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Kentucky Derby Party Recipes

These Kentucky Derby Party Food Recipes will make your gathering perfect. These menu and derby party ideas include appetizers, main dishes, sweets, and cocktails to make your race day celebration complete!

kentucky derby food ideas collage

Kentucky Derby Party Foods

The first Saturday of May is always an exciting day in our house.

Watching all the amazing horses race around the track while wearing our fanciest hat is more fun with some delicious Kentucky Derby Party Recipes.

From southern tomato pie to fried green tomatoes, you will find something you love. Put on your fancy hat and cheer for your favorite horse during the Run for the Roses.

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with family, friends, and these delicious foods that are perfect for your Kentucky Derby Party Menu!

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derby pie brownies


1. Derby Pie Brownies

The best way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby is with Derby Pie Brownies. Chocolate Brownies covered in bourbon, toasted pecans, and chocolate chips!

Just like the traditional Kentucky Derby Pie but in a gooey and fudgy brownie! Are you drooling yet?

bourbon balls made with woodford reserve bourbon

2. Bourbon Balls

These boozy Bourbon Balls are made with 4 ingredients and are great for your Derby party or your holiday cookie exchange too!

Kentucky derby pie bites

3. Derby Pie Bites

Pop a few of these Kentucky Derby Pie Bites on Derby Day or any other day. Chocolate, Bourbon, and Pecans baked like Derby Pie and then dipped in a coating of dark chocolate.

One of my favorite sweet treats for the horse race!

Kentucky Derby Pie Dip with Chessman cookies

4. Derby Pie Dip

The world-famous Kentucky Derby Pie made with pecans, chocolate, and bourbon is now Derby Pie Dip. Serve with shortbread cookies and it will be just like pie only easier to eat!

Derby Pie cheese ball with spreading knife

5. Derby Pie Cheese Ball

A Derby Pie Cheese Balls is all the delicious gooey parts of a classic Derby Pie with chocolate, caramel, pecans, and bourbon.

Then they are stuffed inside this sweet chocolate cheese ball made with cream cheese and rolled in toasted pecans.

Perfect for watching the Kentucky Derby!

hot brown dip

6. Kentucky Hot Brown Skillet Dip

The classic Louisville Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich gets a makeover from the classic Brown Hotel.

All the best parts of the open-faced sandwich with turkey  and a cheesy Mornay sauce transformed into a bubbly, cheesy, Hot Brown skillet dip.

Perfect for watching the most exciting 2 minutes in sports on Derby Day! Make this easy dip instead of individual Hot Browns. Or you can serve it alongside slider buns.

benedictine spread cheese ball

7. Benedictine Spread Cheese Ball

This Benedictine Cheese Ball is a riff on the traditional southern classic benedictine recipe that is eaten all over Kentucky, especially at the Derby!

A cucumber dill spread that is perfect on crackers, crostini, bread slices, or all by itself.

pimento cheese straws

8. Pimento Cheese Straws

These Pimento Cheese Straws are crispy, spicy, flaky, and cheesy. The perfect combination for these delicious snacks you won’t be able to stop eating!

pimento cheese with a cracker

9. Pimento Cheese Spread

Creamy, cheesy Pimento Cheese Spread is a great party spread! You can make it ahead of time, it keeps for a few days – if it lasts that long.

Serve it in a bowl or roll it into a cheese ball and sprinkle with toasted pecans! Try it crackers or on a burger for a new twist!

pimento cheese bread with potato chips

10. Pimiento Cheese Bread

This sweet and spicy pimento cheese bread has it all! Creamy pimento cheese, sweet and spicy pepper jelly, and topped with crunchy kettle chips.

Of all these Kentucky Derby food ideas, this one is my surprise favorite!

candied pecans in a bowl

11. Candied Pecans

These quick and easy candied pecans are the perfect sweet snack for munching, adding to a salad, or topping your favorite dessert. 4 ingredients are all you need!

toasted pecans on a baking tray

12. How to Toast Pecans in Oven

This recipe will help you make perfect, buttery, toasted pecans, or any other type of nuts, to use in a variety of recipes and dishes. Think of all the great pecan pies!

deviled eggs on a grey plate with paprika

13. Million Dollar Deviled Eggs

With perfect hard-boiled eggs, crispy bacon, and sweet gherkin pickle juice, Million Dollar Deviled Eggs are a delicious version of a classic appetizer. Perfect for the Derby!

hush puppies and dip

14. Hush Puppies

The perfect bite for any Southern gathering. Crispy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside!

plate of cheese grits

15. Cheese Grits

A Southern staple, these creamy cheese grits are the perfect dish for any gathering!

