Soul food is the cornerstone and backbone of southern hospitality.
Soul food reminds us of family, comfort, and love. Preparing soul food brings people together from all walks of life and makes the perfect addition to any meal.
Start here if you want to prepare the tastiest soul food in town.
Whether at home or at a cookout, baked beans will always be a fan favorite.
This recipe is special because it combines canned beans with a delectable homemade sauce. All you need is apple butter, ketchup, honey, and cumin to make the sauce.
Toss this in with your beans, and you’ll have the perfect baked beans.
Here’s the best-baked beans recipe.
Also known as rice pilaf, dirty rice is some of the tastiest and spiciest rice to compliment your meal.
To make rice pilaf, simply add ground pork, bacon, onions, and green peppers to regular rice, along with seasoning.
Most households create a nice glaze to coat the rice.
Here’s the recipe.
Baked Mac & Cheese
Nothing beats cheesy mac and cheese. And for soul food, you’ve got to have this on the list.
It’s time-consuming but 100% worth it. After 30 minutes in the oven, this baked mac and cheese recipe comes out super smooth and super bubbly.
It’s best to use three types of cheese– all shredded yourself. Velveeta is nice, but it won’t get the job done alone. Colby Jack, sharp cheddar, and mild cheddar are amongst the best cheeses to create baked mac and cheese.
Smothered Pork Chops
Pork chops are a Southern favorite for their low maintenance and tender center. Smothered pork chops just take it to the next level.
All you need to make smothered pork chops is bone-in chops, an onion, some buttermilk, and a little bit of broth.
Smothered pork chops are made by frying the pork chops until crisp and then laying them in a bed of sauce– smothered.
Here’s the tastiest smothered pork chop recipe.
When you need to get your veggies in, with a hint of flavor, try Southern-style Collard Greens.
Kids enjoy it because it doesn’t taste like traditional veggies, and adults love it because it’s easy to make.
All you need is your favorite greens, garlic, sea salt, and red pepper flakes to make this recipe. Sound simple? It is. And it only takes about 20 minutes to make.
Yams make the perfect addition to any Southern meal. They’re warm and soft like marshmallows– with marshmallows!
Children and adults alike can make candied yams. All you need to do is lay out the yams in a baking dish and sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
Then sprinkle sugar and brown sugar on top just for added flavor and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
You can find the perfect candied yam recipe here.
Sweet Potato Pie
The perfect closure to a perfectly crafted soul-food meal is a trademark soul-food dessert. And that’s exactly what sweet potato pie is.
The recipe is extensive, so you’ll need to take a trip to the grocery store before attempting this one.
Most sweet potato pie recipes just call for cinnamon and vanilla, but a pinch of nutmeg goes a long way.
Sweet potato pie takes about an hour to bake, but it’s worth every second.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
When regular mashed potatoes just won’t do, here is the perfect soul-food alternative.
Mashed sweet potatoes are everything you love about mashed potatoes, but sweeter. You can even add more garlic to make it more traditional.
To make sweet mashed potatoes, you’ll want to mash your sweet potatoes. It’s best to find nice large ones with mushy insides.
When your potatoes come out of the oven, give them a generous drizzle of olive oil for added flavor.
Red Beans And Rice
There’s nothing like homemade red beans and rice. It’s the perfect combination of Louisiana spices with long grain rice.
To make red beans rice, you’ll need a lot of seasoning, including smoked paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. If this sounds like a lot, you haven’t had the best red beans and rice.
Red beans and rice are especially special because they don’t cost a lot to make. You can find most of the ingredients at the Dollar Store.
Here’s one of the simplest ways to make it.
Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are full of flavor and make the perfect side dish.
To make them, all you need is a can of black-eyed peas and your favorite meat, chopped up. I like to use bacon, but you can also use beef or pork.
The recipe takes about 15 minutes in total to make and has loads of flavor. No leftovers for sure!
Add this recipe to your next meal.
Dinner rolls are great, but it is only appropriate to pair them with cornbread when eating soul food.
Cornbread is the way to go if you want firm bread with a soft center. All you’ll need is cornmeal, flour, sugar, and eggs to make this recipe.
You can also buy the cornbread mix and just pop it in the oven for an easy weeknight side.
Either way, everyone is sure to enjoy its presence.
