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8 Recipes and Cookout Classics for Juneteenth

With a dash of soul.

Deena Campbell and Sarah Burns

Juneteenth Recipes


Whenever you have a cookout, the goal is to have everyone slumped on lawn chairs by the end of the day. But throwing a Juneteeth celebration is a tad different. Juneteeth is truly a cause for celebration so you want to make sure every dish is seasoned to perfection. There’s no half-steppin' on this holiday, and we’re here to arm you with the tastiest dishes. So grab your spades game, sprinkler (mainly for the adults — err, kids), and R&B playlist, and prepare to serve a good time. 

1. Classic Potato Salad



Nothing screams “summer fun” louder than a yummy bite of potato salad. This southern dish is a real crowd-pleaser for all ages, and this recipe from All Recipes is everything you need for a tasty good time. If you're feeding littles, feel free to add less pepper, mustard and worcestershire sauce, because we know tiny mouths are still fine-tuning those taste buds.

2. Collard Greens



This very-well seasoned dish is the perfect side item, combining leafy greens with a touch of protein. For decades, Black people have poured love and care into this dish, perfecting it ever-so-slightly for every family gathering. Pair with cornbread or pork chops for a kickin’ good time. Try this Grandbaby Cakes recipe for your Juneteenth celebration. 

3. Fried Chicken



Real question: Is it truly a family cookout without fried chicken? We don’t think so, and this tasty recipe from Food Network makes the classic summer dish an instant favorite. Try this for a slamming dish in under one hour. 

4. Fruit Salad



Looking for a way to let guests cool off — or just keep kids busy while you entertain? Fruit salad is a refreshing treat that keeps mouths happy. Our advice: Place into small bowls or cups and freeze. Let kids dissect the frozen treat on a scorching hot day. 

5. BBQ Ribs



Preparing BBQ ribs can come with pressure (especially if your great uncle’s version is the best), but this recipe from Butter Your Biscuit makes preparing them a breeze. The key is letting them broil at the end for caramelized taste and texture. Just be sure to have lots of napkins on hand!

6. Lemonade



We don't need to tell you to make lemonade when life deals you lemons, but we should warn you that the best lemonade is crafted with room temperature lemons. Trust us — they give the most juice and flavor. Lemonade is also a kid favorite so be sure to make it by the gallon if you're serious about having a good time.

7. Strawberry Soda



You’re probably wondering what strawberry soda has to do with Juneteenth. A lot actually. The red color of this traditional Juneteenth drink, reportedly enjoyed since the early days of the holiday, symbolizes the blood of enslaved people. To honor the day, try making this fruity recipe from Divas Can Cook.

8. Red Velvet Cake


Southern Bite

To truly enjoy the “Black 4th of July,” you must dive into a bite of red velvet cake. And don’t wait until you’re full from the other dishes! Red velvet cake can be enjoyed at any time on Juneteenth, including before dinner. We love Southern Bite’s delicious recipe. Just don’t forget to sprinkle Southern toasted pecans throughout the dish.