Healthy Soul Food Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 4.58 stars
12
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).

Spicy Potato & Kale Soup

Rating: 4 stars
1
Spicy sausage--in this case, chorizo--pairs beautifully with hearty greens. If you like, substitute collard or mustard greens for the kale. If you can't get chorizo, hot Italian sausage will also work in this soup.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars
1
Garlic cloves, cooked along with the potatoes, give this puree extra body and lots of flavor.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: 4.64 stars
28
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.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 4.14 stars
8
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.

Spicy Meatloaf with Collards

Rating: 4.75 stars
4
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.

Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings

Rating: 3.33 stars
3
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.

Mac & Cheese with Collards

Rating: 5 stars
5
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.

Bourbon Whipped Cream

This easy vanilla-bourbon homemade whipped cream recipe makes a sophisticated topping for any pie, crisp or crumble, or dollop in after-dinner coffee for an elegant treat.

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Rating: 4.48 stars
7
With all that delicious fruit an apple pie should be healthy, but the truth is a slice can have as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat. For the most part, the culprit is the crust. We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance. A slice has half the calories of a typical version and only 10 grams of fat--sweet!

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Rating: 4.65 stars
12
Toss leftover cooked chicken with barbecue sauce and crunchy carrots for a quick and healthy lunch.

Barbecue Chicken Kale Wraps

Smooth, lacinato kale (aka dinosaur kale) is topped with barbecue chicken, carrots and cabbage in this healthy, gluten-free lettuce wrap recipe. Try them for a low-carb dinner or light lunch.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Black-Eyed Peas & Okra
Rating: Unrated
1
This bean and okra recipe is a classic Southern side dish perfect for potlucks. Adding the okra toward the end of cooking guarantees a tender--not mushy--texture.
Peach Custard Pie
Rating: Unrated
4
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.

BBQ Tofu Sandwich

Rating: 4.7 stars
7

Though vegetarian BBQ may be an oxymoron, once you take a bite of this delicious tofu sandwich topped with coleslaw and dill pickles you won't mind the contradiction. Serve with: Baked beans and corn on the cob.