Off to the races!

11 Kentucky Derby Foods & Drinks To Make This Weekend

You can even wear your fancy hat.

Whether you are actually into horse races or not, the Kentucky Derby is a really specific spring event that makes you want to speak in a southern accent, wear a fancy hat, and eat a bunch of Kentucky Derby foods and drinks. I mean, what other time of the year can you pour yourself a mint julep and have a big helping of pimento cheese and Kentucky Derby pie on a plate while wearing little white gloves?

Actually, if you want, you can do that all the time. But the Kentucky Derby is such a fun event to prep a little themed party or dinner for, whether it’s just you and your family or a big gathering. From Kentucky favorites like Hot Brown sandwiches and beer cheese to southern staples like deviled eggs and bourbon balls, there are plenty of Kentucky Derby recipes to put you in the mood.

The Kentucky Derby itself might be “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” but the Kentucky Derby food can last you all day. So pick a few or all of these recipes and plan the ultimate southern feast. It’ll be like you’re sitting right there at Churchill Downs with your hat and gloves on.


Kentucky Derby Pie

An extremely traditional Kentucky Derby recipe is the Kentucky Derby Pie, and this recipe is a pretty perfect version of it. Created in 1954, the Derby Pie is now a major Kentucky icon, and it’s like if you mashed a pecan pie and a chocolate chip cookie together. So delicious, and a must at any Kentucky Derby function. (Plus you can use a frozen pie crust.)


Kentucky Hot Brown

There are few things I love more than a Hot Brown, and I am just now realizing this is a Kentucky tradition. The ooey, gooey, open-faced sandwich is a staple at the Kentucky Derby, and so easy to make at home. You can even customize your family’s orders depending on what they like on their sandwiches!


Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Pizza

While the traditional Hot Brown is the official Derby dish, you can give it a bit of pizazz with this Kentucky Derby hot brown pizza. It’s all of those gorgeous open-faced sandwich flavors, but on your pizza crust of choice. So good.


Pimento Cheese

The Kentucky Derby has a lot of sweet southern charm to it, so go ahead and whip up a nice big bowl of pimento cheese for the occasion. This spread and/or dip (however you want to use it!) is a classic southern party food, and deserves a spot at your Kentucky Derby table.


Beer Cheese Soup

Beer cheese is a great Kentucky recipe, but you can make it a little extra special with this beer cheese soup from Pinch of Yum. It’s so thick and creamy and comfort food in a bowl, but the recipe also includes details on making soft pretzels, so it also works for a big crowd.


Classic Deviled Eggs

Another southern party food? Deviled eggs. And this recipe for Damn Delicious is a pretty classic version. They’re so easy to make and go with just about any other side dishes and foods, so it’s a major win to have them at a party.


Benedictine Tea Sandwiches

I am obsessed with this recipe for Benedictine tea sandwiches. Benedictine is another popular Kentucky recipe — it can be a dip or a spread — and features lots of fresh flavors like dill and cucumber all chopped into a perfectly creamy base. Spread it on your favorite bread for a nice, light, delicious sandwich.


Bourbon Balls

I mean, Kentucky bourbon is a thing for a reason, and these bourbon balls are a great way to get some of that flavor into your Kentucky Derby spread. Bourbon balls are super popular and there are tons of recipes, but this one is a pretty easy, classic way to make the sweet treat.


Kentucky Butter Cake

Have you ever seen a more beautiful cake? This Kentucky butter cake is another southern tradition, and the bourbon glaze on top (from Kentucky bourbon, of course) is just phenomenal. This is a super easy recipe to pull together, and great for a crowd.


Classic Kentucky Mint Julep

You just can’t have a Kentucky Derby celebration without a classic mint julep. Even better if you have the silver cups to drink from, this recipe is a true mint julep recipe and will give you that bright, refreshing cocktail the derby is famous for.


Kentucky Peach Cocktail

If you’re not a fan of mint, try this Kentucky classic — a Kentucky peach cocktail. With bourbon, peach vodka, and lemonade, this is the perfect warm weather drink and has just the right amount of southern kick.

No matter what you put out to eat, the Kentucky Derby is steeped in tradition and is such a fun little event to get excited about. Grab your hats and pull out your betting cards!