Fried Bologna & Other Southern Sandwiches

Southern Plate is more than just me typing and chatting away. In fact, YOU are the most important part of With that in mind, I hope you’ll take time to leave a comment and share your favorite sandwich from your childhood. See bottom of this post for more details! Gratefully, Christy :) bologna 003

When my mama was a girl they had a tradition of going out riding through the countryside on Sunday afternoons. They’d stop off at a little store to have thick slices of bologna cut off and made into bologna and cheese sandwiches. Pair that with a bottled drink and they were living high on the hog! “There just wasn’t anything like getting to ride in that car and look out the window while you ate a bologna sandwich!”.

This treat was passed down to my generation when we often sat down for lunch with a big loaf of bread and a stack of cheese slices in the middle of the table while Mama fried up bologna in a skillet. We’d each make our own sandwich and I’d make mine just like my brother did: Fried bologna, cheese, and potato chips settled in between two pieces of “loaf bread”.

Bologna sandwiches, sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s steak”, are such a part of our culture, they’re even used to gauge a person’s character. On the day we got married, my husband’s best man, Jim, had driven in a ways and was planning on staying overnight before heading back. He stayed with my Grandmother, who lived across the road from what was to be our new home. It had been quite a day with the wedding and reception and that evening Grandmama and Jim went out on her porch to relax and look out over the river.

For supper, Grandmama made the two of them bologna sandwiches.

To Grandmama, Jim and my husband represented a new generation, with a huge divide between folks her age and them. Grandmama had grown up dirt poor and picking cotton all of her life and here was this young man newly graduated from college with an engineering degree whose experience with her world had been nothing more than glancing at the cotton as the car went by. Its sometimes a little intimidating for folks who come from such humble backgrounds in situations like this, but when Jim accepted that bologna sandwich, it spoke volumes to Grandmama about the type of person he was at heart. Even now whenever he is mentioned she always chimes, in,

“That Jim is just a real good boy, he sat out there on the porch and ate a bologna sandwich with me”.

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To make the sandwich from my childhood you’ll need: Bread, cheese, mayo…

bologna 007and potato chips :)

My brother taught me the wonders of a potato chip sandwich over thirty years ago.

I think it almost made up for him cutting the entire side of my hair off a few years later.

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Now we have to fry out bologna. I always cut a slit halfway through to keep it from curling up into a bowl as it fries.

I prefer Zeigler bologna because it is made in Alabama. I try to buy as close to home as I can because last thing we want is to end up relying on a company halfway across the country for our food supplies. I think it’s best to support local suppliers to ensure that you have local suppliers. Zeigler’s has been around for over seventy five years. Their main plant is in Tuscaloosa and our own highly respected Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was once an owner of the company as well.

Reminder to all: I am not into football but Alabamians take their football very seriously.

So whatever team you are for, GO THEM!

bologna 008

You don’t need to spray your pan or anything, just put your bologna in it and cook it on medium, turning after it browns on one side. Some folks like there is just barely heated but I actually like a wee bit of black on mine :)

Note to myself: You use the word “actually” too much, stop it. Now. Seriously.


bologna 010

Oh lawd, that’s some good eatin’!

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I always smoosh it a bit to crunch the chips down some :)

bologna 012

Grandmama, I’m a real good girl because I still eat bologna sandwiches!

A few posts back we got into a comment discussion on strange sandwich combinations we grew up on. It was a fascinating comment section and we all really got a hoot out of reading it. I’d like to devote this comment section to those sandwiches. What did you grow up on? What brands do you insist on and why?

Mayonaise sandwich? Mustard sandwich? PB and banana? Tell us all about it! Also, why do you think Southerners eat such strange sandwich combinations-ketchup sandwich, anyone?

I think it is due to lack of food. When food was scarce, you could put something between two slices of bread, call it a sandwich and then it suddenly seemed like a meal. What do you think?

If there is anything else you wanna talk about in the comments section, feel free to do that, too.

See someone else’s comment you wanna reply to? Go right ahead!

I consider this to be my big old porch and we’re all just a standing around visiting with each other.

Y’all keep the conversation going and I’ll keep the tea glasses filled!

We’re all family here anyways. :)

โ€œThe happiest of people donโ€™t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.โ€

Submitted by Rebecca Hall. To submit your quote or read more, please click here.

I just love getting new positive quotes so thank you in advance!

