Black History

44 Recipes From Black Food Bloggers to Celebrate Juneteenth

Photo by Chenée Today

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in what Juneteenth, shorthand for June 19th, is all about.

On that day in 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, news reached enslaved African Americans in Texas, finally ending legalized slavery. The day represents freedom, hope, and new beginnings for the Black community, and it is celebrated with parades, educational events, and communing around special foods.

For years, Black food creators from every corner of America have come together virtually to share recipes. These give you a glimpse into our culinary heritage and transport you through generations of ingenuity and tradition, starting on the continent of Africa and continuing in our own kitchens. This Emancipation Day, we welcome you to our table with a collection of foods and drinks tied to symbols of the occasion.

Red foods are a mainstay at Juneteenth celebrations. The color is symbolic of the blood shed by our ancestors and of the collective resiliency of Black people in America. News of liberation first broke in coastal Galveston, Texas, about an hour from my hometown. Indeed, ports throughout the South were important sites in the transatlantic slave trade, and seafood is a key player in African American foodways. Barbecued foods have been present since the earliest Juneteenth celebrations, which makes sense when you consider the time of year and the integral role Black people have played in the American barbecue tradition.

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Top Comment:
“So honored to have my peach cobbler cinnamon rolls among this delightfully tasty lineup to honor Juneteenth! Thank you all for highlighting this meaningful celebration!”
— Quin L.

This year’s virtual cookout lineup has red foods, seafood, barbecue, and more! Here are 44 recipes from Black food bloggers to inspire your Juneteenth celebration.

1. Watermelon Ice Pops

“Red foods have a rich history of being included in Juneteenth celebrations for spiritual and historic reasons alike. Furthermore, you may be surprised to learn that the watermelon originated on the continent of Africa.” - A Girl Called Adri

Photo by A Girl Called Adri

2. Soul Rolls

“Any Juneteenth gathering would not be complete without a table filled with mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and collard greens! Soul Rolls take these faves up a notch by combining all of your favorites into a bite-size egg roll, making it the perfect appetizer for any celebration.” - Black Girls Who Brunch

Photo by Black Girls Who Brunch

3. Honey Buttermilk Biscuits with Roasted Strawberries

“Nothing screams the beginning of summer more than strawberries, and when paired with Honey Buttermilk Biscuits, it's truly a treat.” - Britney Breaks Bread

Photo by Britney Breaks Bread

4. Strawberry Collins

“For this Juneteenth virtual collab, I'm sharing my spin on the Gin Collins, a refreshing and balanced drink that is sure to pair wonderfully with all the classic Black cookout dishes.” - Brown Belle

Photo by Brown Belle

5. Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls

“The ultimate indulgent sweet treat with a Southern flair has arrived—the very definition of treat yo'self!” - Butter Be Ready

Photo by Butter be Ready

6. Red Hot Pepper Shrimps

“This is red-hot Juneteenth heat with a purpose—FLAVOR! The Afro-Caribbean Middle Passage massively delivers on this opening act!” - Chef and Steward

Chef and Steward

7. Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

“Dial up the heat with these spicy and sweet additions to your table as a side to your favorite dishes.” - Chef Curl Ardee

Photo by Chef Curl Ardee

8. Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake

“Pound cake is an iconic part of the Black culinary experience, from the country's first African American cookbook authors to the dessert tables of present day. This lemon sour cream pound cake honors that tradition with a moist, tender crumb and a bright, summery lemon flavor that will bring the whole family together.” - Chenée Today

Photo by Chenée Today

9. Vegan Ranch Style Beans

“Hailing directly from the shores of West Africa, beans were the food staple that sustained African Americans when little else was available. Using methods passed down through generations, Vegan Ranch Style Beans will please even the carnivores and appease the rest.” - Collards Are the Old Kale

Photo by Collards are the Old Kale

10. Jerk Barbecued Ribs

“Barbecued ribs are an essential part of any cookout, especially when celebrating Juneteenth. This Jerk Barbecued Ribs recipe is a savory, flavorful take on traditional Southern-style BBQ.” - Cooks With Soul

Photo by Cooks with Soul

11. Sweet & Tangy Coleslaw

“Coleslaw is the most overlooked BBQ side dish, but it's such an important staple! This sweet, creamy, and tangy coleslaw comes together in under 10 minutes!“ - Crumb Snatched

