Mouth-Watering Cornbread Salad | The Ultimate Comfort Food

Have you ever had a dish that just screams “Southern comfort”? Well, look no further for the ultimate recipe that will fill your belly and soul with warm, sumptuous flavors! I’m talking about the Southern Cornbread Salad.

This dish can be served as a side or even as a main course. It’s unique, it’s tasty, and it exemplifies the tradition of Southern cooking. In this article, I will take you through the steps to prepare this delicious salad and offer some tips to make your experience with it even better.

If you’re familiar with Southern cuisine, then you know that cornbread is a staple in many households. This recipe takes things up a notch by combining cornbread with savory vegetables and ranch dressing. It’s like having your salad and cornbread in one dish; what could be better than that?

With fresh ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and green onions mixed with crispy bacon and creamy ranch dressing, this salad is not only healthy but packed full of flavor. So if you’re ready to take a trip down South right from your own kitchen, keep reading for the step-by-step process on how to make this sensational Southern Cornbread Salad!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Cornbread Salad
Southern Cornbread Salad

Why Southerners love their cornbread is no secret. Its buttery, crispy perfection can make any meal extra special. But have you ever considered using cornbread as the star ingredient in a salad? Enter Southern Cornbread Salad – a dish that will make your taste buds sing and your heart happy.

This recipe is the epitome of southern comfort and hospitality. Picture this: layered cornbread, creamy ranch dressing, savory pinto beans, and tangy tomatoes all mixed together with crispy bacon and cheddar cheese. The result is a mouthwatering medley of flavors that will transport you to the deep south, even if you’ve never been!

Not only is this salad unique and delicious, but it’s also versatile and easy to customize. Don’t want to use canned beans? No problem – cook up some fresh ones instead! Want to add more veggies? Go ahead and toss in some diced green bell peppers, carrots, or celery.

The best part of this recipe? You can use leftover cornbread! Dig into your freezer or pantry and grab that pan of old-fashioned homemade cornbread or Jiffy mix muffins. They’re perfect for crumbling into the salad mixture!

So why will you love this recipe? Because it’s an unexpected twist on a classic southern staple. It’s hearty enough to be a main dish or served as a side dish, making it perfect for any occasion. Plus, it’s a crowd-pleaser – even those who claim not to like cornbread will become believers after one bite of this scrumptious salad.

Don’t believe me? Give it a try for yourself – I promise you won’t regret it.

Ingredient List

 A colorful masterpiece of Southern flavors
A colorful masterpiece of Southern flavors

Let’s start with the ingredients. Southern cornbread salad recipe includes the following ingredients:


  • 1 pan cornbread crumbled (can use homemade or store-bought cornbread mix)
  • 1 cup cooked cornmeal or cornbread muffin mix

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper minced
  • 2 large fresh Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices crispy cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Salad Dressing

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 package Ranch dressing mix (0.4 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube or substitute with a vegetable bouillon cube
  • a pinch of celery seeds

This ingredient list is needed to make an authentic southern cornbread salad that could be layered in a trifle bowl to create a spectacular presentation for your next potluck party or family gathering.

The Recipe How-To

 Dig into layers of goodness with every bite
Dig into layers of goodness with every bite

Now, it’s time to get cooking! This recipe for Southern Cornbread Salad is a layered dish that combines different flavors and textures in a truly unique way. Follow these step-by-step instructions to wow your family and friends with this delicious Southern treat.


To make this salad, you will need:
1 pan of crumbled Southern cornbread
1 can of pinto beans, drained
4 cups of diced fresh vegetables (we recommend using a mix of diced green bell pepper, diced tomatoes, diced carrots, and sliced green onions)
1/2 cup of crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Prep the Cornbread

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare your cornbread mix or use leftover cornbread.
  • Crumble the cooled cornbread in 1 inch pieces.

Layer Your Salad

The fun part! You can layer the salad any way you’d like but here’s our suggested method:

  1. Spread half of the cornbread crumbs in a bowl or trifle dish as the base layer.
  2. Add half of the pinto beans, making sure they are spread evenly on top of the cornbread layer.
  3. Add layers of diced vegetables in any order you want, then sprinkle some cheese on top.
  4. Layer crispy bacon over the cheese.
  5. Add remaining half of the cornbread crumbs on top of the bacon layer.
  6. Next comes another layer with the remaining half of pinto beans.
  7. Add another layer with the remaining diced vegetables on top of the pinto beans, then sprinkle more cheddar cheese over them.
  8. Pour dressing mixture over the layers. (recipe provided in ingredient list)
  9. Cover the dish and refrigerate it for at least an hour to let all the flavors meld together.

