Healthy Southern Recipes

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

Staff Picks

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.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 4.58 stars
12
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).

Spicy Potato & Kale Soup

Rating: 4 stars
1
Spicy sausage--in this case, chorizo--pairs beautifully with hearty greens. If you like, substitute collard or mustard greens for the kale. If you can't get chorizo, hot Italian sausage will also work in this soup.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars
1
Garlic cloves, cooked along with the potatoes, give this puree extra body and lots of flavor.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: 4.64 stars
28
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.

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.

Lemony Lentil Soup with Collards

Rating: 4 stars
6
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.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 4.14 stars
8
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.

Spicy Meatloaf with Collards

Rating: 4.75 stars
4
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.

Low-Country Boil

Rating: 4.5 stars
7
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!

Vegetarian Gumbo

Rating: 5 stars
2
This flavorful vegan dinner is a veggie version of the Louisiana classic. It's chock-full of butternut squash, tomatoes, poblano peppers and okra, to name just a few. This vegetarian gumbo is a quick dinner packed with flavor and spice that's done in only 30 minutes. To make it a meal, serve it with cornbread drizzled with olive oil.

Mac & Cheese with Collards

Rating: 5 stars
5
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.
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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.
Tomato Casserole
Rating: Unrated
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.

Soft Green Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars
3

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.