Southern Cuisine: Holle's Cracker Salad

Southern Food

My grandmother and great-grandmother were from Charleston and Savannah, and both were wonderful cooks. They specialized in Southern food and Low Country dishes, even though they didn't call them that at the time. Most were similar to Creole and Cajun dishes.

One of Granny's signature dishes was cracker salad. She brought it to every family function we had. She even had a cut glass dish reserved just for the serving of her cracker salad. Everyone loved this food - except for me! I was practically disowned as a child because I lacked the family affinity for the revered cracker salad.

I guess my genes finally caught up with me, however. As an adult, I acquired a taste for the dish, and sometimes I get a strong craving for it! I especially like it with barbecue and at picnics and other warm-weather events. I had to tweak the old recipe, of course, to make it my own!

Here's what you need to make it:

one sleeve of good quality saltines

one standard can of diced tomatoes, with liquid

finely chopped onions, to taste

minced garlic, to taste

Miracle Whip or mayonnaise (Granny used Miracle Whip, but I prefer mayo.)

salt and pepper

Creole or Cajun seasoning, to taste (Granny didn't use this, but I think it adds a lot of interest.)

Finely crush the saltines into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, juice and all. Blend until the saltine crumbs are soft. Add enough Miracle Whip or mayonnaise so that the consistency of the dish is similar to that of potato salad. Add the seasonings, onion, and garlic, and mix again. Refrigerate for several hours, and serve cold.

I've played around with the basic recipe from time to time, adding this or that. Crumbled bacon or real bacon bits gives the cracker salad a wonderful flavor. Diced bell pepper is also a good addition. If you want the salad extra spicy, add chopped jalepenos or a few shots of Tobasco sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce. Some people add chopped boiled eggs to the salad, also, but I like it better without them.

This is a great dish if you need something like potato salad but don't have any taters!

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Comments 12 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 7 years ago

Thanks so much for the recipe. It sounds like something i would love to try.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

People either seem to love it or hate it! Thanks for reading.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

Sorry. habee, but what are saltines? It sound great and I think and heard of it that the Southern cooking is really tasty.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Saltines are crackers. The most popular brand is Nabisco, or maybe Premium. They're square with salt on top - not sweet. Most people eat them with soup and chili.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

Thank you ever so much for your comeback. That got me now into the 21st century ha ha ha

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Funny, HH. I figured you in the UK call them something else?

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

I never heard of cracker salad! I can't really imagine how it would taste and whether or not I'd like the texture. Have you ever made it with fresh tomatoes and just enough canned juice to moisten?

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

RM, I have added fresh diced tomatoes, but I've never made it without the canned tomatoes. Might be worth a try! If you have enough liquid and let it sit long enough, the texture is very similar to potato salad.

Mrs. Moneypants profile image

Mrs. Moneypants 7 years ago from Canada and other places

Wow, how can something sound so gross and so delicious at the same time. I was laughing at myself while I was reading the recipe. I love to cook and entertain but I think this is one salad I might save for my solo movie nights (instead of popcorn).

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Like I've said many times - you either love it or hate it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I saw this on the previous hub I read, and had to take a look. I think I'll make it for a barbecue I'll be attending soon.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hope you likeit, Sheila!

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