Have you ever wondered what to add to cornbread for extra spunk and yumminess? We're excited to share with you an inspiring list of mouth-watering "cornbread add-ins" or "mix-ins", as they're sometimes called. Some combos are savory, some are sweet, and some are kiddo favorites! Let's get creative!
To many of us, good, old fashioned cornbread, plain and delicious, simply can't be beat! We love it just the way it is. However, when creative minds, adventuresome taste buds, or special occasions suggest it, it's fun to try new combos or revisit old favorites!
Here are some flavorful combos of tasty things to add to cornbread! Simply fold them into your cornbread batter before baking.
This list of suggestions of what to add to cornbread is also intended to be a springboard for your own creativity! Try them out as suggested if you like, or substitute other ingredients that you'd prefer. One great thing about baking is that if it turns out great, it's a winner! And if it doesn't, then you know for next time, which is still a win!
When considering what to add to cornbread, please remember that the measurements given here are simply suggestions. Different recipes yield different amounts of cornbread, so please take into consideration the amount of cornbread that you're making when adding ingredients and use your better judgement. Your goal is to balance the amounts of "add-ins" and the flavors with the size of recipe that you're making, so be careful not to overdo, or underwhelm, with these things to add to cornbread.
Also be aware of adding too many ingredients. In many cases, adding more three or four may ruin your cornbread's texture. That being said, herbs and spices are another story. Feel free to add as much as you like, without overwhelming the flavor you're trying to achieve. Remember, too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
With added ingredients, you may need to extend the baking time 5 to 10 minutes longer than plain cornbread. You don't want it overdone or underdone. How to know if cornbread is done? You can test by inserting a knife into the center. If it comes out with batter on the knife, bake it for a few more minutes. If it comes out clean with slight streaks of moisture (not wet, yellow batter), your cornbread is done. Also, you can insert a thermometer probe into the center of the cornbread, it should read 195°F to 200°F. Allow your cornbread to sit about 15 minutes after removing it from the oven to finish it's baking and cooling process.
• Green Chile and Cheddar Cheese: 1 - 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles, 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese.
• Sausage and Herbs Cornbread: 3/4 cup of crumbled cooked breakfast sausage, 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning.
• Tomato, Oregano, and Parmesan Cornbread: 3/4 cup of fresh, finely diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of fresh minced fresh basil - or 2 teaspoons dry, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
• Green Olive, Feta, and Rosemary Cornbread: 1/2 cup of diced green olives, 1/2 cup of crumbled Feta cheese,1 teaspoon of rosemary leaves, rubbed or cut small (more if you'd like).
• Parmesan Cheese and Herbs: 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, 1 tablespoon of your favorite fresh herb or 2 teaspoons dry.
• Simply Avocado Cornbread: 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced.
• Cheddar Pimento Cornbread: 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 4-ounce of jar diced pimento peppers, drained.
• Bacon (or Cracklings) and Cheddar Cheese: 1 cup of crispy bacon broken in small pieces (or cracklings), 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.
• Maple and Bacon Cornbread: 3/4 cup of crispy bacon broken in small pieces, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. Then, after the cornbread is baked, smother it in more maple syrup if you'd like!
• Cheddar, Bacon, and Scallion Cornbread: 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 6 pieces of crispy bacon broken into 1/2 inch pieces, 1/2 cup finely sliced scallions.
• Loaded Mexican Cornbread: 1 cup of frozen (thawed), canned, or fresh sweet corn kernels, 1/2 cup of finely diced sweet bell peppers (red, green, or mixed), 1/2 cup of diced black olives, 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
• Tomato, Olive, and Sunflower Cornbread: 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces, 1/2 cup of diced green olives (or black, if you prefer), 1/2 cup of hulled, roasted, salted sunflower seeds.
• Corn and Chipotle Cornbread: 1 cup of fresh, canned or frozen (thawed) corn kernels, 2 tablespoons of minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
• Chicken, Cheese, & Chives Cornbread: 3/4 cups of chopped, shredded *chicken, 1 cup of grated *cheese, 1 tablespoon of finely cut chives.
• MexiCali Cornbread: 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of fresh, canned, or frozen (thawed) corn kernels, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onion, 1 clove of garlic, finely minced or dried minced garlic.
• Chicken, Cheese, Broccoli Cornbread: 3/4 cups of chopped, shredded *chicken, 1 cup of grated *cheese, 1 cup of finely chopped broccoli florets cooked - using cooked frozen broccoli works well.
• Shrimpy Cornbread: 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cooked shrimps (preferably chopped), 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs.
• Rosemary Black Olive Cornbread: 1 tablespoon of Rosemary, cut into small pieces, 1/2 cup of black olives (or green, your choice) cut up.
• Crabby Cheese Cornbread: 4 ounces of crab meat (about 3/4 cup), drained and flaked, 1 cup of *cheese, shredded.
• Garden Cornbread: 3/4 cup of each: finely grated carrot, finely grated zucchini, and roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (chop into smaller pieces if desired).
• Herbs and Cheddar Cornbread: 1 tablespoon of your favorite herbs (rosemary, thyme, dill, sage...) alone or mixed, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.
• Cheesy Garlic Cornbread: 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, 2 cloves of minced garlic or 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic.
• Taco Cornbread: 1 cup of cooked, crumbled ground beef or turkey, cooked with taco seasoning, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup of fresh tomatoes, diced and seeded, 1/2 cup of black olives, diced.
• Cranberries Orange Cornbread: 1 cup roughly chopped fresh or dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon of zest from 1 orange or 1 tablespoon of dry orange zest.
