Soul food holidays – Food has always been intertwined with history. And soul food is no exception.
It’s a cuisine steeped in the Southern United States and deep South traditions, reflecting African Americans’ cultural heritage, strength, resilience, and perseverance.
Soul food reflects African American heritage and their journey throughout American history.
This history goes back to the 1500s when enslaved Black people had to make do with limited and often low-quality ingredients. Black Americans used their ingenuity and creativity to make flavorful and hearty meals that sustained them through their long workdays.
What are soul food holiday recipes?
Asked another way, “What is a soul food Thanksgiving menu?”
Today, soul food holidays are an opportunity to honor this rich culinary legacy and celebrate the flavors that have become essential to African American and American cuisine.
From traditional soul food classics like crispy fried chicken to savory collard greens, every soul food dish has a story and a connection to the people and the culture that created it.
Whether enjoying a slice of sweet potato pie or savoring a bowl of gumbo, soul food holidays are the perfect time to come together, share a meal, and celebrate the flavors that have captured our hearts and taste buds.
Even vegan soul food recipes.
What are your favorite holiday foods?
Best soul food holiday recipes
What is the most popular soul food?
Imagine sitting at a table with steaming dishes of succulent seasoned chicken, smoky collard greens, and creamy mac and cheese. You bite into the chicken for a savory flavor explosion in your mouth!
The collard greens are perfectly cooked, with just enough seasoning and tenderness. And the mac and cheese is so rich and creamy; it’s like a warm hug in every bite!
Soul food holidays main dishes
Still looking for side dish ideas for your Thanksgiving table?
Then start here with the below list of soul food Thanksgiving side dishes!
Forget about dry, bland gravy and tasteless stuffing this Thanksgiving!
Instead, prepare for soulful, flavorful sides that’ll have your family bursting into celebration songs well before the final entrée is served!
Soul food holidays side dishes
Experience the rich taste of soul food by way of a simple yet flavorful staple dish. Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice. A dish that will make your mouth water when you smell the aroma of savory seasonings and spices as the red kidney beans soak in the rich flavors of this dish!
Soul food holidays bread
Soul food holidays drinks
Soul food holidays desserts
Soul food holidays FAQs
What food is served at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner?
Check out the detailed soul food holidays list below to get the answers to your questions about what are some good soul food Thanksgiving recipes.
Sweet potato pie
A Thanksgiving sweet potato pie or Christmas sweet potato pie is expertly crafted with a delicate balance of creamy sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, soul food seasonings, and spices.
The result is a savory, perfectly spiced filling nestled in a flaky pie crust.
You’ll be transported to a cozy Southern kitchen in one bite! Savoring the smooth, velvety texture as it melts in your mouth, leaving you with a lingering sweet, desirable aftertaste.
Indulge in the timeless tradition of Southern cooking with a delicious collard greens recipe. Black folks’ soul food collard greens are the epitome of comfort food, and this recipe adds a special touch to this classic dish.
A Southern collard greens recipe is a true flavor explosion, optionally cooked with various types of meat such as fatback, bacon, bacon grease, smoked ham hock, or smoked turkey leg.
Adding vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes adds a tangy kick that perfectly complements the savory taste of the greens.
No soul food holiday feast is complete without fried chicken!
Spiced with herbs and spices indigenous to the American South, ensuring every bite is flavorful.
This buttermilk-infused chicken is deep-fried to perfection, creating a crispy and crunchy texture on the outside while the meat on the inside remains tender and juicy.
Mac and cheese
Take advantage of the ultimate American comfort food and a must-have of any Southern Thanksgiving dinner.
Made with smooth elbow macaroni noodles and smothered in ooey-gooey cheese, this dish will satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling cozy and content.
A macaroni and cheese recipe is the perfect meal to enjoy after a long day or when you need warm and comforting food. The rich and creamy cheese sauce will surely make your taste buds dance joyfully!
Say goodbye to dry, bland loaves and hello to delicious, golden goodness with a skillet full of fluffy Southern cornbread!
This Southern cuisine staple is a simple yet mouth-watering treat and a family favorite.
Southern cornbread combines medium-grind cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and butter, all baked to a perfect golden brown and crispy texture. An ideal choice whether you crave a quick snack or an accompaniment to a full meal.
Black eyed peas
For generations, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day has been associated with good luck and fortune, making them the perfect choice for those seeking to start the year off on the right foot.
And with this Black-Eyed Peas recipe, you’ll be able to enjoy this time-honored African American tradition in a soulful yet satisfying way.
Packed with smoky and spicy delicious flavors, this dish will bring comfort and tradition to your table. This Southern black-eyed peas recipe is designed to bring a smile and warmth to your heart with its flavor and quality ingredients.
Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the most delicious candied yams you’ve ever tasted!
This sweet potato dish can be enjoyed as standalone Thanksgiving yams or paired with other main dishes such as turkey or ham.
What sets this Southern candied yams recipe apart is the soul food special spices that bring out the natural sweetness of the yams. Enhanced by a perfect blend of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
The perfectly cooked yams are topped off with fluffy, sweet marshmallows that complement them perfectly.
This isn’t just any ordinary pecan pie!
The unmistakable taste of tradition and love infused into every slice set
this Black folks’ Southern pecan pie apart from the rest!
The magic of this delectable dessert lies in its perfectly balanced combination of brown sugar and syrupy pecan filling.
Each bite is a burst of sweetness, with a satisfying crunch from the caramelized pecans. The filling is baked to perfection, giving it a velvety, creamy texture that has you wanting more!
With each bite, you’ll experience the warmth and comfort of African American soul food, passed down through the ages and crafted with care.
Fancy an indulgent twist on your favorite holiday or Christmas dinner dish?
Say no more!
Made with simple pantry staples like potatoes, milk, butter, and savory soul food seasonings, this soul food mashed potatoes recipe is the ultimate comfort food.
And the best part?
With an Instant Pot and three easy steps, you can have perfectly creamy, soulful mashed potatoes in no time! Say goodbye to hours spent over a hot stove and hello to a delicious and stress-free meal.
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with the delectable taste of fresh and juicy peach cobbler, crowned with a heavenly cinnamon sugar crust.
Southern peach cobbler is the perfect treat to end your day on a sweet note or to savor as a special snack whenever you crave something delightful.
Sink your teeth into the succulent peaches that burst with flavor, and savor the irresistible aroma of cinnamon that fills the air.
You’ll experience a delightful combination of sweet and savory with every bite, leaving your taste buds singing!
Elevate your soul food holidays with tangy and glossy cranberry sauce that is more than just a condiment – it’s a flavor explosion that adds a burst of tangy sweetness to any dish!
Unlike other sweet sauces that rely on unhealthy sweeteners, this fruit-based sauce has an all-natural ingredient, so you can indulge in the sweet taste you crave without guilt.
Its thick, velvety texture is perfect for spreading on turkey, ham, or any other meat dish. The vibrant red color also adds a touch of elegance to your plate, making it a great addition to any festive table setting.
What is a traditional Southern meal?
A traditional Southern meal typically consists of a main dish accompanied by various sides, beverages, and desserts. Here are some examples of popular dishes and accompaniments:
African American holidays
What do you eat during Black History Month?
During Black History Month, you can enjoy notable recipes like collard greens, cornbread, baked macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, sweet potato pie, and banana pudding – just to name a few soul foods menu favorites.
Is Juneteenth an African holiday?
Juneteenth is a significant holiday that honors the end of slavery in the United States. It has become an essential part of African American culture and heritage.
On June 17, 2021, it was officially recognized as a federal holiday in the United States, underscoring its significance in American history and culture.
What is National Soul Food Month?
What National Days are coming up?
Soul food recipes like Southern peach cobbler, banana pudding, and fried chicken all have a national celebration day.
National Soul Food Month is an annual celebration in June in the United States. The same month as Black Music Month in June.
National Soul Food Month is a time to honor the rich culinary heritage of Black American cuisine and the many contributions that African American chefs and home cooks have made to the country’s food culture.
Soul food Thanksgiving
How do African Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?
Food is vital in Black culture because it brings people around the table and puts a pause on fast-paced living and the constant oppression of our people. Replacing it with good times, comfort food, happiness, and laughs, especially during the holidays.
From soul food favorites like Southern fried catfish, chicken with thick mushroom gravy, honey baked ham, to sweet potato casserole. All this food at once we call a soul food holiday meal, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s.
Whether your family celebrates with a traditional Thanksgiving feast or hosts a family potluck event.
You’re sure to find the soul food flavors they expect when you use my authentic soul food Thanksgiving guides so you can feel confident about hosting this holiday season!
What will you find in this Thanksgiving collection?
My soul food Thanksgiving menu guides offer Southern entrées and Black folks’ recipes.
From the rooter to the tooter, as old Black folks might say!
A soul food Thanksgiving dinner menu is more than the hog, though.
From the Thanksgiving Day turkey to the smallest kernel of corn – my guides are a collection of the best soul food recipes. A Thanksgiving dinner feast fit for a king!
What is the most popular Thanksgiving food?
The popular soul food for Thanksgiving and the holidays in the Black community is a Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe.
What are the 2 most popular main dishes for Thanksgiving?
The two main dishes you’ll find at any Southern soul food Thanksgiving dinner are:
- Thanksgiving turkey
- Thanksgiving ham
(And sometimes fried chicken!)