pineapple bourbon lemonade

16. Bourbon Pineapple Cocktail

Bright and tropical pineapple meets its tart cousin the lemon and works together to tame the richness of bourbon in my Pineapple Bourbon Lemonade! It’s one of my favorite bourbon cocktails.

berry lemonade

17. Sparkling Mixed Berry Lemonade

My Sparkling Mixed Berry Lemonade is full of frozen berries and made with fresh squeezed lemons and sweetened with honey for a healthy and fun drink!

blackberry coconut splash

18. Blackberry Coconut Splash

Let’s celebrate with a crisp light cocktail made with fresh blackberry syrup and sparkling water. This Blackberry Coconut Splash is light and refreshing!

mint julep

19. Mint Julep

This classic mint julep recipe is just the cocktail for watching the most famous horse race! Made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon it’s the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.

A delicious combination of simple syrup, muddled fresh mint leaves, Kentucky bourbon, and crushed ice. Serve in julep cups for the finishing touch.

Belmont jewel

20. Belmont Jewel Cocktail

The Belmont Stakes is a popular race too so it’s not a bad idea to make a variety of cocktails for your derby day party. Made with bourbon, lemonade, and pomegranate juice.

black eyed susan cocktail

21. Black Eyed Susan

Try the official cocktail of the Preakness Stakes! Made with vodka, elderflower liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, and lime juice. A great way to celebrate if you are not a fan of bourbon.

One of my husband’s favorite recipes! I like the Kentucky Oaks Lily better. It’s the signature cocktail from the Friday race!

Made with vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and a few blackberries for garnish. Most refreshing!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

kentucky derby food ideas collage

I hope you like all of these easy Kentucky derby recipes and make one or all of them while watching your favorite horse run around the Churchill Downs Racetrack. It’s not called the fastest two minutes in sports for nothing!

Derby Day Bourbon Brownies
The moist, rich brownies are spiked with Kentucky bourbon whiskey and then topped with a creamy layer of bourbon frosting for a perfectly boozy party dessert!
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Photo credit: www.theseasonedmom.com
Bourbon Peach Pie Pops Recipe
These pie pops are perfect bite-sized treats, and most importantly… super easy! These will surely impress your party guests with their Southern flavor and stylish little bow ties.
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Photo credit: www.hwtm.com
Ladies’ Hat Piñata Cookies
Wearing ladies hats may have gone out of fashion, but these festively decorated Ladies’ Hat Piñata Cookies will still be fun treats to serve at a Kentucky Derby Party.
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Photo credit: hungryhappenings.com
No Bake Horse Cookies
While my mind tends to think of the Triple Crown Races: The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, these adorable no bake horse cookies are perfect for any horse themed party.
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Photo credit: www.savoryexperiments.com
Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie
This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!
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Photo credit: champagne-tastes.com
Glazed Bourbon Pecan Pound Cake – Spend With Pennies
This cake is a delicious combination flavor. The Bourbon is accented perfectly with a generous amount of nutmeg. They’re really amazing together. Then this cake has chopped pecans and lots of good quality butter, all topped off with a thick caramel glaze.
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Photo credit: www.spendwithpennies.com
Kentucky Hot Brown Dip Recipe
Kentucky Hot Brown Dip is one of the best hot dip recipes you need and the ultimate Kentucky Derby food. Everything you love from the classic Southern sandwich gets baked into a hot cheese dip recipe loaded with turkey, bacon, and tomatoes.
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Photo credit: cupcakesandkalechips.com
Dump-and-Bake Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
This easy Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole is loaded with turkey (or chicken), bacon, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce. It’s the perfect dish for weeknight dinners and Derby Day celebrations!
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Photo credit: www.theseasonedmom.com
Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders
These Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders are so good. Yummy turkey, buttered buns, fresh ripe tomato, cheese gravy (yes, I said CHEESE GRAVY), and bacon.
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Photo credit: buythiscookthat.com
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs
Creamy zesty Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs, perfect for the Kentucky Derby!
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Photo credit: www.aspicyperspective.com
pimento cheese deviled eggs on a blue and white platter
Best Southern Tomato Pie Recipe
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: houseofnasheats.com
Southern Cheese Grits Recipe
These Cheese Grits are to be enjoyed as a side dish, but could also be a delicious breakfast with a fried egg on top or some asparagus.
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Photo credit: www.thevintagemixer.com
Fried Green Tomatoes with Garlic, Bacon and Buttermilk Sauce
Hot, crispy, and tangy fried green tomatoes encrusted in a perfect fried batter are the perfect treat for your Kentucky Derby Party.!
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Photo credit: www.italianbellavita.com
Kentucky Bourbon Corn Pudding
Classic corn pudding with Kentucky bourbon and candied jalapeños.
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Photo credit: www.halfbakedharvest.com
Baby Hot Browns
An appetizer version of the famous Brown Hotel’s Hot Brown Sandwich.
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Photo credit: www.kathymillertime.com
Old-Time Kentucky Burgoo
This Kentucky burgoo is a typical version, a chicken and beef stew with cabbage, potatoes, okra, and lima beans.
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Photo credit: www.thespruceeats.com
Southern Sliders — Runway Chef
A fluffy, buttery biscuit topped with zesty quick-pickled green tomatoes and a well-seasoned turkey burger piled high with creamy pimento cheese.
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Photo credit: www.runwaychef.com
Sweet Pea Crostini
Sweet Pea Crostini – This light and fresh spring appetizer is the perfect way to whet your Derby appetite (without spoiling your dinner).
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Photo credit: simpleseasonal.com
Kentucky Butter Cake
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: houseofnasheats.com
Maple Bourbon Candied Pecans
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: www.thefreshcooky.com
Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Cheesy Spinach Dip
Sweet peppers are filled with a simple cheesy spinach dip, wrapped with prosciutto, and baked. This is an easy recipe that your friends will love!
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Photo credit: thekittchen.com
Lavender Bourbon Sour
This Bourbon Sour with Lavender is a sweet spring cocktail! Mix one up in no time with lavender simple syrup, lemon juice (or Meyer lemon juice), and bourbon.
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Photo credit: champagne-tastes.com
lavender lemon bourbon sour
Barrel-Aged Bourbon Manhattan
This Barrel-Aged Bourbon Manhattan cocktail is a twist on a classic. Featuring aged quality bourbon, maraschino liqueur and dark cherries, this drink will become your all time favorite!
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Photo credit: www.homeandplate.com
Sparkling Mint Julep
Whether you make it as a cocktail or a mocktail, this sparkling mint julep is a lovely drink for a celebration! Large hats optional.
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Photo credit: goodiegodmother.com
Basil Julep
Based on a classic mint julep, this recipe for a basil julep is very refreshing and perfect for sipping as the sun goes down. Fresh basil leaves and rye Whiskey served chilled over ice is the perfect warm weather cooling drink.
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Photo credit: culinaryginger.com
Blueberry Bourbon Smash
This Blueberry Bourbon Smash is made with a quick and easy blueberry syrup and fresh basil leaves. It’s a blueberry cocktail that’s perfect for Derby days!
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Photo credit: champagne-tastes.com

