9 Easy Kentucky Derby Recipe Ideas You Can Whip Up In No Time

Something to munch on between mint juleps.

David Burtka Kentucky Derby Recipes - Derby Day Pork Sliders
(Image credit: David Burtka)

Corn Cakes with Bacon JamBBQ Pork Sliders
Pimento Cheese DipChilled Derby Day Shrimp & Pasta Salad
Chicken Wings Grilled & GlazedSlow Cooker Short RibsMeatball, Cucumber, & Mint Skewers
Grilled Figs with Blue Cheese Mousse & Toasted WalnutsBourbon Chocolate Caramel & MousseMini Derby Pies

Two things come to mind when you think of the Kentucky Derby: horses, and mint juleps. But what happens when you want to make a day of the races and have some friends over? You need sustenance. This is a marathon, not a sprint–especially when the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo conveniently land on the same weekend.

Celebrity chef and entertainment expert David Burtka is breaking down exactly what you need to make your Derby Day fabulous from start to finish. David's advice: Stick with simple and easy foods. "If you're hosting a Derby party where people are up and about, better to have easy-to-eat finger foods."

Below are a few recipes David and husband Neil Patrick Harris will be enjoying during the races. Don't worry about the cocktails, we've got you covered whether you're a mint julep person or not. And if you happen to run out of food, don't doubt your pimento cheese. "You probably already have most of the ingredients in your fridge" says Burtka. Which means you can handle any unexpected guests and appear to be the hostess with the mostess.

Once you devour these recipes, check out David's new book, Life is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration, for daily inspo. "I'm a huge proponent of cutting down on food waste," he says. A lot of people don't know all the ways you can use scraps."

Plus enjoy more Derby Day recipes from Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson.

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Dessert, Baked goods, Breakfast, Produce, Finger food, Mascarpone,

Corn Cakes with Bacon Jam

(Image credit: David Burtka)

For the Bacon Jam:

For the Chive Sour Cream:

BBQ Pork Sliders

Food, Dish, Cuisine, Ingredient, Recipe, Produce, Brunch, Cannoli,

BBQ Pork Sliders

(Image credit: David Burtka)

Special Equipment:

Pimento Cheese Dip

Dish, Food, Ingredient, Cuisine, Produce, Muffin, Finger food, Celery, Asparagus, Dessert,

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

Ingredients:

  • 4oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 oz smoked gouda, shredded
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimiento peppers, drained and chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 package pretzel sticks or crackers, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, smoked gouda, dijon and Worcestershire sauce and process on high until mixture forms a paste.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir well until fully combined, then refrigerate or serve at once with pretzel rods, toasted baguettes cheese or crackers.

Chilled Derby Day Shrimp & Pasta Salad

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Pasta salad, Salad, Vegetable, Vegetarian food, Pasta, Produce,

Chilled Derby Day Shrimp & Pasta Salad

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ C Cherry Tomatoes; Sliced in Half
  • 2 C Asparagus
  • 1½ Boxes of Cavatappi
  • 1 Bag of Pre-cooked 21/25 Shrimp; Thawed
  • 1-2 each Squash & Zucchini (depending on size)
  • 2-3 Lemons; Juiced
  • 1 ½ C Olive Oil
  • 1 C Chopped Parsley

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta as per directions.
  2. Season squash & zucchini with salt, pepper and olive oil; roast in 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes or until tender; once finished slice in quartered chunks.
  3. Roast asparagus the same way as the squash and zucchini.
  4. Once the roasted vegetables and pasta are done, combine the vegetables, pasta & shrimp all together.
  5. Drizzle olive oil, lemon & salt/pepper to taste; garnish with parsley.
  6. Chill for at least an hour.

Chicken Wings Grilled & Glazed

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Meat, Recipe, Produce, Herb, Lamb and mutton,

'Chicken Wings Grilled & Glazed

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)


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9 Easy Kentucky Derby Recipe Ideas You Can Whip Up In No Time

Something to munch on between mint juleps.

May 3, 2019

By Krystyna Chávez

DAVID BURTKA

Corn Cakes with Bacon JamBBQ Pork Sliders
Pimento Cheese DipChilled Derby Day Shrimp & Pasta Salad
Chicken Wings Grilled & Glazed

Two things come to mind when you think of the Kentucky Derby: horses, and mint juleps. But what happens when you want to make a day of the races and have some friends over? You need sustenance. This is a marathon, not a sprint–especially when the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo conveniently land on the same weekend.

