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28 Soul Food Recipes Straight From the Heart

Nothing is more satisfying than a plate of down-home eats! Here's a look at the best soul food recipes that will tantalize your taste buds by the forkful.

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Iva's Peach CobblerTaste of Home

Iva's Peach Cobbler

My mother received this peach cobbler recipe from a friend of hers many years ago, and fortunately she shared it with me. Boise is situated right between two large fruit-producing areas in our state, so peaches are plentiful in the summer. —Ruby Ewart, Boise, Idaho

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Southern Shrimp and GritsTaste of Home

Southern Shrimp and Grits

A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch or dinner, and anytime company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

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Chicken and Okra Gumbo

Chicken and Okra Gumbo

 

We used to live in New Orleans, but our taste buds don't know we moved yet. I still make many Creole dishes, and gumbo is one of our favorites. —Catherine Bouis, Palm Harbor, Florida

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Peppery Hush PuppiesTaste of Home

Peppery Hush Puppies

For our family, a good fish dinner just isn't complete without these zesty hush puppies. You can also serve them alone as a satisfying snack. —Carolyn Griffin, Macon, Georgia

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Jalapeno Buttermilk CornbreadTaste of Home

Jalapeno Buttermilk Cornbread

If you’re from the South, you have to have a good cornbread recipe. Here’s a healthier version of my mom’s skillet cornbread. —Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas

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Creamy Hash Brown PotatoesTaste of Home

Creamy Hash Brown Potatoes

Convenient frozen hash browns are the secret behind the cheesy slow-cooker potatoes I cook up for potlucks and big group gatherings. —Julianne Henson, Streamwood, Illinois

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Cheese 'n' Grits CasseroleTaste of Home

Cheese 'n' Grits Casserole

Grits are a staple in southern cooking. Serve this as a brunch item with bacon or as a side dish for dinner.—Jennifer Wallis, Goldsboro, North Carolina

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Coconut-Bourbon Sweet PotatoesTaste of Home

Coconut-Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

What is it about sweet potatoes that unnerve some people? For those who firmly state they hate a yam because of the color or texture, the rich addition of coconut, bourbon and spices might just win them over. —Rebecca Anderson, Driftwood, Texas

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Bourbon Candied Bacon Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Bourbon Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

At our house, it doesn’t get any better than deviled eggs with bacon—bourbon candied bacon, that is. See if you can resist them. We can’t. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Hot Collards and Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip

Anyone can pull off spinach and artichoke dip—so brighten it up using collard greens for a southern twist. Serve this dish with warm garlic naan or tortilla chips. —Billie Williams-Henderson, Bowie, Maryland

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Creamed Green BeansTaste of Home

Creamed Green Beans

A family favorite for years, this special green bean recipe is a cinch to double and can be assembled ahead of time. When my nephews are coming for dinner, it’s an absolute must! —Betty Shaw, Weirton, West Virginia

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Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon GritsTaste of Home

Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon Grits

In the South, everyone loves three things: bacon, cheese and grits! After playing around with this recipe, I took it to my first family party as a newlywed, and it was a huge hit. This recipe has become a family tradition that I'm sure will be passed down for generations. —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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Vibrant Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Vibrant Black-Eyed Pea Salad

My black-eyed pea salad reminds me of a southern cooking class my husband and I took while visiting Savannah, Georgia. People go nuts for it at picnics and potlucks. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania

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Banana PuddingTaste of Home

Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia

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Speedy Shepherd's PieTaste of Home

Speedy Shepherd's Pie

Turn mashed potatoes and a few pantry staples into cozy comfort food. This recipe is really flexible, so if you have extra veggies on hand, stir them into the beef mixture for even more goodness. —Sharon Tipton, Winter Garden, Florida

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Easy Peanut Butter FudgeTaste of Home

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

My sister shared the recipe for this unbelievably easy peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream. I prefer using creamy peanut butter for this mouthwatering dessert, but the chunky style works just as well. —Mary Jane Rummel, Linglestown, Pennsylvania

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Sour Cream CucumbersTaste of Home

Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

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Quick Cream of Mushroom SoupTaste of Home

Quick Cream of Mushroom Soup

My daughter-in-law, a gourmet cook, served this cream of mushroom soup recipe as the first course for a holiday dinner. She received the recipe from her mom and graciously shared it with me. Now I'm happy to share it with my own friends and family. —Anne Kulick, Phillipsburg, New Jersey

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Saucy Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Saucy Pork Chops

I don't always have time to fix the home-cooked meals my family loves, so I've come to rely on my slow cooker a lot. I fix these tangy chops at least once a week—the meat's so tender you can cut it with a fork—and we all love it! —Jennifer Ruberg, Two Harbors, Minnesota

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Chicken and DumplingsTaste of Home

Chicken and Dumplings

Perfect for chilly winter nights, this main course is speedy, low in fat and a delicious one-dish meal. —Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls, Kansas

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Hearty Navy Bean SoupTaste of Home

Hearty Navy Bean Soup

My family loves navy bean soup! Beans were a commodity you did not survive without in the '30s. This excellent navy beans and ham soup is a real family favorite of ours and I make it often. —Mildred Lewis, Temple, Texas

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Saucy Chicken ThighsTaste of Home

Saucy Chicken Thighs

Everyone raves about how sweet the sauce is for these slow-cooked chicken thighs. They’re such a breeze because they simmer away while you do other things. They’re ideal appetizers, but you can also add your favorite side for a nice meal. —Kim Puckett, Reagan, Tennessee

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Cheesy Chicken ChowderTaste of Home

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

I like to serve this hearty chowder with garlic bread and a salad. It's a wonderful dish to prepare when company drops in. The rich, mild flavor and tender chicken and vegetables appeal even to children and picky eaters. —Hazel Fritchie, Palestine, Illinois

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Tasty Pork RibsTaste of Home

Tasty Pork Ribs

I like to serve these tender, country-style ribs over rice. The tantalizing aroma and zippy Cajun barbecue sauce are sure to make this dish a favorite at your house.—Michelle Rominger, Albia, Iowa

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Mom's Meat LoafTaste of Home

Mom's Meat Loaf

Mom made the best meatloaf, and now I do, too. When I first met my husband, he didn't care for homemade meatloaf, but this won him over. —Michelle Beran, Claflin, Kansas

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Skillet Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Skillet Mac & Cheese

This super creamy mac 'n' cheese is so simple it seems almost too easy! Kids really go for the rich cheese flavor, but I've never met an adult who didn't love it too. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas

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Best-Ever Fried ChickenTaste of Home

Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia

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Cajun Baked CatfishTaste of Home

Cajun Baked Catfish

This well-seasoned fish nets me compliments from family and friends whenever I serves it. The fish is moist and flakey, the coating crisp, crunchy and flecked with paprika. —Jim Gales, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Jennifer Shaffer
Jennifer has always had a passion for home design, the arts and travel. She is a graduate from Eastern Florida State College. Her motto: "If you never step forward, you'll always be in the same place."

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