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soul bowl with creamy fonio grits, collard greens, chicken bits and maple glazed sweet potatoes

Healthy Soul Bowl

Soul food is delicious, but it’s not exactly the healthiest. This healthy soul bowl recipe is a healthier and more nutritious version of a few classic soul food favorites. It’s packed with lean protein and fiber that will keep you full for hours. So enjoy all the flavors and textures of soul food without any of the guilt!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinating Time (optional): 1 day
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1207kcal
Author: Meiko Temple


Roasted Maple Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme optional
  • cup pecans chopped

Cajun Spiced Chicken Bites

  • 1 lb chicken tenders cut into 1-inch cubes (see note 1)
  • 1 cup buttermilk see note 2
  • ¼ cup hot sauce optional
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Oil spray
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt optional - see note 3

Quick Sauteed Collard Greens

  • 2 lbs collards cleaned & stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 9 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Creamy Fonio Grits

  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup raw fonio
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream or nut creamer
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with melted butter until everything is coated. Sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, and toss until coated.
  • Pour potatoes onto a foil-lined baking sheet in a single flat layer. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  • In a small bowl microwave the syrup and thyme for 20-30 seconds. Stir in the pecans and set aside.
  • Remove potatoes from the oven and use a spatula to release them from the foil. Pour the syrup and pecan mixture over the potatoes and use spatula to flip so that all the potatoes get coated. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

To Marinate Cajun Chicken bites

  • Add buttermilk and hot sauce to a large ziplock bag. Seal and shake it up to blend. Add chicken to the bag and seal it. Place in the fridge to marinate for 2-24 hours.

To Cook Cajun Chicken Bites

  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the cajun seasoning, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  • When chicken is done marinating drain the chicken of excess marinade using a colander and season it with the spice blend. Use tongs to ensure all the chicken is fully coated.
  • Spray a foil-lined sheet pan with cooking spray. Transfer the chicken to the sheet pan and spread pieces out event. Lightly spray with cooking spray and bake for 6 minutes, then turn, spray and bake for a further 6 minutes or until golden.

Sauteed Collard Greens

  • Wash collard leaves until clean. Cut off woodsy stems. Stack a few leaves and roll them into a tight cylinder and cut crosswise into very thin ribbons. Repeat for the rest.
  • Add oil to a large skillet oven over high heat, add onion and stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the collards to the pan in batches cook down. When all the collards are in add the remaining ingredients and cook for 5-7 minutes then remove from the heat.

Fonio Grits

  • In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the vegetable broth or water to a boil. Add the garlic and stir in the fonio. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in remaining ingredients and cook for 3 more minutes or until the grains are tender.

To assemble soul bowl

  • Divide fonio grits into 4 bowls. Top with collard greens followed by sweet potatoes. Add in the chicken bites and serve with a side of hot sauce.
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  1. Chicken - you can use any type of boneless chicken. I prefer chicken tenders because they are already cut to the perfect thickness and all that’s left to do is cube them.
  2. Prep ingredients the day before. It’s best to let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk blend overnight if possible.
  3. Additional salt depends on the original salt content of cajun seasoning. I use a low sodium cajun seasoning and add additional salt to bring out the flavor but it may not be necessary.
  4. While sweet potatoes and chicken are in the oven you can prepare the greens and fonio over the stovetop on different burners.


Calories: 1207kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 254mg | Sodium: 2931mg | Potassium: 1776mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 31739IU | Vitamin C: 104mg | Calcium: 822mg | Iron: 4mg


Sheet Pan
Aluminum Foil
Medium Skillet
Metal Tongs

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

**The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products I use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.