Soul food dinner ideas are a variety of comfort food cuisines originating from African American culture in the Southern United States.
From sweet potato pie to candied yams or how Black people prepare fried fish, smothered chicken, or Southern sweet tea.
Soul food recipes are traditionally a combination of African American foods derived from Black enslaved people’s take on American and British cuisine. Combined with the essence of West African color, warmth, flavors, and traditions.
What foods did enslaved Africans bring to America?
When West Africans were forced into slavery, their White captors also took from Africa what’s known today as some of America’s favorite foods.
They also brought the kola nut – one of the main ingredients in Coca-Cola. West Africans used to chew this nut for its caffeine.
Tender, juicy meats, flavorful gravies and sauces, and vegetables seasoned so deliciously that you forget they’re good for you!
That’s soul food – a legacy of Southern cooking the Black way for an impressive spread of soul food dinner ideas!
What is the meaning of soul food?
‘Soul’ describes the swag and unique style of African-American cuisine. You know. The flavor.
What is Black soul food?
Soul food is closely connected to the cuisine of the Southern United States. 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 are traditional Black foods?
These soul food recipes and soul food dinner ideas! My best examples that are easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love!
Why is soul food so good?
Seasoning to perfection. That’s what soul food is all about.
Want a thirty-minute investment for a soul food dinner idea?
Good, because you’ll find contemporary cooking methods for classic soul food dinner ideas here!
So any time someone asks the question, “What exactly is soul food?”
Tell them to start here with this list!
Soul food dinner ideas
- Black Folks Soul Food Southern Smothered Chicken
- Black Folks Southern Soul Food Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
- Black Folks Chicken And Dressing
- Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
- Black Folks Soul Food Baked Macaroni And Cheese
- Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Cabbage Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Candied Yams
- Black Folks Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe
- Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits 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?
Soul food and Southern are often compared.
But enslaved African Americans developed soul food’s distinct character by creating outstanding meals from what was thought to be less-than-desirable cuts of meat and produce.
What is Southern American comfort food?
Southern food can be described as down South, home-cooked comfort food recipes where you can taste the hospitality.
What is considered Southern comfort food?
After a weeknight rotisserie dinner, why not bake up a comforting Southern chicken pot pie?
How do you make Southern comfort food chicken pot pie?
Easily! The answer is in this recipe HERE!
What is the best comfort food?
What are some popular Southern dishes?
The ones you’ll find HERE in this best Southern recipe ideas for beginners!
Southern recipes and soul food classic dinner ideas.
What are typical Southern foods?
- Southern BBQ chicken
- Potato salad
- Southern coleslaw
- Southern-style green beans
- Soul food Southern apple pie
What do you serve at a Southern dinner party?
What should you serve with a whole chicken?
What is Black culture food?
Soul food has a rich and flavorful history that ties Black culture to its African roots.
That history is deeply reflected through soul food recipes. Black culture food.
Why is food so important to Black culture?
Soul food recipes represent Black culture.
Soul foods are an African American culture of hearty homecooked meals that you can point out as dishes with plenty of seasoning and rich with flavor!
Black people have a culture that goes deeper than our African roots. And the food we eat reflects our rich culture.
Black music, the way we talk, what we eat, and the way we talk about the things we love are all entwined in our food. So often referred to as swag and flavor.
Food is vital in Black culture because it brings people around the table and puts a pause on the constant oppression of our people, along with fast-paced living. Replacing it with good times, comfort food, happiness, and laughs.
Black people gather, connect, and celebrate with soul food. Food is a way to show how much another person is cared for.
Being able to feed someone is a significant and respected part of Black food culture.
What is a traditional soul food meal?
- Southern soul food fried chicken
- Soul food Southern baked macaroni and cheese
- Black folks soul food collard greens
- Black folks soul food candied yams
- Black folks homemade cornbread
- Southern Black banana pudding
- Black folks red soda drink
What is soul food Sunday?
Soul food Sundays are a heartwarming family union in Black American households.
Why is Sunday dinner traditional?
A time-honored tradition of gathering around the family table to catch up on each other’s lives and enjoy favorite soul food dinner ideas from breaded pork chops to fried chicken!
So what is a Black Sunday dinner?
It’s Black people’s food. Soul food for Sunday dinner.
What is a good soul food Sunday dinner?
And what are the best soul food recipes for Sunday dinner? Check out this tried and true list of authentic Sunday soul food dinner ideas!
82 best soul food dinner ideas
What meat goes with greens and cornbread?
You can serve favorite soul food dishes, greens and cornbread, with any of these main soul food dish recipes listed below!
Main dish soul food dinner ideas
What can you have instead of a pot roast dinner?
How do you get your grits super creamy?
I like using an Instant Pot when cooking this shrimp and grits recipe because it makes the cooking time and temperature for rice, grains, porridge, and grits easy and effortless.
It’s just a drop in the pot for soft fluffy grits every time!
I like to use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill white corn grits/polenta.
What makes a food smothered?
Smothering food is a cooking technique commonly used in Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisines.
It involves cooking in a covered pot or pan with liquid, often regarded as a form of stove-top braising.
Smothered dishes are commonly served with gravy, broth, or sauce, “smothering” the food.
How do you make gravy from scratch?