Photo by Crumb Snatched

12. Strawberry Basil Sorbet

“When it comes to a refreshingly sweet indulgence that brings a welcome chill factor to summer days outdoors, there's no better fix than homemade sorbet. Luscious strawberries combined with lemony, sweet basil make for the cool treat you'll want to savor at your Juneteenth soiree—and all year long!” - D.M.R. Fine Foods

Photo by D.M.R. Fine Foods

13. Red Velvet Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

“Classic red velvet cake is a must at every cookout, and the crimson color is significant for Juneteenth celebrations. This layered version is a beautiful deep red with familiar flavor wrapped in scratch-made cream cheese frosting and topped off with decadent chocolate-covered strawberries.” - Dash of Jazz

Photo by Dash of Jazz

14. Red Velvet Cookies

“These red velvet cookies are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. They will have your guests coming back for seconds...and maybe thirds!” - Dish It With Tisha

Photo by Dish It With Tisha

15. Brisket-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

“Tender brisket smoked low and slow for over 8 hours is generously stuffed into baked sweet potatoes and topped with tangy barbecue sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, chives, and an optional dollop of sour cream. They are a must for your next BBQ.” - Dude That Cookz

Photo by Dude that Cookz

16. BBQ Baked Beans

“Growing up in Texas where Juneteenth celebrations are on another level, baked beans hold a place similar to potato salad and mac and cheese, i.e., not everybody is allowed to bring it to the cookout. Your baked beans game has to be on point, vouched for and co-signed by relatives of note.” - Food Fidelity

Photo by Food Fidelity

17. Black-Eyed Pea Salad

“Typically enjoyed over the New Year's holiday and as the occasional side dish cooked with pork and flavorings, Black Eyed Peas are known to mean luck, prosperity, and wealth. Black-Eyed Pea Salad is filled with hearty veggies and a robust stock to please your palate.” - FoodLoveTog

Photo by FoodLoveTog

18. Harissa Honey Roasted Vegetable Skewers

“Whether grilled or roasted, these vegetable skewers brushed with my mouthwatering Harissa Honey Sauce are a much needed addition to your summer cookout menu. Featuring a blend of harissa, a spiced chile paste with origins in Africa, and a touch of honey, this sauce is a spicy, smoky, and sweet trifecta.” - Geo’s Table

Photo by Geo’s Table

19. Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler

“Complete your family cookout with this mouthwatering peach cobbler made with the perfect, fluffy cinnamon-sugar cake topping and sweet, succulent peach filling. This cobbler is a summer staple everyone can enjoy as this easy recipe is gluten-free and vegan!" - Good Food Baddie

Photo by Good Food Baddie

20. Crispy Gluten-Free Baked BBQ Chicken Wings

“Juneteenth celebrations often include red foods and beverages. BBQ was a main staple of these gatherings, and in honor of my ancestors, I present to you these finger-licking BBQ wings." - Gristle and Gossip

Photo by Gristle and Gossip

21. Summer Watermelon Fizz

“Flavors of ginger, mint, and lime come together in this over-the-top watermelon beverage. It's perfect, especially for Juneteenth cookouts, as it celebrates African culture.” - Handy Chef Blog

Photo by Handy Chef Blog

22. Watermelon Cucumber Salad

“This light and refreshing salad features watermelon—a symbol of African Americans’ economic freedom and self sufficiency post-Emancipation in the U.S. It’s easy, paleo, vegan, and Whole30 compliant and an amazing Juneteenth BBQ accompaniment.” - Heal Me Delicious

Photo by Heal me Delicious

23. Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice

“Rich and vibrantly red rice dish with a tomato base. Popular across the Nigerian diaspora as the go-to dish for parties such as weddings and grand birthday celebrations. Perfectly woven layers of flavors stemming from years of tradition with an elevated smoky aroma.” - Immaculate Ruému

Photo by Immaculate Ruému

24. Crab Boil & Garlic Butter Sauce

“This Crab Boil & Garlic Butter Sauce is the perfect way to celebrate Juneteenth with your loved ones. Full of flavor, made with your favorite seafood, and a dash of love, this is guaranteed to be a family celebration favorite!” - Jamieson Diaries