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  1. says

    Oh, my goodness….one of my favorites as a little girl, and sometimes, as an adult woman. You just reminded me of one of the things that my Daddy introduced me to. Mine was made with Miracle Whip, fried really nice and brown, without potato chips as we could not afford them. This is not just something that a gal from Alabama eats because I am from Texas. I need to put bologna on my shopping list for my next trip to the grocery as I remember how good that fried bologna was.

    Thank you so much for all the great words of encouragement that go along with all the great, down-home recipes. May God Bless you and your beautiful family ALWAYS!!!!!!


    Boy did this bring back memories – I still love fried bologna sandwiches with mayo, and big slice of homegrown tomato! Of course, homegrown tomato with lots of mayo, salt and pepper sandwiches were my favorite That’s rich living! My two brothers ate all types of sandwiches, and if we didn’t have anything else, just white bread and mayo – Blue Plate Mayo. Of course, if I ate banana sandwiches, I had to have plain potato chips, still do. My friends from the North turn up their noses at sandwiches with mayo on them. They just don’t know what they are missing. I’m glad I’m from the South – we have the best food!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tracy says

      You must have some crazy friends from the north! I was born and raised in Ohio and I would never dream of eating any sandwich without mayo! And I mean mayo (Hellmans) not that nasty old Miracle Whip!


    My all-time favorite Summer-time sandwich is tomato, made with fresh tomatoes from someone’s garden here in Alabama. Now to make it really GOOD, slather your bread with homemade mayo (which I make just for this sandwich). I grew up with this wonderful homemade mayo and Alabama tomatoes. Many of these sandwiches were stacked with slices of fried bacon and lettuce. Now this is what I call a “perfect meal”!!!

  4. Barbara L Vickers says

    I still eat fried bologna sandwhiches, too!! Must have black on them!!
    My dad was the king of weird sandwhiches. He would take whatever meat we had , roast beef, chicken, anything, put it on bread with mayo, pimento cheese, and then put it under the broiler. And, being the daddy’s girl I was, I tried every sandwhich he made!!

  5. Jackie says

    #1 by far is the good ol’ mater sandwich! The best of the best…can’t beat it with a stick. It goes without saying that they have to be made with white bread (or light bread as my grandma called it). We also would cut open a biscuit, smear it with some Miracle Whip, and add a slice of onion.

    I think the reason we have such strange sandwich combos down here has to do with being po folks and having something that you could take to the fields for dinner. No cute little coolers back in those days.

    BTW, I like my fried baloney a little on the dark side, too. :o)

  6. Brandy S says

    My meme always made one of three sandwiches for lunch for us Grandbabies when we stayed the weekends with her & Papa. Every Saturday, we always got either a grilled pimento cheese sandwich, a good ol homegrown ‘mater sandwich *with Duke’s mayo of course (Is there any other kind here in the south???), or a fried bologna sandwich with ‘mater & cheese if we were lucky!! Oh how I miss spending Saturdays with my Papa out in the garden & the yard! Those weekends were the best :)

  7. Wendy says

    I love bologna sandwiches. In elementary school, my best friend always brought lunch – bologna sandwich. She quickly grew tired of them so we would always swap lunches. YUM-O! We used to fry bologna and put some garlic powder on it. So good! I love BBQ sauce on white bread. Also, mayo sandwich – with a little bit of salt and some black pepper. Pineapple (slice) sandwich and if I was lucky, I could put a slice of ham on it. Pimento cheese (oh gosh, I love it) sandwich. Tomato sandwiches. Banana sandwich with mayo. Is there anything you can’t put between two pieces of bread? ;) Oh, and I put chips on my ham sandwiches. I put Doritos on my hamburger, if I have some available.

    Bobby Flay has a hamburger on his menu at his burger place (Bobby’s Burger Palace) with chips on it and he calls it “crunchified”.

  8. Pat says

    All of these sound good to me. One of my favorites as a child was peanut butter and Miracle Whip on light bread. I also liked bologna with potato salad wrapped up in it.(a wrap before its time) I liked to dip it in catsup. Aren’t we all glad we are from the South.

  9. John Brislenn says

    I read this the other day and it brought back so many memories. I had to wait until last Wednesday to run out and get some bologna and white bread so I could make a sandwich. You see, I had to go to the doctor last Wednesday and check in. I am tryig to lose some weight and I didn;t want t mess things up. I told myself that if I had lost some weight, I would reward myself with a Bologna Sandwich. Not the best thing to do but that is what I did. I had lost 11 pounds and that was my reward. It tasted sooooooo goooood! I madeit just like Christy did with the exception that I added mustard and onions. I used Merita Old Fashioned bread. You know, the kind that sticks to the roof of your mouth. Well, today is Friday, the Bologna is gone, half of the bread is gone, a bag of potato chips is gone and I have to go back on my diet. It was so worth it though. Thanks Christy. I had forgotten all about Bologna and fried Bologna sandwiches. What a treat. If you all haven’t had one, you have missed out on one of the Southern great lunches.

