Juneteenth menu ideas –
“I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” —Maya Angelou
This post is packed with soul food favorite Juneteenth menu ideas!
From the main dish to the sides and even dessert.
It’s my pleasure to share with you what food to serve on Juneteenth and why it’s important.
What do Black folks eat to celebrate Juneteenth?
Notable Black culture recipes like collard greens, cornbread, baked macaroni and cheese, red velvet cake, sweet potato pie, or banana pudding are a few of the soul food menu favorites served on Juneteenth.
These recipes are part of the authentic soul food family. Recipes passed along through generations and a legacy of African Americans.
What is Juneteenth, and why is it celebrated?
Juneteenth is the African-American celebration of the emancipation of enslaved Black people. African American freedom day.
Why is it called Juneteenth?
Justice is usually delayed for Black people. So it wasn’t until years after The Emancipation Proclamation that many enslaved people learned of their freedom.
This day is June 19th, 1865 – also known as Juneteenth.
When did Juneteenth become a federal holiday?
Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980. However, it took until 2021, when President Joe Biden signed a bill for a federal Juneteenth holiday honored on June 19th.
Is there a Juneteenth flag?
Yes, there is an official Juneteenth flag rich with symbolism.
The design of the Juneteenth flag depicts a bursting new star on the horizon. The star represents new freedom and new people.
What does the curved line on the Juneteenth flag mean?
The curved line on the flag under the bursting star represents a new horizon of opportunity and promise for Black Americans.
What are the official colors of Juneteenth? And why is the Juneteenth flag red and blue?
The red, white, and blue colors in the Juneteenth flag represent that enslaved African Americans and that their descendants are all Americans.
Why is Juneteenth food red?
The color red is extra special for Juneteenth.
Red is the primary color of Juneteenth, symbolic of our ancestors’ bloodshed before freedom. So we honor them with a celebratory spread of African-American soul food classic dishes.
How do you acknowledge Juneteenth?
Acknowledge Juneteenth with a call to action for Black people and our equality in the United States.
How do you organize a Juneteenth celebration?
Celebrate with your family and friends by initiating discussions and movements around justice, reform, voting rights, and equal rights for Black people.
How do you virtually celebrate Juneteenth?
You could even celebrate Juneteenth with your family and friends via an app like Zoom!
The important part is to take the opportunity to initiate the conversation about how to help Black people in our continuous fight for equality in our own country.
How is Juneteenth celebrated at home?
Watch this video for a Black American family Juneteenth celebration at home with Juneteenth menu ideas!
How do you honor Juneteenth, and what do people eat to celebrate?
We honor the ancestors and Juneteenth with a celebration spread of African-American soul food classic dishes. Especially red foods!
Celebrate with your family and friends with a variety of these Juneteenth recipes. In addition, you can ask your guests to participate by bringing a dish from the Juneteenth red foods menu.
How did red food and red drink join the Juneteenth feast?
Red symbolizes our ancestor’s bloodshed before freedom, which is why we celebrate Juneteenth in remembrance with red food and drinks.
So what do you serve at a Juneteenth party?
Juneteenth menu red food ideas & what you can bring to a Juneteenth party
What food or drinks might you see at a Juneteenth celebration?
- Red velvet cake
- Pork jowl bacon
- Tomato watermelon salad
- Tomato Southern pasta salad
- Watermelon red soda
- Watermelon Dole Whip
- Red cabbage coleslaw
- Cranberry sauce
- Cranberry sauce cornbread
- Hibiscus sweet tea
- Red beans and rice
- Juneteenth BBQ foods: chicken, ribs, sausage, beef brisket
Juneteenth menu ideas FAQs
Why is Southern baked mac and cheese so important to Black culture and Black History Month?
Baked macaroni and cheese is one of the many soul food cuisines turned American dishes. And this yummy dish has an ancient history!
First known as macaroni pie, baked mac and cheese was created by James Hemings, an enslaved Black person who trained as a culinary chef in France.
How did mac and cheese become soul food?