Horses, Hats, and Decorations

These party favors and decorations will help you round out your festive Kentucky Derby Party!

Kentucky Derby Horse Racing Streamers (3PCS)
Get one!
Horse Racing Mini Centerpieces (12) 4.75″ – 5.5″
Get one!
Kentucky Derby Photo Booth Props (55pcs)
Get one!
Mini Metal Horse Shoes Favors with Kraft Tag (12)
Get one!
Horseshoe Fanci-Frames, One Size, Gold/Black
Get one!
Kentucky Derby Julep (2) Stainless Steel 12oz
Get one!
Paladone Drinking Derby Card Set
Get one!
24 Kentucky Derby Golden Cup Cupcake Toppers
Get one!
Paper Cocktail Napkins, Horse Jockey Silks (20)
Get one!
Kentucky Derby Popcorn Treat Boxes – Set of 12
Get one!
Kentucky Derby Frosted Roadie Cup Set
Get one!
Fanci-Fetti Horses (black & copper)
Get one!
Derby Party Bundle for 16: Plates, Napkins, & Tablecloth
Get one!
Kentucky Derby Round Candy Sticker Favors 108
Get one!
Talk Derby to Me – Drink Coolers Set of 6
Get one!

{Originally Published 05/01/17 – photos and notes updated 04/18/23 to improve reader experience}

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Kylee

Sunday 24th of March 2019

This collection of deliciousness makes me wish I knew people who held derby watching parties!

Michaela Kenkel

Sunday 24th of March 2019

You make me want to book a ticket to the Kentucky Derby!! Great recipes!!

Julia

Friday 8th of March 2019

It was delicious and easy to prepare! Thank you, it’s very delicious!

Patria Alway

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

I very pleased to find this website on bing, just what I was searching for : D too saved to bookmarks.

Teri

Monday 1st of May 2017

This is by far THE best collection of Derby recipes I have ever seen. Great job and thanks for sharing! I can't decide which is my favorite, but I think I'll start in the drink section and work my way backwards. :)

chubcheeks@bellsouth.net

Monday 1st of May 2017

That was my first thought too!