Celebrity chef and entertainment expert David Burtka is breaking down exactly what you need to make your Derby Day fabulous from start to finish. David's advice: Stick with simple and easy foods. "If you're hosting a Derby party where people are up and about, better to have easy-to-eat finger foods."

Below are a few recipes David and husband Neil Patrick Harris will be enjoying during the races. Don't worry about the cocktails, we've got you covered whether you're a mint julep person or not. And if you happen to run out of food, don't doubt your pimento cheese. "You probably already have most of the ingredients in your fridge" says Burtka. Which means you can handle any unexpected guests and appear to be the hostess with the mostess.

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Once you devour these recipes, check out David's new book, Life is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration, for daily inspo. "I'm a huge proponent of cutting down on food waste," he says. A lot of people don't know all the ways you can use scraps."

Plus enjoy more Derby Day recipes from Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson.

Corn Cakes with Bacon Jam

David Burtka

For the Bacon Jam:

For the Chive Sour Cream:

BBQ Pork Sliders

David Burtka

Special Equipment:

David Danielson of Churchill Downs

Chilled Derby Day Shrimp & Pasta Salad

David Danielson of Churchill Downs

Chicken Wings Grilled & Glazed

David Danielson of Churchill Downs

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Dish, Cuisine, Food, Ingredient, Recipe, Produce, Meat,

Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Henry Bain Sauce

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

For the Short Ribs:

For the Cheese Grits:

For the Henry Baines Sauce:

Short Ribs

Cheese Grits

Henry Baines Sauce

Meatball, Cucumber, & Mint Skewers

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Zucchini, Vegetable, Produce, Recipe, Plant, Salad,

Meatball, Cucumber & Mint Skewers

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

Ingredients:

Grilled Figs with Blue Cheese Mousse & Toasted Walnuts

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Produce, Vegetarian food, Recipe, Staple food, Salad, Vegan nutrition,

Grilled Figs with Blue Cheese Mousse & Toasted Walnuts

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

For the Figs & Cheese:

For the Riesling Dressing:

Bourbon Chocolate Caramel & Mousse

Food, Cuisine, Dish, Dessert, Ingredient, Frozen dessert, Mascarpone, À la carte food, Sundae, Fruit cup,

Bourbon Chocolate Caramel & Mousse

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

Ingredients:

  • 5 ¼ oz Bittersweet Chocolate; Coarsely Chopped
  • 14 oz Cold Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Paste
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 ½ oz Sugar
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream, for Garnish (optional)
  • Shaved Bittersweet Chocolate, for Garnish (optional)
  • Fresh Berries, for Garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place chocolate in a large bowl, set over a bain marie pot or in a double boiler at a low simmer. Stir chocolate until melted. Turn off heat and let stand.
  2. Beat the cream over ice (or in a mixer) until it forms soft peaks. Set aside and hold at room temp.
  3. With a mixer, whip egg whites into soft peaks, gradually adding sugar and continuing to whip until firm.
  4. Remove chocolate from the bain marie and using a whisk, fold in the egg whites. When the whites are incorporated, fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Cover the mousse and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until it’s set.
  6. Using a piping bag, pipe mousse into mason jars. Add shaved chocolate, berries and whipped cream as desired.

Mini Derby Pies

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Crumble, Dessert, Produce, Streusel, Recipe, Granola,

Mini Derby Pies

(Image credit: David Danielson of Churchill Downs)

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 12 premade 4” tart shells
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, bourbon, flour,vanilla, and salt.
  3. Place tart shells on a baking sheet.
  4. Mix pecans and chocolate chips, then distribute evenly in tart shells.
  5. Pour egg mixture into each tart shell, dividing evenly (about 2 tablespoons per tart). Tart shells should be about ¾ full.
  6. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake for 18 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking time, until centers are no longer jiggly and tops are slightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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Krystyna Chávez
Krystyna Chávez

Krystyna was the former Social Media Editor of Marie Claire where she oversaw all things social media and connected with MarieClaire.com readers. She came to Marie Claire from Racked.com, where she was the Community Manager. Before that, Krystyna was at Latina Mag and Cosmo for Latinas. She graduated with a Marketing major from Fordham University.