Check out this simple cornbread recipe.
Red Velvet Cake
Nothing beats the taste of rich, creamy red velvet cake. It can be topped with or without walnuts and still taste delectable. Kids and adults alike rave over this dessert treat.
Baking cake can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. To make this recipe, you’ll need several ingredients not found in other cake recipes, including cocoa powder, white distilled vinegar, and red food coloring.
Bake in the oven at 325 degrees on the middle rack for 35 minutes and watch your creation rise. Be sure to let it cool before frosting!
As far as soul food goes, you can’t go wrong with a batch of Southern-fried chicken. Everyone loves the crispy outside and juicy inside, and it tastes even more amazing with sauce.
To get the perfect fried chicken, you’ll want to start with a whole chicken cut yourself. You’ll also want to use clean grease, peanut oil, and self-rising flour. It is also a good rule-of-thumb to dry its skin-side down.
Before serving your juicy fried chicken, be sure to drain it on a napkin, so you’re not dropping grease.
Here’s one of the easiest recipes.
Chicken isn’t the only deep-fried Southern staple. Fish is widely recognized as soul food and regularly served with other soul-sides. This recipe is perfect for weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time but still crave that fried taste.
This recipe calls for a can of beer to bring out the flavor, so make sure you have one handy. And as with most fried recipes, be sure to drain on a napkin before serving.
Fried fish is easier than chicken because it doesn’t take that long to thaw, you rarely need to cut it, and it fries in about 5 minutes or less.
Braised ribs are a really tasty treat and taste even better when cooked in a slow roaster for several hours– this brings out the flavor. And when the skin slides off the bone? You won’t resist.
You’ll need a lot of garlic, fennel seeds, black pepper, celery, carrots, and shallots to make the perfect braised ribs.
To make them fall off the bone, you’ll need to place them in a slow cooker for about 7 hours on low or 5 hours on high.
To bring out the flavor, scrape the bottom of the skillet before transferring your ribs to a cooker. But don’t take our word for it; check out the recipe.
Stew makes everything better. When you had a cold as a kid, Mom always made stew to keep your insides warm.
This recipe is sure to remind you of those soulful memories.
Start by searing beef chunks over medium-high heat to make this stew. Then transfer the meat to a slow cooker and add several seasonings and broth.
The recipe calls for red wine, so add some in before pouring yourself a glass. Then let that cook for 7.5 hours on low.
The results will amaze you.
Nothing beats good old-fashioned pork neck bones. You can make them with or without a slow cooker. Either way, their taste is unmatched.
To make neck bones, start by drizzling vegetable oil and vinegar over them and then generously seasoning. Then place them in your cooker and sprinkle cornstarch over them.
You’ll need to stir this mixture intermittently while it cooks. In 4 hours, you’ll have the tastiest pork neck bones in town.
Oxtail stew is one of the tastiest fall-off-the-bone recipes that include a lot of really yummy veggies. And best of all, it won’t cost a lot of money to make.
To make oxtail stew, you’ll need 3 pounds of oxtails. This will ensure you have enough to satisfy everyone in your household.
Start by browning the oxtails and the veggies, and then slowly add in garlic, a bay leaf, beef stock, dry wine, and your favorite seasonings.
Let this cook for 3 hours and begin roasting turnips. Turnips make the perfect addition to oxtail stew because of their texture.
Check out this recipe.
You can enjoy grits for breakfast alongside other breakfast meats or dinner alongside a savory entree. Either way, grits are a must-have soul-food favorite.
Making grits is quite simple, but the soul-food edition requires a bit more care.
When the grits finish cooking, throw butter and seasoning into the pot and let that simmer. This is the trick to perfect soul-food-style grits.
Hushpuppies are typically paired with other seafood, but they sure taste good by themselves. If there were ever a competition for soul-food snacks, hushpuppies would be at the top.
Its outside is made of a rich crispy cornmeal breading and the inside is made of an onion mixture that’s soft and savory. The scoops are deep-fried to perfection and dipped in cocktail sauce.
To make hushpuppies, you won’t need to visit your local surf-n-turf; you can make it easily at home with a few simple ingredients.
Warm your stomach with this exciting peach cobbler recipe. It’s soft, sweet, and full of fruity goodness. The kids will enjoy this one for sure.
