Black people food – Many people associate soul food with Southern comfort food and the South.
But soul food goes way beyond Southern cooking.
What is traditional food for Black people?
These recipes! My best examples of Black people food and recipes easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love!
Best Black people food & dinner ideas
- Black Folks Soul Food Southern Smothered Chicken
- Black Folks Chicken And Dressing
- Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
- Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
- Black Folks Soul Food Baked Macaroni And Cheese
- Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
- Black Folks Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe
- Black Folks Soul Food Southern Coleslaw Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Candied Yams
- Black Folks Soul Food Hoppin John Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Tea Cake Recipe
- Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Banana Pudding
- Black Folks Southern Peach Cobbler Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Sweet Tea
What’s the difference between soul food and Southern food?
We’ll start here with what is Southern comfort food?
Southern food can be described as down South, home-cooked comfort food recipes where you can taste the hospitality.
Soul food or Southern food?
Soul food is all of the above with an additional essential attribute – seasoning to perfection.
That’s what Black people’s food is all about. The flavor! A legacy of how African Americans prepare food. The Black way.
What makes soul food soul food?
What makes a dish authentic soul food?
‘Soul’ is the word used to describe Black American cuisine’s swag and unique style. The flavor.
What is Black culture food?
Soul foods are an African American food culture of hearty homecooked meals that you can point out by dishes with plenty of seasoning and rich with flavor!
What’s the difference between Southern food, soul food & Black people’s food?
Soul food often gets lost in translation and grouped in with Southern 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 people food – made the African-American way.
What is Black people food?
People have asked me, “Why do you call your recipes Black folks food?”
Because these are Black folks’ recipes. Black people food. And I’m so proud to the point that out and share them with you!
I’m deliberate and intentional about giving credit to our community of talented chefs, cooks, and creators.
“I am using my platform to draw attention to Black excellence.”
— Toni Tipton-Martin
Black people soul food recipes represent Black culture
What is a typical Southern meal?
But what about a typical black folks’ soul food meal?
Chicken, especially fried chicken, is a food thrown on the doorsteps of Black people as a way to identify us.
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 cooking specialty.
A legacy of making it this way.
Recipes handed down from generation to generation. That’s Black people food.
Bored with your regular chicken dinner recipes?
What do you eat in Black History Month?
You can enjoy notable recipes like fried fish, collard greens, cornbread, baked macaroni and cheese, chicken and dressing, sweet potato pie, and banana pudding. Just to name a few soul foods menu favorites.
These recipes are part of the authentic soul food family. Recipes passed along through generations and a legacy of African Americans. Black folks’ food!
Ready to take your recipes beyond Southern?
You’re in the right place for the best Black people food and recipes!
94 Best Black people food and recipes
“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”
So plan your next meal with these best Black people soul food recipes!
Black people food breakfast
What part of the pig is bacon?
The traditional bacon you know and purchase is made from smoked and cured pork belly.
However, pork jowl bacon and ham hock come from the fattier cheeks of the pig.
Black people food lunch
Black people food for dinner
Black people food side dish menu
Black people food cornbread
Black people food desserts
Black people food beverages
Black people food snack ideas
Black people vegan soul food
Black people food for the holidays
More Black people food ideas
What is the most popular dinner?
Black people food FAQs
Why is Black culture food important?
Soul food has a rich and flavorful history that ties Black culture to its African roots. That history is deeply reflected in Black people’s food.
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.
Why is Southern baked mac and cheese so important to Black culture and Black History Month?
Baked mac and cheese is one of the many soul food cuisines turned American dishes. And this yummy dish has an ancient history.
Known initially as macaroni pie, baked mac and cheese was created by James Hemings, an African American enslaved person who trained as a culinary chef in France.
How did mac and cheese become soul food?
Hemings’ cooking gene and baked mac and cheese legacy continued long after the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1860s. Macaroni and cheese began to have new meanings and multiple identities for Black families and the Black household.
Mac and cheese became “a celebratory dish, a convenient comfort food, and a meal stretcher for impoverished families.”
Today we appropriately recognize this dish that’s been feeding America for centuries as soul food!
