This list is include food that are commonly used sorted by category and is a guide when putting together great soul-food menus.
Barbecue, chicken, pork, beef, ham, turkey, fish, beef stew, liver, wild game, neck bones (beef or pork), ham hocks, chitterlings
Watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, peaches, pears
Cakes, pies, puddings, cobblers – regular and fruit
Oven corn bread, hoecakes, hot water corn bread, spoon bread, biscuits, cracklin’ bread, hush puppies dressing, rolls
Molasses, sweet sorghum, groundnuts
Spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, rice, grits, dumplings
Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, green (or string) beans, black eyed-peas, cow peas, cabbage, okra, turnips, beets, corn, butter beans, tomatoes, crowder peas, pinto beans, white beans, lima beans, baked beans, green peas, hominy
Onions, garlic, vinegar, black pepper, red pepper, hot pepper pods, seasoned salt, soul-food seasoning, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cumin, chili powder, parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, poultry seasoning, , vanilla extract, flavored extract, thyme, chives, dill, tarragon
Hot sauce, chow chow (pickled relish), sliced red tomatoes, chopped onions, homemade gravy
Frying, baking, grilling, boiling, and roasting
Cooking methods vary depending on the type of meal you’re putting together and can be prepared in many different ways. This helps balance out a well-planned menu. Chicken is not always fried and can be baked, roasted, or grilled as well. I remember my mom, making barbecue chicken on Sundays which for us was a real treat.
Vegetables are still a big part of Southern and soul-food menus. Of course, no dining experience is complete without homemade corn bread served with collard greens or black-eyed peas.
Seasonings add flavor and often brings out the natural taste of food. Homemade desserts were popular in the early years and are still a staple in many kitchens today. You know there’s nothing that take the place of a good homemade peach cobbler after that perfect meal.
For more great menu ideas, please visit our Soul-Food Meals, (see below) section for planning your next meal.
Talking about all this food has made me hungry. I guess I’ve head over to the Soul-Food-Meals section now. Come join me!
Cassandra Harrell is a Soul Food Advisor and recently owned a soul food restaurant and catering service.. She has coached one-on-one sessions on preparing great soul food cuisine