For me, cornbread is more than just a Southern food staple— it is a dish that causes me to walk down memory lane. This recipe is incredibly nostalgic for me because my mother loves to prepare this for us all the time.
Even though we are not from the South, cornbread has been a mainstay in our dining table. In fact, you can find cornbread in our menus for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and birthdays. It is with us in every family gathering and celebration.
Now that I have a family of my own, I want to continue this tradition. I want my kids to love cornbread the same way I love it. I also wish to make it a big part of their childhood, so the aroma of cornbread can evoke the same memories in us.
However, the trickiest part of introducing cornbread to my daughter is to find the right pairings for them. Because of this, I have experimented far and wide to determine what goes with cornbread. After lots of research and trials and errors, I was able to come up with fantastic cornbread pairings that my family loves!
What Goes with Cornbread?
The dishes that I have included in this list were some of my family’s favorite, and I am so excited to share them with you. Without further ado, from our dining table to yours, here they are:
This may not be the first pairing that would come to mind, but you will be surprised as to how well this pairing works! This is because the acidity and spiciness of chili complement the sweetness of cornbread pretty well.
In fact, this pairing has become so popular that some people even whipped up a new recipe out of it—a chili-cornbread casserole recipe. I tried this once, and my family dearly loved it to the point that they requested me to make it again the following week.
So how do you create this recipe? Prepare the chili by cooking onions and ground beef in a large skillet. Once the meat turns brown, add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic and cook it for 30 seconds more. After that, add the corn and crushed tomatoes and let it simmer for about 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat then stir in the black beans and add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the chili is ready, pour it into a baking dish and tap it with your very own cornbread batter recipe. Bake it for around 35 minutes.
People in the South pair their cornbread with Southern BBQ. Since cornbread is their recipe, I figured we should take their lead when it comes to pairings, right?
You can use a commercially available bottle of Southern barbecue sauce for this recipe, but I will share a homemade recipe with you. To prepare this, place the water, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, ketchup, granulated garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper in a small pot. Heat the mixture until it boils. Transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle and use it the next day.
Once your barbecue sauce is ready, place the pork loin roast in a slow cooker with a cup of water. Cover the cooker and put it on the highest possible setting. Cook the roast for about 7 hours.
After that, use the fork to shred the roast. Add in the barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring it back to the slow cooker and cook it for one more hour.
Whenever I go on a diet, I try to avoid meat as much as possible, so it means that the barbecue is totally out of the question. During those times, I would resort to veggies as my main dishes and guess what, it works just as fantastic too! The only difference is that vegetables would go better with a savory cornbread recipe.
For this purpose, a vegetable stew is my go-to option. It is as comforting as chili but not as fattening or sinful. To prepare this, place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil into it. Afterward, add the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, peppers, and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook everything for around 15 minutes. Add in tomato paste then cook for 1 minute.
In a separate pot, add water and bring it to a boil. Add the tomatoes and allow it to boil for 15 seconds. Remove from boiling water then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Remove its skin and chop them. Add them to the other pot along with the zucchini and eggplant slices. Cook these for 20 minutes. Add in the beans and corn and cook for a few more minutes. Add in the feta cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with the cornbread on the side.
Did you know that cornbread is versatile enough to be considered as a dessert? In fact, my daughter loves pairing it with ice cream! It goes pretty well with corn ice cream (it is cornbread after all!).
However, you may encounter some problems finding this ice cream flavor in the grocery stores. If you do find one, then good for you. But if not, the next best option that you have is a plain vanilla ice cream.
If that’s too bland for you, you can drizzle either chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup over the scoop of ice cream before serving it. In fact, you can even top it with sprinkles or chocolates of your choice.
Butter and Jam
The truth is, cornbread is already a complete dish all by itself, so you do not have to invest too much time whipping up the main dish for it at all times.
If you want to have cornbread only for snacks, then you can pair it with something simple—like a slice of butter and jam. However, you should be careful in choosing your jam. It must not be too sweet. In fact, refreshing jams, like orange fig or raspberry jams, would do. If you don’t like jams, honey would be good too.
Same with the ice cream pairing, sweet cornbread is the perfect choice for this pairing.
Cornbread may be one of the simplest and most straightforward recipes you can ever make. However, it can also be the most versatile. Based on my experience, there are lots of answers on what goes with cornbread and the dishes that I have shared with you in this article are just some of the best pairings that we have ever tasted.
I hope that this simple article of mine has helped you to discover new and exciting ways to serve cornbread in your dining table! If you have more creative pairings, please do share it with us!