21 Festive Kwanzaa Recipe Ideas to Try
From mains and sides to desserts, these 21 Kwanzaa recipes are bold, colorful and flavorful. Choose a few for your own Kwanzaa celebration, and incorporate them into your menus throughout the year.
Blogger Riche Holmes Grant puts a Caribbean spin on the menu: Her Jerk Chicken takes on maximum flavor as it marinates overnight in a mixture of chiles, brown sugar, and spices.
Skillet Corn Bread
Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Fresh pork hocks make this black-eyed pea recipe hearty enough for your Kwanzaa main course. Simply serve it over rice, flavored with fresh oregano. Crushed red pepper adds a dash of heat.
Gluten Free Creole-Style Shrimp and Grits
Maple-Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Flaky Cheddar Biscuits
To save time, bake these fluffy biscuits in the morning and reheat them just before dinner. A cup of shredded cheese in the batter gives these biscuits irresistible flavor. One reviewer raves: "I will definitely make these again. This recipe is a keeper!"
Savory Collard Greens
Simmered in broth, vinegar and an entire head of garlic, these greens are a delicious, holiday-worthy side. Serve crushed red pepper at the table for those who like a little heat.
Test Kitchen Tip: To remove grit, immerse greens in a clean sink filled with water. Rinse well and drain in a colander.
Flavored Slow Cooker Corn Bread
Sweet Potato Marshmallow Meringue Pie
Cookbook author (Black Girl Baking), photographer and blogger (Chocolate for Basil) Jerrelle Guy piles her showstopping sweet potato pie with toasted meringue. Before baking, spoon the filling into a homemade hazelnut flour and chocolate crust. For maximum flavor, toast the hazelnut flour that in a skillet until it gives off a popcorn scent.
Bananas Foster Crisp
If you have a few basic ingredients on hand, you can make Jerrelle’s take on bananas Foster any night of the week in less than an hour. “I always have gingersnaps around during the holidays, and bananas are in my produce basket at all times.” The buttery brown sugar-rum sauce bubbles bake, so you’ve got a warm, melty dessert that you didn’t have to set on fire.
Test Kitchen Tip: Baking these crisps in shallow au gratin dishes means more of the banana browns and caramelizes. If you don’t have au gratin minis, use a deep-dish pie plate instead
Spicy Sausage and Collard Soup
Don't toss the rind on your wedge of Parmesan cheese! Use it to flavor this hearty Kwanzaa favorite. To make, simmer Italian sausage, collard greens and sweet bell peppers in the savory broth. Serve each bowl with grated Parmesan cheese and torn fresh basil.
Chicken Chorizo Gumbo
This hearty gumbo is filled with classic flavors like okra, chicken and bell pepper. It simmers low and slow for 45 minutes on your stovetop. Don't skip the orange-herb rice topper—it fills each bite with citrusy fresh flavor.
Best Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Is there anything better than a creamy spoonful of homemade macaroni and cheese? We don't think so! Our four-cheese blend broils to bubbly perfection in just six minutes. Want to try something new for Kwanzaa this year? Whip up one of our tasty variations including truffle mac, bacon-blue cheese, or butternut squash mac.
Classic Peach Cobbler
Chicken Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings
Cornmeal Griddle Cakes
Fresh corn, bacon, buttermilk... these savory griddle cakes are packed with flavor! Prepare the batter and cook the cakes just before serving. We recommend serving them with creme fraiche and fresh chives, but they're equally good with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Braised Collard Greens
Red Beans Creole
This year, try something new for Kwanzaa. This take on red beans creole isn't traditional (we've added mushrooms!) but it is filled with delicious flavors like garlic and creole seasoning. Can't get enough spice? Serve the dish with plenty of hot pepper sauce.
You're just seven ingredients away from sweet candied yams. One reviewer raves: "My family won't eat yams cooked any other way. Frequently preparing this dish throughout the year." This big-batch recipe makes 10 servings.
Cheesy Grits Bowl
Two kinds of melty cheese mean these grits are loaded with flavor. Top the finished bowl with sauteed mushrooms or try one of our variations like spicy chorizo, or bacon and egg. An extra sprinkle of cheese on top doesn't hurt!