20 Classic Southern Appetizers You Won't Be Able To Resist

20 Classic Southern Appetizers You Won't Be Able To Resist

Down in the South, you always know you're going to be getting the most delicious meals. The heartwarming soul food made down here is always perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked. But instead of focusing on the main dishes, today we're looking at the appetizers, the food served before the star of the show. But with appetizers as delicious as these, these 20 classic Southern favourites might have you questioning what the best part of the meal really is.

1. Hush Puppies

If we're talking Southern appetizers, there's no way you can go without these deliciously deep-fried balls of cornmeal batter, hush puppies. They're everything you want from a fried treat - crispy on the outside with the perfect amount of crunch, while warm and soft on the inside. Starting any meal with this app guarantees a good time.

Hushpuppiesjasonlam on Wikimedia Commons

2. Fried Green Tomatoes

A classic Southern appetizer, fried green tomatoes are a delectable fried treat that takes everything you love about this tangy fruit and elevates it. They're crispy, juicy, and taste extra delicious when paired with a creamy remoulade sauce. 

1024Px-Fried Green Tomatoesninjapoodles on Wikimedia Commons

3. Deviled Eggs

Head to the South if you want to taste the best deviled eggs you've ever had! This fun appetizer is best known for having a creamy yolk mixture filled inside some hard-boiled egg whites. They're perfect if you want a one bite explosion of flavour, and they're always a hit at any party.

Tahirah-Walker-Fmql1Py5Dq0-Unsplash (1)Photo by Tahirah Walker on Unsplash

4. Pimento Cheese Dip

Everyone loves cheese, and the South really takes advantage of that with this indulgent pimento cheese dip. This spread is slightly tangy but oh so cheesy and rich, making it the perfect topper for some crackers or toasted bread.

Jennie-Brown-Nu-Qfmj6-Mm-UnsplashPhoto by Jennie Brown on Unsplash


5. Southern-Style Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are always a crowd-pleaser, and when it's flavoured with a delicious blend of Southern spices, they're even better. Whether they're fried or baked, the result is always the same - a mouthwatering appetizer that will be devoured in seconds.

Pexels-Harry-Dona-2338407Harry Dona on Pexels

6. Southern Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread is a must-have when you're having an authentic Southern meal! And when they're made into bite-sized muffin shapes, they're just so convenient to eat. These are a favourite among those in the South, and all it'll take is one bite for you to see why.

Mateusz-Derks-Ribzkpghjfm-UnsplashPhoto by Mateusz Derks on Unsplash

7. Fried Catfish Nuggets

Think fish and chips but 10x better. If you've never have Southern fried catfish before, you definitely need to. And with this appetizer, it'll be quick for you to fall in love with it. Just imagine the most tender pieces of fish fried until golden, served alongside some deliciously tangy tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon. It's a seafood lover's dream.

1024Px-Fried Catfish - Willie Mae's Scotch House Restaurant In New OrleansKent Wang on Wikimedia Commons

8. Crispy Okra

Okra is a staple down in the South, and by now, you probably can tell they've got an affinity for frying things. So when you combine this beloved veggie with some cornmeal and some hot oil for frying, the result is a crunchy, slightly nutty appetizer that tastes even better with a spicy dipping sauce.

512Px-Homemade Bhindi KurkuriKeka De on Wikimedia Commons

9. Southern Cucumber Sandwiches

You may be surprised to see that these dainty cucumber sandwiches are a popular small snack in Southern America, but they are! And under the hot sun, it's not hard to see why. Cucumbers are so refreshing and hydrating, and when put into a sandwich with some complementary cream cheese, it makes for a great bite.

1024Px-Eier-Gurken-Sandwiches Mit Senfcreme (5643836292)Katrin Gilger on Wikimedia Commons

10. Boiled Peanuts

While boiled peanuts might not sound like the most delicious thing in the world, it's a true Southern classic that's worth trying. Boiled in salt water until they're tender and soft, this snack is surprisingly addictive and will keep you going back for more.