Hemings’ cooking gene and baked mac and cheese legacy continued long after the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1860s.
Macaroni and cheese began to have new meanings and multiple identities for Black families and the Black household.
Mac and cheese became “a celebratory dish, a convenient comfort food, and a meal stretcher for impoverished families.”
Today we appropriately recognize this dish that’s been feeding America for centuries as soul food!
Why is red velvet cake eaten on Juneteenth?
Since the color red recognizes the bloodshed and honors the lives of our Black ancestors pre-emancipation, we eat red velvet cake in honor of those who never got the chance to taste the freedoms we savor today.
Did Black people create red velvet cake?
What’s the story behind red velvet cake?
Did Black folks invent it?
Red velvet cake is considered soul food of the South!
Because like most Southern cuisine that originated in the 1800s, red velvet cake is believed to also be of African-American origin.
What drink is synonymous with Juneteenth?
What is the official drink of Juneteenth?
Red hibiscus drink (usually red hibiscus sweet tea) for two reasons. Because the beverage is red, and hibiscus flowers are native to West Africa.
What does strawberry soda have to do with Juneteenth?
Red hibiscus drink is a popular drink still made in West Africa today.
However, since hibiscus flowers to make tea have not always been easily accessible in the US, easy to get strawberry soda became a red drink staple for celebrating Juneteenth.
What are some Juneteenth traditions?
What is the history of Juneteenth and Juneteenth food?
Black folks, particularly with our food, are sensational at creating something from nothing.
The soul food eaten during Juneteenth celebrations is a rich history of our ancestral African roots, creativity, and ingenuity to thrive off the land.
“We nourished a nation through our cooking and baked our traditions in the cuisines that would define America.” —Stephen Satterfield, Netflix High On The Hog
What traditional food is served on Juneteenth?
Start here with these classic soul food Juneteenth menu ideas. This menu list waill answer the question,
What Black folks food can you make for Juneteenth?
Juneteenth menu ideas – main dishes
Juneteenth menu ideas – side dishes
Juneteenth menu ideas – desserts
Juneteenth menu ideas – drinks
What do you think of these Juneteenth menu ideas and recipes?
Which recipes are you going to make?
Comment below and lemme know. Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!
- Instant Pot Omni Plus oven
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided – 1 tablespoon & 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Colby-jack cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard dried
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups water
- 4 ¼ cups milk divided – 1 ¼ cups & 3 cups
- 8 oz. macaroni noodles uncooked
- Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté setting for 25 minutes (although you may not need this entire amount of time).
- Fill the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot with 3 cups of milk, 3 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of butter.
Pro tip: For baked mac and cheese the Black way, use milk to coat the macaroni and give it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
- Once the liquid begins to simmer, add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally to make sure the macaroni does not clump & stick.
- Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
- Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the empty inner pot and turn it back on the sauté setting.
- When the butter is melted, add the flour, 1 ¼ cups of milk, and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried mustard and paprika) and whisk until smooth.
- Change the Instant Pot cook setting from sauté to slow cook for 1-hour (although you will not need this entire amount of time).
- While the cook setting changes from sauté to slow cook, allow the ingredients to simmer for about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Stir in the cheeses (reserve some for topping when baking).
- Close the Instant Pot with the lid and let slow cook for 5-10 minutes until the cheeses are blended.
- Open the lid to add the cooked pasta and the heavy cream to the inner pot, stirring the mixture to blend evenly.
- Transfer the pasta mixture into an 8-inch cast iron skillet or baking pan.
- Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Or bake in the conventional oven for 25 minutes or until mac and cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Optionally, garnish with a sprinkle of dry thyme or 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Start with a good quality macaroni.
- Making baked mac and cheese the Black way - boil the macaroni in a mixture of half water and half milk. The milk coats the macaroni and gives it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
- Make sure not to walk away from the Instant Pot when using the sauté setting to avoid burning or over-cooking your food.
- Make sure you're using a baking dish that's not too deep. An 8-inch baking pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet are perfect for this oven recipe!