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Missing the Smoky Mountains but a trip isn’t in the cards right now?  You’re not alone!  When you can’t make it to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge we have fun ways to bring the mountains to you in your very own home.  We’ve even compiled our favorite list of recipes from Gatlinburg and recipes from Pigeon Forge to help tide you over until you can make it back to visit.  

Recipes from Gatlinburg TN

Tasty Breakfast Items

Anyone who has been to Gatlinburg knows our most famous food – pancakes!  Why Gatlinburg has so many pancake houses is a mystery to locals and tourists alike.  Sure, there are plenty of theories.  Folks in the Appalachian mountains needed hearty breakfasts to fuel their long days on their farms back in our farming community days.  Another theory as to why Gatlinburg has so many pancake restaurants is due to the name of the valley itself. The Sugarlands valley was home to many sugar maple trees when white settlers came here in the early 19th century.  No matter the reason for our pancake houses, we sure know they’re popular!  Here are two great ways to enjoy pancakes from Gatlinburg at home. 

Flapjack’s Sticky Bun Pancakes


Your favorite pancake batter

Chopped pecans, to taste

Your favorite cream cheese icing, to taste

Cinnamon sugar paste, recipe below: 

Cinnamon Sugar Paste: 

1.5 cups brown sugar

1 cup margarine

2 tablespoons cinnamon


Heat your pancake pan or griddle.  Add your cinnamon sugar paste to a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag with the tip removed.  When your cooking surface is hot, pour pancake batter in 4 inch to 6 inch sized cakes.  After 1 minute, pipe the cinnamon sugar paste into the pancake in a spiral shape.  Sprinkle pecans to taste over the paste.  Cook pancakes for another minute.  Flip the cakes and cook until done.  Plate the pancakes with your spirals facing up, drizzle with cream cheese icing & more pecans and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin.  

Crockett’s Breakfast Camp – Aretha Frankenstein Pancakes 

Replicate this Gatlinburg recipe on a lazy weekend morning!  Made with Frankenstein Mills famous Aretha Frankenstein pancake mix and added to a 6-inch omelette mold, you might think you’re eating the real deal at home.  


Make the pancake mix according to the directions on the package.  

Representatives from Frankenstein Mills recommend heating your griddle on a low heat.  Spray the ring and griddle with a non-stick spray and fill the ring only halfway with batter.  These tasty pancakes take approximately 15 minutes to cook given their enormous size.  Keep the heat low and watch for the bubbles to stop forming in the ring.  Remove the ring, flip the cake, and finish cooking.  Crockett’s Breakfast Camp offers plenty of mouthwatering toppings.  We recommend some fresh berries, whipped cream, and, of course, plenty of real maple syrup!

Savory Southern Fare

What would a trip to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge be without tasty southern classics?  If you’re missing our best down home meals, you may want to try these belly filling recipes from Gatlinburg.  

Recipes from Blake Shelton’s Ole Red

Ole Reds Restaurant with live music

Ole Red’s Beer Cheese

Served on their Redneck Nacho appetizer, Ole Red’s beer cheese is sure to delight your tastebuds!  


1 package of Velveeta cheese; prepare by cutting into cubes

¾ cup of Miller High Life

2 tablespoons of milk

1.5 teaspoons onion powder

1.5 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 can of Ro-tel, divided in half


Set up a double boiler over medium heat on your stove top.  Place the Velveeta cubes, Miller High LIfe, and milk in the double boiler, stirring occasionally until the mixture is melted.  Add the onion powder, garlic powder, and mustard and stir until incorporated.  Stir in half the Ro-tel and remove from the heat.  

From here, your beer cheese is ready! Serve as a dip by adding to a bowl and topping with the remaining Ro-tel.  To make your meal more authentic to the restaurant experience, serve over kettle style potato chips topped with barbecue sauce, pickled jalapenos, avocado, sour cream, the remaining Ro-tel, green onions, and even some smoked chicken!  The possibilities for your Redneck Nachos are only limited by your imagination!

Speaking of chicken, maybe you’d like to try another Ole Red Classic at home.  

Ole Red’s Champagne of Chicken

A southern classic, Ole Red’s Champagne of Chicken entrée is served with a pepper gravy and buttermilk biscuits for a satisfying meal. Serve it up Nashville Hot Chicken style with your favorite hot sauce if you prefer!

Ole Reds in Gatlinburg TN


¾ cup dill pickle brine

3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

3 bottles Miller High Life

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 whole chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces

Canola oil, for frying

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup finely ground cornmeal

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1.5 tablespoons black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Flake sea salt for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, combine pickle brine and 2 Tbsp salt to a boil. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until salt dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in 2 bottles of beer, thyme sprig and bay leaf. Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold brine and chicken. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate until cold. Add chicken to cold brine; refrigerate 6-12 hours.
  2. Fill a large Dutch oven or pot with 3 inches of oil. Heat to 350°F.
  3. In a pie plate, combine flour, cornmeal, remaining 1 Tbsp kosher salt, paprika, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme and cayenne. Pour remaining bottle of beer into a shallow bowl. Set a wire rack over a sheet pan.
  4. Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from brine, shaking off excess. Dredge in flour mixture, dip in beer and dredge again in flour mixture. Place on a wire rack; let stand for 3 minutes. Fry 8-10 minutes or until golden and chicken registers 165°F on a meat thermometer, turning to cook evenly. (Fry chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.) Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with flake sea salt.

