Cornbread: What to Pair with It + 10 Stellar Recipes

Cornbread is so much more than a side dish - it's a way of life. There's something so perfect about the way that crumby, buttery cornbread soaks up the extra sauce from chili, deepens in flavor with a pat of butter, and surprises you in its dessert-like qualities when eaten with a drizzle of honey. If you're new to homemade cornbread (or, you're just looking to change up the routine) and you're wondering what goes with this quick bread,  (or how to make delicious cornbread recipes) you've come to the right place.

I'm a fanatic, so it's not simply the obligatory grain component of my meal. I eat cornmeal with almost every meal, and sometimes it's the main focus! I love adding fresh veggies to it in the summer and using the leftovers in new and exciting ways, like polenta. You can also crumble it in buttermilk for a comfort food treat, melt cheese on it for a twist on cheese toast, or serve it as a side at your backyard bbq. However you cook it, cornbread goes with so many different things.

 So let's dive in and get you some great ideas for what goes with southern cornbread.

If you need an easy cornbread recipe, start here with our favorite Skillet Cornbread recipe made right in a cast iron pan. It's also gluten free!

Not-To-Be-Missed Pairings

For when you want to keep things simple, try pairing your cornbread with these toppings. You could always serve with plain old salted butter, but these will kick things up a notch and make it more interesting as a side.

1. Cornbread Muffins and Honey

what goes with cornbread
Averie Cooks

I have to admit, this is my favorite combo. Why use honey butter when you can drizzle the whole cornbread with honey? Take a really savory cornbread and drizzle it with sweet honey. It glazes the crispy edges perfectly and makes an amazing accompaniment to any heavy meat dish. It's also a delicious dessert treat, too. Bake in a muffin tin for the perfect size.

Get the recipe here.

2. Jalapeños and Cornbread

what goes with cornbread
Little Spice Jar

Jalapenos and cornbread are almost like peanut butter and jelly. It's an iconic and classic combination, and it's certainly not-to-be-missed. Bake in your trusty cast iron skillet (a cake pan works, too) and don't be afraid to top your bread with jalapeno salsa, either. I love mixing red and green chiles together for a festive-looking topping. This is a perfect side for a big pot of your favorite slow cooker chili recipe.

Get the recipe here.

3. Cheesy Cornbread

what goes with cornbread
Luci's Morsels

You can bake cheese into the cornbread recipe, or you can slather cheese on top. I love using a flavored cream cheese or a creamy goat cheese because it's nice and simple, but I also love flaky cheese like feta or cotija. You can also melt cheddar cheese, gruyere cheese, or pepper jack cheese on top of the bread and pop it in the broiler until browned if you prefer.

Get the recipe here.

4. Apple Cornbread

what goes with cornbread
Bon Appetit

I can't think of a better way to enjoy sweet cornbread than with a little kick of savory flavor. The caramelized onions sweeten as they get golden brown and the apples deepen in flavor, pairing perfectly with the yellow cornmeal. Toss in some cranberries for extra sweetness. This is an uncommon topping but it's perfect any time of the year (especially in the fall).

Get the recipe here.

5. Cornbread and Spicy Braised Greens

I think these two are a pretty classic combination, but I like taking it one step further and serving the greens on top. That way, when I eat cornbread I get to enjoy those tender greens with every bite! Collard greens are my absolute favorite, but you can also go for kale, chard, mustard greens or any other hearty green.

Get the recipe here.

Enjoy Cornbread with Your Meal

Serving cornbread with your meal doesn't have to be about simply serving a side of sliced bread and a condiment. Here are some fun (and some odd) ways to enjoy our favorite side as the main recipe.

1. Croutons

what goes with cornbread
Southern Living

This is my favorite way to use leftover cornbread. Cut them up into little cubes, toss them with olive oil or melted butter and some spices, and bake them up until they're crunchy. They make the best Caesar salads, or you can toss them with roasted vegetables and serve them as a side dish.

Get the recipe here.

2. Maple-Baked Beans and Cornbread Casserole

what goes with cornbread
Veg Kitchen

Why serve baked beans and cornbread on the side when you can bake them all together in one baking dish? This savory casserole uses cornbread as the topping. You'll get a bite of all your favorite flavors with every forkful. I like using navy beans, but you could also use black beans (spiced up with Old El Paso seasoning) or black-eyed peas, too.

Get the recipe here.

3. Savory Cornbread Stuffing

NYT Cooking

Stuffing doesn't have to be reserved for the holidays - it can be the main event any time of the year! Fill it up with all your favorite toppings like garlic, celery, sage, and thyme. Then, add in some sausage to make it an entree!

Get the recipe here.

4. Taco Bake

what goes with cornbread
The Country Cook

You don't have to worry about what goes with cornbread when you take everything that's good about a taco and put it on top of cornbread instead of in a tortilla for the perfect cozy meal. This taco bake has ground beef (and you could swap in chicken, or use pinto beans and corn kernels for a vegetarian version), sour cream, cheese and taco seasoning.

Get the recipe here.

5. Cornbread French Toast

french toast
Southern Bite

I love alternative French toast bread, and this recipe is no exception. Made with a few ingredients like cornmeal, milk, vegetable and brown sugar, this is such a great way to use leftover cornbread because it won't taste stale at all! You can obviously serve this at breakfast, but I also like turning it into breakfast-for-dinner.

Get the recipe here.

This article was originally published on September 21, 2018.

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