The Best Easy and Cost-Effective Soul Food Recipes

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

There are two words in the English language that will instantly fill you with comfort: Soul Food. June is National Soul Food Month, and to honor and celebrate this delicious month, we have three easy and cost-effective soul food recipes that are sure to bring you comfort and joy. If you want the scoop on all things soul food, keep reading for some great recipes. So, let’s get started!


We can only talk about Soul Food after going over some history first. Soul Food began in the Southern United States, originating with the food given to the enslaved Black/African people by plantation owners. The term “Soul Food” became popular in the 1960-1970s as part of the Black Power Movement.* From these roots, Soul Food has become one of the most beloved cuisines in the United States and worldwide. Now that you have a quick understanding of soul food’s history, let’s jump into our favorite corn bread recipe.    

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Corn Bread 

No soul food meal is complete without corn bread. According to Robert A. Gilmer, one of the contributing authors of Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama, “Native people in the Americas first cultivated corn. It was introduced in West Africa by European traders shortly after contact through the Atlantic slave trade and quickly became a major staple in African cooking”.*   


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup cornmeal, yellow 
  • ⅔ cup white sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder 
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 egg, large 
  • 1 cup milk (we recommend nothing lower than 2% milk) 


  1. Preheat your oven to 400F°.  
  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan or 8×8-inch baking dish and dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set aside.  
  1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk, vegetable oil, and egg till the mixture is well combined. If the batter appears too thick, you can always add more milk, mixing a little at a time. You want your batter to be thick, but pourable.   
  1. Add batter to the prepared cake pan and bake on a center rack for 20-25 minutes.  
  1. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cornbread. If the toothpick comes out clean, then your corn bread is ready to take out of the oven.  
  1. Lastly, let your corn bread cool in the pan and serve with butter, honey butter, or maple syrup. 
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Fried Chicken  

The most iconic meal associated with Soul Food is probably Fried Chicken. Fried Chicken is so beloved it’s even a Christmas tradition in Japan!*


  • 1 whole chicken cut up or 6-8 pieces of your favorite cut of chicken  
  • 2 ½ cups buttermilk  
  • 6-8 Quarts of vegetable oil, peanut oil, or neutral oil of your choice.  

The Dredging Mixture

According to the internet, these are the “famous” 11 herbs and spices from a popular chicken restaurant: 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour  
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme  
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper  
  • 1/3 teaspoon oregano  
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt 
  • 4 teaspoons paprika  
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard  
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt  
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger  
  • 3 teaspoons white pepper  


  1. Put your whole cut-up chicken or pieces in a large bowl or deep dish. Add the 2 cups of buttermilk. Optionally, add hot sauce to taste or some salt to the chicken before adding the buttermilk. Mix everything, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit in the fridge to marinate for about 1-2 hours.  
  1. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, herbs, and spices in a medium bowl and set aside.  
  1. Fill your deep fryer, cast iron skillet, or Dutch oven with the oil of your choice and heat to 350F°.  
  1. Time to start the dredging process. Take your buttermilk and chicken mixture out of the fridge, pick up each piece of chicken, and let some of the excess buttermilk drip back into the bowl. Place your piece of chicken into the flour mixture, coat well, and place on a clean plate. Repeat the process until all your chicken is nicely coated.  
  1. Very carefully start adding your chicken pieces to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd your fryer or pan; only cook 2-4 pieces at a time.  
  1. Your chicken is done when golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165F°.* The size of the chicken pieces affects your cooking time. Dark meat can take about 12-14 minutes, while white meat typically takes 8-10 minutes. Always use a meat thermometer for accurate temperature readings.*  
  1. When your chicken is golden brown and has registered 165F° at its thickest point, place the pieces in a paper towel-lined baking sheet or large dish, and then repeat the process until all the chicken is done, and enjoy! Serve with your favorite side dishes.  
  1. Remember to dispose of your cooking oil properly, as described here.* 

Now that you have a corn bread and fried chicken recipe, all we’re missing is the dessert!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sweet Potato Pie 

I know what you’re thinking; sweet potato pie is for Thanksgiving, but there’s no rule saying you can’t eat it all year round. And don’t let people tell you otherwise. You don’t need that negativity in your life. 


  • 1 pound of sweet potatoes with the skin 
  • ½ cup softened butter 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar  
  • ½ cup whole milk (we recommend whole milk, but if you’re not a fan, nothing lower than 2%) 
  • 2 eggs, large  
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 -9-inch unbaked pie crust, make your own or store-bought*  


  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil. Boil until tender when pierced with a fork or knife, anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes.  
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F°.  
  1. Carefully strain your sweet potatoes from the pot and run under cold water until safe to touch. Then, discard the skin.  
  1. Lightly mash sweet potato apart and place in a large bowl. Add butter and mix with an electric, hand, or stand mixer until well combined.  
  1. Add sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla; beat on medium speed until nice and smooth using your hand mixer or stand mixer.  
  1. Pour your sweet potato filling into the unbaked pie crust.  
  1. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, then it’s ready to take out of the oven.  
  1. Lastly, remove from oven. Let cool completely and enjoy! 

Soul Food

As we come to the end of this culinary journey celebrating the heart and soul of Southern cuisine, we hope these soul food recipes bring warmth, comfort, and a taste of tradition to your kitchen. Remember, soul food is not just about ingredients; it’s about love, community, and the stories shared around the table. As you savor these recipes, may they inspire you to create your own cherished memories and continue the timeless tradition of soulful cooking. So, gather your loved ones, set the table with care, and let the soulful journey of cooking and sharing begin. Cheers to the joy of soul food and the shared moments that make every meal a celebration of life and love.

High-interest loans can be expensive and should be used only for short-term financial needs, not long-term solutions. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. The opinions expressed above are solely the author’s views and may or may not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website or its affiliates. Cash Factory USA does not provide financial advice.

Image(s) or Footage (as applicable), used under license from

* This blog contains links to other third-party website that is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, or sponsored by Cash Factory USA. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user, or browser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.