17 Beloved Southern Potluck Recipes Just Like Grandma Used to Make
We all know grandmas are the best cooks. It's part of the job description. Under "Grandmother," the line item reads "must make everything that is delicious and comforting." But a grandmother's knack for making delicious food is only increased when they just so happen to be Southern. A Southern cook that is also a grandmother? You've hit the food lottery.
For your next potluck, take a page from a Southern grandmother's recipe book and create one of these wow-worthy dishes inspired by the land of pulled pork and sweet tea. We've got all the classics in our collection, from slaw to baked beans, with a few regional favorites thrown in too, like corn pudding and pound cake.
Nana's Southern Coleslaw
Described as being reminiscent of the slaw served at a popular fast food chicken chain, this recipe won't last long at your next potluck. The secret? A dash of buttermilk to add extra creaminess and tanginess.
Apple Pie by Grandma Ople
We don't know if Grandma Ople was Southern, but we have a feeling she was. With tart apples and sweet brown sugar, it's hard to go wrong with this potluck classic. "This was my grandmother's apple pie recipe," says MOSHASMAMA. "It will always be my favorite and has won me several first place prizes in local competitions."
Grandma's Five Cup Salad
Southerners have a different definition for "salad," but you won't give it a second thought after one bite of this sweet treat. Canned mandarin oranges and pineapple are tossed with marshmallows, flaked coconut, and a dollop of sour cream to create a sweet and tangy taste.
Grandma's Corn Pudding
Rich and buttery, this savory casserole is the best way to enjoy summertime corn. Reviewer KYCATHY shares, "This is one of those trick recipes that makes people believe you are an old country cook who really knows your way around the kitchen."
Mamaw's Southern Buttermilk Chicken
Marinated in the trio of buttermilk, hot sauce, and fresh garlic, this chicken is bursting with flavor from the inside out. Each piece is briefly fried, then baked until cooked through, giving you plenty of time to work on other potluck sides.
Grandmother's Pound Cake
"This recipe is over 100 years old and is the original kind of pound cake: it contains 1 pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour and contains no salt, baking powder or flavoring," says WholeGrainWoman. Though if you do want to deviate from Grandmother's version a bit, she suggests a few drops of vanilla or almond extract for extra flavor.
Grandma's Southern Mac and Cheese
If you don't want to hassle with leftovers from the potluck, just bring this dish. It's guaranteed to be licked clean. The macaroni is coated in a rich Cheddar sauce before getting baked to golden brown perfection.
Grandma's Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake
Described as "quick, easy, and fun to make" you'll have a sure hit on your hands with this chocolate Texas sheet cake. Only requiring basic ingredients and a cake pan, it's the prime example of sometimes simpler is better.
Better Baked Beans
Start with a a few cans of pre-made baked beans, and all you need to worry about is amping up the flavor with additional ingredients. "This is my grandma's favorite semi home-made recipe," says Diane Carman-Young. "She makes it every Thanksgiving, and we usually end up scraping the pan clean!"
JodyVTPT shares, "My grandmother used to make this every year for get-togethers. Who would've known that it was this easy?" The trio of ketchup, dry onion soup mix, and ginger ale make up the sweet and tangy sauce that this brisket is cooked in until fall apart tender.
Granny's Strawberry Preserves-Filled Cookies
Put last year's preserves to good use with these tender cookies. They're stuffed with a dollop of strawberry preserves, keeping each cookie moist and flavorful.
Grandma's Creamy Potato Salad
A bit like a hybrid between potato and egg salad, this decadent dish features both red potatoes and hard boiled eggs. The mayo-based dressing is amped up with a splash of vinegar and dash of mustard, giving it an irresistible tanginess.
Socializing around the punch bowl is a potluck pastime. Contribute to the tradition with this grandmother-approved punch recipe. It's sweet, tart, and eye-catching.
Grandmother's Sour Cream Cucumber Salad
With sweet onions and refreshing cucumbers, this salad is a highlight of summer's best produce. Plus it's perfect for making ahead. "This tastes better the next day as the sweet and sour permeate the cucumbers," advises Johanna Rouba.
Creamy, crunchy, and cheesy, you can't ask for much more when it comes to Southern casseroles. "My grandma made this for me growing up and [I] still love it to this day," says reviewer Kara Kastner.
Grandma Mac's Green Beans
Green beans are one of those foods that can be delicious cooked quickly and simply (blanched or roasted with a bit of salt), but also one that's delicious after a long simmer. Here, we channel Grandma Mac's slow-cooked green beans (they only require 45 minutes), and they'll turn into the tender, flavor-loaded green beans you remember from childhood picnics.
Simple Deviled Eggs
Never been able to recreate your grandmother's deviled eggs? That's probably because she never wrote down the recipe and just wings it every time she makes a dozen or two. But with this recipe, reviewers say it's as close to grandmother's as you can get.