This post is all about Juneteenth recipes.
Juneteenth is the celebration commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in America. It is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. This day is well-known as a day for barbecue and festivities. In this post, I’ll be sharing a few of the best Juneteenth recipes you should try at your cookout this summer. But first, here’s a little history about Juneteenth cooking.
What Traditional Food Is Served On Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a huge barbecue holiday for many people, so the main meat that is served is chicken or pork. Many other dishes are served, such as baked beans, greens, cornbread, potato salad, sweet potatoes and mac and cheese. Red velvet cake and cheesecake are popular desserts but it can be any pie or cake.
Why Is Juneteenth Food Red?
Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated because it was the day soldiers arrived at Galveston, Texas in 1865 to announce the end of the civil war and that slavery is abolished. Freedom was gained on June 19th from a long and hard fight. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1963 to outlaw slavery and Juneteenth are both important historical moments for African Americans.
The color red is symbolic of life, and the blood of enslaved people who suffered and died. However, red food has had a much longer history that started back in Africa. According to Atlas Obscura, it may started from slaves being lured using red flannel cloths and red handkerchiefs to the Asante and Yoruba’s special occasions of offering up the blood of animals to their ancestors and gods.
Today red food is a major way of commemorating the legacy of slavery. Red velvet cake, watermelon, strawberry soda, and red punch always made appearances at Juneteenth celebrations.
Want to revamp or add to your Juneteenth menu? Check out these amazing Juneteenth recipes to serve guests at your party or event. All of these Juneteenth recipes were prepared by black bloggers so be sure to check out their blogs for even more delicious recipes!
1. Spiked Strawberry Lemonade
This drink is the perfect complement to your meal. It is not just lovely but also spiked with alcohol. The strawberries add a bit of red color to this otherwise light drink. You might want to make an nonalcoholic version when making it for the little ones. On Juneteenth, this recipe is a beautiful drink that can be served in mason jars with all the fixings (drinking straws, strawberry and lemon slices).
2. Buttermilk Fried Chicken
One of the most popular Southern recipes is a simple dish of buttermilk fried chicken. The buttermilk gives it a more tender, flavorful fried chicken that is already well-seasoned. It’s a crispy perfection that goes well with any side dish at your Juneteenth cookout. Don’t forget the hot sauce!
3. BBQ Pork Ribs
What is a barbecue without ribs? These are so succulent that it will take a whole afternoon to eat them all. The long time marinating gives these ribs the right amount of tenderness, while the barbecue sauce gives them just enough tang. Don’t forget to include fingerling potatoes, corn on the cob and green beans with your main dish.
4. Red Velvet Cake
Of all the Juneteenth recipes on this list, nothing says Juneteenth more than this decadent, red velvet cake dessert. It is perfect for welcoming the guests and a great way to end your dinner. If you have tons of guests over and feel a cake is too small to bake, you should consider making red velvet cupcakes instead.
5. Watermelon Kiwi Ice Pops
For the warmer part of Juneteenth, this is a perfect treat that you can make with your kids. This is made with fresh fruits, so you will know exactly what went into it. They are not only tasty but also healthy, which makes them fun for the whole family. Just add some tangy lime juice to liven up the watermelon and kiwis.
6. Jalapeño Skillet Cornbread
This savory and sweet cornbread can be served topped with butter or just on its own. Cornbread is a staple during the summertime, so this recipe is perfect for Juneteenth. The spicy jalapeños give this otherwise sweet dish a nice kick that will make you want to dip it in your juicy ribs.
7. Grilled Hot Links & Chow Chow
If you’ve never had chow chow and hot links before, you need to make them now. These links are not only delicious but also so versatile. It’s perfect for summer cookouts as it will have your guests mouth watering for more and more. Definitely one of the most creative Juneteenth recipes on this list.
8. Strawberry Soda
This is a twist on strawberry soda but better than the traditional version. The lemonade makes it tangy and the strawberry syrup and lemon-line soda make it sweet and bubbly, respectively. Then garnish with fresh mint leaves. You can top it off with some whipped cream or just drink it straight up!
9. Brisket Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes
You can never go wrong with a stuffed sweet potato, and this recipe is no exception. The soft brisket that melts in your mouth pairs well with the creamy bbq sauce, cheddar cheese and baked sweet potatoes. Garnish these with a dollop of sour cream and chives for some freshness. One of the most savoriest Juneteenth recipes I would love on my plate!
