What to eat with cornbread! Here are the best dishes and meals that go with cornbread. It’s not just for chili anymore!
The sweet, buttery goodness of cornbread is the ultimate in comfort food.
Even those little boxes of Jiffy mix produce a darn good cornbread recipe, especially when you add melted butter, sour cream, mayo, or greek yogurt to make it extra moist.
And homemade cornbread comes together with just a few pantry staples you probably already have on hand.
But now that you’ve decided that you want it to be a part of your meal, what dishes pair well with cornbread?
I’ve put together a list of things to make with cornbread, so you can turn those soft, yellow heavenly pillows into TONS of delicious dinner combinations.
What main dish goes well with cornbread?
When it comes to deciding what to make with cornbread, start with the main dish.
Thick soups and stews might immediately come to mind, but consider all of these meal ideas too!
Main dishes to eat with cornbread
One of the most iconic and classic cornbread pairings is chili.
A thick red broth chock full of ground beef, beans, pepper, and onions, chili is just a filling and utterly satisfying meal.
It’s perfect for a regular family dinner, or a tailgate or football party, or any gathering in the fall or winter.
2. Pinto beans
As any true Southerner knows, pinto beans just cry out for a side of cornbread.
The beans simmer for hours in broth, with a ham hock and onions, until they turn into almost a soup that’s so savory and nourishing that you won’t be able to stop at one bowl.
A cast iron skillet of cornbread cut into wedges really completes the meal!
3. Fried chicken
Cornbread bread also goes really well with finger-lickin’ good fried chicken.
Whether you fry the chicken yourself, or buy it premade from a store or restaurant, it’s a popular dish for good reason.
The sweet and light buttery nature of cornbread is such a great counterpart to fried chicken’s indulgent and salty goodness.
4. Beef stew
Classic, tender beef stew is chock full of beefy flavor that basically requires some bread alongside it.
The simple, inexpensive ingredients somehow marry to create a dish worthy of royalty.
And it’s generally a one-pot meal that simmers for hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to whip up a batch of cornbread too.
5. BBQ pulled pork sandwiches
If you’ve never had cornbread muffins with your pulled pork sandwiches, I recommend that you add it to your meal asap.
Cornbread is a common side dish at barbecue restaurants, because the BBQ sauce and cornbread are just a match made in heaven.
6. Smoked sausage or kielbasa
Savory grilled smoked sausage basically requires a sweet countertop for balance, making it the perfect meat to serve with cornbread.
It’s so salty and tender, and is always an ideal vehicle for copious amounts of BBQ sauce.
7. BBQ grilled chicken
Maybe you’re starting to see the pattern, but BBQ grilled chicken is another main course to serve with cornbread.
Set out some honey mustard or BBQ sauce, cornbread, and corn on the cob, and everyone will be gobbling up their dinner.
The savory, beefy, comfort food nature of meatloaf can really play off the sweetness of cornbread as well.
Forget those plain ‘ol dinner rolls, and swap in some corn muffins instead.
9. Taco bake
A quick, weeknight dinner that everyone is sure to love is a layered taco bake.
It combines ground beef, tortillas, queso sauce, and a couple other ingredients to make a flavorful and super easy meal.
Top it with sour cream and salsa, and watch everyone go back for seconds.
You can bake your cornbread right alongside it!
10. Pork chops
There are several different ways to prepare pork chops, but these honey garlic pork chops specifically almost require a side of cornbread.
They’re tender and juicy, and a far cry from those dried out ‘other white meat’ chops your neighbor’s mom used to make.
Authentic New Orleans gumbo has a delicious dark broth filled with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and vegetables, and is commonly served over rice.
It can have a bit of spice to it which, combined with its stew-like nature, makes it the perfect accompaniment for sweet cornbread.
12. BBQ ribs
The secret to fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs is to bake them low and slow in the oven.
It’s basically a ‘set it and forget it recipe’ that will have everyone thinking you were slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon.
13. Cowboy dinner
Instead of serving cornbread on the side, cowboy dinner includes it as part of the dish.
Ground beef, corn, black beans, cheddar, salsa, and sometimes bell pepper are covered in a magnificent cornbread topping and baked all together.
You wind up with a hearty casserole that stands on its own, and will have even the ‘meat and potatoes’ guy in your life fully satisfied.
14. Pot roast
Tender pot roast is usually slow cooker in a delicious brown gravy with carrots and potatoes.
It’s warm and hearty, and while it can stand alone without a side dish, do everyone a favor and bake up some cornbread for sopping up all the savory goodness.
15. Hot dogs
Hot dogs pair surprisingly well with cornbread.
Don’t believe me? Consider the humble corn dog.
It’s basically a hot dog dipped in cornbread batter and fried.
Chili dogs especially could be an unpredictably good pairing.
Jambalaya is full of bold and zesty Cajun flavors.
You can swap out different meats, such as Andouille sausage, chicken, or shrimp, and combine your favorite protein with rice and tasty veggies like bell peppers, onions, and celery.
(And if you don’t have time to prepare it from scratch, the Zatarain’s mix from your grocery store is actually quite decent.)
We know that stews go well with cornbread, but any kind of soup can be a contender.
The best soups that go with cornbread include:
18. BBQ Beef
Shredded barbecue beef basically cooks itself in the crockpot.
It’s slathered in a tangy barbecue sauce, and is delicious on sandwiches, baked potatoes, rice, or even on top of cornbread.
19. Stuffed peppers
Stuffed peppers, especially the tex-mex version, are easy and flavorful.
