Vegan Culinary Guide For Kentucky Derby Recipes




The Kentucky Derby apart from being one of the most popular and competitive race in the world, it is also a fashion runway and a culinary journey for your taste buds. This is more than just a race, it is an event that carefully follows tradition while still keeping a modern theme.

Tradition is everywhere! From the Call to Post bugle call, to fashion, and food. Unlike most other horse racing events where fast food dominate, with the Kentucky Derby the situation is different. Most of the dishes served on this event are based on recipes as old, if not older than the race.

We have the Kentucky Burgoo, Hot Brown Sandwiches, and Derby Pie! What more would you want?

However, the Kentucky Derby isn’t an event known for its vegan dishes. Yes, there are plenty of vegan options, but these are newly introduced delights that have nothing to do with the tradition of the race.

But what if you are vegan and want to bring that Kentucky Derby flavor to your home? – It’s possible!

There’s nothing better than bringing the Kentucky Derby flavor to your home. You can organize a party, invite guests, combine your bets while browsing the latest Kentucky Derby odds and enjoy some delicious vegan food.

Sounds perfect to me.

Meat is an important ingredient in most of the Kentucky Derby dishes, but with smart cooking you can make an equally-good tasting dish without any meat.


Well, let’s go though some of the most popular Kentucky Derby dishes but with a vegan twist.

Why Choose Vegan for the Derby?

Yes, Kentucky Derby traditional dishes are not vegan, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot add your own twist to the game. On top of that, most of these recipes allow you to have freedom in what ingredients you choose.

Going vegan for the Derby shows that you can recreate the traditional dishes thousands of people love every year without animal products, and still taste delicious. This proves that flavor knows no bounds.

Vegan Hot Brown Sandwich


  • Vegan Bread Slices (toasted)
  • Plant-based bacon or tempeh strips
  • Vegan cheese sauce
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh spinach leaves or arugula for some freshness

How to Prepare

  1. Lay out your slices of toasted bread to serve as the solid base for your masterpiece of a sandwich.
  2. Top the bread with a thick layer of fresh spinach leaves to offer nutrition and a burst of color.
  3. After that, top your creation with ripe tomato slices to provide a juicy contrast to the savory components.
  4. Add the crispy tempeh or plant-based bacon, making sure that every bite has a delightful flavor and texture.
  5. Over the ensemble, drizzle a silky vegan cheese sauce, allowing it to lavishly cascade over the items.
  6. To add the last touch, briefly broil your sandwich while it is ornamented to let the cheese sauce softly melt and combine with the other ingredients.
  7. For a delicious Derby meal, serve your Hot Brown Sandwich with a side of coleslaw or pickles.

Vegan Derby Deviled Potatoes


  • Baby potatoes, boiled until soft
  • Vegan mayo for extra creaminess
  • Dijon mustard for a kick
  • Fresh chives that are finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

How to Prepare

  1. Halve the boiling young potatoes and scrape out some meat to form a hollow cavity.
  2. In a bowl, combine vegan mayo, Dijon mustard, chives, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spoon the creamy mixture into hollowed-out potatoes for a delicious filling.
  4. Add paprika for a colorful and flavorful garnish.
  5. Serve Vegan Derby Deviled Potatoes on a tray and watch them disappear as guests enjoy the delicious flavor.

Vegan Bourbon Glazed Carrots


  • Fresh carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
  • Vegan butter for sautéing
  • Brown sugar for sweetness
  • Vegan bourbon for a boozy twist
  • Dried thyme for herbal notes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt vegan butter in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced carrots.
  2. Sauté carrots until softened and caramelized somewhat.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar on carrots to melt and coat with sweetness.
  4. Add a splash of vegan bourbon to the carrots and let it boil to enhance their taste.
  5. Season with dried thyme, salt, and pepper for a balanced flavor.
  6. Continue cooking until the carrots are tender and glazed with the bourbon-infused goodness.
  7. Serve Vegan Bourbon Glazed Carrots as a delicious side dish to any Derby feast.

