Labor Day Southern Soul Food Menu
What are you cooking for Labor Day?
Are you planning a fun summer backyard party or picnic?
Or are you here searching for the perfect dish to bring to a friend’s Labor Day cookout?
The recipes you need are all right here in this list for the best Labor Day soul food menu!
What are some good recipes for Labor Day parties?
The answer is always soul food Southern recipes. So what’s the question again?!
What do you serve at a BBQ party? Or what should you make for dinner on Labor Day?
From Black Southern potato salad to soul food burgers, baked beans, fried fish, Southern soul food fried chicken, cobbler, and sweet tea.
The best menu for a delicious Labor Day gathering starts right here!
But are you now wondering what exactly is Labor Day? Why is it celebrated? And how is it different from the 4th Of July, Memorial Day, or Juneteenth?
Let’s start with a quick lesson before you eat!
Best Labor Day soul food menu recipes
What should you bring to a last-minute BBQ?
- Soul food burgers
- Soul food BBQ chicken
- Southern pulled BBQ chicken
- BBQ meats
- Black folks coleslaw
- Soul food baked beans
- Southern soul food fried chicken
- Black folks potato salad
- Soul food macaroni salad
- Watermelon tomato salad
- Southern corn salad
- Southern pasta salad with Italian dressing
- Soul food deviled eggs
- Soul food collard greens
- Black folks baked macaroni and cheese
- Grilled corn on the cob
- Soul food homemade cornbread
- Southern fruit salad
- Soul food sweet potato pie
- Black folks banana pudding
- Southern peach cobbler
Why is Labor Day celebrated?
Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor and recognize the American labor movement.
The holiday is a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of laborers to the country.
This day is particularly significant for African Americans forced into enslavement and free labor without recognition, thus building the United States of America on their backs cost-free!
Who created the Labor Day holiday?
Credit for first proposing the holiday goes to Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, and Matthew Maguire (similar in name), a secretary of the Central Labor Union.
What are the traditional colors of Labor Day?
Labor Day recognizes US laborers. So the colors are red, white, and blue.
Is there a color for Labor Day?
Similar to the color red for Juneteenth, you may choose to emphasize one of the patriotic colors at your Labor Day gathering.
What are some Labor Day decorations?
How do you decorate for a Labor Day cookout?
With food! And more specifically – soul food.
Along with red, white, and blue patriotic flags, wreaths, and ribbons. Patio furniture with a pop of color and star-spangled umbrellas. Labor Day decorations should include a table spread with the best soul food cookout menu!
White after Labor Day outfit details HERE.
Why not wear white after Labor Day?
You should wear whatever you want – before or after Labor Day!
But here’s how the ridiculous no-white after-Labor-Day rule began.
Better Homes & Gardens reports, “The rule was invented in the nineteenth century by an elite group as a way to use fashion to separate those with money from those without.”
As summer ended, affluent residents would leave the city and head to their second homes in warmer vacation spots. Wearing white represented that one could afford to live or vacation elsewhere when summer ended.
Labor Day traditionally represents the end of summer. So a ‘rule’ was established that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day if you didn’t have the money to take fall and winter vacations.
This ‘rule’ was part of a caste system. It separated old-money folks from new-money people. And divided those who needed to work from those who didn’t.
The so-called elite class of on-laborers could wear white because it wouldn’t get dirty.
What are three facts about Labor Day?
In conclusion of this Labor Day history lesson,
- Labor Day was invented to celebrate US laborers. (We should emphasize acknowledging the country’s ancestry of enslaved Black people. In my opinion.)
- Labor Day helped break away from old-day caste systems and tropes of laborers being dirty and broke and therefore unable to wear white.
- We should honor those who have served our country with their labors of love with a decorated spread of soul food and comfort food menu favorites!
All this said, many people still know Labor Day as simply a day off from work. Or the last day before school to have a summer backyard barbecue and enjoy the best in grilled BBQ, cookout, and picnic dishes.
And the best food for Labor Day is obvi a soul food Labor Day menu!
Getting ready to fire up the grill?
You’re here because you’re ready to fire up your grill! But what’ll it be?
Savory fruits, vegetables, or juicy, tender meats?