It’s super easy! Simply sauté butter and flour with Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
Do air fryers work for soul food Southern fried chicken?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention using an air fryer to make this Black folks’ soul food Southern fried chicken recipe.
Air fryer chicken is a healthy and crispy alternative to deep-fried chicken. You can eat healthier while still getting that crispy Southern fried chicken taste and texture!
Side dish soul food dinner ideas
What are the most popular soul food sides?
The ones you’d find HERE! Classic to any soul food menu.
Side dishes are curated enhancements to accompany the stars of any entrée or meal.
Soul food sides usually feature traditional Southern soul food classic dinner ideas.
What is a good side for chicken?
Starting with soul food side dish favorite – soul food Southern baked mac and cheese.
What are some soul food sides?
Check out this list of the best soul food recipe sides!
Do you have to make collards with pork fat?
Meats like pork can intensely flavor collard greens.
These alternatives will produce the same depth of flavor profile for your Southern soul food flavored collard greens!
What main dish goes with collard greens?
Collard greens are the darling delectable food of the South. Meaning you can pair this side dish with almost anything! Including your choice from the beautiful soul food main dish recipes listed above!
What’s special about Black America’s potato salad?
Soul food is all about seasoning to perfection. The flavor!
The same holds true for a Black folks’ soul food potato salad recipe.
How long can you actually leave potato salad out?
Because it’s a moist recipe made with eggs, potato salad should be refrigerated overnight.
However, it can be left out for several hours at room temperature without going bad.
Soul food dinner ideas cornbread recipes
Beverage soul food dinner ideas
Dessert soul food dinner ideas
How did a traditional English country dish come to be one of the most beloved soul food recipes and Southern dishes?
Banana pudding has a Southern identity that stretches back over half a century.
Black Southern banana pudding is an elevated version of the Americanized English trifle.
African-American cooks in the South reimagined this layered homemade custard dish to perfection!
What is the most popular African American food?
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!
We just perfected seasoning it!
That’s how soul food Southern fried chicken became arguably the most popular of the many soul food recipes.
Perfectly seasoned to perfection. That’s the soul food way!
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.
Soul food dinner ideas FAQs
What is the most popular soul food?
While soul food recipes 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 is soul food month?
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.
What should you bring to a Black potluck?
Any one of these soul food dinner ideas on the below Southern potluck list!
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 – Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird
What cities have the best soul food scene?
States also have specific soul foods that they are famous for.
- What is the famous cuisine in Alabama? Fried catfish
- Mississippi pot roast and Southern fried catfish
- Tidewater Virginia yock
- Texas BBQ
- South Carolina low country boil
- Carolina collard greens
- Georgia peach cobbler
- North Carolina sweet tea
- Louisiana shrimp and grits
Love easy Instant Pot recipes?
Now you can enjoy iconic African American soul food dinner ideas and recipes at home! Black folks’ food reimagined via Instant Pot.
Which of these delicious soul food recipes are you most excited to try?
Whether you’re a Black person (or not). These soul food dinner ideas are easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love!
For Black people, White people, Green people, Blue people…
What do you think of these soul food recipes and dinner ideas?
With so many African American recipes, which one will you try first?
Comment below and lemme know.
- Instant Pot electric pressure cookerInstant (optional)
Ingredients for the air fryer smothered fried chicken
- 6 pieces chicken I used boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons seasoning Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning (or similar)
- 2 teaspoons seasoning Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning (or similar)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper
- 1 egg
- ½ cup buttermilk ½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- cooking spray Peanut oil or vegetable oil for brushing or spraying on the chicken
Ingredients for the soul food smothered chicken gravy
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups chicken gravy or one 12 oz. jar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup parsley Optional – chopped parsley or green onion to garnish
Instructions for the air fried chicken
- Combine the chicken seasoning and the garlic & herb seasoning in a small bowl.
- Then rub the seasoning mixture onto the chicken pieces, and set the chicken aside.
- 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 floured 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.
- In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside too.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the bag (or bowl) and lightly brush or spray the chicken with peanut oil or vegetable oil.
- If using an air fryer with a basket, spray the basket with peanut oil or vegetable oil.
- Place the chicken into the air fryer, making sure it’s skin-side up. It’s okay if the chicken pieces touch; don’t overcrowd them.
- Air fry at 360 degrees for a total of 20 minutes.
- Halfway through, after about 10 minutes have passed, flip the chicken over in the air fryer and return to cooking.
- Air fry at 360 degrees for the remaining 10 minutes or until the chicken is golden-brown and crisp all over.
- Keep the chicken in the air fryer on the ‘warm’ setting until the smothered chicken gravy is ready.
Instructions for the soul food smothered chicken gravy
- Add all the ingredients: chicken broth, chicken gravy, whipping cream, flour, chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper in a large pot on low (I used my Instant Pot, with the lid off on the ‘slow cook’ setting).
- Whisk the ingredients to combine until the gravy mixture is lump-free and the bouillon dissolves.
- Allow the mixture to heat for 3-5 minutes before it’s ready to serve with the chicken.
- Serve this Black folks’ soul food smothered chicken recipe with the chicken and gravy in separate serving bowls for each dinner guest to combine on their plate. Or combine the chicken and gravy in one serving bowl.
- Optionally, garnish with fresh parsley or green onion and enjoy!