Vegan Burgoo Recipe

One of the traditional dishes at the Kentucky Derby is the Kentucky Burgoo. There is still debate about the exact origins of this dish, as many people suggest that it came to America from France.

What is Burgoo?

Traditionally, Burgoo is a slow cooked stew full of different meats and vegetables. But this doesn’t mean that we cannot update the recipe and make a vegan-friendly Burgoo. To get the same richness, we will remove the meat and add more vegetables.


  • 1 cup dried soy curls, rehydrated and drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup lima beans
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

How to Make It

  1. Sauté chopped onion, carrots, and celery in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until tender and aromatic.
  2. Cook the rehydrated soy curls until gently browned and infused with flavor.
  3. Add cubed potatoes, corn kernels, lima beans, and chopped green beans to create a colorful mixture.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and vegetable broth, bring to a mild boil.
  5. Stir in the bay leaf, smoked paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper, allowing the flavors to mingle.
  6. Simmer the Vegan Burgoo uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the veggies are cooked and the stew reaches the desired consistency.
  7. Remove bay leaf from saucepan and adjust spice as needed.
  8. Garnish your Vegan Burgoo with chopped fresh parsley for a refreshing herbal flavor. Serve hot.

Tips for Vegan Burgoo

The best thing about the Burgoo is its versatility. No burgoo recipe is exactly the same, therefore you can add your own twist to this delicious stew.

You can add your own twist to the Vegan Burgoo with veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or peas. Add vegan Worcestershire sauce or sour cream for extra richness before serving. Combine Vegan Burgoo with crusty bread or cornbread for a hearty dinner.

Vegan Bluegrass Beet Salad


  • Fresh beets, roasted and diced
  • Crisp mixed greens for a base
  • Toasted pecans for crunch
  • Creamy vegan goat cheese, crumbled
  • Zesty vinaigrette dressing
  • Fresh dill for a burst of herbaceous flavor

How to Make It

  1. Roast fresh beets until soft and easily punctured with a fork. Once cold, divide them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place crisp mixed greens on a serving tray or individual plates.
  3. To create a colorful mosaic, scatter roasted beet cubes over the leaves.
  4. Topping with toasted nuts and crumbled vegan goat cheese adds texture and richness.
  5. Drizzle your favorite zesty vinaigrette dressing over the salad to add tangy flavor to every mouthful.
  6. Add fresh dill sprigs for a flavorful and visually appealing finish.
  7. Serve Vegan Bluegrass Beet Salad as a refreshing and tasty complement to your Derby meal.

Vegan Derby Pie Delight


  • Vegan pie crust, whether lovingly homemade or store-bought for convenience
  • Luscious vegan chocolate chips, a chocolate lover's dream
  • Chopped pecans for a nutty crunch
  • Sweetness from brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • Cornstarch to bind the filling
  • Fragrant vanilla extract to enhance the flavors
  • Creamy plant-based milk, such as almond or coconut, for richness

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare vegan pie crust in a pie dish to ensure a solid vessel for filling.
  2. In a mixing dish, combine vegan chocolate chips, pecans, brown sugar, and cornstarch.
  3. In a separate dish, mix together vanilla extract and plant-based milk until smooth.
  4. Gently stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, avoiding overmixing.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly in the pie shell for a symmetrical look.
  6. Bake your pie in the preheated oven until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
  7. Allow Vegan Derby Pie to cool before slicing into luscious slices of plant-based delight.
  8. For an added flourish, serve with a dollop of vegan whipped cream or a scoop of dairy-free ice cream, elevating the dessert to new heights of decadence.



Final Words

Just because most of the Kentucky Derby dishes include meat, it doesn’t mean that you cannot make a vegan version out of them. These are some of the traditional dishes that are often served during the Kentucky Derby, and as you can see, you can actually make them vegan-friendly without compromising the taste.

The next thing you need to do is get all the ingredients, invite some friends over for the Kentucky Derby, and get to cooking. I’m sure that most of the guests won’t even notice that the recipes are vegan.





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