Kentucky Derby Party Food Ideas

GET DOWN AND DERBY WITH THE BEST DERBY DAY FOODS

Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake
Kentucky Woods | Bourbon Barrel Mini Cake

Giddyup! It’s time to get down and Derby for the 149th annual Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Considered “the greatest two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby horse race is the longest-running major sporting event in the United States. It’s also the perfect excuse to throw a party with some Kentucky Derby food ideas you can bet on.

The famous “Run for the Roses,” named for the garland of 400 roses the winning horse gets, has been held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky since 1875. At the Kentucky Derby, fans:

  • Eat indulgent Southern foods
  • Drink mint juleps
  • Place bets on horses
  • Watch a fast-paced horse race
  • Accessorize with fancy hats
  • Wear fashionable attire like pastel-hued dresses and searsucker suits
  • Party

Bring the excitement of the high stakes horse race to your home with classic Kentucky Derby comfort food, drinks, and your fanciest hat for good luck. We wager it will be the best day ever with party appetizers and bourbon-infused desserts. Here are our favorite Kentucky Derby food ideas.

Read More: What is Comfort Food?

What Kind of Food Do You Serve at a Kentucky Derby Party?

The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep, a refreshing mix of bourbon, simple syrup, mint, and crushed ice. Beyond that, any classic Southern food and celebratory party food goes. Some of the best Kentucky Derby party foods include popular foods from the South including:  

  • Mint Juleps
  • Derby Pie
  • Ribs
  • Bourbon Barrel Mini Cakes
  • Kentucky Derby Gift Box
  • Banana Pudding
  • Pimento Cheese
Woodford Reserve Mint Julep Syrup

Marvelous Mint Juleps

Raise a glass with the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. This refreshing drink is traditionally made with bourbon, rich simple syrup made from raw Demerara sugar, and fresh spearmint to give a rich and minty flavor. Woodford Reserve’s Mint Julep Syrup makes the perfect crisp spring drink. It’s a liquid celebration of the Kentucky Derby!

Kern's Kitchen Kentucky Derby Pie

Delicious Derby Pie

Leaudra and Walter Kern, along with their son, George, of Kern’s Kitchen created the Derby Pie in 1954 (the name was pulled out of a hat!). This Louisville bakery is the only one that makes this iconic, ooey gooey chocolate and walnut pie. Kern’s Kitchen sells 100,000 pies each year, baking each one at a time.

Pappy's Smokehouse World Famous Ribs

Perfect Pappy’s World Famous Ribs

Ribs are a quintessential party food, comfort food, and game day classic. Pappy’s Smokehouse makes Memphis BBQ ribs that are pure perfection. Each rack of dry rubbed ribs is slowly smoked for 24 hours over apple and cherry wood, making them finger lickin’ good. See why these celeb favorite ribs are Pappy’s World Famous.

Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Mini Cake

Baller Bourbon Barrel Mini Cakes

Let them eat cake on Derby Day! Drink and eat your bourbon with Kentucky Woods’ Bourbon Barrel Mini Cakes. These brown sugar cakes have the essence of bourbon baked in. Each bourbon barrel cake is made with three kinds of aged Kentucky bourbon. This boozy brown sugar chocolate blended cake is topped with walnuts and a chocolate maple caramel drizzle.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Gift Box

Quintessential Kentucky Bourbon Gift Box

Woodford Reserve’s Kentucky Derby Gift Box is a Derby party-in-a-box. It also makes an excellent hostess gift. The Kentucky Bourbon Gift Box from Kentucky’s oldest operating whiskey distillery includes:

  • 9-inch Kentucky Derby Pie from Kern’s Kitchen
  • Box of 32 Bourbon Balls made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 10-inch Bourbon Barrel Cake in a wooden box
  • 20 oz. Woodford Reserve Mint Julep Mix
  • 2 Official Derby Glasses
Martha Stewart’s Legendary Banana Pudding

Magnificent Martha’s Legendary Banana Pudding

Culinary icon and domestic diva Martha Stewart whips up made-to-order sweet banana pudding, a comforting dessert classic. Martha’s Legendary Banana Pudding includes two jars of dreamy, creamy banana pudding loaded with bananas, cream, and Nilla Wafers. It’s perfect for spooning on the couch while celebrating victory.

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit Pimento Cheese

Perfect Pimento Cheese

A Southern staple, Pimento cheese is a bright orange cheese spread that is a must at every party. This dreamy cheese dip is made with shredded cheddar cheese, pimentos, and spices. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit’s Pimento Cheese is a crowd pleaser that is delicious with crudite, crackers, and biscuits.

Kelly Fields' Southern Brunch Weekender Box

Sensational Southern Brunch

Let James Beard Award-winning Chef Kelly Fields do all the food prep for Derby Day. All you have to do is pop the biscuits in the oven and add your favorite spirit to the Bloody Mary mix and you have the perfect Southern Brunch. This Southern Brunch Weekender Box includes Southern comfort food classics, including:

  • 8 fluffy ready-to-bake buttermilk biscuits
  • Pork sausage gravy
  • Creamy pimento cheese
  • Homestyle raspberry jam
  • 1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers
  • Bloody Mary Mix

May the horse be with you. Celebrate Derby Day with Kentucky Derby Party Foods shipping nationwide on Goldbelly!