From Southern staples like bread and butter pickles to approachable high-end crudo, 2023 marks a year full of flavor. Our most popular recipes stem from recently released cookbooks, new restaurant openings across the South, and deep-dive interviews with our favorite Southern chefs. With standouts like bacon fat cornbread and homemade biscuits, it’s clear nostalgic classics ring true, but we’re excited to notice lesser-known ingredients emerge on this most popular recipes list with Appalachian candy roaster squash and Peruvian aji rocoto peppers.
2023 had us sipping on natural wines and low ABV cocktails, piling classic sandwiches high, exploring Filipino cuisine in Jacksonville, Florida, scanning the South for artisinal cheese cultures, hosting aperitivo hour, and assembling our own tamalada. Whether you’ve joined us in frying, dicing, cheese-pulling, or sipping, it’s been our pleasure to accompany you in the kitchen.
10 Recipes You Loved in 2023
A savory, and herby solution to a quick meal, our skillet chicken is low-ingredients and low-effort. Pan seared in a Southern kitchen staple, the cast iron skillet, this chicken emerges crispy and juicy drenched in rich flavor from the herbs and garlic. Serve alongside fluffy mashed potatoes or toss in some vegetables to cook in the leftover juices.
The Collard Melt by Mason Hereford is a mainstay on the menu at Turkey and the Wolf. It’s so delicious, it is highlighted in the “Enjoy Every Sandwich” section of Hereford’s new cookbook. Throw together this creamy melt with a bite of crunchy coleslaw paired with a spicy Russian dressing and don’t forget the mainstay ingredient: collard greens.
Want homemade biscuits without raiding the pantry? Make this easy two-ingredient biscuit recipe from Nathalie Dupree. Though simple, these biscuits turn out plump, fluffy, and flaky. Serve with jam, butter, or honey or as a quick-made side with your favorite soups and stews.
Inspired by the Greek avgolemono soup at Platia Greek Kitchen in Frisco, Texas, Alex Snodgrass, of the Defined Dish, offers this easy recipe for lemon chicken soup that you can recreate at home. While most versions you find in Greek restaurants use a creamy lemon-egg sauce, Snodgrass uses pearl couscous to provide creaminess. Loaded with lemon, fresh herbs, and hearty chunks of rotisserie chicken, this soup brings plenty of warmth and brightness on a chilly evening.
This refreshing red snapper crudo recipe from chef Rene Ortiz at Launderette in Austin, Texas, is a upper-scale dish that is approachable enough to make in your own home. With spicy Peruvian peppers, bright citrus, avocado, and spring onion, the crudo balances zest and oil with crisp, savory undertones.
Sara Bradley of Freight House in Paducah, Kentucky, designed her bacon fat cornbread to taste exactly like the one her grandmother made for family gatherings during Bradley’s childhood. Although her grandmother Lula never followed a recipe, Bradley developed this cornbread to lighten the bacon fat’s decadence with tangy buttermilk. Pouring the batter into a ripping hot skillet caramelizes the edges before it even begins baking—the key to its crisp exterior and custardy interior.
Matthew Raiford shares this soul food-inspired blackberry doobie in his cookbook, Bress ‘n’ Nyam, saying, “A doobie is kind of like a cobbler, but it’s more akin to sweet dumplings. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or a scoop of one of the gelatos. Once you take a bite, you’ll taste summer for real.”
This cocktail, served at Lyla Lila in Atlanta, upgrades the traditional dirty martini by using an olive oil wash in the place of brine. The resulting cocktail is silkier, smoother, and more complex in its texture. Use with your preferred gin or vodka and garnish with a lemon peel or olive.
From the Appalachian traditions of western North Carolina, we get candy roaster squash, a versatile squash for different recipes, from pasta sauces to desserts. The team behind Ilda shares how they prepare candy roaster squash over an open fire, slow cooking to perfection before adding to creamy cavatelli, which they nickname “gnocchi’s little cousin.”
Plenty of quirky pickles can be found below the Mason-Dixon, but there’s nothing like the crunch and tang of a classically pickled cucumber to punch up a sandwich or midnight snack. Bread and butter pickles are a Southern staple, a legacy from back in the day when sugar was used as preservative in the South’s sweltering climate. Find our step-by-step guide for bread and butter pickles here.
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP Editors
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP Editors