Salad Dressing

Mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups of mayonnaise
  • 1 package (1.0 ounce) of ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon of celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

Enjoy Your Southern Cornbread Salad!

This salad is sure to be a hit. It can be served as a side dish or as a main course, depending on your preference. The combination of flavors and textures makes it perfect for any occasion, from potlucks to holiday meals to backyard barbecues. Make sure you refrigerate any leftovers for later enjoyment!

Substitutions and Variations

 This salad is anything but boring
This salad is anything but boring

Are you looking to change things up a bit or adjust the recipe to better suit your individual tastes? There are a few substitutions and variations that can be made without compromising the delicious flavors of this Southern Cornbread Salad Recipe.

Firstly, for those who would like to incorporate more protein into their meal, bacon can be replaced with cooked and shredded chicken or turkey breast. This substitution adds more depth to the dish while keeping the signature Southern flavor.

For those who may not have green bell pepper on hand, it can be substituted with red or yellow bell pepper for a sweeter taste. Alternatively, diced carrot can be used for a subtle crunch and sweetness.

If you prefer a spicier kick to your salad, consider adding a diced jalapeño pepper or other spicy chili pepper. De-seed and chop it finely before adding it to the mixture. For those sensitive to heat, leave it out entirely.

For individuals who want to make the salad slightly sweeter or tangier, honey and cider vinegar can be added in small amounts respectively until reaching the desired level of sweetness or tanginess. Mix in small portions and taste after each addition.

Finally, if you want to mix up the presentation of this already vibrant salad, serve it in single-serving Mason jars for an aesthetically pleasing touch. Layer the ingredients from bottom to top and seal well before refrigerating.

Remember that these are just suggestions and are completely optional. Don’t forget to experiment with flavors and find what works best for your palate!

Serving and Pairing

 Vibrant colors and bold flavors make this dish a showstopper
Vibrant colors and bold flavors make this dish a showstopper

Southern Cornbread Salad Recipe is a delicious, hearty, and satisfying side dish that’s perfect for potlucks, barbecues or game-day parties. It pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats like ribs, steaks or barbecue chicken.

But it doesn’t stop there. This salad is versatile enough to be served with a wide range of dishes. The creaminess of the dressing and the texture of the cornbread make it an excellent companion to spicy, tangy or savory foods.

The crispy bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and creamy dressing can stand up to bold flavors and work exceptionally well with spiced dishes like Southern fried chicken, creole gumbo or cajun jambalaya. Pair this salad with a bowl of chili on a crisp fall evening and you’ll be in Southern food heaven.

For lighter fare, you can serve this salad alongside grilled shrimp skewers or roasted vegetables. Its light and flavorful taste will complement any dish and balance the flavors perfectly.

And don’t let traditional thinking limit your use of this southern cornbread salad! You can also transform it into an entree by adding cooked chicken breast strips, pinto beans or farm-fresh veggies for that extra pop of flavor. The possibilities are endless!

Overall, Southern Cornbread Salad Recipe is one of those rare side dishes that can pair well with almost anything. So be creative and pair it with your favorite dish today!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready to impress your guests with this stunning salad
Get ready to impress your guests with this stunning salad

Southern cornbread salad may be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time as long as it is stored in the fridge properly. This allows the flavors to fully meld together, enhancing the overall taste and texture of the dish.

To store leftovers, place them into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to two days. When reheating, use the microwave on low power, or heat on low temperature on the stovetop until warm. Do not overheat or cook too quickly, as this can cause the salad to become mushy and lose its crunch.

If you need to prep this dish ahead of time, you can make parts of it separately and combine them just before serving. Cooked cornbread, crumbled into bite-sized pieces, can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to three days. The salad ingredients, such as the beans and vegetables can be prepared and refrigerated separately for up to 24 hours in advance.

By properly storing your leftovers and prepping ahead of time, you can enjoy Southern cornbread salad any day of the week without sacrificing its flavor or texture!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This salad is a true tribute to classic Southern cuisine
This salad is a true tribute to classic Southern cuisine

When it comes to making a dish as iconic and beloved as Southern cornbread salad, you want to make sure you get it right. Here are my top tips for achieving flawless results every time:

First things first, let’s talk about the cornbread. I highly recommend making your own cornbread from scratch using a good quality cornmeal. A great option is the jiffy cornbread mix that accounts for both taste and texture.

