Nothing says party like food, and nothing says Kentucky Derby party like traditional southern eats. With 148 years of history and centuries of regional traditions, there is no shortage of decadent and unique Bluegrass foods and desserts to whip up for the perfect at-home Kentucky Derby viewing party.
The 2022 Kentucky Derby will air on Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.
Related: How to watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby: TV channel, live stream
Kentucky Hot Brown
The hot brown is a product of the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. In the 1920s, Chef Fred Schmidt was looking for a late-night delicacy for partying night owls and found it in this open-faced turkey sandwich topped with bacon and Mornay sauce.
Check out the Brown Hotel’s original recipe, straight from the birthplace of the hot brown itself.
(Kentucky) Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is perhaps the most widespread, globally known export out of the Bluegrass, thanks to Colonel Sanders and his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Ky.
Keep things greasy and traditional with a classic and simple fried chicken from racing owner and celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Throw in some waffles and syrup if you’re a breakfast for dinner fan, or add some extra Southern flavor for the bourbon lovers.
You can also offset some of the grease with a vegetable side dish from the Kentucky Derby’s official 2022 menu, like a Woodford Reserve sweet potato casserole, charred broccoli salad or a butternut squash and baby kale risotto.
Related: Recipes for traditional Mint Julep and other Kentucky Derby drinks
Journey deep into Kentucky cuisine with burgoo, a meat and vegetable stew that was traditionally made with whatever items were available, like rabbit, squirrel and possum. For a less adventurous audience, the Kentucky Derby’s official burgoo recipe uses store-bought meats, including steak, pork and turkey.
Biscuits and Gravy
Get your Kentucky Derby party started early with a hearty serving of biscuits and gravy, a mainstay in Southern cuisine. Use a buttery, six-ingredient biscuit recipe and whip up some classic sausage gravy, or think more outside the box with a casserole-style bake that combines biscuits and gravy with cheese and eggs. What more could you want?
Related: What to know about the 148th Kentucky Derby
If you really have a sweet tooth, satisfy it with rich bourbon balls, a chocolate-coated bourbon and nut delicacy that was invented by Ruth Booe of Rebecca Ruth Chocolates in 1938.
Try this straightforward recipe, which requires soaking the pecans in bourbon overnight, or mix things up with different ingredients like bourbon liqueur, different chocolate coatings or adding in sea salt.
Transparent pie is a custard-ey pie that originated in Maysville, which sits on the Kentucky-Ohio border. This simple yet sweet dessert dates back to the 1800s and is entirely made out of everyday kitchen staples. Kentucky Tourism has a no-fuss recipe great for beginning bakers.
Watch the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Full coverage is also available on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.