Healthy Southern Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Vidalia Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 5 stars
3
For this old-fashioned Southern cucumber and onion salad, thin slices of cucumber and onion marinate just long enough to develop a touch of tanginess without any sharp bite. Serve with sweet dishes like barbecue to lend a refreshing balance.

Southern Macaroni Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
Bring this quintessential Southern macaroni salad, made with whole-wheat macaroni, celery, peas and ham, to your next picnic or barbecue. It's the perfect salad to feed a crowd!

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!

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.

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).

Sweet Southern Egg Salad

Rating: 4 stars
3
Crunchy celery, gherkin pickles and sweet onion flavor this Southern-style egg salad recipe. Serve on pumpernickel toast or a bed of lettuce.

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.

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.

Peach Custard Pie

Rating: 4.83 stars
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.

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.

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.
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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.

Iced Mint Green Tea

Rating: 4.5 stars
2

Crisp and refreshing, you just may find yourself craving this beverage on a hot summer's night.