Healthy Kentucky Derby Food Recipes and Tips

Do you love Kentucky Derby food classics like Hot Browns, Burgoo and pulled pork? The Kentucky Derby is known for its decadence, and this often flies in the face of a health-conscious America. If you are looking for a way to eat healthy while still enjoying all of your Derby party favorites, you are in luck. Over the years, several recipes and tips have been developed that have the all of the goodness of the Kentucky Derby food, but with a fit kick.

Less bread and more fresh produce

There are so many variations online in regards to Kentucky Derby menus that it can be difficult to know how to make it authentic. It can also be nerve-wracking to figure out how to take a traditional menu and make it into something healthier. Of course, traditional Kentucky Derby menus include a lot of starch, but this is changing. If you look at the menus for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, you will notice that there are a lot of raw veggies and fruits. To make your Kentucky Derby food more health-conscious, limit your carbohydrate-based menu items and add three times as many non-carbohydrate choices.

Classic full-fat Kentucky Derby menu items include:

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Benedictine sandwiches
  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Burgoo
  • Country ham and biscuits
  • Grits and cheese
  • Hot Browns
  • Grilled corn
  • Spicy pecans

Taking the cholesterol out of pulled pork

Most people that enjoy barbecued pulled pork have no idea how it is cooked. Worse, they buy pulled pork in the freezer aisle of a grocery store in a prepackaged tub. Sadly, restaurants and grocery stores rarely have a variation of pulled pork that is geared toward someone with high cholesterol. Thankfully, as the old saying goes, this secret is in the sauce. In order to avoid the hidden fat found in pulled pork sandwiches, switch to barbecued chicken instead. If you are craving the authentic Churchill Downs taste, invest extra time in finding the perfect barbecue sauce recipe.

Making a healthier Burgoo?

Outside of Kentucky, few people have heard of the spicy stew called Burgoo. This soup has a history that revolves around the upper-class farming style that Kentucky is famous for. Tradition has it that Burgoo should contain several different types of vegetables and barbecued meat such as pork or mutton. Although it is delicious, it often has a layer of grease swimming at the top. Interestingly, our writers at have lived in the Bluegrass State for almost three decades and have a healthy Burgoo tip. Mainly, it is well known that Burgoo tastes better the day after it is cooked. For this reason, when the Burgoo is cooled, it is easy to remove the orange fat layer that collects at the top. Doing this reduces the overall fat content of this stew significantly.

What about a healthy Hot Brown?

Hot BrownThe Hot Brown is an open face sandwich that is covered in a cheese sauce. Ordering a Hot Brown sandwich over the past century has included many strange toppings such as canned peaches. Nevertheless, it is basically a turkey sandwich with cheese sauce and does not need to be high fat. While there are many healthy recipes for the Hot Brown, the low-fat parmesan cheese sauce developed by Southern Living Magazine is the most recommended in Louisville.

Do not forget the Derby Pie

Derby PieWhen you have a Kentucky Derby party in Louisville, it is made complete with a special dessert like bourbon balls. One other option is to buy the trademarked Derby Pie that is available from sellers such as Taste of Kentucky. This pie is certainly rich, and you cannot buy it in a sugar-free option. On a humorous note, it has been observed by writers at that the most sugar-conscious people in Louisville avoid eating too much of this rich pie by implementing a two-bite policy instead of serving a whole slice.

Published On May 1, 2013