30 Authentic Soul Food Recipes

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What is authentic soul food, and where did it come from?

Soul food is African American food derived from Black enslaved people’s take from often unwanted or unknown parts, scraps, or leftovers of American and British cuisine. 

Combined with the soulful essence of West Africa for color, warmth, and flavor, it’s the preservation of Black people’s food traditions.

Authentic Soul Food Recipes

What is the difference between soul food and Southern food?

Soul food and Southern are often compared.

But enslaved African Americans developed soul food’s distinct and authentic character by creating outstanding meals from what was thought to be less-than-desirable cuts of meat and produce.

Southern food can be described as down South, home-cooked comfort food recipes where you can taste the hospitality.

How do you season like a Black person?

Soul food recipes rule number one: Always season your vegetables and meat! 

Even if you’re going to use a sauce – first season the vegetables and meat!

What is a traditional soul food meal?

What is a traditional soul food meal?

Feel like doing some real-deal Southern cooking?

How about Sunday dinner with fried chicken or Southern fried catfish with fried green tomatoes?

How about fried okra with shrimp and grits? 

Or stewed okra and tomatoes, seafood gumbo, shepherd’s pie, biscuits and gravy, or hush puppies?

To create a traditional and authentic soul food meal, start with evergreen soul food side dishes like:

Then, move on to the main course to include soul food entrées like:

Finally, bring the meal to a standing ovation close with mouth-watering Southern dessert favorites such as:

What is Black culture food?

What is Black culture food?

What is traditional Black history food?

African American food culture consists of hearty homecooked meals that you can point out as dishes with plenty of seasoning and rich flavor! 

The Best Soul Food Recipes For Black History Month Food & Facts
The Best Soul Food Recipes For Black History Month Food & Facts
The best Black History Month soul food recipes & Black history food facts. What’s the difference? Southern food, soul food & Black folks food
Check out this recipe!

 

What are the most popular soul food dishes?

While authentic soul food recipes may be accredited to the Southern US states, it’s loved everywhere from coast to coast in an array of popular dishes, including the soul food dishes below:

What is authentic soul food, and where did it come from?

Authentic soul food main dish recipes

Black folks soul food Southern fried chicken

Black Folks Soul Food-Southern Fried Chicken
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
What is the secret to good fried chicken?
The answer is a soul food Southern fried chicken recipe that Black folks created and perfected!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks buttermilk fried chicken

Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
Tender, juicy, fried chicken with flavorful, crispy, crunchy skin is a Black folks' buttermilk fried chicken recipe. A soul food recipe for buttermilk marinated chicken.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern soul food meatloaf

Southern Soul Food Meatloaf Recipe
Black Folks Southern Soul Food Meatloaf Recipe
A Black folks' Southern soul food meatloaf recipe is on the shortlist of official comfort foods of the South. A flavorful all-time favorite & classic meatloaf recipe!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern soul food chicken pot pie

Southern Soul Food Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Black Folks Southern Soul Food Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Southern comfort meets home-style goodness in this remarkable Black folks' soul food chicken pot pie recipe that'll make your taste buds sing!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks pineapple glazed ham

Black Folks Pineapple Glazed Ham
Black Folks Pineapple Glazed Ham
Black folks are famous for our sweet ham glaze recipes, especially with pineapple and brown sugar. So you may know this Black folks soul food recipe by other names like pineapple ham, pineapple baked ham, or pineapple and brown sugar ham.
No matter what you call it, it's the same beautiful and delicious glazed ham recipe masterpiece!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food Southern smothered chicken

Black Folks Soul Food Smothered Chicken
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Smothered Chicken
What makes a delicious soul food smothered chicken recipe?
Tender, juicy chicken seasoned with soul food spices and smothered in a flavorful, creamy gravy medley. That's Southern comfort food at its finest!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern fried chicken and waffles

Black Folks Fried Chicken And Waffles Recipe
Black Folks Southern Fried Chicken And Waffles Recipe
Southern fried chicken and waffles recipe is the perfect pair for a delicious and soulful breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! 
This recipe includes a beautiful marriage of juicy and tender Southern fried chicken and fluffy, buttery waffles with a delicious twist of sweet and spicy syrup for a delicate kiss of sweet heat. 
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern shrimp and grits

What Is Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits?
Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe
The secret ingredient to Black folks shrimp and grits is the Southern Creole sauce!
Typical to soul food and Black folks cooking, the seasonings make each recipe like none other. 
It's all about the spices and the special sauce.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food chicken yock

Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe Yock A Mein
Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe (Yock-A-Mein)
Chicken yock is a big bowl of comfort. In a warm, flavorful broth, soul food and Chinese food combine for tender chicken and noodles. This dish is also known as Old Sober, yak, yok, yock-a-mein (yaka mein), or simply Chinese yock.
Check out this recipe!