  10. Tracy says

    My grandpa used to make a sandwich called the super duper. White bread, miracle whip, Jiff peanut butter, grape jelly, bologna, and American cheese. I like my fried bologna with cheese and peanut butter grilled like a grilled cheese. If I don’t fry the bologna I eat it with mayo mustard cheese and potato chips.
    My bologna must be Kahns and my chips must be Mikesells, I too believe in supporting local business. I am from north of Dayton Ohio and you just don’t get any more Dayton than Mikesells! I love this blog, I have enjoyed reading through the stories and comments!

  11. Teresa says

    I LOVE fried bologne sandwiches! But my absolute favorite way was the way my daddy did them for breakfast, He would dice up that bologne and fry it till it was crispy then scramble an egg with it. We would toast some bread put a bit of mayo and a slice of cheese, wrap it in a paper towel and munch all the way to the bus stop! I still make them for my kids even though they are grown, can’t wait to make them for my new grandson when he’s ready!

  12. Rachael says

    I just got done eating a potted meat and mayo sandwich, my grandma use to make for me all the time when I was little. Now it was my mom who introduced me to another fav of mine , a sliced pineapple and mayo sandwich! Man we sure eat good down here in LA (lower Alabama) !

  13. Terry Smyth says

    Born in 1944 in WVa and grew up eating mayonnaise because Mom said that only poor people ate Miracle Whip. Back then, Miracle Whip cost a lot less than mayonnaise- but today that is not the case. Cold thick bologna with mustard, or fried bologna with tomato or onion or both with mayonnaise was the way we did it then. As I spend time caring for my 94 year young Dad, we have fried bologna and garlic sandwiches every week. This article made me remember us three boys and bread and Lay’s plain potato chips in the back of a pickup on our way to Camden Park. No seat belts in those days or restrictions of riding in the back of a pickup truck….I wonder sometimes how we made it. Thanks again for a wonderful article.

  14. Jacquelyn says

    I remember when I was a little girl, my daddy used to eat onion sandwiches. They were made just like the tomato sandwiches he ate. Both slices of white “loaf” bread were spread generously with mayonnaise, then he would add a thick slice of Vidalia onion with plenty of salt and pepper. I thought it was “gross” until he talked me into trying it. Boy! Was it good! Of course, you can only eat onion sandwiches made with Vidalia onions because they were sweet, not strong or hot. I’ve always heard you could eat them like an apple, but I’ve never tried it! I also ate a PB and jelly sandwich with plain Lay’s potato chips on it every day for lunch from first grade to seventh grade!

  15. Arlene says

    I grew up eating sandwiches like fried bologna sandwiches and pineapple and mayo sandwiches, fried tater sandwiches with mayo and salt and pepper.
    I remember rushing home from school to eat cold biscuits sliced with mayo and sliced onion on them that was shining times.

  16. angelitacarmelita says

    OMG! I’m so glad I slowed down long enough today to catch up on some of these recipes and comments. I was raised in the South, but now live just a few hundred miles north of the Mason Dixon and any time I’ve said the words “banana sandwich” you should see the eye rolls I get! Yall have just made my day! Frankly, I still eat them. And bologna, pimento, tomato, potted meat sandwiches? check, check, check and check!

  17. Angela says

    I”m from Tabor City North Carolina……very small farm town.
    Fried bologna, fried egg and cheese w/ lil’ k-up and mustard on grilled butter toast….man that’s good. Banana and Duke mayo sandwich with bacon bits. Or a thick slice of good ol’ Fried Spice Lunchuan meat and cheese sandwich. That is three of my favorite sandwich.

  18. Mary Lou Cowan says

    I am new to your site, enjoy all, my son even gave me you cookbook for Christmas///
    I have cooked for many years,(your grandmother category fits me).
    My Mama always made me a sliced apple sandwich for school lunch,,,,white bread,,,mayo,,thinly sliced apple. Don’t remember any chips/

  19. Mary Lou Cowan says

    Christy,,,, sent one e-mail this am-where did it go??
    Enjoy your “sites” so much,,living in Ga. now, graduated from Red Level,Al.
    high school. Back to sandwiches, my Mama made apple sandwiches for my school lunch—–thinly sliced, placed on mayo on white bread.

