Cornbread Salad has crumbled jalapeno cheddar cornbread layered with bacon, beans, and veggies for a delicious southern favorite. This cornbread salad recipe makes a good sized amount and can be made a day in advance, making this recipe perfect for a summer potluck or barbecue.
With just simple, easy-to-find ingredients, this crowd-pleasing salad is a no brainer. It looks impressive, and tastes even better. Bacon and cheese, tomato and bell pepper. And a wonderful kick of green onion – a whole cup of it. These ingredients sing together in this delightfully different salad that makes a substantial amount of food in just minutes.
Why you will love this recipe
Do you love throw-it-together-and-go recipes? Me too! And this is absolutely one of those.
All of these ingredients can be prepared in advance: the bacon and be cooked and crumbled ahead of time; the green onion, bell pepper, and tomato can all be chopped ahead; the ranch dressing can be made; and the jalapeno cheddar cornbread can be baked in advance.
Even if we do nothing in advance, cornbread salad is still quick and easy to a make regardless. Just whip up the cornbread, then assemble the rest as it bakes.
But why we really love this salad is for the TASTE. Salty bacon and beans, crunchy bell pepper and green onion, fresh tomato and shredded cheese. All layered with creamy ranch dressing. This is a beloved country classic recipe for good reason – It Is Delicious.
More potluck favorites
Ingredients for the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Jiffy corn muffin mix. I am sure other cornbread mixes will work, I just have not tried them myself. Jiffy is cheap and easy to find – I’ve never had trouble finding it in the baking aisle.
- Jalapenos. I prefer pickled, but I have used fresh jalapenos as well.
- Green onion. This salad uses green onion in both the cornbread and lots in the salad.
- Seasonings: chili powder, cumin, rubbed sage, kosher salt.
- Wet ingredients: light buttermilk and an egg. I prefer light buttermilk, but regular buttermilk is perfectly fine.
- Sharp cheddar cheese.
Note on the buttermilk: I find 1/3 cup buttermilk to not be quite enough, but I never need to so much more to warrant increasing the instruction to 1/2 cup. So just a splash or two more is usually necessary – or a couple tablespoons, if that makes it easier to visualize – to loosen up the batter a bit.
The rest of the ingredients
- For the dressing: mayonnaise; sour cream; ranch salad dressing mix. I use full fat ingredients. Reduced fat sour cream can be substituted, but I do not recommend replacing the mayonnaise with a lighter variation.
- Pinto beans. I prefer big, creamy pintos in this salad. Black beans may be substituted.
- Whole kernel yellow corn. I have used canned or frozen with equivalent results.
- Veggies: tomatoes, green bell pepper, green onion.
- Sharp cheddar cheese.
How to make cornbread salad
Making the cornbread is the biggest challenge to this recipe, and that part itself is pretty stinking easy. Simply mix the cornbread ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a bake dish, and bake for 15-20 minutes. While the cornbread is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
All else we are doing is mixing up our mayonnaise-sour-cream-ranch dressing, then just layer everything together. The layering here is easy because we split each ingredient in half, layer half of each, then repeat. Easy squeezy.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple hours to the flavors can to their thing. Serve, share, and enjoy.
This recipe will keep nicely for three to four days.
This recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread is intentionally on the dry side a bit so that it stands up to the dressing and juices given off the other ingredients. The cornbread stays substantial and does not turn to mush. Another reason why this recipe works.
If desiring Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread on its own (as in, to eat alone with, say, butter), then add the jalapeno, green onion, chili powder, cumin, and cheddar to this recipe here.
With the layers and colors going on here, I love to serve this in a glass bowl or large Pyrex dish. That way people can see those lovely layers. Then just spoon it up with a large serving spoon.
Yes, but don’t expect the same result. I prefer by far to use full fat Duke’s mayonnaise any and always and in everything. However, I usually end up with reduced fat sour cream because I prefer the flavor and consistency. I am not a fan of reduced fat cheese – ever. Black beans may be sub’ed for the pinto beans.
Nope. With the mayonnaise and sour cream, we are making a thick ranch with the consistency more of a dip rather than salad dressing. If you must, I would use ranch chip dip (the kind that comes in tub, found in the dairy section) before bottled dressing.
The order of ingredients isn’t so important as is starting with cornbread on the bottom and finishing with green onion on top. This keeps the cornbread as the foundation, and it is always best to finish every dish with a bit of green on top.
Yeah, I do. I admit it. In a perfect world, I would buy a block of cheddar and shred it myself – cheese is creamier and tastier that way because store-bought shredded cheeses have anti-caking ingredients added to keep the cheese from sticking all to itself. But, in the interest of time and conservation of effort, I admit that I rarely do that and I usually just buy the stinking bag of shredded cheese. Especially when they are BOGO.
For the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
For the Cornbread Salad
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
- 1 (27 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups whole kernel yellow corn thawed if frozen
- 3 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 10 bacon strips cooked and crumbled
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped green onion
Make the cornbread
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk all the cornbread ingredients together. Add an additional splash or two of buttermilk to adjust the consistency. We want the batter thick but not dry.
- Transfer the better to a small baking dish or in muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray.
- Cook 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad
- Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and ranch dressing mix. Set aside.
- Crumble half of the cornbread into a 13-9 dish or large serving bowl. Layer half of the beans, ranch mixture, corn, tomatoes, green pepper, bacon, cheese, and green onion. Repeat layers.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.