What Are the Best Dishes to Make with Cornbread?

We recently stumbled upon this cornbread recipe, and it started the usual debate about which is the best type of cornbread. Southern-style cornbread is usually savory, whereas northern-style recipes often include sugar or some type of sweetener.

Cornbread enthusiasts feel strongly about which is the “right” type of cornbread, as well as what you’re supposed to eat it with. Surprisingly, just about everyone agreed that chili is a good accompaniment to cornbread.

This got us wondering: besides chili, what goes well with cornbread?Our curiosity piqued, we hit the web to discover what people think are the best dishes to make (and eat) with cornbread.

Soups, Stews, and Beans

Like chili, soups, stews, and beans all have hot, rich sauces in which you can dip your cornbread. During cold winter months, these hearty dishes (and a hearty cornbread) are great. Food Network’s The Pioneer Womanis on board with the cornbread and beans combo.

The Happy Housewife also thinks beans and cornbread go well together, and reminds us that the two make for an inexpensive meal. Since most of the ingredients for beans, soups and cornbread are shelf-stable, you can easily whip up a meal without hitting the supermarket.

While most recipes brag about making moist cornbread, drier cornbreads are great for crumbling into a soup or stews. Popular cornbread/soup pairings include Mexican tortilla soup and creamy soups like cream of chicken.

If you want instant gratification without the hard work of making a big pot of soup, these soup and chili packs are great. All that’s left to do is making the cornbread!

Southern Barbeque (BBQ)

If you’re ordering a meal of southern BBQ, you’re sure to get a nice hunk of cornbread with it. The Southern Food Alliance takes cornbread so seriously, it named it one of its 12 Southern Food Groups.

There’s just something about the savory taste of cornbread that goes with the smoky flavors of southern barbeque. A “true Southerner” will tell you that cornbread has to be made in a cast iron skillet to develop a slightly crispy crust.

Not to be confused with actual barbeque (where meats are smoked low and slow), a popular recipe online is for BBQ cornbread casserole, which is usually made with ground beef, but there is variations using chicken. It seems more Tex-Mex than southern, but it sounds delicious!

Roast Chicken or Pork

If you’re not a barbequea ficionado (or you just can’t get good barbeque where you live), you can still enjoy cornbread with good old-fashioned roasted meats. A popular northern-style dish is roasted chicken with cornbread stuffing (or dressing).

And let’s not forget cornbread crusted pork loins. Traditional? Maybe not, but we’re not very picky about the form the cornbread is in, as long as it tastes good!

Black-eyed Peas&Greens (Southern Style)

When PinchMySalt.com asked its readers to respond to the question, “What do you eat with cornbread?”, they received quite a few responses that included southern style greens. Typical southern “greens” dishes include collards, Swiss chard, and spinach.

If you’re like me and you don’t know much about southern cooking, grab this book. Or you can learn how to cook black-eyed peas and cornbread from this video (the chef makes his own lard, so you know it’s authentic southern cuisine!)

Butter and Fig Jam

The responses to PinchMySalt also included a lot of people who prefer the classic route of spreading some butter on their cornbread. Quite a few people mentioned jam, and our research turned up a lot of recipes for cornbread and fig jam.

Don’t get the wrong idea here; the fig jam isn’t being spread onto the cornbread, but baked into it. Some recipes don’t even call for jam, just figs, like this one (seems strange, but you can’t deny how pretty this looks!)

At our house, we like to use a flavored butter on cornbread, like honey butter or chive butter. If you’ve never made a flavored butter before, check out these easy recipes. Once you’ve tried one of these “gourmet” butter, you’ll want to experiment with different flavors all the time!

Time to Make the Cornbread

Now that all of our stomachs are growling, I’m going to get the cast iron skillet warmed up and make some cornbread! To make your own cornbread, follow these simple steps:

  • Purchase a good-quality cornmeal; you can choose yellow or white, it’s a personal preference
  • Find a recipe with good reviews and watch a how-to video for making cornbread
  • Don’t forget to pick a tasty main dish to go with your cornbread

Were you surprised by any of these recipe pairings for cornbread? Leave us a comment below, or tell us what you think goes well with cornbread.






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