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17 of Aretha Franklin’s Favorite Foods

It's said that the only thing Aretha Franklin loves as much as soul music is soul food.

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Aretha Franklinvia Aretha Franklin/Facebook

When she’s not singing her heart out, the Queen of Soul loves to cook and eat. These recipes are inspired by her favorite comfort cuisine, from homey meat loaf to old-fashioned banana pudding.

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Peach Cobbler

Aretha’s peach cobbler recipe is a tried-and-true go-to for many of her fans! While she uses canned peaches and refrigerated pie crusts, this recipe’s fresh peaches and hand-mixed topping create a wonderful cobbler if you have the time.
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Pineapple Ham

The Queen of Soul’s Queen of Soul Ham recipe is classic, with maraschino cherries, pineapple rings, lots of brown sugar, and yellow mustard. This copycat recipe would be perfect for a holiday.

Find out what Dolly Parton’s favorites are, here.

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Banana Pudding

In her biography, Aretha mentions loving banana pudding. But really, who doesn’t?! This recipe yields a great one with a made-from-scratch pudding mixture.
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Fried Chicken

Since the Queen of Soul loves soul food, fried chicken is something she must relish. It can’t get much more crispy and satisfying than this!
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Mac & Cheese

Way back in 1967, Aretha told Ebony magazine that her favorite food was chitlins, and that probably hasn’t changed. It’s hard to come by recipes for those anymore, but since she loves comfort food, this mac and cheese topped with crushed pork rinds would undoubtedly make her day!

Want more mac and cheese recipes? These are our top 10.

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Corn Bread

In the same interview, Aretha also mentioned hot water cornbread as a food she loved, and since she surely slathers it with butter, this version would be a hit with her!
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Italian Chicken

Ms. Franklin shared her recipe for Chicken Italiano with Martha Stewart. It consists of chicken pieces from a whole bird, tomato sauce, and fresh rosemary and comes together quickly and easily, just like this recipe does.
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Thai Shrimp

Aretha can branch out too! Using peanut butter and soy sauce to flavor her Mmm Mmm Mmm Peanut Butter Shrimp gives it a decidedly Thai twist.
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Black-Eyed Peas & Ham

Ham-infused black-eyed peas are the epitome of soul food. Use a smoked ham hock or take the shortcut and use regular ham like this recipe does.
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Meat Loaf

Cornflakes are a wonderful replacement for bread crumbs in a batch of meat loaf, and Aretha knows it! She also includes olives in her holiday loaf. You could stir them into this recipe, too.
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Baby Back Ribs

Barbecue ribs are also on the menu of her favorite foods as told to her biographer Mark Bego. We wonder if she keeps moist towelettes in stock!
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Homemade Ice Cream

We hear she loves homemade ice cream as well, but there’s no mention of a specific flavor. Is she on team chocolate or team vanilla, or does she prefer something else entirely, like rhubarb?
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Shrimp & Grits

A bowl of shrimp and grits can make even the worst day seem pretty good. Aretha’s recipe smothers the shrimp in a very buttery tomato cream sauce.
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Rumor has it that the accomplished singer has decided to start her own line of comfort foods. Chili is one of the items she’s considering, and she would certainly approve of this version that’s cooked low and slow.
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Gumbo is also supposedly on Aretha’s product list. She’d probably opt for a classic recipe like this one with both chicken and sausage.
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Chicken & Dressing

Aretha bakes her chicken and dressing, another item with her new label, in a loaf pan, but we bet this traditional casserole would OK with her.
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Pumpkin Pie

It’s said that the reason Ms. Franklin is starting her food brand is to compete with Patti LaBelle, whose sweet potato pie has been wildly popular. Since Aretha hails from Detroit, we wonder if she’ll be including a pumpkin pie in her offerings instead.

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.

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