Southern food in all of its sugar and buttery glory is the pinnacle of comfort and these soul food recipes inspired by southern traditions are here to prove just that.
Fill your belly with some good, comforting food and cure what ails ya. There isn’t a better medicine than delicious food made with extra love.
From macaroni and cheese (the real stuff) to banana pudding, soul food is great any time of the day.
Whether it’s lunch or dessert you are thinking about, this list has you covered.
Start heating your oil because soul food almost always means something is getting fried. Soothe your soul with these delicious recipes.
Cornbread is the original soul food. In the south, it could pass for dessert, while northerners like theirs on the savory side.
Either way, there isn’t a dish cornbread can’t get along with. This starchy side is the perfect companion for tonight’s entree.
Slice up some soul food when you pull a pan of this classic cornbread out of the oven.
2. Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese
You’ll never touch a box of instant mac and cheese again once you try this baked casserole. With three kinds of cheese and a bread crumb topping, this recipe has it all.
Bite into this blend of cheese and butter and free your soul. Southern baked macaroni and cheese is a creamy masterpiece.
Indulge in a hearty scoop of tender noodles in a decadent cheese sauce.
3. Collard Greens
The original wilted green, collard greens are a tender leaf smothered in bacon grease, so you know this recipe is delightful.
Toss your fresh greens in with some onion and garlic, then let the bacon (and its grease) work its magic.
Your pan is full of flavorful greens your family will fight over.
Ready in minutes, this is a soul food side you can have every night of the week.
4. Southern Fried Catfish
The biggest holiday in the south isn’t Christmas, but a Friday night fish fry!
Try your hand at this southern fried catfish recipe for crispy filets ready for a spoonful of tartar sauce.
Bread your catfish in cornmeal and garlic powder for a crispy outer layer that gives way to a signature flaky center.
Ready in 20 minutes, this catfish recipe will be a weeknight lifesaver!
5. Southern Black Eyed Peas
Garner some good luck with this southern black-eyed pea recipe. If you think you don’t like peas, that’s because you haven’t tried these.
Seasoned with smoky meat and kicked up a notch with red pepper flakes, a pot of these peas is just brimming with flavor.
No more mushy peas! This recipe leaves a pot of firm and tender black-eyed peas.
6. Corn Casserole
When sweet corn is in season, you’ll need a good corn casserole on your table. Take a page out of Paula Deen’s book and try this one.
Corn casserole is a cornbread pudding filled with tender corn kernels. This sweet treat is a perfectly balanced blend of corn flavor and texture.
Switch your cornbread out for this corn casserole this evening.
7. Southern Cornbread Dressing
In the south, dressing isn’t just for November and it isn’t made with white bread.
This cornbread dressing has it all for a year-round soul food your family will crave.
Spiced with sage and thyme, and filled with tender celery pieces, this cornbread dressing perks up any menu.
Enjoy by itself or smothered in gravy for a real soul food fix.
8. Fried Green Tomatoes
These fried green tomato slices are a simple and delicious appetizer or side dish.
The youthful green tomatoes pack a tangy flavor that bursts through the golden breading.
Fried potatoes get all the glory when fried green tomatoes are where the good stuff is at.
Treat these like french fries and dunk them in ketchup or snap into their savory goodness and enjoy them plain.
9. Baked Beans
A cookout classic, baked beans are an iconic soul food that will fill you right up. With a sweet and smoky flavor, pile your plate high with this dish.
Dried mustard powder and brown sugar make this recipe irresistible. These will be the best baked beans you’ve ever had!
Mark canned baked beans off your list and spice things up with this baked beans recipe.
10. Sweet Tea Fried Chicken
Combine a soul food and a soul drink when you make this recipe! Brine your chicken pieces in sweet tea for a sweet and salty finish that puts KFC to shame.
The sweet tea brine infuses the meat with its sweet flavors- leaving you with tender pieces that are oozing sweet tea juice.
The breading is salted and spiced with garlic and onion powder.
You’ll get sweet and savory with every bite!
11. Southern Deviled Eggs
What better picnic food is there than a dozen deviled eggs? The classic hard-boiled egg half is filled with a creamy and tangy spread then topped with a hint of paprika.
Stir in a squirt of pickle relish and a generous dollop of mayonnaise for a sweet and tangy bite no one will be able to resist.
Charm your guests with these fabulous southern deviled eggs.
12. Fried Okra
A classic Cracker Barrel recipe reimagined for the home cook, fried okra is soul food at its finest.
Snap into the crispy breading for a delicious down-home dining experience.
Frying okra is easier than you think and this recipe has you churning out delicious golden-brown okra pieces in no time!
This salty savory dish will be gone before you know it!
No longer just breakfast food, these grits will leave you swooning at any time of day.
Flavored with a dollop of butter and a generous handful of cheese, savory grits are the perfect companion for all of your soul food meals.
If it’s soul food you’re seeking, look no further than this meatloaf recipe!
Fill your loaf with plenty of veggies and crackers then top it with an irresistible ketchup-brown sugar glaze.