1024Px-Boiled Big Peanuts & Normal Peanuts, Katori City, Japankatorisi on Wikimedia Commons


11. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Let's be honest, we had you at bacon right? But let's take it up a notch by adding in more flavours and textures; just think about how tasty some spicy jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon would be? It's hitting all the right notes - spicy, creamy, and smoky!

1024Px-Abt UncookedCharvett on Wikimedia Commons

12. Crawfish Beignets

While you might typically associate beignets with being sweet desserts, did you know you can have them savory too? There's no better way to enjoy these fried goodies in a savory way than by combining it with tender crawfish and spices. It's a perfect combination of flavours and textures that will provide you with a burst of flavour in every bite.

1024Px-Katie's Restaurant, New Orleans, 2012 - Crawfish Beignetangela n. on Wikimedia Commons

13. Country Ham Biscuits

Biscuits are absolutely delicious down in the South, so adding a slice of salty ham must make things better, right? For a tasty bite-sized appetizer, these small sandwiches, which are often served with a touch of honey or mustard, are filled with thin slices of country ham that elevate the biscuits to new heights.

1024Px-Biscuits, The Staff Of LifeWilly Bearden on Wikimedia Commons

14. Pickled Okra

Not just fried, but pickled too! Turns out okra is a much more versatile vegetable than you thought. They're crunchy, sour, and tangy, making them just as delicious as pickles. 

1024Px-Okra Pickles By Telethontelethon on Wikimedia Commons

15. Mini Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are already a popular favourite (especially among seafood lovers), so when they're made into tiny bite-sized treats, they make for the perfect appy! When they're made with fresh, juicy crab meat and seasoned with the perfect blend of spices, these crispy little things are irresistible.

1024Px-Misawa Crab CakesU.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Marie Brown on Wikimedia Commons

16. Fried Pickles

Is there anything more classic and tasty than a good ol' fried pickle? Sliced up and then fried until crispy, crunchy, and golden brown, this is one appetizer that never disappoints. Everyone loves the tangy bite that these fried pickles give, and when they're paired with a creamy dipping sauce, everything just comes together.

1024Px-Fried Pickles CloseupGuanaco on Wikimedia Commons


17. Southern Cheese Straws

What exactly is a cheese straw you might ask? Made from a savory dough with cheddar cheese, butter, and flour, these yummy sticks are baked until they're nice and crispy. The result? A cheesy, crunchy, and tasty appetizer that's loaded with flavour.

1024Px-Cheese-Straws-01gkrew on Wikimedia Commons

18. Sweet Potato Fries with Cinnamon Sugar

Although sweet potato fries are commonly eaten in a savory manner with a chipotle mayo dipping sauce, it's time to open your eyes to a sweet alternative: sweet potato fries seasoned with cinnamon and sugar. It's a fun and tasty twist that'll be a completely new experience!

1024Px-Day 239- Sweet Potato Fries (8021339556)Sodanie Chea from Norwalk, Ca, United States on Wikimedia Commons

19. Tomato Pie Bites

A Southern tomato pie is already delicious enough, so making miniature versions of it that can be served as appetizers works just as well. Because with a pie crust as flaky and butter as this, containing a cheesy, creamy filling with ripe tomatoes in the mix, it simply sounds like a savory and tangy heaven.

512Px-Vegantomato Pie (9218388666)Stephanie from Austin TX on Wikimedia Commons

20. Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Fritters are good everywhere you go, and in the South, they've got some delicious ones made with black-eyed peas that have been blended with just the right amount of spices. Just as with every fried item on this list, these are always made to perfection, perfectly crispy, golden, and hearty, especially when it's got a tangy dipping sauce to cut through all that oily goodness.

1024Px-Pelas Jagung In BojonegoroM.akbar.raf on Wikimedia Commons