Special Occasion Soul Food Menus

Choosing Special-Occasion-Menus for a special event is no mystery or big secret, you just need to know a few details and answer a few basic questions. You will soon be on your way to preparing a great soul food meal.

For example, if you’re hosting a party for someone special, you need to know what type of event you’re planning, the theme, and what type of food will be served for your soul-food meal. Once these questions have been answered, you can incorporate other food selections into the menu that would be appropriate for your guests and for hosting a great soul-food-meal.

Let’s say you’re hosting a graduation party for your cousin Kiera and about 10 of her family and friends. Kiera mentioned that she love soul food. Her favorite soul-food-meal include hot wings,

collard greens, and macaroni and cheese. By knowing the type of food that Kiera enjoy, you can take the above items and incorporate other selections that would compliment the menu that Kiera love.

Let’s look at the special-occasion-menu below:

SAMPLE MENU: Special-Occasion Menu

Hot Wings (halves)
Mini Cold Turkey Sandwiches
Collard Greens
Macaroni & Cheese
Assorted Fruit Salad
Country Deviled Eggs (halves)
Corn Bread Muffins
Homemade Lemonade

Suggested Serving Per Person:

3-4 hot wings , 1 to 2 turkey sandwiches, 6 to 8 ounces of collard greens, 4-6 ounces macaroni & cheese, ½ cup fruit, 1-3 halves deviled eggs, 1 corn bread muffin.

I took Kiera favorite soul-food-meal, hot wings, collard greens, and macaroni & cheese and incorporated a totally different selection, turkey sandwiches, to the menu.

Since this is a graduation party, an appetizer is appropriate. It offers variety and introduces a different item to the table. The mini turkey sandwiches will go well with hot wings, and offers an alternative for guests who don’t like hot wings. If you want to stay in the same food family, you could add oven fried wings instead of the turkey. Fresh cut fruit or a fresh vegetable tray are always a hit for this type of event. Deviled eggs and corn bread muffins compliment the collard greens.

Let’s look at another example for a special-occasion-menu and Soul-Food-Meal:

Let’s say that your grandpa Amos is celebrating his 70th birthday and you were asked to host a special dinner for him and 15 of his friends at the Lodge. What do you serve?

You just found out that Grandpa Amos love chicken. He says he don’t care how it’s prepared, just as long as it’s chicken. Well, you could bake it, grill it, fry it, or make chicken salad sandwiches. Let’s look at the menu below:

SAMPLE MENU: Special-Occasion-Menu

Baked Chicken Breast with Light Sauce
Beef Rib Tips
Seasoned Green Beans
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Macaroni & Broccoli Salad
Assorted Fruit Platter
Dinner Rolls

Serving Suggestion Per Person:

1 chicken breast, 3 to 4 ounces rib tips, 4 to 6 ounces of each salad, ½ cup fruit, 1 dinner roll. If there are big eaters in the group, more servings per person is recommended. Always allow 2 to 5 additional servings for unexpected guests.

The above menu would please Grandpa Amos and his friends at the Lodge. You could also grill the chicken or serve barbecue chicken. I added beef rib tips for more variety and flavor to the menu – and for guests that prefer beef over chicken. There are several alternatives when you know the main food that the guest of honor enjoy.


When planning special-occasion-menus, always prepare enough food to accommodate the guests. It’s better to have more food than you think you’re need than to run out. Running out of food will not sit well with the guests and will leave a bad impression on you.


You could bake a treat from our soul food dessert menu keeping in mind what the guest of honor enjoy. There are several recipes that would be appropriate for either occasion. The red velvet cake or the pineapple cake are good selections.

A few years ago I catered a 50th birthday party and I baked a red velvet cake and doubled the recipe to serve more guests. I made the recipe as directed and baked it in a half-sheet cake pan. I also discovered that by doubling a pineapple cake recipe the results work just as well for satisfying large groups.

For dessert options, check out our Soul-Food-Dessert page.

When planning a special-occasion-menu for someone special, always take into consideration the type of foods they enjoy. By doing this, you’ll create a menu that everyone will be talking about for a long time.

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.