from Wisconsin. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits

There’s nothing like juicy meat over steaming grits. And the pumpkin in these grits makes them taste like a spicy, comforting bowl of fall flavors. Your family will come running to the table for this one. —Erin Renouf Mylroie, Santa Clara, Utah
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Bourbon-Soaked Bacon and Ginger Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The bourbon-soaked bacon adds a smoky, savory, bold taste to normal cinnamon rolls. The ginger and pecan topping makes for a crunchy, spicy finish. —Shannen Casey, Berkeley, California
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Southern Shrimp and Grits

A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch or dinner, and anytime company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Turkey Pinto Bean Salad with Southern Molasses Dressing

This salad is a welcome alternative to the usual post-Thanksgiving fare. It's a tasty main dish loaded with good-for-you protein.—Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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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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Air-Fryer Southern-Style Chicken

I call this America’s best-loved air fryer 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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Southern Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington
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Chicken Biscuit Potpie

This hearty meal in one takes just 10 minutes to assemble before popping it in the oven. Plus, a chicken potpie with biscuits combines two of my family's favorite dishes, making this recipe a slam dunk. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas
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Aunt Ione's Icebox Cookies

Whenever we went to visit my Aunt Ione in south Georgia, her icebox cookies were our favorite treat. My mother later make these cookies, and I remember begging for a slice of the raw dough—I thought the unbaked cookies tasted just as great as the baked! —Jenny Hill, Meridianville, Alabama
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Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia
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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This is an old Southern biscuits and gravy recipe that I've adapted. Homemade sausage gravy is a classic, hearty breakfast that takes you on a trip to the South every time it's served. —Sue Baker, Jonesboro, Arkansas
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Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

I am a healthy eater most of the time, but this apple spice cake is worth the splurge! Every year, I treasure the opportunity to make my own birthday cake, and I choose this. You can add a cup of raisins to the batter before baking if you'd like. —Jennifer Owen, Louisville, Kentucky
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Beef Stew Skillet Pie

Puff pastry makes a pretty topping for this homey skillet potpie. —Josh Rink, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pulled Pork Taters

This recipe is as hearty as it gets—part bbq pork, part potatoes, completely delicious. My family can't get enough of this bbq baked potato recipe. —Shannon M Harris, Tyler, Texas
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Grandma Pruit's Vinegar Pie

This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always at all of the family get-togethers.—Suzette Pruit, Houston, Texas
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Slow-Cooker Praline Sweet Potatoes

I had a house full of relatives and was short on cooking space. I used the basic idea of the traditional sweet potato casserole and adapted it for the slow cooker. It's been a huge hit ever since! —Joanna Stanforth, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
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Hush Puppies

A fish dinner isn’t complete without a side of hush puppies, and my mom is well-known for this recipe. It's the best! —Mary McGuire, Graham, NC
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Grandma's Chicken 'n' Dumpling Soup

I've enjoyed making this rich homemade chicken dumpling soup recipe for over 40 years. Every time I serve this type of soup, I remember my southern grandma, who was very special to me and was known as an outstanding cook. —Paulette Balda, Prophetstown, Illinois
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Banana Bread Pudding

When I visited my grandmother in summer, I always looked forward to the comforting banana bread pudding she'd make. With its crusty golden top, custard-like inside and smooth vanilla sauce, this pudding is a real homespun dessert. Now I make it for my grandchildren. —Mary Detweiler, Middlefield, Ohio
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Honey-Bourbon Hot Chocolate

My husband and I like to enjoy this grown-up version of hot chocolate on a cold winter evening. It's even better made with honey-flavored bourbon if you can find that in your local store. —Andrea Harvath, Duncannon, Pennsylvania
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Sausage Chicken Jambalaya

For anyone who enjoys entertaining, this jambalaya is the perfect one-pot meal to feed a crowd. It’s comforting, spicy and easy to make.—Betty Benthin, Grass Valley, California
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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, my grandmother taught me how to make this chicken-fried steak. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are bigger, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Classic Red Beans N Rice

After 25 years in a place where Cajun cooking is common, we’ve come to rely on this staple menu item. If you've never tried red beans and rice before, I promise you'll like this recipe.—Jackie Turnage, New Iberia, Louisiana
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Polly's Perfect Potato Soup

My stepmom, Polly, would often place bowls of this creamy potato soup in front of us, along with salad, homemade bread and orange slices for dessert. Always perfectly seasoned, this recipe never disappointed.—Teresa Ambord, Anderson, California
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Apple Dumpling Bake

I received this recipe for baked apple dumplings with Mountain Dew from a friend of mine, then tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. The soda is definitely the secret ingredient in this rich apple dessert. —Chris Shields, Monrovia, Indiana
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Grits & Bacon Casserole

A Mississippi home cook gave me her recipe for grits casserole. It baked like traditional custard. I garnish it with parsley, crumbled bacon and cheese. —Theresa Liguori, Elkridge, Maryland
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Bacon & Cheese Meat Loaf

Bacon & Cheese Meat Loaf

We created this recipe to convince my son to try meat loaf, adding blue cheese and bacon for flavor. It worked! —Lila Allen, Fallon, Nevada
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Potluck Bacon Mac & Cheese

This wholesome mac & cheese is slow-cooker easy. Make it during the week or take it to your next potluck!—Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Hominy Beef Chili

Hunker down for the night and get cozy with this filling chili. Loaded with beef chuck roast and convenient staples, such as diced tomatoes, green chilies and seasonings, it’s a satisfying supper that would be yummy served with a side of warm tortillas or tortilla chips for dipping. —Steve Westphal, Wind Lake, Wisconsin
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Maple Pulled Pork Buns

Maple syrup is my sweet secret to these irresistible buns. Slow-cooking the flavor-packed pork couldn’t be easier, and the buns are quick to roll up. We love them for parties because they serve a packed house. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cornmeal Oven-Fried Chicken

This cornmeal fried chicken dish perks up the dinner table. Its flavorful cornmeal/bread-crumb coating is a good variation form the usual. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Apple Cornbread Crisp

With its hearty ingredients and quick prep time, this warm apple crisp makes a smart dessert for any fall night. It reminds me of the recipe my grandmother would serve after our big family seafood dinners. It's absolutely wonderful topped with ice cream. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.

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