Cornbread Croutons

Southern up your salads with cornbread croutons.

Southern Cobb Salad with Cornbread Croutons
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
5 mins
Bake Time:
15 mins
Cool Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
2 cups

It's safe to say that cornbread is a mainstay on our dinner tables in the South. Whether we're celebrating a holiday or cooking a simple, hearty chili, cornbread is the humble companion that elevates so many of our favorite dishes. Over the years, we've discovered quite a few ways with cornbread; you'll find cornbread dressing on just about every Southern Thanksgiving table, and we've even turned it into a casserole.

Southerners always over-prepare, especially when we're cooking for friends and family, which often means we're left with plenty of extra food. But what to do with those leftovers? Luckily, we've devised a fantastic technique that brings new life to this classic Southern quick bread: Cornbread Croutons.

In this recipe, we toss cubes of cornbread with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toast them in the oven until they achieve a lovely shade of golden-brown. The result is perfectly crisp cornbread nuggets, ideal for topping a salad (or really any dish that could use a bit of extra starch). We also love these cornbread croutons served atop chili or some of our other favorite soups. Since cornbread tends to be crumbly, handle it carefully when making the croutons.

Don't have any leftover cornbread on hand? No problem. Feel free to go with a pre-made cornbread from the grocery store or whip up a quick mix. Of course, we're always partial to homemade cornbread—if you don't already have an heirloom family recipe, give Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread a try—but in this application (where the cornbread is cubed and toasted) it doesn't make a significant difference.


  • 2 cups cubed (about 1-inch pieces) day-old cornbread

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cornbread cubes, pepper, olive oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Gently toss to coat, being careful to keep cubes intact. Arrange 1 inch apart on a small baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes, turning cubes once halfway through cook time. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

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