Kentucky Derby Recipes: Top 32 Recipe Ideas (2024)

Kentucky Derby Recipes: Top 32 Recipe Ideas (1)

Whether you're hosting a Kentucky Derby party this year or you want to make a simple meal at home to celebrate and watch the races on TV, these easy Kentucky Derby recipes have you covered! From the very best mint julep recipes to a new take on the traditional Kentucky hot brown, you and your gang will love these festive ideas.

Table of Contents

  • Kentucky Derby Appetizers
  • Kentucky Derby Dinners
  • Kentucky Derby Sides
  • Kentucky Derby Desserts
  • Kentucky Derby Drink Recipes

Kentucky Derby Appetizers

Hot Brown Bites

Whether you plan on having an impromptu Kentucky Derby bash or you simply plan on watching it quietly at home, we've got just the thing to serve...and it's always a winner. Our Hot Brown Bites feature layers of turkey, creamy cheese sauce, and smoky bacon on top of crispy, party rye bread. You just can't go wrong!

Hush Puppies

Every Kentucky Derby party menu needs a little taste of the South. These Hush Puppes are just that!In the Old South, they used to make these yummy cornmeal balls so they'd have something to throw to the hounds to keep them from howling when Yankee soldiers approached. So if you've always wondered how Hush Puppies got their name, now you know!

Fried Mac 'n' Cheese Balls

The next time you invite your friends and family over to watch the big race, set out a platter with Fried Mac 'n' Cheese Balls and get ready to watch them dive, dip, and lunge for these munchies! They're going to love the crispy coating and cheesy goodness in every bite!

Deviled Eggs

The Deviled Eggs make the perfect appetizer for any party! But they're old-fashioned flavor will make them absolute perfection at your Kentucky Derby get together. Everyone loves a good appetizer while they're waiting for the race to start, and these will be gone before the horses cross the finish line!

Wrapped Up Kielbasa

In fancy restaurants they wrap tenderloin in bacon and call it filet mignon, and scallops in bacon to create a seafood brochette. In our recipe for Wrapped Up Kielbasa we wrap kielbasa in bacon for an hors d'oeuvre we call yummy!

Hot Rye Rounds

These pint-size ryes are a favorite finger food for parties. And they're so easy to whip up ahead of time without any hassle. Spend more of your time enjoying the Kentucky Derby with family and friends, and less time in the kitchen!

Kentucky Derby Dinners

Orange Bourbon Ham

Our to-die-for easy homemade glaze that's brushed on to a bone-in smoked ham will make your holiday entertaining memorable. Our Test Kitchen's favorite recipe for Orange Bourbon Ham is so simple yet so elegant

Easy Kentucky Burgoo

Burgoo is a big favorite for Kentucky Derby-watching parties, and our version of Easy Kentucky Burgoo make this hearty stew even simpler to pull off. And whether for the big race or anytime at all, it's a one-pot that always satisfies.

Grilled Bourbon Steak

Our bourbon-laced homemade marinade can turn any steak from ho-hum to wow! With a smoky richness that tenderizes our meat, as well, it's an unbeatable grilling recipe that'll please your gang or impress your company!

Crazy-Good Rosemary Chicken

You can serve up a restaurant-worthy dinner while sticking to your budget, with this easy recipe for Crazy-Good Rosemary Chicken. These juicy chicken breasts are topped with a flavor-packed sauce made with some onions, a little lemon juice, a splash of wine, and a bit of mustard. The results are amazing!

Banquet Brisket

It doesn't matter what the get-together is called, a buffet, a celebration, a party, this entrée should be on the guest list! Your Kentucky Derby party goers will love feasting like kings and queens of the track. With the juicy flavors in this dish, we feel the same way.

Champion Chili

This will definitely be the grand champion at your dinner table! Our Champion Chili is a hearty, one-pot recipe that's packed with ground beef and veggies. Every bowl will be brimming with all sorts of goodness.

Kentucky Derby Sides

Caramel-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Enjoy delicious holiday-style sweet potatoes any time. These Caramel-Glazed Sweet Potatoes are easy because the bottled butterscotch topping does so much of the home-style flavoring for us.

Country Corn Bread

This is the best homemade corn bread recipe around! Made in a skillet, this corn bread comes out of the oven so hot and delicious it screams, "butter, please!" Our Country Corn Bread is a traditional recipe that's perfect for the holidays or anytime!

Wilted Spinach Salad

Pine nuts and olive oil give a basic spinach salad a shot of sophistication. This Wilted Spinach Salad will make even the simplest meal look like you fussed.

Baked Bean Fritters

The baked beans you grew up eating take on a whole new flavor and texture in this tasty recipe for Baked Bean Fritters. These are the perfect go-along to just about anything!

Easy Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a dish that's been around since the early days when settlers learned how to cook corn from the Native Americans. Today, it's still a side dish favorite that families love to change up and make their own. Our Easy Corn Pudding recipe is the shortcut way of making this classic dish, and it's very tasty!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Whether they're a childhood favorite or a new discovery, once you've tried Fried Green Tomatoes, it's hard to forget 'em! Our recipe for this down-home Southern classic is so easy and delicious, you'll want to make 'em all year long!

Kentucky Derby Desserts

Mint Julep Brownies

Whether you're throwing a Kentucky Derby party or you just love the flavors in a traditional Mint Julep, you're going to love these Mint Julep Brownies. You don't have to be a horseracing fan to know that these homemade brownies are sure to be a winner.

Derby Chocolate Pie

You don't have to be a horse fan, or even be from Kentucky, to enjoy this Kentucky-famous Derby Chocolate Pie. This chocolate pecan pie is perfect from the first bite, till the one in which you're scraping the edges of the pie plate.

Mini Grasshopper Pies

Girl Scout cookies are amazing on their own, but take those minty delights and use them to make our Mini Grasshopper Pies and now you've got a world-class dessert that you didn't even break a sweat making. This easy dessert recipe is sure to earn you a "Best Dessert" badge for sure!

Mint Julep Balls

Light and sweet Mint Julep Balls are the perfect treat for a Kentucky Derby party...or any party at all! This recipe yields about three dozen balls, so bring a big appetite!

Southern Peach Fritters

When peach season rolls around we like to take those fresh and juicy sweet peaches, and use them to make our Southern Peach Fritters. This recipe is so good, we bet every Southern grannie would approve!

Pecan Cake

The South is certainly known for many things, and pecans are near the top of that list. Toss a generous dose of them into this Pecan Cake and you'll know why this is one of our best Bundt recipes!

Kentucky Derby Bars

We've got a Kentucky Derby dessert recipe that combines all the fun of racing day with sweet flavor! These dessert bars have a hint of tipsy fun that will send everyone to the gates on the right note, so we think they're the easy Kentucky Derby recipe that you've been looking for! Just make them ahead of time and, when your guests arrive, give them the ready...set...go!

Minty Ice Cream Pie

They'll surely scream for ice cream when you serve up this easy Minty Ice Cream Pie. There's no doubt this is a tasty match made in heaven!

Kentucky Derby Drink Recipes


The popular mojito, a rum drink, gets its zing from fresh mint leaves. Mix these up and add zing to your next adult party.

Secret Ingredient Iced Tea

Ever wondered why the iced tea served at restaurants always seems to taste crisper and more flavorful than your homemade version? Well, there's a simple secret to how that happens, and we're sharing it in our recipe for Secret Ingredient Iced Tea.

Ultimate Strawberry Margaritas

This strawberry margarita recipe is perfect for a Friday night out, Sunday morning brunch, or really, just any time you you're in the mood for something fun and refreshing! And rather than rimming each glass with salt, we thought granulated sugar would really make these pop. We think our Ultimate Strawberry Margaritas are summer in a glass! Be careful though, they're so sweet and delicious, you might forget they can pack a powerful punch thanks to the tequila.

Party Sangria

This fruity-tasting, adults-only Party Sangria recipe for the classic Spanish wine cooler will turn any gathering into a fiesta! Mix it up from scratch with a few fresh-tasting ingredients and let the fun begin!

Country Lemonade

One sip of this fresh-squeezed lemonade and you'll know exactly why our Country Lemonade is a top choice for backyard barbecues and weekend potlucks!

Frozen Whiskey Sours

Let the celebrating begin with these yummy Frozen Whiskey Sours! It's easy, too, so you can whip up a batch any time a grown-ups-only party breaks out.

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Kentucky Derby Recipes: Top 32 Recipe Ideas (2024)


What is the most popular food at the Kentucky Derby? ›

A Kentucky hot brown might be the most recognized Derby food. This delicious hot sandwich is made with turkey, bacon, cheese, and egg and topped with thick slices of ripe tomato.