Authentic soul food side dish recipes

Black folks Southern homemade cornbread

Black Folks Southern Homemade Cornbread
Black Folks Southern Homemade Cornbread
Black folks homemade cornbread does not use a box mix. Instead, cornmeal is used to make this Southern skillet cornbread recipe from scratch.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food baked macaroni and cheese

Black Folks Southern Baked Mac And Cheese
Black Folks Soul Food Baked Macaroni And Cheese
Soul food baked mac and cheese is made with a rich & creamy homemade cheese sauce & yummy Southern spices. Southern comfort food the Black folks way!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food collard greens

Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
What is a soul food collard greens recipe?
A Black folks collard greens recipe is the quintessential dish of any Southern soul food dinner.
Check out this recipe!

Southern cabbage recipe the soul food way

Black Folks Southern Cabbage Recipe
Southern Cabbage Recipe The Soul Food Way
A Black folks' Southern cabbage recipe is a delicious way to enjoy one of the South's favorite side dishes that's warm and sweet with savory soul food flavors!
Check out this recipe!

Southern black-eyed peas

Soul Food Southern Black Eyed Peas
Southern Black Eyed Peas
Soul food Southern black eyed peas are intensely flavored in a thick sauce with smokey & spicy seasonings. Warm, comforting, & flavorful good luck you can eat for prosperity in the New Year!
Check out this recipe!

Southern candied yams the soul food way

Black Folks Southern Candied Yams
Stovetop Candied Yams Soul Food Recipe
Candied yams are an old-fashioned Southern African-American recipe. A sweet potato soul food side dish cooked to perfection in a cinnamon-brown sugar glaze.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks creamed corn pudding

Black Folks Creamed Corn Pudding Casserole
Black Folks Creamed Corn Pudding Casserole
This Southern creamed corn casserole has a sweet corn flavor with onion and garlic for a rich, savory, soul food taste. Add sour cream for a creamy melt-in-your-mouth pudding and parmesan cheese for the cornbread crust.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks chicken and dressing

Black Folks Chicken And Dressing
Black Folks Chicken And Dressing
Thanksgiving means Southern soul food, made by our grandmamas, mamas, and favorite aunties. A meal we’ve waited all year to eat!
One Southern dish that you shouldn’t miss this Thanksgiving is Black folks chicken and dressing. 
Check out this recipe!

Old-fashioned Southern cornbread dressing

Old Fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
Old Fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
This old-fashioned Southern cornbread dressing recipe is a classic deep South dish with a delectable blend of sage-infused homemade buttery-rich cornbread, onions, celery, thyme, and rosemary with savory chicken broth and egg.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern soul food baked beans

Black Folks Southern Soul Food Baked Beans
Black Folks Southern Soul Food Baked Beans
What can you add to baked beans for flavor?
The answer is in this Southern soul food baked beans recipe!
Because the main difference between delicious soul food baked beans and mediocre baked beans is the preparation and seasoning.
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food Southern deviled eggs

Black Folks Soul Food Southern Deviled Eggs Recipe
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs start as hard-boiled egg yolks mashed. Then they're seasoned to perfection and stuffed into the egg whites for a delicious and flavorful appetizer! 
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food red beans and rice

Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice
Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice
Experience the rich taste of soul food by way of a simple yet flavorful staple dish. Black folks' soul food red beans and rice. A dish that will make your mouth water when you smell the aroma of savory seasonings and spices as the red kidney beans soak in the rich flavors of this dish!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern potato salad

Black Folks Potato Salad Recipe
Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe
Black folks Southern potato salad recipe is a must-have for any African American cookout, family reunion, picnic, or potluck! It’s a creamy yet tangy dressing balanced by soul food seasonings and flavors. AKA Black cookout potato salad! 
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food macaroni salad

Black Folks Soul Food Macaroni Salad
Black Folks Soul Food Macaroni Salad
How do you make Black macaroni salad?
Black folks' soul food macaroni salad includes flavorful ingredients like sweet carrots, savory onions, and diced celery. Plus, mayo, mustard, and seasonings like thyme, celery salt, and cayenne pepper pack a delicious punch with a tiny touch of sweet heat!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks soul food Southern coleslaw

Black Folks Soul Food Southern Coleslaw Recipe
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Coleslaw Recipe
How do Black people make coleslaw?
With lots of flavor!
Black folks’ soul food Southern coleslaw is a classic recipe perfect for pairing with smokey BBQ meats and a great accompaniment with a pulled pork sandwich. 
Check out this recipe!

