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”.

bologna 006

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.

bologna 005

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’!

bologna 011

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. :)

“The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”

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!


Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Christy's email list and receive all her new posts directly in your inbox


  1. 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!

  2. 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…

  3. Dorothy Dunton says

    This may sound strange, but one of my favorite sandwiches is leftover baked beans with yellow mustard. My great uncle used to make these for me when I was very young. I think they did and still do taste good because we enjoyed them together!

  4. William says

    The one I remember best is a combination of peanut butter, molasses, and grated carrots. Because as my mother says if you need to get food into your children somehow that is good for them and, they will eat. Especially when you don’t a lot of it for them.

  5. Eva says

    Cold boiled Limas with fine chopped oinions a bit of salt between thin homemade bread slices. Brown sugar between thin sliced homemade bread, cocoa spread sandwiches, bologna fried of course, coldd potato sandwiches.

  6. MARSHA G says

    I never ate this but when I worked at the school (Texas) there was a little girl that came everyday with a mayonnaise and seasoned salt sandwich. Her mother said that was all she would eat. When I was little we used to eat green onion and mayonnaise sandwiches with the onions straight from the garden. Oh, those wonderful simple life days they were the best!

  7. Kimberly says

    I have several favorite sandwiches, depending on the season.

    Fall is for turkey dinner sandwiches (mayo, turkey, dressing, lettuce, gravy and cranberry sauce).

    Summer is mayo, s&p, maters and cukes…or bacon.

    Spring is mayo, fried bologna and cheese. I always cut my bologna like you do! And if I have any leftover pineapple rings, heat that up after the bologna and put on sandwich, then cheese so it gets all melty. <–that's a word, "melty."

    Winter is grilled cheese (with whatever goodies in the middle…sour pickles, B&B pickles, bacon, ham, tomato) or grilled pimento cheese (because we have to eat grilled cheeses with soup!).

    WHAT? You've never had a grilled pimento cheese with sliced tomatoes in the middle? *smacks forehead* For shame!! lol

  8. Luann says

    I love bologna sandwiches! I make mine on light bread with butter and mustard spread on the top piece of bread. On the bottom piece of bread, I layer the bologna, American cheese and Lay’s potato chips. Put the two pieces of bread together and you have an amazing sandwich!

    My mother use to make buttered toast with sugar on it with hot scalded milk poured over the toast. It was delicious for breakfast!

    My friend taught me to love buttered toast dipped in hot chocolate.

  9. Sandy says

    Oh, man! Now I need to put bologna on my grocery list. I’m not going to be able to get fried bologna sandwiches out of my brain until I make myself one. And pimento cheese! I need a pimento cheese and bologna sandwich pronto!

    My go to sandwich growing up was peanut butter, Miracle Whip, and lettuce. I have no idea where the idea came from because no one else in my family will touch it, but to this day I still eat them every chance I get. :-)

  10. Carol says

    –Crunchy peanut butter and butter on white, Italian, or rye
    –Thick sliced garden tomatoes with bologna and Miracle Whip on rye
    –Crisp iceberg lettuce and Miracle Whip on white
    –Chicken salad, homemade with white chicken meat, celery, and Miracle Whip ONLY on rye or Italian
    –Crunchy peanut butter and banana on rye, not fried and nothing else
    –Slab of bottom round roast chilled overnight on rye with Miracle Whip
    –Leftover turkey breast with Miracle Whip on toasted Italian
    –Grilled ham lunch meat and cheese on rye (sweet pickles as a bonus)
    –Pimento cheese on Italian, no crusts

  11. CJ says

    As a child I loved creamy PB (had to be Jiff) with banana and crisp bacon slices on fresh, fluffy white bread all washed down by a large glass of ice cold orange juice!! oh yum as I grew a little older I loved cold bologna and butter sandwiches made on fresh fluffy white bread (had one tonight). My mother grew up on cold mashed potato and butter sandwiches and my dad enjoyed a thick slice of yellow onion on buttered white bread. Funny the things people call good.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *