Home Recipe Roundup 20 Kentucky Derby Party Foods (+ Easy Recipes)

20 Kentucky Derby Party Foods (+ Easy Recipes)

These Kentucky Derby party foods are a must at your next celebration!

After all, it’s not a true Kentucky Derby party without the food or mint juleps!

Chocolate Walnut Derby Pie
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The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race held on the first Saturday of May in Louisville, Kentucky.

Most people look forward to the race, while others are entertained by the horses’ curious names. 

I, on the other hand, am most excited about the food. 

Buttermilk fried chicken, mint julep, bourbon balls… I could go on and on! These spectacular Kentucky classics can’t be beat.

This year, celebrate the Kentucky Derby with these delicious, nay (pun intended), legendary dishes! 

20 Best Recipes to Make for the Kentucky Derby

1. Benedictine Spread or Dip

The Benedictine is a rich sandwich spread made of mayo, and cream cheese.

Its distinct green hue is thanks to either cucumber, parsley, spinach, or green food coloring.

It was created by a caterer named Jennie Benedict, hence the name.

Bisquick Fried Chicken

2. Fried Chicken  

Who doesn’t love fried chicken, am I right? This trademark southern dish is beloved all over the world. 

This recipe is a bit different from the usual, though. You’ll use Bisquick mix for the breading, and you’ll bake it instead of deep-frying.

The resulting chicken is just as crispy and golden, minus the oil.

3. Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are already rich and creamy as is.

Add pimento cheese to the picture and you’ll have an even more delightful appetizer.

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4. Kentucky Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich Recipe

The Kentucky hot brown sandwich dates all the way back to the 1920s. It’s so iconic, it’s well-loved even to this day!

Invented in 1926 by chef Fred K. Schmidt, the hot brown features layers of turkey, tomatoes, cheese sauce, and bacon on top of bread. 

The whole thing is cooked in a broiler to crisp up the bread and melt the cheese. Yum.

5. Mint Julep  

The mint julep is the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.

The cool and refreshing drink is made of Bourbon, maple syrup, and fresh mint leaves. 

It was traditionally served in silver pewter cups, but now, any glass will do.

6. Buffalo Chicken Sliders 

Snack on these savory-tangy chicken sliders while rooting for your horse! 

Hawaiian rolls plus rotisserie chicken equals love.

These sliders are made even more special with melted butter seasoned with garlic and Italian seasoning. I’m already drooling!

7. Pimiento Cheese  

Pimento cheese is hands down, my favorite bread spread.

The combination of sharp cheddar, cream cheese, and pimentos creates the most mind-blowing flavors!

Whether it’s spread on bread, pretzels, vegetables, or chips, I won’t complain. I’ll eat them, I’ll eat them all!

Ever wonder what those little red specks are, though?

Pimentos are made from minced cherry peppers, a type of red pepper that’s small and sweet.

8. Fried Green Tomatoes   

Green tomatoes are sliced, battered, and deep fried into perfection. They’re crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside.

I never thought I’d be addicted to tomatoes until I met this classic southern treat.

Buttermilk Biscuits

9. Biscuits 

Biscuits are another southern favorite that’s impossible to resist.

The great thing about it is that you can whip them up in under 25 minutes. 

Spread them with butter, jam, or my favorite – cheese pimento, and you’re golden.

10. Pimiento Cheese Toasts

Here’s another way to enjoy the ever-so-drool-worthy pimento cheese! Spread it on sliced toasted baguette.

Trust me, one bite will get you hooked. 

11. Hush Puppies 

Hush puppies are deep-fried balls of cornmeal batter.

The concept is simple, but these guys are extremely addictive. Try to stop at one, I dare ya!

These crispy fried balls have been around since 1899. Its origin is unclear, but many believe it to be a snack created literally to “hush puppies.”

Home cooks would fry a simple cornmeal mixture and feed it to barking dogs to quiet them.

Sliced Cornbread

12. Cornbread 

With a crispy outer crust and a moist and crumbly interior, I don’t mind eating cornbread all day long.  

Seriously, it’s overwhelmingly delicious. The texture is absolutely perfect.

It’s wonderfully crumbly but won’t fall apart as you bite into it. 

13. Southern Sweet Tea

You would think that sweet tea is simply achieved by adding sugar to iced tea. It’s not, though. It’s so much more than that.

It involves steeping black tea in boiling water for a full 5 minutes to create a strong concentrate.

It is then sweetened by sugar and thinned out with water. Lastly, it’s chilled for at least 4 hours to enhance its flavor.

It’s a long process, but the fruit it bears is worth the wait.

14. Kentucky Cream Pulled Candy

Kentucky cream pulled candy is a sweet and creamy taffy-like treat with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

It’s highly addictive, so I highly suggest you double the recipe.

15. Kentucky Bourbon Balls

Did you know that Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s bourbon?

It’s no wonder the state has a wide array of whiskey-infused treats. Bourbon balls are among the most iconic.

These balls are chocolate truffles studded with bourbon-spiked pecans. The splash of booze makes the truffles extra decadent.

Bundt Cake with Vanilla Icing

16. Kentucky Butter Cake  

Moist bundt cake is drizzled with a sweet butter sauce. Can you imagine how rich and buttery this cake is?!

The sheer thought of it is making my mouth water. 

17. Mint Julep Poke Cake 

This dessert transforms the iconic cocktail into a delicious cake.

Soft cake is poked all over and drizzled with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, bourbon, and mint extract. 

That alone is already more than delightful, but we’re taking things a step further by frosting the cake with mint-flavored whipped cream. How amazing.

18. Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Cookie Bars

The Derby pie is another iconic dessert in Kentucky. These cookie bars are just as good! 

Also, good news, weight watchers: this version doesn’t contain butter. It’s decadent and nutritious at the same time.

19. Kentucky Derby Chocolate Walnut Pie

The Kentucky Derby pie is a trademark dessert of Kerns Bakery in Louisville.

The pie has a decadent filling loaded with chocolate chips and pecans.

This copycat recipe takes the fun to the next level by throwing bourbon into the mix!

20. Bourbon Pecan Pie 

The classic pecan pie is spiked with bourbon for a sinful dessert. Anything bourbon touches turns into gold!

20 BEST Kentucky Derby Party Foods

These Kentucky Derby party foods are a must at your next celebration! From mint juleps to fried chicken to butter cake, head off to the races with these easy recipes.


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Kentucky Derby food in 30 minutes or less!
Kentucky Derby Party Foods

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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