The result is a warm and comforting meatloaf that does as much for your soul as it does for your stomach.
Fill up on the simple, comforting flavors of this traditional meatloaf.
Save some as leftovers. Meatloaf is even better the next day!
15. Seafood Gumbo
Sip on this spicy seafood gumbo and fill your soul with all of the flavors of the Gulf coast. A hearty blend of shrimp, crab, and sausage makes this gumbo great.
Fill up on flavor when you try this dish! Everything from standard onions and garlic to a can of beer ends up in your stew pot.
Send your soul to the south when you try this recipe.
Well, it wouldn’t be southern soul food without a pan of homemade biscuits to go with it. Much like cornbread, biscuits are a great addition to any meal.
Made with buttermilk and browned to perfection, these light and fluffy biscuits are ready for whatever comes their way.
Top them with preserves or gravy, or use them to soak up the last traces of your entree.
However you enjoy them, these biscuits will be delicious!
17. Fried Chicken
If you are a little wary of frying chicken, try this baked fried chicken recipe instead!
While that may sound contradictory, this recipe tastes fresh from the fryer when it is fresh from the oven.
You’ll still get juicy, tender meat cloaked in a crispy spiced breading. This breading is made with a pantry staple, Bisquick!
All of this to say, if you want to pass on the fryer, fried chicken is still an option for tonight.
18. Red Beans and Rice
This classic comfort food will send you spinning with its bold flavors and rich textures. A well-seasoned roux filled with rice and sausage tops a bowl of tender rice.
Have a pot simmering on your stove all day and reap the rewards of the generous flavor of classic Louisiana seasoning.
Kick up the heat with an extra dash of cayenne and your bowl will be smoking in more ways than one!
19. Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
This recipe starts with bacon grease and still manages to get better.
I’m game for any dish with bacon in it and this pairs the meat with fresh okra, tomato, onion, and spices.
You get a side that is packed with tender, garden-fresh vegetables and plenty of home-cooked flavors.
20. Chicken Pot Pie
Good gravy! This recipe has all of your favorite comfort foods tucked into one buttery crust. It’s full of tender pieces of chicken, sweet peas, and corn, and a creamy sauce.
This checks every box for being the perfect soul food! Plus, it comes together so quickly, you can enjoy this decadent pie on even your busiest day.
21. Candied Sweet Potatoes
Go ahead and enjoy dessert for dinner with this candied sweet potato recipe.
Coins of roasted sweet potato bathe in a brown-sugar butter sauce topped with fresh thyme.
These sweet potatoes are too delicious to only enjoy at Thanksgiving! Your family will love having this side dish all year.
I guarantee you have all of these ingredients in your pantry! You are mere minutes away from the sweet taste of candied sweet potatoes.
22. Hush Puppies
The humble hush puppy is an adventure in simplicity. How can so few ingredients produce something as delicious as these hush puppies?
If you’re already heating oil for frying, you may as well toss a few of these hush puppies in there at the end.
Golden, crispy hush puppies are the finishing touch to every meal.
Mix up your batter and then drop them in by the spoonful for an irresistible deep-fried fritter.
23. Biscuits and Gravy
Start your Saturday off with a hearty breakfast of biscuits and gravy.
There isn’t a thing better than light, fluffy biscuits topped with creamy sausage gravy.
This recipe kicks things up a notch with a healthy dose of crushed red pepper!
Smother your homemade biscuits in this rich gravy for soul food breakfast fare.
24. Shepherd’s Pie
A savory blend of ground beef and vegetables is topped with cheesy mashed potatoes and then baked to perfection in the oven.
It covers the whole meal in one dish!
25. Peanut Butter Fudge
You can have rich and creamy fudge, straight from your microwave! This peanut butter fudge only takes a few minutes to make, and even fewer to eat!
Sweet and salty peanut butter shines in this decadent fudge. With only three ingredients, you could enjoy this sweet every night of the week!
Two minutes in the microwave and then into the fridge. If you need a last-minute dessert, this peanut butter fudge has you covered.
26. Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed sweet potatoes are topped with melted marshmallows and plenty of toasted pecans for a sweet side dish with an added crunch.
Don’t limit this dish to holiday feasts! Sweet potato casserole is a quick and easy soul food side that is ready for any supper.
With plenty of butter and brown sugar, this sweet casserole is practically dessert!
27. Banana Pudding
Skip the instant pudding packets and make the real thing!
This banana pudding recipe is riddled with thick slices of banana, crisp Nilla Wafers, and a decadent custard prepared from scratch.
The classic dessert is perfect for a light summer treat but equally delicious in the dead of winter.
The irresistible banana flavor is a nice break from chocolate or vanilla.
28. Peach Cobbler
This peach cobbler recipe is loaded with plenty of cinnamon, a thick syrup, and generous slices of plump peaches.
Topped with a crumbly streusel, everyone will beg for seconds and thirds!
Enjoy your cobbler straight from the dish, or top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way, this is one delicious dessert!