The Best Juneteenth Recipes is a collection of traditional celebratory food recipes and ideas for your holiday menu. This menu listing and spread includes dinner, brunch, and dessert. If you’re thinking about what to cook for Juneteenth you have come the right place.
What is Juneteenth? Why is it Celebrated?
On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered during the Civil War, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the war had ended.
The Emancipation Proclamation had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.
The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
How to Celebrate Juneteenth
Juneteenth celebrations and traditions typically include soul food cookouts, BBQs, good food, and more. I have fond memories of fireworks, citywide parades with drill teams and dancing, and families sitting around sipping on red drinks. These are normal activities that Black Americans have engaged in to celebrate the holiday for years.
If you aren’t Black, you can pay homage to the holiday by learning the history surrounding its origin, supporting Black-owned businesses, and by becoming an ally for the Black race.
Holiday Food Ideas
Feel free to cook any of your favorite dishes for the holiday. Traditional meals include collard greens, BBQ such as chicken and ribs, along with red drinks.
More Holiday Recipe Collections
Black Cookout Food Menu
Soul Food Easter Dinner Recipes
Best Family Reunion Food Ideas
Best Vegan Soul Food Recipes
Best Family Reunion Food Ideas
July 4th BBQ Menu Ideas
Juneteenth Main Dishes
At a black family cookout, barbecue food makes up most of the main dishes. Nothing beats the aroma of juicy seasoned meat roasting on open flames. These main dish recipes include staples like ribs, but also a few alternative options like vegan and keto versions of some staple dishes.
The Ultimate BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Spiced with a smoky-sweet homemade dry rub and finished with your favorite BBQ sauce like this Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce, these are the Ultimate Fall off the bone BBQ Baby Back Ribs! Whether slow-roasted in the oven or grilled over hot coals, each bite is more flavorful and tender than the last. T
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker BBQ pulled pork is an easy recipe that the entire family will enjoy. Using only a few ingredients, you can also make this shredded pork recipe in your Instant Pot.
BBQ Nachos Recipe
Level up your nacho game with these BBQ Nachos topped with delicious BBQ pork, jalapeño slices, corn, and other delicious toppings. It’s a quick and easy dinner idea that’s full of bold and amazing flavors.
Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
Smoked Spatchcock Chicken – That’s a tongue twister right there, but it indeed brings satisfying flavors to the table. Fall-off-the-bone juicy chicken with smoky goodness is faster with the now-famous spatchcocking method. That makes for an easy weeknight dinner or soul-satisfying deliciousness after a long week.
Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) BBQ Chicken
It’s so quick and easy to make a batch of shredded BBQ chicken in your pressure cooker. You just need four ingredients and it’s ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes!
Power up your smoker with this easy recipe. It uses just a few spices and ingredients for the ribs and sauce.
Make sure that you have something for everyone at the cookout with this vegan BBQ main dish.
We all know that BBQ is the most popular main. But, seafood is always at a Black cookout too. I'm not sure about your family, but mine always breaks it out at the end and only offers it to a few select folks!
The BEST BBQ Meatballs Recipe
Deliciously flavorfully spiced, tender and moist turkey BBQ Meatballs are glazed with the ultimate homemade barbecue sauce with hints of spice, pineapple and molasses! These are the ultimate appetizer for entertaining!
This Hennessy BBQ sauce adds so much flavor to regular sauce. Use it on anything including grilled wings.
Juneteenth Cookout Side Dishes
Even though BBQ foods are the star of the BBQ, the side dishes make up most of the Black Cookout menu. This next collection of easy Soul Food and Southern side dish recipes will make your Juneteenth pop.
They say everything tastes better with bacon and that is true of this corn salad. It includes less than 10 ingredients and uses fresh or canned corn.
Collard greens have a special place in family cookouts and thanksgiving get-togethers. This dish is prepared from fresh collards, simple spices, and ham hocks.
If you're going to offer to make the potato salad, you better make sure that you have a tried and tested recipe. This one is from Ms. Patti and uses red potatoes.
Learn from Ms. Patti with this easy macaroni and cheese recipe.
This is the perfect recipe for a beginner. It saves so much time by using Jiffy Cornbread mix.
