Healthy Southern Recipes

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

Staff Picks

BBQ Chicken Skillet Pizza

Rating: Unrated
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.

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

Rating: Unrated
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.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: Unrated
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.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
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).

Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls

Rating: Unrated
1
These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They're the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom's footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they're up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula's recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).

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.

Lemon Thins

Rating: Unrated
5
These lemon cookies are made healthier with whole-wheat pastry flour and they get their zippy flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice rather than lemon extract. This lemon cookie recipe would be the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Louisiana Chicken Drumsticks and Tomatoes

Get a taste of the south with this chicken drumstick recipe. Thyme, hot sauce and black pepper lend flavor to this perfect weeknight dinner option.

Southern Beefy Skillet

Rating: Unrated
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.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
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.

Peach Custard Pie

Rating: Unrated
3
We use low-fat milk along with nonfat Greek yogurt in the creamy custard for this peach pie. The yogurt gives the custard a smooth texture without using cream or too many egg yolks. A slice is just as delicious served warm from the oven as it is chilled. For an added treat, serve topped with fresh blueberries.

Vegan Jambalaya

You won't miss the meat in this healthy jambalaya recipe. Vegan smoked sausage takes its place while the classic "trinity" of vegetables--onion, red bell pepper and celery--get a kick from jalapeño peppers. And everything is cooked in one skillet, which means cleanup is a breeze!

Inspiration and Ideas

Best Southern Recipes

Despite its reputation, Southern food can certainly be healthy. These easy Southern recipes feature plenty of greens, beans and vegetables. Enjoy collard greens in creamy skillet mac and cheese or try new variations of Hoppin' John—a Southern favorite—for a bit of good luck. Download a FREE Cookbook of Healthier Comfort Food Recipes! Watch Video

Spicy Meatloaf with Collards

Rating: Unrated
3
Plenty of dark leafy greens deliver the moisture needed to balance lean ground pork and beef in this spicy meatloaf recipe. Serve any leftovers with extra ketchup as meatloaf sandwiches.

Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Rating: Unrated
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.