But soul food goes way beyond Southern cooking.
What makes soul food soul food?
What makes a dish authentic soul food?
‘Soul’ is the word used to describe the swag and unique style of African-American cuisine. You know. The flavor.
African American food culture
Soul foods are hearty homecooked meals which you can point out by dishes with plenty of seasoning and rich with flavor!
What do you eat in Black History Month?
These recipes are part of the authentic soul food family. Recipes passed along through generations and a legacy of African Americans. Black folks’ food!
What is Black folks’ food?
Black folks’ food is a legacy of how African-Americans make soul food.
People have asked me, “Why do you call it Black folks food?”
Because these are Black folks’ recipes. And I’m so proud to share them!
I’m deliberate and intentional about giving credit to our community of talented chefs, cooks, and creators.
No more apologizing or hiding our Blackness and its beauty.
My mission is to remain standing on the right side of history. Doing my part to honor the ancestors as one of the gatekeepers protecting the legacies of African-American culture.
With my hand on the sacred urn of tradition, vowing to protect and preserve Black culture and generations of blessed soul food recipes.
And the fun part of all of this?
Every time you make and share Black folks’ food. You stand with the ancestors, too!
“I am using my platform to draw attention to Black excellence.”
— Toni Tipton-Martin (High On The Hog, Netflix history of soul food)
What’s the difference between Southern food, soul food & Black folks’ food?
While most soul food is Southern. Not all Southern food is soul food.
That’s why it’s important to distinguish when a recipe or dish is Black folks’ food – made the African-American way.
Black folks’ soul food recipes represent Black culture
A perfect example of soul food is a Black folks’ fried chicken recipe.
But, of course, you know, African Americans didn’t invent the chicken, LOL! We just perfected seasoning it!
There’s no denying that chicken with a balance of seasoned tender meat on the inside and flavorful skin on the outside is a soul food specialty.
A legacy of making it this way. Recipes handed down from generation to generation. That’s Black folks’ food.
Ready to take your recipes beyond Southern?
You’re in the right place for the best Black folks’ food and recipes!
Black soul food recipes
These are my family’s classic soul food recipes (Black folks’ food) and African-American cuisine – and I’m so proud of these recipes!
Southern comfort food, soul food dishes seasoned with buttery-rich flavors.
Thanks to Instant Pot, most of these recipes are made to order in a fraction of the traditional time. Now easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love!
“The entire passion that I have about this is to use food as a tool to elevate the conversation about what it means to be African-American and to cook African American food… It’s a celebration. We’re celebrating our food!”
—Toni Tipton-Martin (High On The Hog, Netflix history of soul food)
How do you make soul food?
I do 97% of my cooking in my Instant Pots!
Instant Pot pressure cooking is a much healthier way to prepare traditional Southern soul food.
The shorter cooking times lend to better preservation of vitamins and minerals while intensifying each recipe’s soulful flavors and enhancing the texture and taste. Yum!
Here, you’ll enjoy a variety of tasty soul food dinners and dessert recipes that cut down your cooking time without compromising the authenticity and mouth-watering flavors.
You can start here for contemporary soul food made with Instant Pot.
These are quick & easy recipes for a busy household – magical meals in minutes. One-pot… straight to plate!
65 best Black folks’ soul food recipes for Black History Month
“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”
So plan your next meal with these best Black folks’ food recipes!
What is traditional food for Black people?
These recipes! My best examples of Black folks’ soul food recipes for Black History Month.
Soul food menu list
Black folks’ soul food history
Today there is a long, colorful, and flavorful history of Black folks’ food. A legacy that continues beyond slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1860s.
Soul food began as Black folks “making something from nothing” with the leftover scraps we were given. Today, soul food has new meanings and multiple identities within the Black community.
Meals made to stretch for impoverished families are now celebratory food, comfort food, and often times culinary delicacies and expensive cuisine!
We now recognize these Black folks’ dishes as soul food!
Black history month food facts FAQs
Why is it called soul food?
In the 1960s, the word “soul” was commonly used to describe African-American culture. The same way young folks identify Black culture today as “swag!”
Thankfully, the word ‘soul’ organically came first. Or else we’d be eating “swag food” today!
Who invented soul food?
The term “soul food” may have first been used in the 1960s during the civil rights movement.
In 1962, Sylvia Woods opened her iconic soul food restaurant Sylvia’s, in Harlem, NY. Sylvia is known by many people today as “the queen of soul food.”
What does soul food symbolize?
First We Feast describes soul food as a term that “brilliantly captures the humanity and heroic effort of African-Americans to overcome centuries of oppression and create a cuisine.”
“Cooking with love provides food for the soul.”
African American food culture history
“We nourished a nation through our cooking and baked our traditions in the cuisines that would define America.”
—Stephen Satterfield (High On The Hog, Netflix history of soul food)
Poet and civil rights activist Amiri Baraka calls on Black people to embrace the slang terms introduced by Black people for soul foods.
He impresses that keeping the original name will make people easily remember these delicious dishes. Ultimately preserving the history of African-American food as an integral part of America’s history.
“When you understand your history and understand where you come from, that understanding gives you purpose. And the purpose to carry on their (Black ancestors’) story I think is such a huge honor.”
—Jerrelle Guy (High On The Hog, Netflix history of soul food)
More African American soul food recipes to love:
- Instant Pot Omni Plus oven
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided – 1 tablespoon & 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Colby-jack cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard dried
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups water
- 4 ¼ cups milk divided – 1 ¼ cups & 3 cups
- 8 oz. macaroni noodles uncooked
- Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté setting for 25 minutes (although you may not need this entire amount of time).
- Fill the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot with 3 cups of milk, 3 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of butter.
Pro tip: For baked mac and cheese the Black way, use milk to coat the macaroni and give it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
- Once the liquid begins to simmer, add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally to make sure the macaroni does not clump & stick.
- Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
- Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the empty inner pot and turn it back on the sauté setting.
- When the butter is melted, add the flour, 1 ¼ cups of milk, and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried mustard and paprika) and whisk until smooth.
- Change the Instant Pot cook setting from sauté to slow cook for 1-hour (although you will not need this entire amount of time).
- While the cook setting changes from sauté to slow cook, allow the ingredients to simmer for about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Stir in the cheeses (reserve some for topping when baking).
- Close the Instant Pot with the lid and let slow cook for 5-10 minutes until the cheeses are blended.
- Open the lid to add the cooked pasta and the heavy cream to the inner pot, stirring the mixture to blend evenly.
- Transfer the pasta mixture into an 8-inch cast iron skillet or baking pan.
- Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Or bake in the conventional oven for 25 minutes or until mac and cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Optionally, garnish with a sprinkle of dry thyme or 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs.
- Serve and enjoy!