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: 4.64 stars
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.

Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.42 stars
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.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 4.58 stars
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).

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 4.14 stars
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.

Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings

Rating: 3.33 stars
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.

Lemon Thins

Rating: 3.54 stars
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.

Mac & Cheese with Collards

Rating: 5 stars
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.

Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick

Rating: 4 stars
2
Here's a fun way to serve oven-fried chicken for a picnic: put it on a stick. It's fabulous served with this homemade Vidalia onion and honey-mustard sauce, but it's also great with barbecue sauce or Frank's hot sauce. This is an easy recipe to double if you're serving a crowd.

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings

Rating: 4.43 stars
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.

Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

Rating: 4.6 stars
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.

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.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Rating: 4.65 stars
9
Toss leftover cooked chicken with barbecue sauce and crunchy carrots for a quick and healthy lunch.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

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.

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.

Edamame Succotash with Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars
3

We give succotash--traditionally a Southern dish made with corn, lima beans and peppers--an update using edamame instead of limas and turn it into a main dish by adding shrimp. To get it on the table even faster, purchase peeled, deveined shrimp from the fish counter instead of doing it yourself. Make it a meal: All you need is a warm piece of cornbread to go with this complete meal.