And what should you BBQ for a big crowd?
So let’s not waste another minute. It’s time to understand more about soul food so you can Labor Day cookout and eat properly!
What is soul food exactly?
Soul foods are hearty homecooked meals which you can point out by dishes with plenty of seasoning and rich flavor!
What is the meaning of soul food?
‘Soul’ is the word used to describe the swag and unique style of African-American cuisine. You know. The flavor.
What is the difference in Southern food and soul food?
People often ask, what is ‘real‘ soul food?
That’s because 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 folks’ food – made the African-American way.
What is Black soul food?
Soul food is closely connected to the cuisine of the Southern United States Deep South. Therefore, it’s often considered synonymous with Southern food.
However, the true definition of soul food does not require Southern roots. Instead, soul food is simply a legacy of African American cooking.
What is Black culture food?
Recipes part of the authentic soul food family. Passed along through generations and a legacy of African Americans.
What puts the soul in soul food?
Color, warmth, and flavor! That describes Black peoples’ food and the heart and soul of soul food.
Why is African American food called soul food?
It’s called soul food because of the Southern hospitality it’s served with and the heart-centric feeling cooked into every dish.
An attribute akin to only Black people and how we cook, fashion, and create with style and swag.
You know – the flavor! Affectionately termed soul food.
What are some traditional African American foods?
Southern collard greens, Southern cornbread, Southern baked macaroni and cheese, chicken and dressing, candied yams, sweet potato pie, and banana pudding are just a few soul foods menu favorites.
What should you bring to a Black cookout?
Hosting a big barbecue blowout?
Or maybe you’re going to one and need to know what you should bring to a Southern cookout?
What are traditional cookout foods?
Essentially, you need to know what are good foods for a cookout?
Let’s start with the favorites. The most popular soul food dishes!
The best Labor Day soul food menu
What is the most popular food for Labor Day?
What is the best food for a cookout?
And what do you serve at a Labor Day party?
Labor Day soul food menu main dishes
Do you have to make collards with pork fat?
No pork fat or ham hock needed! Not when you have the smoky flavor of turkey legs!
Labor day soul food menu sides
What are some soul food sides?
Labor Day soul food menu drinks
What drinks go with soul food?
Labor Day soul food menu desserts
What desserts go with soul food?
How did a traditional English country dish become one of the most beloved soul food recipes and Southern dishes?
Black southern banana pudding is an elevated version of the Americanized English trifle. This layered homemade custard dish was reimagined to perfection by African-American cooks in the South.
What is a good finger food?
Finger food at a cookout? We call that popsicles!
Why buy expensive popsicles when you can just make your own?
Labor Day soul food menu FAQs
What are popular soul food dishes?
So what is the most popular soul food?
The soul food darlings of the South are collard greens, sweet potato pie, and Black folks’ beloved Southern sweet tea!
But when it comes to barbecues and cookouts?
The award always goes to the homemade BBQ sauce and who made the soul food cookout potato salad recipe!
Love easy Instant Pot recipes?
Try these soul food favorites in the pressure cooker!
(Pro tip: You can also use Instant Pot as a slow cooker!)
What to bring to a cookout that you don’t have to cook?
Instant Pot recipes are always easy.
Also, a cucumber salad or a tomato pasta salad are both super quick and easy cookout recipes.
What are some side dishes to take to a cookout?
What are the most popular BBQ sides?
And what sides go with hamburgers and hot dogs?
What is the most popular food to put on the grill?
At the top of the list of 10 most popular foods for grilling are hamburgers, grilled steak, hot dogs, and ribs.
What is the most popular food for Labor Day?
The answer is simple. Anything with BBQ!
What are items to BBQ other than meats?
Where my vegetarians at?
Got corn on the cobb?
Need easy grilling ideas?
What is the secret to good fried chicken?
There’s no denying that chicken with a balance of tender meat on the inside and crispy seasoning on the outside is a soul food specialty.
So the answer is soul food Southern fried chicken. A recipe that Black folks created and perfected!
At what temperature do you cook soul food fried chicken?
The temperature to maintain the hot oil when deep-frying this Black folks’ soul food Southern fried chicken recipe is 350 degrees F.
What is the use of a deep fryer?