What can you have for Thanksgiving besides turkey?
For a non-traditional Thanksgiving soul food holiday menu, try any of these main dishes instead of turkey:
What can you make with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving?
What is the turkey wishbone tradition?
This whimsical tradition involves the wishbone in the turkey carcass.
Two people grab a side of the wishbone and break the bone apart while making a wish.
“The wishbone rules are simple: One person grabs each side, pulls, and the person with the bigger half gets a Thanksgiving wish.”
How many sides should you have for Thanksgiving?
You’d only need 2-3 sides for any other ordinary dinner.
No need to overwhelm yourself with more unless you’re preparing a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
In that case, you can enlist help from your guests with a potluck of side dishes! This way, you end up with 4-6 Thanksgiving side dishes.
What are the top 5 Thanksgiving side dishes?
- Black folks cornbread dressing
- Soul food collard greens
- Soul food candied yams
- Homemade Southern cornbread
- Black folks baked macaroni and cheese
Why is mac and cheese served at Thanksgiving?
The same reason why Southern baked mac and cheese is so important to Black culture.
Baked mac and cheese is just one of the many soul food cuisines turned American dishes. And this yummy dish has a really old history.
Known initially as macaroni pie, baked mac and cheese was created by James Hemings, an African American enslaved and trained as a culinary chef in France.
Simply put, baked macaroni and cheese’s cultural past are key ingredients that spice and flavor the African American table like no other.
What is the least popular Thanksgiving side dish?
It’s gotta be green bean casserole – a bland dish that’s not one of the many flavorful soul food Thanksgiving side dishes.
Pro tip: Don’t show up to a soul food Thanksgiving dinner with green bean casserole. Or anything not on the official soul food Thanksgiving dinner menu, for that matter.
What time do Black people eat Thanksgiving?
These sentiments from The Root in their piece on The Survival Guide to Black Thanksgiving are hilariously spot on:
“Thanksgiving dinner starts promptly at 3 p.m., which means 4:19. But you know that someone is going to call you and tell you to bring some ice, so you should leave early. Plus, if you’re late you will be subjected to second-tier macaroni from a non-sanctioned macaroni-maker.”
What are traditional Black foods?
These soul food recipes, Thanksgiving side dishes, and dinner ideas! My best examples for soul food holidays – easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love!
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 – Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird
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.
What state is known for soul food?
Instead of just one best-known state, states are individually recognized as soul food advisors for their most famous soul food dishes.
What do you think of this soul food holidays and soul food Thanksgiving menu?
Have you had it?
Would you make it?
Comment below and lemme know.
Prevent your screen from going dark
Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
Instant Pot Omni Plus oven (optional)
Instant Pot Ace Plus blender or an electric mixer
- 1 ½ pound sweet potatoes washed and scrubbed (equals about 3 cups when softened and peeled)
- 12 oz evaporated milk 1 can
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5 tablespoons butter unsalted butter, melted (or vegan butter)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set it aside.
See my recipe HERE for homemade almond flour pie crust, or you can use a store-bought pie crust, dough, or pie shell that may or may not come with its own pie pan.
Pro tip: Use an Instant Pot pressure cooker to soften and peel the sweet potatoes quickly and almost effortlessly!
Open the Instant Pot lid and fill the stainless-steel inner pot with water to the ½ mark.
Add the scrubbed sweet potatoes to the pot of water.
Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 12 minutes to loosen the potato skin.
When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 12 minutes.
To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
Pour the water and sweet potatoes into a colander in the sink to drain the hot water from the potatoes.
Once the sweet potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and discard the skin.
Gather 3 cups of sweet potato flesh.
Add to either the Instant Pot Ace blender or an electric mixer the sweet potato flesh, evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
Pulse or mix until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust.
Bake the sweet potato pie at 350 degrees F: in a conventional oven for 28-30 minutes, in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven for 24-26 minutes, or until the pie is puffed and firm in the center. (Remember that cooking appliance times and oven temperatures will vary.)
Allow the sweet potato pie to cool for at least 2-4 hours before garnishing or slicing.
Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Serve this Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe warm and enjoy!
- Unlike some pie recipes, there is no need to pre-heat your empty pie crust for this Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe. Doing this can cause your pie crust edges to burn.
- A good indicator of when this pie recipe is done is when you can see the center of the pie filling puffing in the oven.
- You’ll probably have leftover sweet potato mix, depending on how deep-dish your pie pan is. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Or you can pour it into a Ziplock bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- You could also make mini-Black folks sweet potato pies with any leftover pie filling.
- And don’t forget to use any leftover pie dough for the easiest Southern dessert ever – pie crust cookies!
- It’s best to let the pie cool and set for a few hours up to a whole day before slicing.
Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 12243IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 1mg
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