You can always make room on your plate for someone homemade Baked Beans. This recipe is cooked in a slow cooker.
Switch up your traditional cornbread with this jalapeno and cheddar option.
Low Carb & Keto Coleslaw Recipe
Want southern-style coleslaw minus the sugar? This recipe is super easy, but uses a sugar-replacement to give all the flavor.
Southern Potato Salad
Are you looking for deas to carry the day in a cookout? The Southern potato salad is your sure bet, any day. It’s made from simple ingredients like potatoes, boiled eggs, celery, and mayonnaise, yet has a rich flavor that will leave the guests asking for more.
Cook your cabbage in bacon fat using this quick recipe. Though it's optional, I love the brown sugar that adds a tad of sweetness.
Southern Coleslaw Recipe
This Easy Southern Coleslaw Recipe has the best sweet and tangy flavor. It’s served creamy and chilled. Perfect for loading onto pulled pork sandwiches or served as a side dish for any BBQ or cookout spread.
If you’re wondering what simple side dish to bring to a black cookout, this is it. The Southern candied sweet potatoes are easy to prepare but are loaded with enough flavor to create great memories.
Add this easy vegan staple to the family cookout menu. It's soft, fluffy and moist with the help of vegan buttermilk.
Best Juneteenth Drinks
While the main dishes cook on the grill and everyone listens to music, enjoy these easy appetizers and refreshing drinks.
These Watermelon Mojitos are incredibly easy to make, only 5 ingredients and are a perfect refreshing, minty summer cocktail!
Jamaican Rum Punch Recipe
This Jamaican Rum Punch Recipe is the perfect drink for the summer. It’s delicious and refreshing and the perfect drink to bring you to the Caribbean. This post is meant for an audience 21 and over.
New Orleans Hurricane Drink
The New Orleans Hurricane Drink is the quintessential NOLA cocktail that always get the party started. Perfectly sweet, tropical, and highly addictive, they bring a little bit of The Big Easy right to your home!! Serve this classic drink with Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp Po Boys, Etouffee, Gumbo, Low Country Boil and Beignets!
Easy Bahama Mama is the best drink cocktail recipe made with Bacardi, Malibu, or Captain Morgan coconut rum, pineapple and orange juice, and just a handful of ingredients. This beach cocktail is great year round for any party, gathering or occasion. Serve it mixed and frozen if you wish!
Keto Blueberry Iced Tea Lemonade
Did you know that you can make iced tea with your regular tea bags? In this post, I’m sharing a no sugar added summer drink: Keto Iced Tea Lemonade. I’m using steeped Bigelow Wild Blueberry with Acai tea bags as well as my recipe for keto lemonade. This iced tea lemonade is perfect for those who are cutting sugar or looking for no and low sugar drinks.
Cookouts are all fun and games, so enjoying a cup of sweet iced tea will keep your whole body in the right mood and energized. Some people use regular sugar, while others prefer sugar substitutes.
This three-ingredient recipe takes about 5 minutes to make. Unlike traditional lemonade, this one uses limes as the star.
Juneteenth Dessert Recipes
A sweet ending to a day filled with sweeter memories includes carrot cake, pound cake, and pies.
Made incredibly moist and delicious with carrots, pineapple, a blend of warm spices and a homemade brown butter cream cheese frosting, this Carrot Cake Recipe is truly the BEST dessert EVER!
Buttermilk Pound Cake
Pound cake is classic Southern comfort food, and you can never have too many recipes. There’s just something so soul-satisfying about the perfect ratio of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Made with the butteriest homemade pie crust, a creamy tart lemon curd filling, and piled high with fluffy clouds of sweet meringue, this lemon meringue pie is a lemon lover’s dream come true!
Spice Cake – Incredibly moist and well-spiced cake brimming with cozy fall flavors coated in sweet and tangy decadent cream cheese frosting.
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Sour Cream Pound Cake made with the simplest ingredients yet delivers incredible moist, dense, and buttery pound cake. The perfect comfort food with its heavenly softness and creaminess.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Every bite of this fluffy and moist red cupcake delivers you to a dreamy wonderland from its cream cheese frosting down to the last crumb.
Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
These Carrot Cake Muffins bake up in just 30 minutes and are absolutely fantastic! They are moist, delectable and vegan and gluten free!