Martin Luther King Celebration Recipes

I’ve compiled these recipes to make a simple, delicious, healthier version of some Southern classics. Try a couple, try them all, share with friends and have a Martin Luther King celebration!

Crispy Southern Oven Fried Chicken

crispy southern oven fried chicken

This oven fried chicken comes out so crunchy, you’ll never know it was cooked in an oven!



This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd. It has an extra step, but well worth the time.

1 chicken cut into pieces, if the breasts are large, cut them in half.

  • Oil spray


  • 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, if you prefer not to use cheese, add an additional 1/2 cup panko.
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Spread panko breadcrumbs on a baking tray. Spray with oil. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until LIGHT golden. Keep an eye on them, you don’t want them too dark. If they start to brown too much around the edges, give them a stir.
  • Transfer into a shallow bowl big enough for dredging the chicken. Add Parmesan and mix.
  • Turn oven up to 400F. Let oven preheat while you dredge the chicken.

Make the Batter

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • You can omit the garlic and onion powder and use 2 tsp season salt if you like
  • If you like spicy fried chicken, add 1-2 tbsp hot sauce. I like Frank’s Hot Sauce, but use what you like, Spice It Your Way!


  • Whisk together Batter ingredients in a shallow bowl. Add a little milk if too thick. You want a thin pancake batter consistency. Add chicken and mix to coat.
  • Prepare baking sheet: Cover sheet with parchment paper and place baking rack on top. Spray with baking oil spray.

No mess breading method:

Use one hand for the wet ingredients, one hand for the dry and you will not end up with breaded fingers instead of the chicken! With one hand, place chicken in wet mixture, transfer to breadcrumb dish. Use other hand to cover the chicken evenly with breadcrumbs and transfer to rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Lightly spray top of chicken with cooking spray (will help it brown).

Place in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until crispy and not pink in the middle.

Macaroni and Cheesemacaroni and cheese

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 12oz canned evaporated milk

½ cup half-and-half, or milk

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Note: If you like onion flavor, omit the onion and garlic powder, and saute a small minced onion and 2 cloves finely minced garlic in the butter until soft before adding the flour. Spice it your way!

½ -1 teaspoon South West Spice Mix

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1/2 tsp hot sauce

2 cups cheddar jack cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

8 ounce uncooked Macaroni, elbows are best

Cook macaroni according to the package directions for al dente, (it will cook more when you bake the casserole). Drain.

Heat skillet or heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add butter to skillet, when butter melts whisk in flour. Continue whisking until flour is fully mixed with butter. Then cook for about a minute to get rid of the flour taste.

Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk a little at the time, then the half-and-half ; you do not want the mixture to form any lumps. Add seasonings, onion and garlic powder,(if using) South West Spice Mix and cayenne pepper.

Simmer and whisk until mixture thickens slightly, 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the cheese (save some to put on top), and continue stirring until everything’s melted and smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Add the cooked pasta to the pot, stir gently. Transfer the pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. Baking dish; top with reserved cheese.

Bake at 375 Degrees F° for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Collards with Hamsouthern collard greens

You can start this dish in a crock pot in the morning, forget about it, and it’ll be ready when you are!
If you like your greens on the spicy side, add a tablespoon of red pepper flakes, or serve the finished dish with hot pepper vinegar or hot sauce on the side.


2 pounds collard greens, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup 1/4-inch diced salt pork or 8 strips of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup diced onion

1/2 lb chopped ham

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, plus more for serving. Some guests might like more apple cider vinegar too! Cornbread is great to sop up the yummy broth.


Cook salt pork or bacon in a skillet over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute.

Transfer to crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Serve with hot sauce and apple cider vinegar.


Easy Southern Baked Beansbarbecue baked beans

These beans are easy and fool proof, perfect for a busy holiday get together. They can be made the day before and popped into the oven to warm while the chicken rests. This recipe serves 4-6 depending on appetites. Can be easily doubled for a large crowd.


1 large onion, diced

2 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans

3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 pound bacon strips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Optional: When you’re mixing up the ingredients, add in 1/2 chopped green pepper, 1/2 chopped red pepper and 1 small onion chopped. If you like spicy beans, add in a minced jalapeno pepper. Spice it your way!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven, mix all ingredients except bacon. Top with the bacon pieces. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to crisp the bacon.

Garnish with fresh parsley or chives if you wish.

Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Asian Pear, Feta and PecansSpiralized Sweet Potato and Apple Salad

(Directions for making without a spiralizer included.)
to make enough for 6 people you will need:

2 large sweet potatoes, or one large butternut squash. , peeled and spiralized. If you do not have a spiralizer, peel and cut into 1″ cubes. You can check out a handy Spiralizer here.

small head romaine or green of choice

2 asian pears or apples. Use a crispy juicy apple like honey crisp or Fuji, you want it to be sweet

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or cashews

1/2 lb crumbled feta or goat cheese

Lime Vinaigrette

juice of 3 limes

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3c olive oil

salt and pepper

Measure all ingredients into small jar with tight cover. Shake until mixed. Can be made ahead, store in fridge.

Cook sweet potato noodles. Heat oven to 375 degrees. To make clean up super easy, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. For cubed sweet potatoes, roast for same amount of time until soft, but not mushy.

Spread out the sweet potato noodles evenly over sheet. Sprinkle nuts over evenly. Spray with no stick spray or coat with olive oil, 2 tbsp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes, mix, and bake another 5 minutes. You want the noodles to be al dente.

While noodles cook, wash and cut lettuce into bite size pieces and place in salad bowl.

While noodles are cooling, (you don’t want to add them too hot), spiralize the asian pears or thinly slice, if you don’t have a spiralizer,

Add cooked noodles to bowl of lettuce. Top with asian pear and feta cheese. Pour over dressing. Mix lightly. Serve.


This recipe came from King Arthur Flour. Baking is such a precise science, and this recipe is awesome!


PREP15 mins.

BAKE20 mins. to 25 mins.

TOTAL35 mins. to 40 mins.

YIELD one 9″ square or round pan, or 12 muffins

This cornbread is a rare compromise between Southern and Northern cornbreads: it’s “just right,” as far as the amount of sugar. It’s tender and moist, with a balanced corn flavor. While delicious just as it is, this recipe can also accommodate all kinds of personal touches. Feel free to add some cheese, green onions, corn kernels, jalapeño peppers, cooked sausage, or any combination of these suggestions. The combined volume of your add-ins should be a maximum of 1 cup.

The King Arthur guarantee: This cornbread will bake up light and tender, not dry, and have a moist crumb.

  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
  • 1 large egg
  • *For moister cornbread, substitute 1/4 cup vegetable oil or corn oil for 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the butter.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9″ square or round pan (a cast iron skillet will work fine, too), shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, or 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Stir in any desired herbs, cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings.
  4. In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, vegetable oil (if you’re using it), and egg.
  5. Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined.
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, or scoop into the muffin tin.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan and a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting; serve warm.

Tips from our bakers

  • Add-ins will increase the baking time by 5 minutes.
  • Don’t over mix: stir the batter just enough to bring it together and evenly moisten the ingredients.
  • If you decide to add creamed corn, decrease the milk in the recipe by 1/3 cup.
  • If you like a crispier crust on your cornbread, grease a cast-iron pan and place it in the oven for 10 minutes to heat. Scoop the batter into the hot pan and return it to the oven to bake as directed. Check on the cornbread after 15 minutes.
  • Want to make mini loaves? Use three 3 1/4″ x 5 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ mini loaf pans. Use 1/3 (1 cup) of the batter per pan. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 23 to 25 minutes. When done, the loaves will be golden brown on top, firm to the touch, and a tester inserted in the middle will come out clean.
  • Cornbread isn’t just an accompaniment to chili anymore. It can be dressed up to go with most any dish. Stir in any of these extra ingredients, or experiment with some of your own.Corn and Scallion1/2 cup (2 ounces) fresh/cooked or frozen/thawed corn kernels1/2 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) chopped scallions (3 or 4 scallions, white and green part)Bacon, Cheddar and Chive1/4 cup (4 ounces) cooked, crumbled bacon3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated cheddar cheese

    2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives


    1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) dried cranberries

    1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts


Favorite Pecan Pie Bars

Favorite Pecan Pie Bars

This recipe came from Taste Of Home.

This pecan bar recipe is the perfect little gift this winter. Send your favorite holiday travelers on their way with a package of these nutty little bars to eat when they get home. —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min.

Bake: 45 min. + cooling

YIELD: 4 dozen.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped pecans


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt; cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 15x10x1-in. Baking pan. Bake 20 minutes.
  • 2. For filling, in a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in pecans. Spread over hot crust.
  • 3. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until filling is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Please let me know what you think of this menu, or if you have a favorite recipe you’d like me to reference in a future blog. President’s day is coming! Thanks, Jeanette


This post contains affiliate links and if you purchase something, I will get compensated.

Share and Enjoy !


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.