Authentic soul food dessert recipes

Black folks sweet potato pie

Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe™
A Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe is a delightful Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert packed with flavorful seasonings and spices in the tradition of Black folks’ soul food cooking. 
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern peach cobbler

Black Folks Southern Peach Cobbler Recipe
Black Folks Southern Peach Cobbler Recipe
This soul food dessert and the darling favorite of the South is loaded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a light and airy cinnamon sugar crust. A cobbler so delicious, you may want to eat it all. All by yourself!
Check out this recipe!

Black folks Southern banana pudding

Black Southern Banana Pudding
Black Folks Southern Banana Pudding
How to make banana pudding the Black way
You'll never be able to look at other banana pudding the same way once you've tried this soul food delicious delight – Southern banana pudding prepared the Black way!
Check out this recipe!

Authentic soul food drinks

Black folks Southern sweet tea

Black Folks Southern Sweet Tea
Black Folks Southern Sweet Tea
Southern sweet tea is a delicious blend of refreshingly sweet and tangy flavors. (Mostly sweet flavors when it comes to making Black folks Southern sweet tea!)
But sweet ice tea is more than just a thirst-quenching beverage – it's a symbol of Southern hospitality and good company, and it's enjoyed throughout the deep South all year.
"All that sweet tea and cobbler!"
Check out this recipe!

Black folks homemade watermelon red soda

Juneteenth Red Foods Drinks Watermelon Red Soda
13 Juneteenth Red Foods & Drinks & Watermelon Red Soda
Juneteenth red foods and drinks are delicious & symbolic. Red is one of the primary colors used to celebrate Juneteenth Black History
Check out this recipe!

Southern hibiscus sweet tea

Juneteenth Southern Hibiscus Sweet Tea
Juneteenth Red Drink Southern Hibiscus Sweet Tea
What is the official drink of Juneteenth?
Southern hibiscus sweet tea. It's a delicious red drink, and hibiscus flowers are native to West Africa. So, hibiscus tea has been part of Black culture since the beginning!
Check out this recipe!

What is the official soul food drink?

Red.

Whether it’s strawberry, raspberry, cherry, hibiscus, or fruit punch.

Red is the official soul-food drink!

Red drink is rooted in West Africa (hibiscus flower tea) and still holds a special place on African American menus. 

Authentic Southern Soul Food Recipes

Authentic soul food recipes FAQs

What vegetables are used in soul food cooking?

Southern vegetable favorites include soul food seasoned collard greens, baked yams, sweet potato pie, and okra.

What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?

Are sweet potatoes and yams the same?

One of the most significant differences between sweet potatoes and yams is their appearance.

Yams are typically larger, while sweet potatoes come in smaller sizes.

Both vegetables have brownish-reddish skin ranging from light to dark color shades. 

Another difference? 

Sweet potato roots are tapered at one end, whereas yam roots are more circular or boxy shaped. Furthermore, yams contain more starch and are tougher than sweet potatoes.

What is the best meat to put in collard greens?

It’s not required. But highly encouraged that if you’re cooking with a Black folks soul food collard greens recipe, you season with the addition of meat. 

ham hock or a turkey leg are most common for richness and depth of flavor.

How did mac and cheese become soul food?

Black Southern mac and cheese became “a celebratory dish and a convenient Southern comfort food and a meal stretcher for families.”

We recognize this dish today as soul food!

Why is Southern baked mac and cheese important to Black culture?

Why is Southern baked mac and cheese important to Black culture?

Known initially as macaroni pie, baked mac and cheese was created by James Hemings, an African American enslaved person trained as a culinary chef.

This dish has been a staple of soul food cuisine since its inception, and it’s only gotten better with age!

Mac and cheese is just one of the many authentic soul food cuisines turned American dishes. 

What is the secret to good fried chicken?

Chicken with a balance of tender meat on the inside and crispy skin seasoned to perfection on the outside is a recipe for success when making Southern fried chicken

What cities have the best soul food restaurants?

