From Okra Soup to Fried Seafood: Darius Rucker, Chase Bryant and Many More Country Stars Talk Favorite Holiday Dishes

Donn Jones/CMA
Darius Rucker performs at the "CMA Country Christmas" taping on Nov. 8, 2013 at Bridgestone Arena in Downtown Nashville.

When it comes to celebrating the holidays country style, good food is a major part of the equation. From fried turkey to the perfect sugar cookie, every household has its Christmas traditions and certain dishes that are essential to the celebration. Billboard asked country artists to share their favorite country Christmas dishes.  Here’s a look at what they can’t do without this time of year.

Chris Young: I’d say sugar cookies. My mom makes sugar cookies and homemade icing. [I’ll say,] “Man I probably shouldn’t eat eight more of those, but okay!”

Darius Rucker: Collard greens, okra soup, sweet potato pies, and turkey. Okra soup is a Charleston thing with okra, tomatoes, corn and lima beans. It’s my favorite meal. And of course, I love turkey and ham, macaroni and cheese --  all the stuff that we love to eat during Christmas down in Charleston.
 
Sara Evans: I usually do Christmas breakfast with sausage gravy, homemade biscuits, cinnamon rolls -- all that kind of stuff.

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Maddie Marlow of Maddie & Tae: My mom makes a broccoli cheese casserole and that is amazing. And biscuits and gravy for breakfast sometimes on Christmas.

Taylor Dye of Maddie & Tae: I love sweet potatoes with marshmallow on top. It’s so good.

Chase Bryant: I’m looking forward to going home and eating Mexican food -- real genuine Mexican food. I cannot wait. Home is down by Corpus Christi, the small town of Orange Grove Texas, a thriving metropolis of about 1200 people. In my hometown, there’s actually something called the Chase Bryant Plate at a restaurant called Los Milpas. It’s cheese enchiladas, carne and a side of rice, beans, avocado, and chips and salsa, and tortillas. It’s like my plethora of favorite things I like to eat. And I’m also looking forward to my mom’s sausage balls. She makes the best sausage balls ever!

Scotty McCreery: I love a good old apple cider with some apple pie and vanilla ice cream on top. I know you can have that year-round, but whenever you can have it at Christmas time with the cider, it makes it a little more Christmassy.

Thomas Rhett: I like dressing. Some people call it stuffing. I like it plain, no gravy. I could eat three plates full of it. That’s the favorite thing I look forward to about Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Dustin Lynch: Honey Baked ham. I love it!

Chase Rice: Anything home-cooked. I’m not even going to say one thing. If I’m home and my mom cooked it, it’s my favorite because I haven’t had home cooking all year.

Kix Brooks: We fry turkeys at my place down in Louisiana where I go and spend Christmas. When people first started frying turkeys we set the yard on fire. We’re kind of experts now.

Cole Swindell: Somebody always drops off a Honey Baked ham at my grandmas and I always make sandwiches out of that for days. It’s always a Honey Baked ham!

Emily West: It has to be green bean casserole. That’s mine. Absolutely. Maybe a little of the cheese with jelly on top and an overwhelming amount of crackers, and that’s that.

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Shannon Haley of Haley & Michaels: I love stuffing from Thanksgiving. My parents have just started making it for Christmas for me as well, so I’m very excited about that.

Ryan Michaels of Haley & Michaels: Birthday cake because I was actually born on Dec. 25th... so I can pretty much ask anyone for anything on Christmas pertaining to dessert and I usually get it.

Scott Borchetta: My favorite holiday food would probably be the cranberries. I know that sounds crazy, but I love them! I like the way my wife Sandy makes it. I love the way she does that. Then [there’s our] favorite holiday drinks of course. We’re big red wine drinkers, so I’m ready.

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Ray Scott: I have to drift away from the traditional thing. We do a fried seafood feast on Christmas Eve every year and it’s become a big deal. I take home all my elastic waistband pants and we just get serious about it for a few days. That’s become what I look forward to the most is hanging out with family, eating shrimp and oysters.

Meghan Linsey: I love everything that’s bad for me. I love potatoes, I love gravy. I love bread. I love cheese. I just love everything that’s bad for me. It’s nice to be able to splurge during the holidays, take a nap, hang out with my dogs. It’ll be fun.

Gwen Sebastian: Absolutely turkey and dressing. Oh gosh, I love sugar cookies, and I still love my mom’s meatloaf. That’s going to be a holiday food because we’re going home for Christmas and I’m sure that will be on one of those days.

Katie Armiger: I have such a blended family so I go back and forth between houses and eat consistently for days. I love green bean casserole. Green beans are my favorite vegetable. So it’s kind of healthy... but not actually.


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