10. Spiced Grilled Peaches
The peaches are grilled, giving them a nice Smokey flavor, and will melt in your mouth like a warm pie but without the crust. You can enjoy these as a dessert. Top it with vanilla ice cream, toss in some pecans and dig in!
11. Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
If you’re looking for Juneteenth recipes to serve as dessert, then you’ll love this lemon sour cream pound cake. The sour cream in this recipe is what makes it unique. Usually, pound cake only has four ingredients, but adding the sour cream takes this cake to a whole new level of moisture. The lemon glaze on top makes the showering of powdered sugar unnecessary.
12. Summer Watermelon Fizz
If you’re looking for something lighter than your traditional Juneteenth dishes, this drink is perfect for you. It is made with fresh summer watermelon and lemonade, with a lovely zesty taste. It also contains mint leaves which gives it a refreshing touch. There is no better way to enjoy your Juneteenth holiday than with this delicious drink.
13. Strawberry Cornbread Skillet Cobbler
This dessert does not only have cornbread, but it also has a cobbler in it. And since this dish is served with a scoop of ice cream, the way to get full is with the dessert and the main dish at the same time. If you like sweet but not too sweet cornbread, you will like this combination.
14. Sweet Potato Black Eyed Peas Salad
Even though sweet potatoes are usually associated with the Thanksgiving holiday, they are also a root vegetable commonly served on Juneteenth. This salad is excellent for the summer since you’re getting your daily dose of veggies and beans at the same time. Make this a side dish with a batch of fried chicken.
15. Pepper Shrimp
This dish is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. The combination of shrimp and scallions gives it a great taste that will make it a hit among your guests. It is great for some light cooking as it only takes thirty minutes to cook. You can also use this as a main dish for your Juneteenth dinner instead of shrimp or crawfish, which are deep-fried.
16. Chicken and Waffles
If you’re looking for Juneteenth recipes that involve chicken, then look no further. The dish that has all the right components of a southern Juneteenth meal is none other than the fried chicken and waffles. It is a signature dish of the south, so it will go with anything else you have planned on cooking. You can use any chicken but make it double-fried for the best taste.
17. Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler
This dessert is perfect for people with a gluten allergy or intolerance and it’s vegan too. Even without the gluten, it still maintains a fluffy cinnamon-sugar cake topping with a sweet, succulent peach filling. You can eat alone or top with ice cream to enjoy!
18. Instant Pot Cajun White Beans
These cajon white beans are made with help from an Instant Pot yet still have you feeling like you’re enjoy this delicious dish at a mom and pop restaurant in southern Louisiana. Serve with rice and you have the perfect comfort meal to serve guests.
19. Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Honey Cornbread
Cornbread is always a perfect side dish to a Juneteenth meal. But if you want something perfect for dessert or breakfast, this cornbread will do the trick. It contains sweet potatoes, so you’ll get more of a soft, slightly-sweetened moist cake. The honey gives it a nice touch of sweetness that you can finish with some honey butter. One of my favorite Juneteenth recipes!
20. Baked Jerk Chicken
This baked jerk chicken dish will go great with soft and chewy coconut rice. The jerk chicken is made in the oven, so it’s not the traditional way of cooking it but it still comes out delicious. Sure, it can be eaten without any side dishes, but we’re talking about a Juneteenth cookout here, lol. If you’re trying to decide what to go with it, don’t stress because this chicken goes well with just about anything.
21. No Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
This dessert is excellent for this national holiday and easy to make. It only requires six ingredients which means you can whip this up in no time. The cream cheese is the base of the ice cream and the condensed milk provides all the sweetness for the ice cream; but, it’s the toppings like the strawberry sauce and crushed golden oreos that takes it to the next level. One of my favorite Juneteenth recipes to serve as dessert.
22. Spicy Shrimp Creole
This shrimp dish is spicy and savory at the same time. The tomato based sauce tastes great with white rice, and it works best on a day when you want to eat something light yet flavorful.
23. Soul Food Potato Salad
This recipe is straightforward, and it only takes a few ingredients. It will undoubtedly be a hit among your guests with elements that give this dish its classic taste. The potato salad is a must-have side dish at any summer cookout.
24. Sweet Potato Cheesecake
If you love cheesecake and sweet potatoes, this dessert is for you. Sweet potato puree is added to the base of the cheesecake to give it that silky, creamy smooth finish. The crunchy pecans add some crunch the creamy cheesecake, so this dessert is excellent for those who likes the combination of two classics.
Which of these Juneteenth recipes would you love to try? Share your thoughts by commenting below!