Photo by Jamieson Diaries

25. Spicy Sticky Tangy Tamarind BBQ Wings

“This is my favorite twist on a traditional BBQ sauce. It's perfect for a cookout and adding a spicy and tangy twist to your regular grilled wings!” - Just Add Hot Sauce

Photo by Just Add Hot Sauce

26. Hibiscus Rum Punch

“This easy hibiscus Bacardi rum punch is sweet, slightly tart, and full of flavor—perfect for Juneteenth and any other celebrations.” - Kenneth Temple

Photo by Kenneth Temple

27. No-Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

“This easy ice cream boasts swirls of bright red strawberry sauce, which makes this the perfect dessert to share on Juneteenth or any celebration.” - Lenox Bakery

Photo by Lenox Bakery

28. Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

“Slow and steady wins the race with these Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches. If you’re looking to easily feed the whole family, it’s the perfect recipe to make for Juneteenth!" - Mash and Spread

Photo by Mash and Spread

29. Grilled Hot Links & Chow Chow

“No Juneteenth barbecue is complete without juicy hot links. Whether charred on the grill, sauced up, or, my favorite, buried in chow chow, hot links and their classic deep crimson hue are emblematic, and customary inclusions at any Juneteenth celebration.” - Meiko and the Dish

Photo by Meiko and the Dish

30. Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

“Red drinks are an essential culinary part of Juneteenth celebrations. The tradition connects Black folks to the past and helps mold our future declarations of Black joy.” - Nik Snacks

Photo by Nik Snacks

31. Brown Sugar Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

“Brown sugar is a common thread throughout many soul food staples. Enjoy the warm flavors of brown sugar and caramel in this recipe for a creamy, no-churn ice cream.” - Open Invitation Entertainment

Photo by Open Invitation Entertainment

32. Strawberry Basil Pineapple Mocktail

“No better way to celebrate Juneteenth or the hot summer months than with bold flavors, unique combinations, and a nice balance between sweet and earthy—with a bit of bubbly like this mocktail!” - Orchids and Sweet Tea

Orchids and Sweet Tea

33. Lemon Meringue Tart

“Lemon meringue pie has been a Southern comfort dessert for years. The pie has been transformed into a beautiful tart filled with tangy, sweet, smooth lemon curd and pillowy, lightly torched meringue.” - Peaches 2 Peaches

Photo by Peaches 2 Peaches

34. Spicy Shrimp Creole

“This Shrimp Creole recipe is a classic Louisiana Creole dish featuring tender shrimp, a delicious tomato based sauce with lots of chopped veggies, and the perfect amount of spice!” - Pink Owl Kitchen

Photo by Pink Owl Kitchen

35. Strawberry Crunch Cake Brownies

“Strawberry Crunch Cake Brownies are the perfect dessert for any occasion. Made simple with store-bought cake mix, then topped with a simple syrup and cookie and strawberry crumble.” - Razzle Dazzle Life

Photo by Razzle Dazzle Life

36. Grilled Maque Choux Salad

“This grilled corn maque choux salad takes the flavors of the maque choux I grew up eating— sweet corn, tomatoes, the trinity, and a little heat—and spins them into the perfect salad for your summer cookout.” - Savor and Sage

Photo by Savor and Sage

37. Savannah Red Rice

“Celebrate our rich culture and learn how to make Southern Savannah Red Rice! The rice is baked with tomatoes, 'trinity' vegetables, and 'red' spices.” - Seasoned to Taste

Photo by Seasoned to Taste

38. Country-Style Potato Salad

“Country-Style Potato Salad is one of those comfort foods born from a culture that makes food that makes you smile with pleasure. It's a recipe learned at the side of many a country Madear, and they taught it well.” - Sense & Edibility

Photo by Sense & Edibility

39. Deviled Eggs

“Each egg is topped with candied bacon and chives to give you a sweet and savory flavor with every bite. Turn 'em up a bit by frying them to add a little crunch.” - Slight Kitchen Werk

Photo by Slight Kitchen Werk

40. Rum Punch

“Every rum punch is different, but my version features pineapple juice, mango nectar, grenadine, and two kinds of rum. Sip and enjoy!” - Sweet & Sorrel

