What to Eat With Cornbread?

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Do you ever get those days where you feel like baking a yummy cornbread and sitting down to a good ole meal? Exactly. But you can’t just have cornbread on its own, can you?

So what can you eat with cornbread?

Cornbread is a versatile bread that can be eaten with various delicious meals, such as beef stew, deep-fried chicken, and BBQ. Cornbread can also be eaten as a dessert with vanilla-flavored ice cream or soaked in a bowl of milk and sugar. You can also enjoy a cornbread breakfast with eggs and bacon.

If you’ve baked cornbread and you’re wondering what foods go best with this yummy treat, this guide will provide you with the tastiest options.

What Is Cornbread?

Cornbread, also known as Johnny Bread, is a tasty cornmeal bread popular in American cuisine. Cornbread has a yellow-golden color with a light and crumbly (grainy) texture.

Cornbread has been around for many years and was first made by Native Americans as a bread and porridge staple.

Over the years, the recipe has been changed and modified, and different variations and sweetness levels are available. Even so, the base ingredients remain the same (oil, cornmeal, and eggs).

Let’s take a look at a classic cornbread recipe:

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or paste
  • ⅔ cup of granulated white sugar
  • 3 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ⅓ cup of oil (vegetable or neutral oil is best)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice (dairy, almond, or soya)


  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (sugar, salt, flour, baking powder, and cornmeal). Put the bowl to one side.
  2. Grease a cake pan or silicone cake mold and preheat your oven to 400℉.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl (milk, egg, vanilla essence, and oil).
  4. Create a small well with your spoon in the middle of the dry ingredients. Next, pour the wet ingredients mixture and stir slowly.

Top Tip: Don’t overmix the batter, as you want the mixture to have a lumpy texture.

  1. Pour the batter into your greased pan or mold and bake for at least 25 minutes. Ovens may differ, so check the cornbread regularly and wait until the top turns golden brown.
  2. Press a toothpick into your cornbread to check if it’s cooked through. If the toothpick comes out with no batter stuck to it, then your cornbread is ready.

Top Tip: Add a cup of buttermilk to your batter to make your cornbread extra moist. Also, don’t overbake your cornbread, which will significantly dry it out.

What Food Goes Well With Cornbread?

Cornbread is one of those comfort foods that goes well with just about any food you can think of. 

Traditionally cornbread is served as a savory dish, but this historical slice of goodness even goes well with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.

Here’s a look at some food types that go well with cornbread:

  • Creamy dips
  • Spicy salsa
  • Cream cheese and chives
  • BBQ meat
  • Fruit jam
  • Honey
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Ice cream

Did you know? Cornbread was also nicknamed the “journey cake” because it stayed fresh for a long and was excellent to take along as a meal on long journeys.

5 Foods to Eat With Cornbread

While cornbread can be eaten on its own, it’s even better when you add cornbread to another side dish (or vice versa). 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best foods to eat with cornbread:

1. Beef Stew

Is there any better food to eat with cornbread than a hearty bowl of beef stew? Two comfort foods coming together can only be delicious. In this case, the cornbread would be a side dish best served warm with melted butter.

Use the buttered slices of cornbread to soak up the thick beef stew gravy, and enjoy the sweet and savory combination of these two foods.

Top Tip: Another serving option is to pour your cornbread mixture into a muffin pan and bake until golden. Serve your beef stew with moist cornbread muffins on the side.

2. Deep Fried Chicken

You must try cornbread with deep-fried chicken if you’re looking for a dish that’s finger-licking good and a little on the unhealthy side (but makes the perfect comfort food combo). This combination of food goes so well together.

The cornbread’s crumbly texture and sweet taste complement the crispy texture and savory flavor of the deep-fried chicken.

Pssst, if you don’t like deep-fried food, you can always crumb the chicken pieces and pop them in the air fryer. You’ll get that golden and crispy texture without the oil.

3. Cornbread Breakfast

Picture an English muffin breakfast minus the muffin. Now add a big slice of cornbread instead. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? 

A cornbread breakfast consists of most of the ingredients you’d find in a typical breakfast, such as:

  • Bacon
  • Fried or scrambled eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Fried tomatoes

Top Tip: If you have any cornbread and breakfast leftovers, you can make a cornbread breakfast bake. All the ingredients are combined, and you grate cheese over the top and bake it until it starts going brown.

4. Vanilla Ice Cream

That’s right; cornbread can be a dessert. The best way to prepare cornbread as a dessert is to steam it and not bake it. Steaming the cornbread creates a chewy and soft texture (similar to pudding).

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or any flavor you prefer) to the cornbread and enjoy. If you don’t enjoy the mushy texture of the steamed cornbread, you can bake it and add your ice cream on top of it.

Top Tip: If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat that’s quick to make, crumble your cornbread into a bowl of milk with some sugar sprinkled over it. 

The crumbled chunks of cornbread will swell thanks to the milk, and you can eat the pudding with a spoon.

5. Barbeque Meat

Barbeque meat is an excellent social meal, and having a variety of side dishes is always a hit. 

Freshly baked cornbread is one of the best foods to add to your BBQ chicken or ribs. The texture and sweet undertones of the cornbread pair very well with the sticky barbeque flavor.

Top Tip: To make your cornbread even sweeter, add condensed milk and a tin of whole sweetcorn to the batter. This will also give the cornbread a nice crunchy texture.

Is Cornbread Considered a Side Dish?

Cornbread is generally considered a side dish, as it pairs well with main meals such as soups, stews, BBQs, and fried chicken. 

However, while cornbread isn’t really eaten as a full meal on its own, it does make an excellent snack to curb your hunger (when eaten alone with some honey or butter.)

My Last Foodie Thoughts

It’s no wonder that cornbread is so popular in American cuisine. This easy-to-make and reasonably-priced bread is the perfect addition to most meals. 

Even better is that cornbread can be eaten on its own as a yummy (and filling) snack.

This bread allows the baker to add personal touches to it without straying too far from the original (and loved) recipe.

So go on, add a slice of cornbread to your next dish. What’s not to love?

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