Hearty Southern Breakfast Recipes Y'All Should Be Fixin' To Eat

Southern breakfast recipes

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Shrimp and Grits

Southern Comfort

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and want yogurt and granola. Sometimes, when the spirit of the South calls to you, you might want something a little more substantial: Grits. Chicken and waffles. Pecan sticky buns. For those mornings, here are some of our favorite Southern breakfast recipes to make and enjoy — whether you're from the South or elsewhere. 

Shrimp and Grits

1. Shrimp and Grits

According to The Local Palate, shrimp and grits' American roots originate in the plantation kitchens of Lowcountry, where ground corn was cooked down and paired with local seafood. Today, you'll find it gussied up in plenty of restaurants across the country, but it's also a staple you can make at home. This version uses shrimp cooked in Cajun seasoning and piled over cheesy cheddar grits.

Recipe: Small Town Woman

Biscuits and Gravy

2. Biscuits and Gravy

There's nothing quite like a warm, fluffy biscuit smothered in well-seasoned gravy. And when it comes to enjoying that combo in the South, you'll likely be enjoying sausage gravy, featuring crumbles of meat in the creamy sauce. This recipe recommends using hot, mild, or maple sausage, though you can also use bacon, chorizo, or ground beef. 

Recipe: Natasha's Kitchen

Homemade Southern Chicken and Waffles

3. Chicken and Waffles

While the earliest recorded combination of chicken and waffles in America occurred in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the 17th century, today chicken and waffles is a decidedly Southern dish. And what's not to love? A fluffy waffle topped with crispy fried chicken is a great way to start your morning — especially when it's all drizzled in maple syrup. We love this recipe featuring spicy honey butter sauce. 

Related: Sweet Tea & Thyme

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Fried Green Tomatoes, Irondale Cafe
Irondale Cafe

4. Fried Green Tomatoes

You can have fried green tomatoes any time of day, but slide 'em into an egg sandwich or have them on the side with some buttermilk aioli, and you've just made your breakfast a little more Southern. Both sour and salty, these tomatoes are given a welcome crunch with the use of breadcrumbs and cornmeal.

Recipe: Foodie Crush

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Spots for Fried Chicken in Every State


5. Southern Fried Cornmeal Mush

Cornmeal mush is a close relative of grits, but can be served either as a bowl of porridge or fried into squares and topped with gravy, applesauce, eggs, or whatever else your heart desires. If you're frying the mush, using bacon fat as an oil is a great way to boost the flavor profile. 

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Related: 12 Old-Fashioned Breakfast Dishes That Deserve a Comeback

Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce

6. Eggs Benedict With Crawfish

On its own, eggs Benedict isn't a Southern breakfast. But add crawfish — and, in the case of this recipe, crawfish hollandaise — and you have a decidedly Southern dish. The egg here is poached in crawfish boil seasoning, and crawfish hollandaise featuring crawfish tails is spooned over the sumptuous spread. Guess you can never have too much crawfish!

Recipe: Louisiana Cookin'

country ham & redeye gravy
country ham & redeye gravy by beccapie (CC BY-SA)

7. Country Ham With Red-Eye Gravy and Grits

We've talked about grits, we've talked about gravy, but what about the trifecta of ham, grits, and red-eye gravy? A classic Southern meal, this hearty comfort dish features a thin gravy that is generally made with two ingredients: the drippings of country ham and — wait for it — coffee. Pour that red-eye gravy over thick slices of ham and grits, and you've got yourself a meal that'll stick to your bones for hours to come.

Recipe: Saveur

caramel pecan sticky buns on a wire rack
caramel pecan sticky buns on a wire rack by Stacy (CC BY)

8. Pecan Sticky Buns

You'll find sticky buns at bakeries across the United States, but pecans, which primarily grow in the South, make this a regional specialty. With this recipe, you can prepare the dough the night before to ensure the buns are ready for breakfast the next day. Is making this decadent dish a little time consuming? Sure, but with pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the mix, it's also incredibly satisfying. 

Recipe: Sally's Baking Addiction

Related: 10 Classic Southern Cakes You Need To Try

Homemade Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl

9. Breakfast Burrito Bowls

Potatoes, eggs, bacon, queso fresco, and a healthy dose of homemade salsa verde make up this savory breakfast that you might find deep in the heart of Texas. Customize it by adding garnishes like cilantro, lime, and chile powder. 

Recipe: Mexican Please