Summer is the perfect time to bring out family favorite classic Southern recipes. Here are some of the best Southern summer recipes to try, each with a twist to make them more exciting.

Spicy Honey Fried Chicken

Transform classic Southern fried chicken by adding a spicy honey glaze. Marinate the chicken in buttermilk, then coat it in a seasoned flour mixture spiked with cayenne. Fry until crispy, and drizzle with a honey glaze infused with red pepper flakes and garlic. Serve with fluffy homemade biscuits for a sweet and spicy homemade recipe.

Cajun Shrimp and Grits

Elevate the traditional shrimp and grits by adding a Cajun twist. Cook creamy, cheesy grits, but add a dash of smoked paprika and a splash of hot sauce for extra flavor. Sauté the shrimp with garlic, bacon, and a Cajun seasoning blend, then finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with green onions and a sprinkle of parsley.

Tangy Apple Cider Coleslaw

Give your Southern coleslaw a tangy twist by incorporating apple cider and fresh herbs. Combine finely shredded cabbage and carrots with thinly sliced apples. The dressing, made with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and fresh dill, adds a refreshing tang.

Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Take your peach cobbler to the next level by adding a splash of bourbon. Use fresh, ripe peaches, sweetened and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of bourbon. Top with a buttery biscuit dough and bake until the topping is golden and the peaches are bubbling. Serve warm with a scoop of bourbon vanilla ice cream.

Mint-Infused Sweet Tea

Put a refreshing spin on the classic Southern sweet tea by infusing it with fresh mint. Brew a strong black tea, sweeten it generously with sugar, and add a handful of fresh mint leaves while it cools. Chill the tea, then serve over ice with additional mint and a slice of lemon.

Jalapeño Cornbread

Give traditional Southern cornbread a spicy kick by adding jalapeños. Combine cornmeal, buttermilk, and a pinch of sugar with diced jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in a cast-iron skillet for a golden, slightly spicy cornbread that’s perfect alongside chili or barbecue. Serve warm with honey butter.

Cover Photo by Monika Grabkowska