Both Ole Red recipes were originally posted by Parade Magazine.  Find the chicken and beer cheese recipes on their website.

Paula Deen’s Cheese Biscuits

Eating a filling meal at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is the epitome of family style.  Large dishes served to share? You bet!  While choosing your entrees to share can be difficult with a group, everyone can agree on the cheese biscuits.  Here’s how you can make them at home, straight from The Lady herself!

cheese biscuits on a white plate


1 cup buttermilk

¼ stick melted butter

¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

⅓ cup shortening

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups self-rising flour


Preheat oven to 350 °F.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together using a fork; cut in shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Add cheese. Stir in buttermilk all at 1 time just until blended. Do not over stir. Drop by tablespoonfuls, or use an ice cream scoop, onto a well greased baking sheet. Brush dough with melted butter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 16-20 biscuits.

The Pottery House Cafe’s Shrimp and Grits

It doesn’t get much more southern than shrimp and grits!  This classic customer favorite recipe from the Smoky Mountains comes straight from the restaurant!


1 pound peeled, deveined, and tail removed shrimp

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 cups water

1 cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon hot sauce; add more to taste

1 cup The Old Mill Yellow or White Grits

1 cup to 1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup grated parmesan 


Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the peeled shrimp in a bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until melted. Add the onion and pepper and stir until soft, 3 minutes. Add the water, cream, and hot sauce, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then when boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk in the grits. Stir and cook until the grits thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the cheeses until melted.

Arrange the shrimp in the middle of the grits mixture, pushing them down into the grits. Place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the shrimp have just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and serve warm.

Locally Famous Recipes

Some places are just known for their delicious food.  Luckily, we’ve got the most popular recipes from Pigeon Forge listed for you below!  

The Old Mill’s Corn Chowder

A customer favorite for more than 25 years, the corn chowder at The Old Mill is “the thing that families look forward to enjoying” according to The Old Mill themselves.  If you’ve had this tasty soup on a trip to Pigeon Forge, you’ll know why guests often ask to buy this by the quart and if they can take home the recipe too!

The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, TN


2 cups chopped onion

2 cups chopped red and green bell pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 cup clam juice

3 cups diced potatoes

3/4 cup cracker crumbs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch each of garlic powder and onion powder

2 cups half-and-half

2 cups corn kernels


Place the onion, peppers, and butter in a large soup pot over medium heat, so that the butter melts and cook until the onion and peppers get soft, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the chicken broth, water, clam juice, and potatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender about 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine the cracker crumbs, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk into the hot soup mixture until smooth. Bring to a boil again, over medium heat, and stir in the half-and-half and the corn. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until thickened and well combined, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of The Old Mill’s website.

Dollywood’s Famous Cinnamon Bread

Finally, what could be more iconic than Dollywood’s Cinnamon Bread?  This beloved treat at the theme park is loved by nearly everyone, and no trip to Dollywood is complete without it.  The Hallmark Channel recently shared this decadent recipe

Dollwyood Express and Grist Mill at Dollywood Theme Park.


Ingredients for the Bread: 

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 1⁄2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 (1-pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Ingredients for the Glaze: 

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2 to 3 tablespoons water or fresh lemon juice


Coat two 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2 by 2 1⁄2 -inch loaf pans with vegetable oil cooking spray

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside.

Cut the dough lengthwise into two pieces. Make 4 crosswise slits in each piece, taking care not to cut all the way through. Brush the loaves all over with butter, making sure to cover the creases. Roll each loaf in the cinnamon mixture, packing the cinnamon into the creases with your hands. Place the loaves in the prepared pans and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Bake the bread, turning the pans around once, for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and a tap on the bottom of the pan yields a hollow sound.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small bowl, vigorously stir together the powdered sugar and water until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Turn the breads out onto a rack while they’re still warm and drizzle with the glaze.

Ready to visit the Smokies again?!

hot tub with a view at majestic mountain view, a rental cabin

Have all these recipes inspired you to take a trip to Gatlinburg?  Let American Patriot Getaways help!  We’d love to help you try all the recipes from Gatlinburg while you’re visiting.  Whether it’s just the two of you or the entire extended family, we have a cabin to match your group size and budget.  Give our talented and friendly reservationists a call at 800-204-5169 or visit our website to find your best vacation getaway today.  

If you need more help planning your Smoky Mountain Vacation, be sure to check out all our vacation guides, and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

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