This recipe is made with freshly peeled peaches. Once baked, they soften and caramelize into a peachy paradise. By adding just a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla you will have the best pie at the potluck.
Check out this unique recipe, and don’t forget to pair it with ice cream.
Sure regular spaghetti is great, but something about baking it in the oven turns it into a soul-food delicacy. Check out this simple baked spaghetti recipe next time you want to spice up your traditional noodles.
Instead of making your spaghetti how you usually do, the difference here is that you top it with a cup of mild cheddar cheese. Then bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes afterward.
Pair with Texas Toast for an easy soul food dinner.
Deviled eggs are the go-to party favorite. But they also make the perfect appetizer to kick off a weekday dinner.
To make deviled eggs, all you need to do is half a couple of boiled eggs and scoop out the yolk. Then stuff the inside with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. And then top it with paprika for an added smokey flavor.
Pop the deviled eggs in the fridge until firm, then feel free to snack.
Best of all, you can enjoy these bad boys for up to 72 hours.
Families enjoy banana pudding more often than just the holidays. And best of all, it doesn’t require baking!
To make banana pudding, you’ll need 3 ripe bananas and a couple of extra bananas for layering.
Alternate between homemade or store-bought pudding, banana slices, and vanilla wafer cookies.
If you’re making homemade pudding, you may need to use a spatula to mix in the ripe bananas and whipped topping.
A seafood boil combines the tastiest treats in the sea with the most flavorful seasonings. A seafood boil is a way to go if you like juicy food with minimal effort.
To have the perfect boil, you just need a steaming pot of water and a hunk of Old Bay, but several seafood selections make the boils extra special.
Most people toss in raw shelled shrimp, sausage, red potatoes, corn, crabs, eggs, and whatever else would cook well in the pot.
Let that boil for about 10 minutes, and you’ll have the messiest meal of all time.
Chitterlings, or chitlins, have always raised a bit of controversy due to their unusual look and smell, but their taste can only be defined as chewy and tangy.
You must clean your chitlins thoroughly before cooking.
They’re best slow-roasted, but you can sear them beforehand to bring that flavor to the surface.
Throw in your favorite veggies and red potatoes for a complete meal.
When you don’t have a lot of time on the weekdays, it’s easy to put together an easy gumbo. But when you’re staying in on a Saturday night, gumbo becomes the perfect meal to snuggle up on the couch with.
This gumbo recipe combines shrimp and your favorite sausage. Traditional recipes use andouille, but as long as you have a half-pound of sausage, you’ll be fine.
The results are a smooth, spicy liquid that warms up your insides. Enjoy by itself or pair with rice.
Everyone adores the guest who brings potato salad, so be sure to bookmark this recipe before your next get-together.
This recipe utilizes several boiled eggs, russet potatoes, a variety of mustards, and mayonnaise. A fresh onion would also be a good addition to your potato salad in place of onion powder.
Mix the ingredients well for the best results.
To make the best soul-food salad, all you need is a special blend of lettuce and your favorite pieces of chicken.
A soul-food salad’s lettuce bed is made of cos lettuce, rocket, and watercress. Along with
asparagus, corn kernels, green beans, and cherry tomatoes.
Thighs and breast top well on a soul-food salad but feel free to use whatever chicken you like. Get creative with its prep by searing it, frying it, or grilling it.
A shepherd’s pie is the complete meal all in one. It combines the best parts of dinner under a bun!
To make shepherd’s pie, just spread ground beef evenly onto a baking sheet, cover it evenly with mashed potatoes, and then bake it. Broil the top for an additional 2 minutes if you want that crispy top.
Shepherds’ pie tastes great alone or with gravy.
Chicken and Vegetable Chowder is another soup-like meal that serves well on a winter night.
Chicken chowder takes less than 10 minutes to cook, and most of the ingredients can be found in your kitchen. Marinate your chicken pieces overnight for additional flavor.
Chicken Chowder serves best with bread such as French bread or croissants.
Although meatloaf is just plain ground beef, the tangy sauce makes it especially flavorful.
To make the chewiest meatloaf and the tangiest sauce, you’ll need a meat thermometer and plenty of mustard.
To thicken up your sauce, thoroughly mix the ketchup and brown sugar. If you find it lumpy, splash cold water in the mix.