What's on the menu at the Kentucky Derby? ›

The official Kentucky Derby 150 on-track food menu includes a spring pea pasta salad, panzanella salad, bibb salad, herbed gournay Wiesenberger grits, roasted cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, bourbon cherry brisket burnt ends and 'Nduja shrimp pasta.

What is traditional Derby food? ›

Some traditional derby dishes include pimento cheese, tea sandwiches, and deviled eggs. Here, you'll find those recipes and so much more. Like Southern fried okra, homemade biscuits, ham and cheese sliders, and tomato pie.

What is Derby Day attire? ›

The Kentucky Derby is known for its sea of hats. In the last decade, we've seen more ladies opt for fascinators but you'll still see a wide mix of options. While some opt for feathers and florals, others choose more structured, sculptural pieces -- similar to what you see on British royals.

What appetizers go well with bourbon? ›

Appetizers: Explore appetizer options like spicy nuts, charcuterie, or smoked salmon to perfectly complement the rich flavors of bourbon. 2. Main Courses: Pair smoky and woody bourbons with grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or BBQ dishes to enhance the overall dining experience.

What is Kentucky favorite food? ›

So, we've listed the most important and iconic tastes to try on your next visit to the Bluegrass State.
  • HOT BROWN. The Hot Brown was created at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville in 1926, and it's still the best place to try one. ...
  • BURGOO. ...
  • BARBECUE. ...
  • DERBY-PIE® ...
Jul 25, 2023

What are the nachos at the Kentucky Derby? ›

Loaded Kentucky Nachos

In the interest of eating local, these nachos are topped with pulled pork made from Kentucky-grown pigs and drizzled with local barbecue sauce. Topped with traditional nacho fixings like pico de gallo, sour cream and jalapenos, this is the ideal Cinco de Derby dish.

How do you host the best Kentucky Derby party? ›

Host the Kentucky Derby party of your dreams by following our simple steps.
  1. Book a venue for the party. ...
  2. Determine the dress code for your event. ...
  3. Pick a color scheme. ...
  4. Send thematic invitations that set the stage for the event. ...
  5. Prepare derby day decorations. ...
  6. Design a Kentucky Derby-themed menu. ...
  7. Craft a classic co*cktail menu.

What co*cktails are served at the Kentucky Derby? ›

When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep is almost as iconic as Churchill Downs' TwinSpires. According to the Kentucky Derby Museum juleps have been served at the track since the first running of the Kentucky Derby in 1875, but they did not become the event's official drink until 1939.

What foods are served at the Kentucky Derby concession stands? ›

The Spectators Like to Eat…

Every year, the concession stands at the Kentucky Derby sell over 5.5 tons of food. That breaks down to 142,000 hot dogs, 18,000 barbecue sandwiches, 32,400 jumbo shrimp, 13,800 pounds of beef and 300,000 strawberries for traditional strawberries and cream.

Does the Kentucky Derby have a dress code? ›

If you've got tickets to the clubhouse or grandstand seats (which are also reserved), casual attire is permitted, although you're unlikely to see any of it. And if you're in the infield, there's no dress code, but plenty of people dress up. Just remember, you'll be walking a ton and sitting on the grass ... or mud.

Is there food at the Kentucky Derby? ›

In addition to the signature menu items, Churchill Downs will be offering an array of other delectable bites and pouring classic beverages and staple Kentucky Derby co*cktails for all attendees to enjoy at the track.

What unique thing do people wear to the Kentucky Derby? ›

Sensational neckwear is the easiest way to make your Kentucky Derby outfit as unique as you are, whether it's a luxurious silk traditional tie or a Southern-inspired bow tie. Also, this event takes place in the spring, so think about pastels for your outfit to capture some red-carpet Instagram-worthy pics.

Can you buy food at the Kentucky Derby? ›

During Derby Week Opening Night – Thurby, all food and drink options on the front side are pay for purchase however, there are some All-Inclusive Seating options available for purchase (see individual event days for details).

What food and drinks are included in Kentucky Derby tickets? ›

  • All-Inclusive Food and Beverage Menu. (including beer, wine, spirits, non-alcoholic options and concessions)
  • Off-Site Parking Access. at the Kentucky Exposition Center, with complimentary shuttle service to Churchill Downs.
  • Covered Outdoor Stadium-Style Seating.
  • Live mutuels for wagering.


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