Healthy Southern Recipes

Find healthy, delicious southern recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: 4.64 stars
20
This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich--and only dirties one bowl! Not quite as easy as boxed cake mixes, but those often contain trans fats. Our simple “from scratch” recipe gives you a home-baked cake with healthful canola oil and whole-wheat flour.

Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.42 stars
6
Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.

Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Rating: 5 stars
5
A blend of whole-wheat panko and fine cornmeal gives this healthy chicken recipe the perfect amount of crunch even though it's not deep fried. Making an easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe means you can skip bottled, which may have additives and stabilizers.

Southern Beefy Skillet

Rating: 4 stars
1
Make this entire meal in one skillet! The beef soaks up the flavor from the vegetables and herbs, making it juicy and full of flavor.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 4.58 stars
8
Chock-full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, okra and tomatoes, this flavorful stew is a staple in Louisiana. Make it a meal and serve with Real Cornbread (see associated recipe).

Slow-Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Rating: 4.75 stars
4
This easy load-and-go crock pot recipe is a great dinner to make with your kids. Let the kids stir the sauce while you rub the ribs, then just let the slow cooker do the rest of the work! Serve with a colorful coleslaw and brown rice.

Soft Green Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Modern cooking may champion barely cooked, tender-crisp veggies, but the soft and luscious ones you find in many Southern kitchens, like these super-soft green beans, make a mouthwatering healthy side dish to classic Southern barbecue.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 4.14 stars
5
To keep it simple, we've opted for just the essential ingredients in this rendition of the hearty Creole favorite: sausage, okra, rice and a little spice.

BBQ Chicken Skillet Pizza

Rating: 5 stars
2
Upgrade chicken-BBQ pizza with this Alabama-style white sauce recipe made with mayo and a little vinegar. Using premade dough helps get dinner on the table quickly and easily.

Tomato Casserole

Rating: 5 stars
1
Cook and activist Mable Clarke serves this craveable side dish at the monthly fish fry she started to save the Soapstone Baptist Church in South Carolina. While the cheese crackers may draw you in, it's the baked tomatoes that keep you coming back for more. When she's cooking for hundreds of guests at the fish fry, Clarke uses canned tomatoes and green chiles for this dish. Since you're likely not cooking for 400, we adapted the recipe to use fresh tomatoes.

Cajun Salmon with Greek Yogurt Remoulade

Rating: 5 stars
1
Paprika and garlic powder make a quick Cajun-inspired seasoning that flavors salmon fillets in this easy dinner recipe. Traditionally, remoulade sauce is prepared with mayonnaise; here, we substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a lighter version.

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

Rating: 5 stars
1
This hearty jambalaya is bursting with chicken, smoked turkey sausage, and shrimp. It takes just 25 minutes to prep in the morning and then your slow cooker will work its magic and deliver a tasty meal at the end of the day.
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Inspiration and Ideas

36 Southern Recipes That Taste Just Like Grandma’s

From mac and cheese to BBQ to Hoppin’ John, these recipes feature plenty of greens, beans and vegetables.

Lemony Lentil Soup with Collards

Rating: Unrated
5
You don't need broth for this lentil soup recipe--it's rich thanks to the browned bits in the bottom of the pan that meld into the soup, packing it with flavor. Ground coriander, from the seed of the cilantro plant, has a floral, citrusy flavor that dovetails nicely with the lemon.

Low-Country Boil

Rating: 4.5 stars
6

One pot is all you need for this easy Low-Country boil. We added green beans to the classic combination of potatoes, corn, shrimp and sausage to boost the veggie servings for a healthier crowd-pleasing meal. Dump the whole potful out on newspaper and serve with melted butter for dipping and crusty bread to round it all off!