When mixing the salad ingredients, take care not to overdo it with the dressing. A good rule of thumb is to mix in the dressing a little bit at a time until you’ve reached your desired level of moisture.

For optimal flavor, let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows all of the flavors to meld together and gives the cornbread time to absorb some of the dressing.

If you’re looking to add some extra crunch to your salad, try topping it with some crumbled bacon or crispy fried onions. The added texture will give your dish an extra dimension that will have your guests coming back for seconds.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative with your substitutions and variations. Try switching up the beans, adding in some diced carrot or green bell pepper, or experimenting with different types of cheese.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Southern cornbread salad that would make Paula Deen herself proud. Enjoy!


As we reach the end of this recipe article, it’s important to address any potential questions or concerns that may arise when preparing this delicious Southern Cornbread Salad. Below are some frequently asked questions and helpful tips to ensure your salad turns out perfectly every time.

What makes Southern cornbread different?

When it comes to cornbread, the Southern style stands out due to its unique qualities. It is famous for its slightly sweeter taste than Northern cornbread, thanks to the added sugar. Southerners also tend to use both white and yellow cornmeal, resulting in a pale yellow appearance. Unlike Northern cornbread, the Southern version calls for more eggs and an extra amount of butter, resulting in a moist and cake-like texture.

Why do Southerners not put sugar in cornbread?

In the South, cornbread is a beloved staple that is delightfully savoury and never sweetened with sugar or made with wheat flour. Traditional recipes call for white, coarsely ground cornmeal, which gives the cornbread its signature texture and flavour. Even though there are sweet cornmeal puddings and cornbread variants, a true Southern cook knows better than to risk ruining the cornbread’s taste by adding sugar. This has been a time-honoured tradition that dates back to at least 1937, as reported by the Times.

Why do Southerners eat cornbread?

Cornbread has been a long-standing staple in Southern cuisine due to the abundance of corn crops in the region. Wheat and rye were not suitable for Southern climates as they would spoil quickly in the hot and humid weather. While biscuits have gained popularity in recent times, in earlier centuries, cornbread was commonly consumed as the regular daily bread in the South.

What is Southern cornbread made of?

A delicious and traditional Southern cornbread recipe awaits you! This golden bread is perfect alongside your favorite hearty dishes such as chili or ribs, and it’s made with pure cornmeal, tangy buttermilk, and no added sugar – just like how it should be done. The best part? It’s simple to whip up in a cast iron skillet, making for an excellent dinner companion.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern cornbread salad recipe is hands down one of the most flavorful and satisfying dishes that you will ever prepare. It is easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available at your local grocery store. The layers of crumbled cornbread, savory bacon, tart tomatoes, and creamy mayonnaise create a taste bud sensation that is simply irresistible.

Why settle for boring side dishes when you can make something as delicious as Southern cornbread salad? Trust me; your dinner guests will be blown away! So next time you’re looking for a unique side dish, give this recipe a go. I guarantee that everyone will love it, and you’ll be hailed as the queen or king of southern cuisine. So put on your apron and get ready to impress with this amazing cornbread salad recipe!

Southern Cornbread Salad

Southern Cornbread Salad Recipe

This recipe couldn't be more southern if you tried. My grandmother used to make it when I was little. It appears at potlucks and church suppers all through the south. This is my adapatation. You can use leftover cornbread if you have it. You can make the salad ahead of time and just pour the dressing over directly before serving.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer/Salad
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 2 pounds
Calories 396.4 kcal


  • 1 lb cornbread
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet relish
  • 9 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup grated carrot


  • Crumble cornbread into a bowl.
  • add tomatoes, bacon, relish, green pepper, onion, carrot.
  • in a separate bowl, mix mayo, honey, celery seed, sugar, vinegar and bullion.
  • pour dressing over salad directly before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 172gCalories: 396.4kcalCarbohydrates: 53.7gProtein: 6.2gFat: 18.5gSaturated Fat: 3.7gCholesterol: 36.5mgSodium: 802.1mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 20.3g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Meat, Peppers, Pork, Potluck, Vegetable
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