Photo by Sweet & Sorrel

41. Mint Julep

“This mint julep recipe is created and served the forgotten 'champion' way from the pre-Prohibition era to celebrate the Black bartenders who perfected and mastered the mint julep to make it the popular Derby Day cocktail it is today.” - Sweet Tea & Thyme

Photo by Sweet Tea & Thyme

42. Vegan Almond Peach Cake

“Add Vegan Almond Peach Cake to your arsenal of favorite cookout recipes! It's topped with juicy ripe peaches and delicately sweetened with real maple syrup and natural sugars from peach yogurt.” - That Green Lyfe

Photo by That Green Lyfe

43. Strawberry Cobbler Galette

“This Strawberry Cobbler Galette brings the comfort to your Juneteenth celebration. It’s a simple gluten-free galette crust with a fresh strawberry and vanilla cobbler filling that is as sweet as freedom." - The Dana Renée Way

Photo by The Dana Renée Way

44. Strawberry Sticky Baby Back Ribs

“Our Strawberry Sticky Baby Back Ribs are inspired by traditional Korean sticky ribs but with a strawberry twist. This recipe is the best kind of foodie fusion!” - This Worthey Life

Photo by This Worthey Life
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BelovedPlate July 12, 2021
This is such a fantastic array of dishes from some truly talented individuals!
bianca June 21, 2021
Wow! What an amazing round up. Everything looks absolutely delicious!
FoodLoveTog June 21, 2021
This is totally the recap we needed!! Thanks for sharing!
Shanika G. June 21, 2021
These recipes are so perfect for the occasion! So much flavor, uniqueness, and deliciousness wrapped in one! Love it!
dishitwithtisha June 20, 2021
All of these recipes look delicious! I can't wait to try them!
Danielle June 20, 2021
I think this is the first list I’ve read on Food52 in a while that brought me recipes that I haven’t seen and that look really delicious. I’m excited to try a bunch!
Thank you for sharing these links to Black creators and their recipes and stories.
Adina A. June 19, 2021
Hi, the link to the Vegan Almond Peach Cake from That Green Lyfe doesn't work, the domain has expired.
Danielle June 20, 2021
Tell me if this works. I saved it for later :)
Quin L. June 19, 2021
What an incredibly delicious and soulful-looking spread this is. So honored to have my peach cobbler cinnamon rolls among this delightfully tasty lineup to honor Juneteenth! Thank you all for highlighting this meaningful celebration!
Wendy June 19, 2021
Thank you for spotlighting these wonderful contributors!
Happy Juneteenth to everyone, especially to our black community, who continue to be stung by prevailing ignorance. (As exemplified by some comments.) Although I am not black, I join you in celebration and continued commitment to ward truth, justice and equality. Godspeed.
GristleandGossip June 19, 2021
Honored to have my recipe listed among those of so many other amazing BLACK content creators. Hopefully this list will not only be used as a holiday guide but also as tool to steer folks towards learning about the history behind Juneteenth AND what other changes we need in this country.
Lisa M. June 18, 2021
I think this is insulting to black people, making them seem like aliens in their country. This isn't a black country or white country it's a country of all of us. They were already free for 2 years when the news reached them in Texas. Duh. When we came to this country we immediately became citizens and melded into the culture. We didn't try to set ourselves apart. Sound familiar??! I'm not a "POC", pock, because I'm different.
niksnacks June 19, 2021
You need to take up your thoughts and feelings with white supremacy. It's that entire institution that made Black folks feel, look and seem like aliens in the land to which we were brought. We were considered property, not people in 1863, 1864 and 1865 too. Just because we were free, did not mean we "melded into the culture". That's not how it worked then and that's not how it works now. There was no plan, no infrastructure. And we've been scrambling ever since.
Your families moved here on purpose and likely held tight to plenty of traditions - Black people did not choose to come here and were violently severed from their culture and families. There is an enormous difference and I suggest you spend some time reflecting and reading about lives that are not your own.
Danielle June 20, 2021
I’m not sure your message is coming across clearly because it seems that you’re suggesting that the slaves didn’t do a great job of blending in with the dominant cultures of the time AND that they should’ve just gotten the message earlier, because it is somehow their fault that they were enslaved for so long. I’m sure that’s not what you meant, because that would be offensive, so can you please clarify?