What Goes With Cornbread: 5 Top Dishes To Serve With Cornbread!

Cornbread might be considered simple and dated, but for me, such food arouses the strongest emotions. My granny used to make cornbread very often, and it seems to me that I can still feel the smell of the freshly baked cornbread in my nostrils.

I have her recipe, and I too bake the same cornbread for my boys now, and when I do, I can almost feel my granny’s presence.

My emotions and memories aside, cornbread is a dish every American housewife has cooked numerous times, and each of them believes they are best at it even though there are numerous different recipes out there.

For this reason, I am not going to try and teach you to make the cornbread my way. I am sure you already have a recipe of your own, that you maybe even cherish as much as I do mine. Instead, I am going to suggest what goes with cornbread.

In this way, I might inspire you to bake it more often and preserve this great American tradition for future generations too.

Stay tuned for my choice of the top five dishes to serve with cornbread!

Also, check how long the cornbread can last!

Cornbread Defined

We modern Americans consider the cornbread to be our traditional dish, but we forget that it actually has a much longer history in our country. Corn was roasted and ground by Native Americans centuries before our ancestors set foot on this land.

To tell you the truth, first settlers were not wowed by the corn grain at all. Accustomed to wheat flour, they considered cornmeal to be almost a punishment. However, in time, they grew to accept it and even enjoy it.

We believe that cornbread is a southern specialty, but somewhere during the course of history the northern version of this dish came to be as well and equaled the original version in popularity. The northern version is sweeter, more like a dessert, while the original southern cornbread tends to be more savory and coarser.

You can choose one according to your preference, but I make both versions depending on the situation. My boys, of course, cheer for the sweeter option and eat it with milk and cream. My hubby, on the other hand, adores the savory cornbread paired with hot chili.


What Goes with Cornbread: Top 5 Dishes to Serve with Cornbread

Although, as I have already mentioned, cornbread has already been made countless times in every American home, it is not a bad idea to stay open-minded and broaden your culinary experiences by trying some new combinations.

Chili is the most obvious solution, and most families serve it with cornbread for a good reason - its hot and spicy flavor complements the sweet note of the cornbread perfectly. 

You can also substitute chili with a spicy bowl of soup, stew or beans and enjoy dipping in the cornbread chunks - this is a well-known fact. I will offer some more unusual combinations though.

I am sure some of you have tried some of the combos I am about to discuss, but some might be new to you too. Who knows, you might find some of the dishes proposed here to be the best pair for the cornbread you make. So, here we go:

1. Buttered Vegetables

  • I am always on the veggies side - they are not only delicious when cooked properly but also super healthy! For me, creamy, steamed and buttered vegetables go well with anything and cornbread is no exception! My advice is to pair the veggies with savory cornbread though.
  • The only downside to this combo is the fact that both cornbread and buttered veggies are side dishes, and you will have to cook at least one more dish in order to serve an entire meal.

2. Roast Chicken or Pork

  • Much like buttered veggies, good old-fashioned roasted meats go well with a lot of food. First of all, there is pork - it will always go great with your cornbread no matter how you choose to prepare it. You can roast it, prepare pulled pork, or even make a modern twist and cook a cornbread crusted pork loins - you are sure to enjoy the combo!
  • Chicken might not be your first choice when it comes to combining meat with cornbread, but believe me, the two taste good together! You can make roasted chicken with cornbread stuffing, cook creamy chicken in sauce or mix it all up in a casserole or a pie. For a perfectly done chicken, check out this article!

3. BBQ

  • As you probably already know - my hubby is a true BBQ enthusiast. And although most people combine cornbread with southern BBQ only, it actually goes well with any kind of BBQ in the world.
  • The smoky aroma and spicy vibe of the BBQ sauce bring things up to a whole other level as it perfectly contrasts the sweetness of the cornbread. So, whenever we make a BBQ garden party (and that is quite often), I always bake a lot of cornbread!

You May Need: The best charcoal grill and the best grill brush to clean it!

4. Ice Cream

  • My boys consider the sweet cornbread version to be a dessert, so I have decided to side with them. You know that old saying - If you can’t beat them, join them!
  • Mexicans have already made a tradition out of serving the cornbread as a dessert too. The best thing about it is that they pair it up with ice cream. They have chosen the corn ice cream, but I always have trouble finding it in our supermarkets. Therefore, I have opted for the plain vanilla ice cream - and I did not go wrong. Try it, and let me know if you agree!

Further Reading Suggestion: Choose Your Best Ice Cream Scoop!

5. Butter and Jam

  • Like any bread, cornbread makes a perfect combo with some butter and jam of your choice. Of course, the sweeter version is a better option for this combination.
  • Be careful when choosing the jam too. If you choose a jam that is too sweet, you might overwhelm your taste buds. It is better to opt for more refreshing jams such as orange, raspberry or fig jam. Low sugar jams are a good choice as well.

Related: Bread Knife

Conclusion

Cornbread is an important member of traditional American cuisine. We all make and bake it, and there are many cornbread enthusiasts out there. Most of us feel strong when it comes to the "right" type of cornbread and what to serve with it.

However, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried some new dishes in combination with cornbread, and I can tell you one thing - I have not regretted it!

I used to eat cornbread as my granny had served it so many years ago - with chilly, and savory soups and stews. My boys inspired me to turn it into dessert. My hubby made it an inevitable part of every BBQ meal.

So, you see, changing your routine can end up being a great thing! And if you have carefully read my article, you know that there are many things you can serve and eat with your freshly baked cornbread.

Maybe you have some great ideas too? Please share them; I am always curious to try new things! 🙂

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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