Deep fryers are a wonderful invention that can make your life so much easier. You can quickly and easily use them indoors or outdoors to fry foods like Southern fried chicken in deep oils at high temperatures.
I call new-age at-home appliances like deep fryers and electric pressure cookers “magical meals in minutes!”
Do air fryers work for soul food Southern fried chicken?
Yes, they do! Air fryer cooking gives your food a crispy, fried exterior, without all the fat you usually would if you were to deep fry.
What sauce goes with Black folks’ Southern fried chicken?
There are so many good options for dipping your chicken that it’s hard to pick one! But most Black folks will tell you hot sauce, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing are their preferred sauce for fried chicken.
What makes a delicious soul food smothered chicken recipe?
What is considered Southern comfort food?
Tender, juicy chicken seasoned with soul food spices and smothered in a flavorful, creamy gravy medley.
That’s Southern comfort food at its finest!
Black folks smothered chicken recipe right HERE.
How do you make a Southern comfort food chicken pot pie?
Southern comfort meets home-style goodness in this remarkable Black folks’ soul food chicken pot pie recipe that’ll make your taste buds sing!
How do you get your grits super creamy?
Make grits with 100% white ground corn. It’s similar to the taste of cornmeal that’s been cooked just right to get the most creamy grits with a soft texture.
I recommend cooking Southern grits in the Instant Pot.
Is jambalaya considered soul food?
Red beans are commonly used in New Orleans soul food dishes like jambalaya, red beans and rice, and sausage and red beans.
What can you cook on a lazy Sunday?
Chicken yock is a big bowl of comfort that’s so easy to make and perfect for a soul food Sunday!
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.
What are Black folks’ tea cakes?
An African American Southern dessert, Black folks tea cake is a sweet little biscuit.
Light, airy, and sometimes compared to soda bread or pound cake. Tea cakes are a traditional African American treat that date’s back to the 1600s.
What is a pie crust cookie?
Imagine this. The perfect sweet, flaky crust, bite-size piece of pie with your favorite seasoning (cinnamon, nutmeg) or simply sugar sprinkled over the top…
You just imagined pie crust cookies!
How do you celebrate Labor Day with soul food where you live?
If you’re celebrating Labor Day in the city, remember these iconic soul food restaurants where you can eat!
- St Louis, MO – Sweetie Pie’s restaurant
- Los Angeles, CA – Roscoe’s Chicken And Waffles
- Las Vegas, NV – Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird
- Harlem, New York – Sylvia’s
Or, if you’re celebrating in your hometown, make sure to include an iconic African American recipe based on where you live!
Here’s a starting list:
- Alabama fried catfish
- Mississippi pot roast
- Harlem chicken and waffles
- 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 do you think of these Labor Day soul food menu recipes?
Which Labor Day cookout recipes will you be making this year?
Comment below and lemme know.
Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!
With so many African American recipes, which one will you try first?
What are some popular Black foods?
Start here with this soul food list of favorite Labor Day cookout foods!
Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest Soul Food Recipes board!
- Smash burger press (optional)
- Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, stovetop, or grill
- Aluminum foil (I've also heard of parchment paper used in the Instant Pot instead of foil, but I've never tried it to know if it affects the cooking time.)
- 1-1 ½ pounds ground beef 80/20
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup green bell pepper diced
- ½ cup yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoning salt Your favorite all-purpose seasoning salt (I used Famous Dave’s Steak & Burger Seasoning.)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- You can cook these soul food burgers in the Instant Pot (directions below) on the stovetop or the grill!
- Mix the ground beef, green pepper, onion, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, paprika, and pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl.
- Divide the burger meat into four and then smash the meat mixture to form 4 hamburger patties.
- Wrap each patty in foil.
- Pour the water into the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
- Place the Instant Pot trivet inner rack inside the inner pot.
- Place the foil-wrapped burgers on the rack.
- Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 14 minutes.
- When the cooking time finishes, allow a natural pressure release for at least 7 minutes.
- To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
- Remove the burgers from the inner pot and unwrap the foil.
- Place each cooked patty on a toasted burger bun, then serve this Southern soul food homemade burger recipe with your favorite condiments, and enjoy!