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The Best Juneteenth Recipes

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.

baby back ribs with BBQ sauce

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

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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.

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.

Best Juneteenth Drinks

While the main dishes cook on the grill and everyone listens to music, enjoy these easy appetizers and refreshing drinks.

Juneteenth Dessert Recipes

A sweet ending to a day filled with sweeter memories includes carrot cake, pound cake, and pies.