Meatloaf tastes best paired with asparagus and mashed potatoes, but you can enjoy it with any traditional soul-food side.
Before removing your meatloaf from the oven, be sure to top it with extra sauce.
Dressing, also known in some regions as stuffing, is a Southern favorite. Its typically served during big feasts such as Thanksgiving and potlucks and is known for feeding a crowd.
You can easily make a smaller portion at home. In most recipes, you just need to halve the ingredients.
The dressing is a combination of chicken broth, onion, celery, and garlic, mixed with cornbread. The results are a crunchy and creamy casserole.
And best of all, you can store the dressing in the freezer for months, and it’ll still taste fresh.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes. They’re more dense and acidic than regular tomatoes and pack a lot of flavors when deep-fried.
The key ingredients to perfect fried green tomatoes are all-purpose flour, buttermilk, eggs, hot sauce, and of course, your tomatoes.
Remember to drain your tomatoes before serving and then fan them out nicely on a plate with a bowl of dipping sauce (this is how you get your kids to eat their veggies).
To fry okra, you’d follow the same steps you’d use to fry anything else. Start with a bowl of beaten eggs, a bowl with flour, and a bowl with cornmeal.
Dip the okra in the cornmeal first, eggs second, and then back in the cornmeal before frying to a golden crisp.
Fried okra tastes like hushpuppies without all the calories. Fried okra is a great way to encourage the children to eat their vegetables without any mess.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is a delicious take on dessert with a savory center.
Pot pies are typically made with canned chicken, but you can upgrade your recipe by freshly chopping chicken breast. The rest of the pie is stuffed with creamy soup, peas, carrots, and other vegetables you like.
Chicken pot pie is also made with soft puff pastries. Don’t fill up on pie crust!
Beef Pot Roast
Soul food recipes are special because they take the time to curate each ingredient. Take beef pot roast, for example; this meal is a fall-off-the-bone favorite and lasts for days.
Slow roasted beef pot roast never goes out of style. This recipe submerges potatoes, carrots, and various seasonings into a brown sauce.
Pot roast tastes best when served with plain rice.
I guarantee you won’t find a rose recipe half as good as this one. When the chuck flavors melt in your mouth, it’s impossible to resist.
Biscuits and Gravy
Do you remember the warm biscuits grandma used to make with the special gravy on top? Yes, we do too.
There’s truly nothing like homemade biscuits and gravy, and you can enjoy them throughout the day. This biscuit and gravy recipe will taste like nostalgia and a warm hug.
To create these wonderful biscuits, you’ll need to break out the kneading skills. You’ll also need plenty of flour, baking powder, buttermilk, and melted butter. To make the special gravy, simply whisk together a tube of breakfast sausage, milk, flour, and olive oil.
Peanut Butter Fudge
When candy isn’t an option, this is always a good alternative. Peanut butter fudge is super easy to make and kid-friendly.
To make this easy snack, you’ll need unsalted butter, salt, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar, and of course, peanut butter. You can pop this mixture into the microwave and have the perfect fudge in about 20 minutes or less.
Peanut butter fudge has always been a favorite soul-food snack because it’s low on calories, feels good in your mouth, and is fun to make.
Spaghetti can be made in about 30 minutes or less and makes a great weeknight meal.
Spaghetti is very simple to make and doesn’t involve a lot of skill. All you need to make the perfect spaghetti is a pound of ground beef, toss in some noodles, and pour the right amount of sauce on top.
If you want to jazz up your spaghetti, you can add sugar, ketchup, or cheese.
Kids love spaghetti night, and you’ll enjoy fewer dishes.
It might be hard to believe you can have a cookout indoors, but you can!
Oven-baked ribs are the best ribs ways to eat ribs on a cold or rainy day.
To make oven-baked ribs just coat your ribs in your favorite rubs and spices and then wrap them in foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 3.5 hours and then remove from the oven to baste with your favorite sauce. Then put those babies back in the oven for 5 more minutes and viola.
If you need some tasty sauce inspiration, try whisking together BBQ sauce, brown sugar, a tad bit of mustard, and hot sauce.
Easy Soul Food Recipes, Final Thoughts
We’ve listed the tastiest and easiest soul food recipes that might inspire you to try something new or perhaps remind you of an old favorite you haven’t had in a while.