  20. Carla Waddle says

    I still eat fried bologna today. My brother likes peanut butter, bologna and a slice of velveeta cheese. One of my favorite sandwiches is a slice of a fresh garden tomato, a slice of vidalia onion, sliced cucumbers and Miracle Whip. My dad used to like jam sandwiches – two pieces of white bread “jammed” together.

  21. Valerie says

    I grew up and still live in Texas. My momma always made us grilled peanut butter & jelly. You have the buttery crunch of grilled chesse, but the wonderful ooey gooey quality that comes from the PB&J. We also had fried green tomatoes and mayo on white bread. I love me some “samiches”!

  22. cathy says

    love this site. reminds me of back home in Virginia. unfortunately I live up north now( not forever God willin) Your right there’s nothing like being from the south. we grew up on fried Bologna sandwiches and fried egg sandwiches also mater sandwiches. my babysitter back then made me a samich once that was white toast, American cheese, pickle relish and mustard. that was good eating to but I’ve never met anyone who’s had that samich. have you or anyone else on here had it?

  23. Debi says

    when I was small, 50+ years ago, Momma made me and my brother bread and butter sandwiches with a little sugar sprinkled on them….just found your web-site and really enjoy it! Thanks!

  24. Kate says

    We left the East Coast when I was young and ended up in California, but we grw up on Fried Bologna (MUST be black) on white bread, or, butter and sugar on white bread as “dessert.” In the summer, fresh tomato and Best Food’s mayo on white bread, and if you were REALLY poor, ketchup on white bread. My father said when he was a child in the depression, his mother found a dime in the street. They bought a jar of ketchup and a loaf of bread and had ketchup sandwiches all week and they were living high on the hog, feeling like Kings.

  25. Margaret says

    We ate fried bologne sandwiches (or fried hot dog sandwiches) when I waas growing uo, but I`m pretty sure we put plain yellow mustard on ours! ….but we also ate mayonnaise or mustard sandwiches…just white bread with mayo or white bread with mustard…we were weird like that! and even today (I`m 57 years old!) I want a mayo or mutartd sandwich at times,but, unfortuanately…. they just aren`t the same!
    Also for a real treat, grandma made us sandwiches of white bread with her real butter and white sugar….yummy!!
    I love reading your blogs/stories, by the way.

  26. Roni says

    Peanut butter, bologna, and miracle whip sandwiches. Heavenly
    Hot dog split down the middle, peanut butter, and a slice of cheese. Microwave until warm and gooey. throw onto a slice of bread. Yummy

  27. Missy says

    No mustard or mayo for me. My Mawmaw would fry bologna (pronounced balony) in a cast iron skillet and she would cut a slit in it just like your photo shows. I would eat it on white bread either toasted or not toasted. There is something about bologna fried in an iron skillet that makes it taste so much better.

  28. Debara says

    I have always liked peanut butter with onion and peanut butter with potato chips, both on store-bought white bread. Now for bologna they have to be grilled like the cheese sandwiches with just a hint of mustard. The bologn must be the waxed type and thick sliced. Nothing else willdo.

  29. Susan says

    Mom would make fried green tomato sandwiches. She also would make red tomato sandwiches with miracle whip because we never had mayo. When she made fried bologna it always had to have onion, cheese and mustard.

  30. Lori says

    I haven’t had fried bologna in ages… I think I’ll have to rectify that soon.
    My dad made me fried egg sandwiches with Mayo (Best Foods, we live in CA) NEVER Miracle Whip, chips on white bread… usually Langendorf. It’s still comfort food for me and I find myself having them more often since he passed just over a year ago… sigh!
    My brother ate mustard and onion sandwiches on white bread.
    I love this website, it makes me feel so connected to my southern roots.

  31. Steve Lancaster says

    I am from Akron Ohio โ€“ the one time capital of West (BY GOD) Virginia. Growing up our Mom made my brother and I fried bologna sandwiches for lunch more than few times. Sometimes it was a fried hot dog sandwiches and then there was the grilled American cheese sandwich also. In the winter we always had them with tomato soup. Of course we eat a many PB and grape jelly sandwich as well. There was never a sandwich served at the table without a cold glass of milk. But, my all-time favorite sandwich was and still is egg salad made with mayo, chopped celery and a little black pepper on fresh white bread.