In the 1940s, soul food restaurants appeared in every large American city with a sizeable Black population, attracting a diverse clientele with their flavorful and culturally rich foods.

Some of the most famous soul food restaurants are:

  • St Louis, MO – Sweetie Pie’s restaurant
  • Los Angeles, CA – Roscoe’s Chicken And Waffles
  • Harlem, NY – Sylvia’s
  • Las Vegas, NV – Yardbird

What cities have the best soul food scene?

New Orleans is famous for its iconic soul food gumbo, while Atlanta is recognized for anything peach. 

What state is known for soul food?

Instead of just one best-known state, states are individually recognized as soul food advisors for their most famous soul food dishes.

What is a typical African American Thanksgiving dinner?

Check out the below roundup of the best soul food Thanksgiving menu recipes.

The Best Recipes For A Soul Food Thanksgiving Menu
The Best Recipes For A Soul Food Thanksgiving Menu
What are some good soul food Thanksgiving dinner recipes? This soul food Thanksgiving menu will make you wanna slap yo mama-but please don’t!
Check out this recipe!
How can you get started making soul food at home? Start with these quick and easy Instant Pot soul food recipes!

How can you get started making soul food at home?

So how do you make soul food? Thanks to Instant Pot, most of these recipes are made to order in a fraction of the traditional time without compromising the authentic soul food flavors or ingredients. 

Love a thirty-minute investment for a soul food dinner idea?

And who doesn’t love a Southern soul food delicious meal?

Start with these quick and easy Instant Pot soul food recipes!

The Best Soul Food Instant Pot Recipes
The Best Soul Food Instant Pot Recipes
Want fast comfort food that goes beyond Southern? The secret to quick & easy home cooked meals are these best soul food Instant Pot recipes!
Check out this recipe!
What are the most popular soul food dishes?

Did you enjoy this authentic soul food recipe guide?

Which of these delicious soul food recipes are you most excited to try?

Have you had authentic soul food Southern cooking?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

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The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!

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Authentic Southern Soul Food Recipes
Black Folks Soul Food-Southern Fried Chicken

Authentic Soul Food Recipes Collection | Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken

Feel like doing some real-deal Southern cooking?
How about authentic soul food recipes like Southern fried catfish with fried green tomatoes for Sunday dinner? Or fried okra with shrimp and grits? 
To create a traditional and authentic soul food meal, start here with this evergreen best recipe for soul food Southern fried chicken!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 2187kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6-8 pieces chicken 6-8 pieces of chicken, or one 3-pound chicken cut into pieces
  • 48 oz peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper (chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk ½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl
  • Pour the peanut oil (preferred) or vegetable oil into a deep fryer, 6-quart skillet, or Dutch oven until the oil is 1-inch deep.
    Pour the peanut oil (preferred) or vegetable oil into a deep fryer, 6-quart skillet, or Dutch oven until the oil is 1-inch deep
  • Heat the oil over medium heat or until it reaches 350 degrees F.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Heat the oil over medium heat or until it reaches 350 degrees F
  • While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up, place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag.
  • Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
    Mix the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside
  • Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside
  • In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside too.
    In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside
  • The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  • First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly
  • Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture
  • Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated
  • Place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil, skin-side down, and be careful not to overcrowd the chicken in the oil.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Place the coated chicken into the pre-heated oil
  • You can fry a second batch if need be to avoid overcrowding by frying all the chicken at once. Just make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F.
    Make sure the hot oil remains at 350 degrees F
  • Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Cook the chicken pieces for 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally turning to prevent excessive browning
  • As the chicken batter turns golden brown, remove it from the hot oil, and allow it to drain in a closed container (to keep the fried chicken warm) with a paper towel under the chicken.
    As the chicken batter turns golden brown, remove it from the hot oil
  • Serve soul food Southern fried chicken right away, and enjoy!
    Serve soul food Southern fried chicken right away, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Pro tips: 
  • Some Southern cooks like using a baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.
  • What else can you use to season the flour? Other than a sprinkle of salt and pepper, some Southern fried chicken recipes even call for cornstarch to thicken the batter for extra crunch or hot sauce for more heat!
  • You may also consider a buttermilk brine or marinade to tenderize the chicken before frying.
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe Card by The Soul Food Pot

Nutrition

Calories: 2187kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 229g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 73g | Monounsaturated Fat: 105g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 615mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
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