Healthy Soul Food Recipes

Find healthy, delicious soul food recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings

Rating: Unrated
1
This version of chicken and dumplings provides plenty of vegetables with 5 grams of fiber per serving. Dumplings are made with 1 part flour and 1 part cornmeal to make them standout from a traditional flour dumpling. This hearty dinner option is the perfect comfort meal.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: Unrated
20
This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich--and only dirties one bowl! Not quite as easy as boxed cake mixes, but those often contain trans fats. Our simple “from scratch” recipe gives you a home-baked cake with healthful canola oil and whole-wheat flour.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
8
Chock-full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, okra and tomatoes, this flavorful stew is a staple in Louisiana. Make it a meal and serve with Real Cornbread (see associated recipe).

Lemon Thins

Rating: Unrated
5
These lemon cookies are made healthier with whole-wheat pastry flour and they get their zippy flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice rather than lemon extract. This lemon cookie recipe would be the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
5
To keep it simple, we've opted for just the essential ingredients in this rendition of the hearty Creole favorite: sausage, okra, rice and a little spice.

Peach Custard Pie

Rating: Unrated
3
We use low-fat milk along with nonfat Greek yogurt in the creamy custard for this peach pie. The yogurt gives the custard a smooth texture without using cream or too many egg yolks. A slice is just as delicious served warm from the oven as it is chilled. For an added treat, serve topped with fresh blueberries.

Spicy Meatloaf with Collards

Rating: Unrated
3
Plenty of dark leafy greens deliver the moisture needed to balance lean ground pork and beef in this spicy meatloaf recipe. Serve any leftovers with extra ketchup as meatloaf sandwiches.

Seafood Stew

Rating: Unrated
2
Our rich stew is made with green beans. The saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color.

Mac & Cheese with Collards

Rating: Unrated
4
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.

Tomato-Corn Pie

Rating: Unrated
9
Tomatoes and corn have a natural affinity for one another: the slight acidity of tomatoes balances the sweetness of the corn. Here they partner in a delicious quiche-like pie. The dough is very forgiving and bakes up into a sturdy shell that's great for just about any savory pie or tart. Perfect for a summer brunch or try it with a tossed salad for a light supper.

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings

Rating: Unrated
6
Our revision of creamy chicken and dumplings uses whole-wheat flour for the dumplings and adds lots of vegetables to the filling. The delicious, satisfying results are packed with beneficial nutrients and dietary fiber, and because we don't use canned soup for the sauce, sodium levels are drastically reduced. To go even lighter, try the recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Real Cornbread

Rating: Unrated
13
This traditional cornbread is made without flour, isn't sweet and has a crumbly texture. You can change the adaptable recipe to suit your cornbread preference. For a variation, substitute 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for the baking powder and use buttermilk instead of milk. If you're looking for a more muffinlike texture, substitute flour for half the cornmeal.

Inspiration and Ideas

Tilapia Corn Chowder

Rating: Unrated
2
This light soup is a great way to slip fresh corn (and tilapia, of course!) into your late-summer menu. Make it a meal: Enjoy with a mixed green salad and oyster crackers.

Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

Rating: Unrated
10
Can you really make a chicken-fried steak that isn't loaded with saturated fat and salt? Absolutely. We skip the deep frying, but with rich country gravy as consolation, you won't miss it. Our pan-fried, crispy cube steak has less than one-third of the fat and about 80 percent less sodium.

Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: Unrated
6

Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.