They’re basically a stand alone meal that doesn’t require any sides, but no one will complain if a cornbread muffin or two winds up on their plate.
20. Chicken pot pie
The hearty mix of chicken and veggies in a creamy sauce and topped with a buttery crust that is chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food.
It comes together fast if you have leftover shredded chicken (or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store) and use frozen veggies and premade pie dough.
21. Sausage and black beans
Creole black beans and sausage is a fun twist on red beans and rice.
It’s flavorful and easy, and is often served over rice. And it’s saucy nature lends itself well to some cornbread action on the side.
22. Slow cooker chicken and gravy
If you don’t have crockpot chicken and gravy on your dinner rotation, now’s the time.
Just toss 3 ingredients in the slow cooker, and arrive at dinnertime with supper ready to go.
Serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, dinner rolls, or of course, cornbread.
23. Cornbread pizza
Yep, cornbread pizza is thing.
You can actually use cornbread mix as a pizza crust!
Bake it in a skillet, and add your favorite pizza toppings and bake again until the cheese is melty.
Side dishes to serve with cornbread
Now that you’ve decided what main dish you’ll serve, it’s time to explore some side dishes to eat with cornbread.
Garlicky sauteed collard greens or mustard greens are a Southern favorite that somehow turned healthy greens into comfort food.
They turn out meaty and silky when braised in a ‘pot liquor’ made from a ham hock and apple cider vinegar.
When paired with cornbread and fried chicken or pork chops, it’s one of those down home meals that just won’t disappoint.
25. Mashed potatoes
Simple yet soul-satisfying mashed potatoes work well with virtually any protein.
Switch it up by serving garlic mashed redskin potatoes, or go traditional with Russet potatoes.
The only question is: To gravy or not to gravy?
26. Black beans
Keep it simple but flavorful by doctoring up a can of black beans in just 5 minutes.
The addition of garlic and onion will make them taste and look like they’ve simmered all day.
27. Fried potatoes
Country fried potatoes are an especially good side dish for the Southern staple pinto beans and cornbread.
Frying onions in with the potatoes gives it so much flavor and texture.
28. Baked beans
It doesn’t get much easier than opening and heating a can of baked beans.
You can even doctor them up with bacon, brown sugar, mustard, and ketchup, so they taste homemade.
They’re always a crowd favorite, so be prepared for everyone to add a heaping spoonful to their plate.
29. Hush puppies
Southern-style hush puppies are delicious dippable fried nuggets of cornmeal batter that are soft in the center, and crispy on the outside.
Despite coming together with really simple ingredients, they’re surprisingly delicious.
30. Corn on the cob
Fresh, summer corn on the cob is something everyone looks forward to every year.
When paired with meat and cornbread, it harkens back to those dinners Grandma used to make.
31. Roasted veggies
Brussels sprouts, carrots, squash, and bell peppers take on a whole new flavor when roasted in the oven.
They get sweeter and slightly browned, and cook themselves on a sheet pan while you prepare the rest of the meal.
32. Creamed corn
Easy creamed corn is ready in under 15 minutes, and is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.
Frozen corn, butter, and a few simple seasonings become magical when combined, all while being inexpensive.
You’ll never buy a can of creamed corn again!
33. Fried apples
Southern fried apples, like they serve at Cracker Barrel, are an easy side dish or even a dessert.
They’re sweet and a little savory, and you’ll only need 4 ingredients to impress everyone with this unexpected dish.
What goes with cornbread for breakfast?
Yep, cornbread isn’t just for dinner anymore. Here’s what to eat with cornbread for breakfast.
34. Cornbread breakfast sandwich
Colby jack cheese, fried eggs, and bacon can turn cornbread into a sandwich.
35. Sausage and cornbread casserole
This delicious and customizable breakfast casserole is the perfect use-up for leftover cornbread, or just to make on its own for breakfast or brunch.
36. Blueberry cornbread muffins
Rich, buttery cornbread muffins oozing with blueberries is a great mixture of sweet and tangy on the palette.
37. Cornbread breakfast skillet
Eggs, veggies, bacon, cheese, and salsa verde gives cornbread a high-protein breakfast skillet with Southwest flair.
38. Bacon, egg, and gouda cornbread muffins
These bacon, egg, and cheese muffins are savory and slightly sweet, making them the perfect grab and go breakfast, and a great way to switch up traditional corn muffins into a breakfast food.
39. Cornbread french toast
Have leftover cornbread? Turn it into french toast the next day!
Slices of cornbread get dipped in eggs, milk, and cinnamon, then griddles, and topped with fruit, or your favorite french toast toppings.
Cornbread toppings and add-ins
When serving cornbread, be sure to set out some toppings too!
The best cornbread toppings are:
- Honey butter (store bought or homemade)
- Maple syrup
Flavorful add-ins for cornbread:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Bacon bits
Uses for leftover cornbread
If for some odd reason you wind up with leftover cornbread, consider using it up in a new way.
Here are the best uses for leftover cornbread:
Ready to serve these meals with cornbread?
I hope this list of what to eat with cornbread has given you lots of inspiration for what to serve with those golden, delicious squares of goodness.
As you can see, cornbread is infinitely versatile to so many different flavor profiles.
Pick up a few extra boxes of Jiffy mix for your pantry, and try out some of these great ideas!
1. Decide which main dish you'd like to serve with cornbread, then choose 1-3 other sides
2. Gather the ingredients to make dinner
3. Serve a fabulous meal that everyone will love
1. Decide which main dish you'd like to serve with cornbread, then choose 1-3 other sides