Where did soul food come from?
Soul food began because of Black people’s lack of food access and food security. “Making something from nothing” with the leftover scraps was the food system for enslaved Africans.
Today, soul food has new meanings and multiple identities within the Black community.
Yesterday’s food insecurity and meals made to stretch for impoverished families are now celebratory, comfort food, and often culinary delicacies and expensive cuisine!
We now recognize these Black people’s food as soul food!
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 is the most popular soul food?
While soul food may be accredited to the Southern US states, it’s loved everywhere! With popular and best-known favorites being:
- Collard greens
- Candied yams
- Sweet potato pie
- Baked macaroni and cheese
- Southern soul food fried chicken
What cities have the best soul food restaurants?
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
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.
States also have specific soul foods that they are famous for.
- Alabama fried catfish
- Mississippi pot roast
- Tidewater Virginia yock
- Texas BBQ
- South Carolina low country boil
- Carolina collard greens
- Georgia peach cobbler
- North Carolina sweet tea
- Louisiana shrimp and grits
What popular African American foods are from West Africa?
These soul food dishes are all West African foods re-adapted from Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea, and Benin.
What are Native American influences on African American food?
It should be no surprise that African Americans and Native Americans interacted culturally to create the Southern foodway.
Native influences are in many of the defining dishes of Southern African-American food. Notably, Southern tribe staples like white flour corn for polenta, grits, and cornbread.
How has African culture influenced Latin American food?
African-influenced foods became national dishes in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Everything from West African techniques to spices largely influence Hispanic households and iconic Latin American dishes.
What does high on the hog mean for African Americans?
“High on the Hog” refers to the location of the best cuts of meat on the pig. Affording the cuts “high on the hog” denotes wealth.
Black folks today are more familiar with the similar pop-culture connotation of Weezy and George Jefferson “Moving on up!”
High On The Hog is also an award-winning book by Dr. Jessica B. Harris.
What is High On The Hog How African American Cuisine Transformed America?
More recently, High On The Hog is the title of Netflix’s highly acclaimed docu-series derived from Dr. Harris’ book.
The series shows that we have Black culture to thank for many of America’s favorite foods.
What is High On The Hog On Netflix About?
The series engages the gatekeepers of African American food. Black farmers, cooks, chefs, and historians.
The ones preparing, watching, nurturing, and passing down the sacred recipes of Black people’s food.
High On The Hog focuses on unsung African American food, facts, stories, and those vowing to protect and preserve Black culture and generations of blessed soul food recipes.
Are there books on Black people food?
Adrian Miller’s book, Soul Food The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, tells the insightful and eclectic history of Black people food. The influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition.
Miller uncovers how each dish got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of iconic soul foods like fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and “red drinks.”
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.”
Why is food important to Black culture?
“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 soul food 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)
How can you get started making soul food at home?
After looking at the Black people food favorites list above, you might be thinking, everything looks and sounds so good, but where do I start?
When it comes to Black people’s food, the current generation is often asked:
“How is it possible that you spend so much time helping your elders with food preparation without learning the specific recipes?”
This is why I’m committed to archiving and sharing our ancestor’s classic soul food recipes. Black people food and African-American cuisine!
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.
Whether you’re a Black person (or not). These soul food recipes are easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love! For Black people, White people, Green people, Blue people…
Or maybe you like to get out on the grill and barbecue yourself some chicken and ribs to eat with a side dish of baked beans and potato salad?
Check out these soul food grill recipes!
With so many African American soul food recipes to choose from, what’s your favorite?
Did you enjoy learning about Black people food and recipes?
Have you had it?
Would you make it?
Comment below and lemme know. Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!
“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)
- 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!
- Start with a good quality macaroni.
- Making baked mac and cheese the Black way - boil the macaroni in a mixture of half water and half milk. The milk coats the macaroni and gives it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
- Make sure not to walk away from the Instant Pot when using the sauté setting to avoid burning or over-cooking your food.
- Make sure you're using a baking dish that's not too deep. An 8-inch baking pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet are perfect for this oven recipe!