• Pineapple Macadamia Cornbread: 1/2 cup of crushed or finely chopped fresh pineapple, 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, roughly chopped.
• Apple Cheddar cornbread: 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and diced, then sauté in 1 tablespoon of butter until just tender (about 3 minutes). 1 cup of cheddar cheese grated. Fold together into the batter.
• Red, White, and Blueberry (Patriot Cornbread): 1 cup of each: raspberries and blueberries. Serve with fresh berries, and topped with a swirl of whipped cream.
• Apricot, Cranberry and Pecan Cornbread: 1/2 cup of diced dried apricots, 1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of chopped toasted pecans.
• Pear and Cranberry Cornbread: 1 cup of diced canned or fresh, ripe pears, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh or dried cranberries.
• Blueberry Lemon Cornbread: 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, the zest of 1 lemon or 1 tablespoon of dried lemon zest.
• Choco-Chips, Banana and Walnuts Cornbread: 1 small cubed or diced banana, 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of walnut bits.
• Apple and Sage Cornbread: 1 apple, peeled and grated, 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped sage.
• Apricot, Prune and Pecan Cornbread: 3/4 cup of each: dried apricots and prunes cut into smaller pieces, 1/2 cup of pecans cut in pieces.
• Kiwi, Strawberry and Cashew Cornbread: 3/4 cup of each: diced kiwis and strawberries (you can use frozen), 1/2 cup of cashew nuts cut into smaller pieces.
• Peach and Almond Cornbread: 1 1/2 cup of diced peaches, fresh, canned, or frozen, 1/2 cup of blanched, thinly sliced almonds, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, (1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, optional).
• Mixed Berries Cornbread: 1 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries (thawed).
• Tropical Fruit Cornbread: 1 1/2 cup of tropical frozen fruit mix thawed and diced.
• Pumpkin and Spice Cornbread: 1/2 cups of pumpkin (or butternut squash) puree, 1 egg beaten, 1.5 teaspoons of pumpkin spices.
• Strawberry Rhubarb Cornbread: 1 cup of chopped fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 cup of chopped rhubarb, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or another natural sweetener.
• Maple and Walnuts: replace the sugar in the recipe above with 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, and add 1 cup roughly chopped roasted walnuts.
• S'mores Cornbread: 1 cup of chocolate chips, 1 cup of miniature marshmallows.
• Peachy Keen Cornbread: 1 1/2 cup of diced peaches, fresh, canned, or frozen, 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
• Very Berry Cornbread: 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, cut strawberries, raspberries or mixed berries, the zest of 1 lemon.
• Cheeseburger Cornbread: 1 1/2 cups of cooked, crumbled ground beef or turkey, 1 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of dill pickle relish, 2 tablespoons of ketchup (try this yummy homemade ketchup recipe!), 1 tablespoon yellow mustard.
• Pizza Cornbread: 1 1/2 cups of grated Mozzarella cheese, 1 cup pepperoni, roughly chopped, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of basil. (Optional: 1/2 cup of diced onion, 1/2 cup diced green or red bell pepper).
• Chickey Cheese Cornbread: 1 1/2 cup of *chicken, 1 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese.
• Taco Cornbread: 1 1/2 cups of cooked, crumbled ground beef or turkey cooked with taco seasoning, 1 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of mild salsa, 1/2 cup of black olives (optional).
• Cowboy Cornbread: 1 1/2 cups of cooked, crumbled ground beef or turkey, 1 cup of cooked corn kernels, 1 cup of beans: black, navy, or pinto, 1/2 cup of finely diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of ketchup.
* Notes regarding Chicken, Cheeses, Nuts, and Seeds:
Regarding chicken in the above add-ins: you can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, boiled and pulled chicken, or canned chicken.
Regarding cheeses: be creative! Here are some options to consider which can be grated or crumbled into your cornbread recipe:
Regarding nuts and seeds: there are many types of nuts you use besides those suggested. Whether roasted, salted, or raw, they add protein and richness in flavor and texture to your creative cornbread recipe.
Nuts should be roughly chopped or cut into smaller pieces. We'd suggest that you aim for nuts that are not too hard. Please make sure that they're fresh and not rancid.
Almonds: Almonds are mild flavored. They can be blanched, sliced, slivered, chopped, or ground.
English Walnuts: Walnuts are mild in flavor. Use them toasted, roasted, salted, chopped, whole, or broken into pieces.
Hazelnuts (a.k.a. Filberts): These nuts are small and round, mild with a hint of sweetness that's enhanced by toasting/roasting. They can be used blanched, toasted, chopped, ground or whole.
What's best way to store cornbread, and how long does cornbread last? The best way to store cornbread is in a covered container to preserve freshness and moisture as much as possible. Since you've added other ingredients, it's best to refrigerate your embellished cornbread. It should be good for 4 to 6 days in the fridge.
To keep it longer, cornbread freezes well. When properly sealed in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container, your frozen cornbread can easily last for 3 months.
As you can see, this old fashioned batter bread is remarkably versatile! For those of you who were wondering, now you have lots of ideas for what to add to cornbread! Whether you choose to add sweetness or you opt for savory flavors, it's sure to widen the horizons of enjoyment for this historic comfort food.
Cornbread contains a variety of essential nutrients that makes it a healthy side dish when consumed in moderation. Many of these ingredients will add to the nutritional goodness.
We hope that you've been inspired by these suggestions for what to add to cornbread. Be creative, have fun, and enjoy the results!