7 Jazzy Southern-Style Dinner Ideas

We’re looking south of the Mason Dixon line for dinner ideas, inspired by one of the recipes in next week’s vegetarian box–Fried Green Tomatoes with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw, which is our early-bird answer to your summer tomato cravings.

From there, we head down to Texas with chicken-fried steak, cook up a bowl of grits, and then jump east to Louisiana where two recipes–a gumbo and a vegetarian rice and beans–keep the flavor coming.

Scroll down for more Southern-style goodness from our archives and click through to see the full recipes.

Smothered Two-Cheese Grits and Greens

These grits get their name from the Southern practice of “smothering” food in gravy or vegetables–in this case, we use sautéed onions, which top a pile of rich and cheesy grits.

Chicken Fried Steak with Collard Greens and Baked Beans

We’ve given steak the fried chicken treatment here. The essential southern green–collards–rounds out the protein, and baked beans simmered with molasses and bacon complete the mood.

Louisiana-Style Red Lentils & Brown Rice

This vegetarian centerpiece dish makes the most of the worldwide vegetarian staple: beans and rice. Softened green pepper, celery, onion, and tomato paste are a hearty base for the red lentils simmered in veggie broth.

Shrimp Étouffée with Jasmine Rice

We start building up the flavor here with the Cajun trinity–celery, onion, and red bell pepper–and comes together in a tomato sauce spiced with a pinch of cayenne (but don’t literally pinch it, especially not before rubbing your eyes!).

Chicken Gumbo with Sausage and Okra

This rendition of gumbo features chicken breast and spicy pork sausage in a tomato-y sauce thickened with okra and a roux and flavored with our blend of Cajun spice.

BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches

Behold, the vegetarian answer to the rich meats that emerge from smokers in the back of BBQ joints all over the south. A sweet Memphis-style sauce coats grain-rich tempeh sautéed with onion and piled onto a potato roll.