33 Creative Ways to Use that Bag of Cornmeal in Your Cupboard
When you think of cornmeal, you likely think of cornbread. The correlation is justified, especially for Southerners. Here, cornbread recipes are a practically part of the family inheritance and perfecting Grandma's seasoned variation is a right of passage. But just because the bag of cornmeal in your cupboard was purchased with cornbread in mind doesn't mean you can't get a bit more creative.
Cornmeal is the ingredient that gives cornbread its distinctive grit and slightly-sweet flavor, and that texture and taste translates to cakes, pies, fried foods, and more. Whether you're baking, frying, or cooking, be sure you read your ingredient list closely. Cornmeal can be yellow or white, fine or coarse-ground, and you'll want to be sure you have the right bag on hand. Naturally gluten-free, it can also be a helpful way to meet dietary needs of all your guests come holiday season. To help you get started, we've rounded up a few of our favorite ways to get creative with cornmeal. From desserts to dinners to breakfasts, and of course some staple cornbreads, you just might have to run to the store to buy a second bag.
Cornbread with Lemon-Thyme Butter
Lemon-Thyme Butter is the bright, citrusy finish your cornbread has been missing.
Thyme-Cornmeal Pound Cake
Recipe: Thyme-Cornmeal Pound Cake
This beautifully glazed loaf cake gets a bit of natural nutty flavor thanks to the inclusion of finely ground cornmeal to the batter.
Cornmeal Crêpes With Blackberries and Buttermilk Cream
Treat brunch guests to these tender cornmeal crêpes that look (and taste) like they just came from the local bakery.
Apple-and-Pear Cornmeal Galette
Recipe: Apple-and-Pear Cornmeal Galette
Keep the gorgeous center of this apple-and-pear dessert exposed for a simpler approach to autumn flavor.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes
Coated with cornmeal and fried to perfection, there's no better way to serve green tomatoes.
Ginger-Fig Tart With Cornmeal Crust
The cookie-like crust on this fig tart holds it all together with a touch of nutty flavor and texture from cornmeal.
Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread
Recipe: Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread
When we call something perfect, we mean it, and that's saying a lot when it comes to cornbread.
Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal
Recipe: Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal
Cornmeal and cayenne pepper are staples in this signature Southern side.
Recipe: Cornmeal Waffles
Add a Southern spin to your breakfast table. Don't have a waffle iron? Use the batter to create cornmeal pancakes on the griddle instead.
Recipe: Blueberry-Cornmeal Cake
Medium-grind cornmeal and blueberries unite to create a texture-filled, fruity dessert.
Homemade Crescent Rolls with Cornmeal
Skip the store-bought dough can and upgrade your dinner bread. Be sure to create a porridge with the cornmeal as you bake. This helps add moisture to the dough and keeps you from creating a sticky mess.
Chicken and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings
Yellow cornmeal and fresh herbs give these dumplings extra flavor and texture. Pair with a rotisserie chicken, and this dish is ready in less than 45 minutes.
Southwest Cornmeal Candied Bacon
Recipe: Southwest Cornmeal Candied Bacon
Cover your bacon in cornmeal, light brown sugar, ground red pepper, and ground cumin for a candied delight you'll want to put on everything.
Cornmeal Angel Biscuits
Recipe: Cornmeal Angel Biscuits
Yellow cornmeal adds color, flavor, and texture to these anytime biscuits.
Rosemary-Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake
Recipe: Rosemary-Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake
Incorporating both olive oil and cornmeal, this Bundt has a bit of a savory taste while still packing a sweet enough punch for any occasion.
Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes
Recipe: Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes
A touch of crunchy cornmeal sets this bright cookie apart from the rest.
Any-Berry Muffins with Cornmeal Streusel
Bake a batch of these cornmeal muffins with any combination of berries you have around for a treat that's just sweet enough to curb a craving.
Recipe: Hush Puppies
Made from a six-ingredient batter, these two-bite nuggets are fully submerged for an irritable, deep fry.
Sausage Gravy Casserole with Cheddar-Cornmeal Biscuits
While we particularly enjoy these biscuits as a casserole crust, they go great with everything from slices of country ham to your go-to fall soups.
Recipe: Cornmeal Popovers
Preheat your oven with the muffin pan inside to achieve the perfect popover temperature before spooning in the batter.
Simple Salmon Croquettes
Recipe: Simple Salmon Croquettes
While this speedy recipe takes less than 20 minutes, we recommend mixing up your salmon batter a few hours before you get cooking. This will help your batter firm up before you shape the cakes.
Johnnycakes with Leeks and Collard Greens
Traditional Johnnycakes are the simplest form of cornbread, and with a recipe this straightforward, it's important to make sure you use either white or yellow cornmeal, not a cornmeal mix. A mix may contain other ingredients.
Fried Pickle Chips
Recipe: Fried Pickle Chips
Toss your favorite kind of dill pickles into a mixture of ground cornmeal and flour, and then let your cast iron skillet fry them to perfection.
Blue Cornmeal–Crusted Chicken With Mint-Jalapeño Drizzle
We're willing to bet you won't return to a normal fried chicken recipe after trying this scrumptious rendition.
Classic Cornbread Dressing
Recipe: Classic Cornbread Dressing
This holiday staple starts with a Southern cornbread baked in a skillet for a crisp, golden crust.
Lemon-Olive Oil Cake with Whipped Mascarpone
It's nothing fancy, but this tender cake is bright and flavorful as is. Each slice will remind you of a pound cake with a bit more texture and toasty flavor from the cornmeal.
Brown Butter Cornbread
Recipe: Brown Butter Cornbread
Brown butter brings out a slightly nutty hint while just a touch of sugar caramelize this cornbread's crispy the edges.
Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up
Recipe: Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up
This comforting casserole combines ground beef, cornmeal, tomato sauce, corn, and cheese for a hearty main the whole family will love.
Pinewood Fried Chicken
Recipe: Fish Fry
This crowd-pleasing fried catfish has the perfect ratio of savory and spicy,
Cracked-Corn Spoon Bread
Recipe: Cracked-Corn Spoon Bread
A nice change of pace from your everyday dinner roll, this spoon bread uses coarse-ground yellow grits or cornmeal to add a rich corn flavor and a bit of texture to your dinner table.
Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust
A cornmeal crust seals in all the flavor of the meat and vegetable mixture in this one-dish dinner.