Healthy Soul Food Recipes

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

Staff Picks

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: 4.5 stars 30
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 5 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).
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 10
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. This cucumber, tomato and onion salad is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.
By Virginia Willis

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 3.5 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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings

Rating: 3.5 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.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Iced Mint Green Tea

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
Crisp and refreshing, you just may find yourself craving this beverage on a hot summer's night.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Tilapia Corn Chowder

Rating: 5 stars 4
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Lemon Thins

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Southern Kale

Kale becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender in this recipe. Assertive garlic and salty country ham stand up to kale's bold flavor.
By Sarah Fritschner

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings

Rating: 4.5 stars 8
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

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 Chicken Sandwich
Rating: Unrated 12
Toss leftover cooked chicken with barbecue sauce and crunchy carrots for a quick and healthy lunch.
Real Cornbread
Rating: 3.5 stars 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.