  32. Stephanie says

    My Grandma always made us fried bologna sandwiches topped with fried green peppers and mayo….mmm such good memories.. we also would eat pepperoni rolls with melted American cheese and fried green peppers on them.
    My mom would make me butter and brown sugar sandwiches. Haven’t had one of those for a long time! : )

  33. JPColter says

    I am from NE Colorado and grew up in the 60’s. I have fond memories of fried bologna and American cheese sandwiches – which rank up there with grilled cheese in my book. Sometimes we’d put butter on the bread and grill then until crispy like grilled cheese. Yum.

  34. Audrea B says

    Growing up in Alabama one of my favorite summer sandwiches is a fried tomato sandwich. Use white bread spread on Blue Plate Mayo slice of homegrown tomato. Add a little slat and black pepper. Add small amount of butter to skillet when butter has melted add sandwich. Brown then flip and brown the other side. If up smash the sandwich while cooking it will flip easier.

  35. Sue Tait says

    Oh my, white bread, Miracle Whip, “minner cheese”, (pimiento cheese) made with Velveeta and cheddar shredded, Miracle whip, and pimiento chunks.

    Or baloney on white with Miracle Whip and a slice of american cheese. I like this one grilled on a black iron griddle in butter, browned on both sides until the cheese is melted and the baloney is hot. Didn’t have potato chips, but always had a glass of cold milk.

    But nothing is better than a big fat sliced tomato right out of the garden, still warm from the sun, on white bread with Miracle Whip and a little sprinkle of black pepper. You need a big ol’ glass of sweet tea with this one. MMMMMMmmm-mmmmmmmm.

  36. Linda Watters says

    I was going through your webpage and came across the different kind of sandwich of your childhood. I will tell you mine. As I recall, you don’t like mayo, but I liked mayo and banana sandwiches. I also liked mayo and grape jelly. Gross, right?


  37. Charlotte Broadway says

    I always loved banana and peanut butter, I would take the banana and mash it up good then put some PB in it stir it around, my kids always called them Mashie Mashie, they loved them growing up, I still eat it like that !! So Good !!

  38. Mike Turner says

    Banana and mayo with lays or golden flake tater chips, lots of times just plain mayo and tater chips. Still have them all the time. I also like sliced apples or sliced pears with mayo. Every summer I have tomato sandwiches for lunch almost everyday when my tomatoes start coming in from my garden. I’m a newbie here at your site but I love to read the comments and recipes. I’m 51 y/o and recently started canning fresh fruits and veggies. I am going to have alot of great ideas this fall.

  39. Trisha says

    This Virginia girl loves a fried bologna sandwich w/mayonnaise! When I was little, my daddy worked at Philip Morris and right next door to the plant was a BBQ place called Hawk’s. They had the best bologna “burgers” around! My daddy always liked his w/cheese & fried onions but I stuck w/just mayonnaise on mine. I also grew up eating apple butter & peanut butter sandwiches. Every once in a while I’ll get a hankering for one :)

  40. Angel says

    I grew up with three kinds of sandwiches: grilled cheese, potted meat, and bologna. My grandma was the best at making grilled cheese. My daddy made the best potted meat sandwiches (with plain Lay’s, like I like em’), but my mama spoiled me on fried bologna. She would get bologna and yellow American cheese from the deli. If I wanted Oscar Mayer, I only had to ask my grandpa.

    Mama wouldn’t give me the sandwiches too often because of how horribly bad they were for me, but they were a great treat back in the day. She fried the bologna with a little country butter (the good stuff) in a cast iron skillet with a sprinkling of salt and pepper until dark and crispy around the edges. She would use my favorite bread (Merida old fashioned) and after she fried the thick bologna, she would sandwich it between two slices of cheese and two slices of buttered bread. Then she grilled the bread like a grilled cheese, but with that crispy bologna in the middle. She’d pair it with a small handful of plain Lays, a small chocolate Moon Pie, and semi-slushed can of RC Cola, and that was lunch. Nobody else ever could make fried bologna quite like her!

  41. C says

    Found this post because I was craving a fried bologna sandwich, and I wanted to look up how to make it :) Stayed because I wanted to post my all-time favourite sandwich: peanut butter and potato chips with dill pickles. Preferably with salt and vinegar chips, because I love them…


  1. […] Fried Bologna & Other Southern Sandwiches | Southern PlateThis treat was passed down to my generation when we often sat down for lunch with a big loaf of bread and a stack of cheese slices in the middle of the table while Mama fried up bologna in a skillet. … DeLone Wilson… […]

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