8 Recipes to Celebrate National Soul Food Month
June is National Soul Food Month! Combining African and Native American flavors and techniques with the limited food rations allotted by their enslavers, enslaved people developed cuisine so delicious that it became widely embraced across the South, then across the United States, and then all over the world.
Given its popularity, we’re sure you have at least a few go-to soul food recipes in your repertoire. But if you’re ready to try something new, check out these amazing recipes!
Cornbread goes well with virtually any meal, which is probably why it’s such a staple side dish. We included this recipe because it is so rich and buttery that it may steal the show.
Collard greens are another popular side dish. This recipe makes the list because it doesn’t contain too many ingredients and most you probably have in your pantry. Plus, the recipe even lists a substitution if you can’t find or don’t want to use smoked ham hocks.
The sweetness and spices in candied sweet potatoes may remind you of Thanksgiving, but they’re delicious any time of year! “Candied yams” may sound more familiar than “candied sweet potatoes.” Technically, yams and sweet potatoes are two different foods, but many people use them interchangeably. Sweet potatoes are usually easier to find, which is one reason we selected this recipe. The other reason is its versatility. While it would be great as a side dish, we also think it would be an amazing topping for oatmeal or ice cream.
Many people are most familiar with the kind of mac and cheese that comes from a box, but homemade mac and cheese can seem like an entirely different dish. We chose this recipe because it is approachable for even beginning cooks, but it’s so creamy and flavorful that your family may think you’re already an expert.
While soul food is wildly popular, vegans and vegetarians often have to steer clear because traditional recipes tend to use a lot of meat and dairy. But never fear, plant-based friends! Many chefs and home cooks are adapting recipes to fit these diets. That’s why we picked this recipe. It looks like chicken and waffles. It tastes like chicken and waffles. But It doesn’t have any chicken at all. You may have to reassess everything you thought you knew about food!
If you prefer your fried chicken swimming in a creamy gravy, this recipe is for you! We included it for anyone who needs a hearty meat dish to top off their soul food meal.
Peach cobbler is an undebatable classic, but we chose this recipe for its unique twists on tradition—it is entirely vegan and uses maple syrup to make the biscuit topping extra flavorful.
Banana pudding is one of those dishes that tastes like so much more than the sum of its parts. This recipe makes the list because it is such a rich and satisfying way to end a meal.
And don’t forget! Juneteenth is on June 19. This holiday celebrates the end of slavery. Any day is a good day for soul food, but Juneteenth may be the best day on the calendar to savor these dishes.