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Southern Charm on Your Table: 21 Delectable Derby Day Delights!

Southern charm meets culinary delight in our roundup of delicious dishes for your Kentucky Derby Day themed party. Get ready to impress with these winning recipes!

It was hard not to follow horse racing, at least a little bit, growing up in Maryland.

We had to pass miles and miles of horse farms any time we went to visit my grandparents.

The Hunt Cup took place just a few towns over from where I lived and going to watch the steeplechase was a big deal throughout high school.

Oh, and then there was The Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown!

Despite all of that, I’ve never actually attended a Kentucky Derby Day party.

Dinner plate with Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich stack on a table set for a Derby Day party.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to! I’ve just never been invited to one…

The lesson here? If you want to do something, sometimes you need to take the horse by the reins and do it yourself.

If you’ve always wanted to celebrate Derby Day, why not invite some friends over for a watch party this year?

We’ve rounded up everything you need to host a fantastic Kentucky Derby Party.

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Welcome to our Virtual Dinner Club!

We joined up with four of our blogging friends to create a virtual “dinner” club back at the beginning of 2021.

Every month we choose a new theme, and even though we call ourselves a dinner club, we’ve shared ideas for breakfasts, brunches, luncheons, and cocktail parties too.

This month our theme is a Kentucky Derby Party

AnnMarie and Anne from Simply2Moms wearing fancy black hats and holding silver julep cups for a Derby Day party.

AnnMarie shared everything you need to know about decorating for a Derby Day dinner party and setting a gorgeous (but simple!) table.

We even put together some free printables to make it extra easy for you.

If you’re wondering what to serve at a Kentucky Derby dinner party, we’ve got you covered!

Kentucky Derby Party customizable free templates

Be sure to check out all of our virtual dinner club tablescapes and menus!

Appetizers to Serve at a Derby Day Party

Plate with slow cooker bourbon meatballs from Midwest Life and Style.

Kentucky is known for its bourbon, so these Simple Savory Crockpot Bourbon Meatballs from Midwest Life and Style are a perfect appetizer option.

You’re going to love the sweet and tangy sauce these tender bites are cooked in.

Plate with pimento cheese and Julian Bakery Primal Crackers.

No Derby party is complete without some pimento cheese.

We’ve given the classic recipe a twist with our Southwest Pimento Cheese recipe.

Serve it up with these keto-friendly crackers from Julian Bakery that are also naturally gluten-free for a true treat for your tastebuds!

A Kentucky Derby party is a great time to serve all kinds of finger foods.

We shared a lot of great healthy finger food recipes that would also be perfect for a Derby Day party when we hosted a tea party.

White plate with bundles of fresh asparagus wrapped in ham and strips of low carb dough and a small cup of Lemon Dijon dip on a white marble counter.

Since the Kentucky Derby is always the first week of May, fresh asparagus is always in season.

Whip up a batch of these Savory Asparagus Bundles with Prosciutto for a tasty appetizer or side dish.

No one will guess the secret ingredient used to make the flaky pastry!

Cocktails for a Kentucky Derby Watch Party

Silver mint julep cups garnished with long sprigs of fresh mint on a plate with a sliced lemon from Vintage Home Designs.

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep.

We’re loving this recipe from Vintage Home Designs for a Traditional Mint Julep with a Lemonade Twist as a refreshing change to the original drink!

Wicker tray with Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktails garnished with fresh mint next to a bowl of pistachios by a pool

If you find mint juleps a little too strong, why not serve up a pitcher of this Sweet Tea Bourbon cocktail?

It still features Kentucky bourbon and mint, but it’s toned down a little by the Southern sweet tea.

Not a fan of bourbon at all?

No worries!

Give this keto-friendly Mojito a try instead.

Entrees for a Kentucky Derby Dinner Party

Keto Kentucky hot brown sandwich made from coconut wraps on a plate.

No Derby party is complete without some kind of Kentucky Hot Brown recipe!

Hot Brown sandwiches originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville and there’s a reason you’ll find them on nearly every menu throughout the state.

We’re sharing our recipe for a Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich Stack featuring keto-friendly ingredients like Paleo Coconut Wraps from Julian Bakery.

Southern hot chicken salad with bacon topped with melted cheddar cheese and sliced green onions in individual square baking dishes.

Another Southern classic is baked chicken salad.

This recipe for Hot Chicken Salad topped with melted cheddar cheese is perfect for a Derby party.

FYI: hot refers to the temperature of the salad, not its spiciness!

Cooked shrimp on circular kebab skewers with a spiral end stacked on a plate

Shrimp cocktail is always a popular Derby Day dish, so why not take it a step further and serve it as an entree?

Everyone will love these delicious Lemon Grilled Shrimp if you decide to make them for your party!

These savory shrimp are great as an appetizer too if you’re sticking with finger foods.

Side Dishes to Serve at a Kentucky Derby Party

Plate with a bowl of parmesan crusted oyster casserole from The Ponds Farmhouse.

Another dish often seen at Kentucky Derby parties is oysters: on the half shell, Rockefeller, or Kilpatrick are all popular options.

This recipe for Parmesan Crusted Oyster Casserole is a tasty side dish from The Ponds Farmhouse that could also work as an entree.

Wood serving board with bacon deviled eggs on it.

A true classic at any Southern get together is definitely the deviled egg.

We’re loving these classic Deviled Eggs with Bacon.

Horseradish Deviled Eggs on a plate garnished with fresh tarragon.

Or for something different, these zesty deviled eggs have a secret ingredient with a kick!

Whichever deviled egg recipe you choose, we know they’ll be a crowd favorite.

Bowl of THM or keto coleslaw dressed with a vinaigrette.

Another classic Southern side dish is coleslaw.

This keto-friendly recipe for coleslaw has a lightly sweet vinaigrette-style dressing.

Sweet Endings for a Derby Day Party

Wood board with chocolate chip blondie squares stacked on each other from Stacy Ling.

No party is complete without dessert.

These Blondie Brownies from Stacy Ling of Bricks’n Blooms are packed with chocolate chips for a delicious handheld treat.

Overhead view of banana pudding parfaits garnished with crushed cookies and salted caramel whiskey.

If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner, treat your guests to a twist on another Southern classic.

These Boozy Banana Pudding Parfaits are easy to make and are a yummy way to end the party!

You could even substitute some Kentucky bourbon for the salted caramel whiskey…

Small jars filled with low carb keto Blueberry Lemon Delight Parfaits on a table garnished with lemon zest

Another tantalizing dessert option are these parfaits that are a variation of the classic Blueberry Lush bars.

This keto-friendly Blueberry Delight jar is perfect for a sit down dinner or a buffet.

Whole chocolate hazelnut pudding pie on a wood serving board.

Traditional Kentucky Derby desserts include chess pie and bourbon pie.

A yummy alternative is this creamy decadent low carb Hazelnut Chocolate Pudding Pie.

Close up of a tray filled with small containers of keto Lemon Bar in a Jar garnished with fresh lemons

Lemon bars are another Southern staple this time of year.

These refreshing Lemon Bars in a Jar are a delicious option that are super easy to serve.

Did we mention they’re no-bake?

Now you’re all ready to serve up a delicious Derby Day feast this year!

More Amazing Menu Ideas for Entertaining

Over the years, we’ve hosted all kinds of parties.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for what to serve at your event, here are all our menus, including links to the recipes.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment.

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