There is something about cornbread that just gets my taste buds excited. This sweet, rich, corny bread evokes images of hearty dinners and lush outdoor picnics. While cornbread is already a treat to eat on its own, I prefer to munch these beautiful baked goodies with other dishes.
Cornbread is one of those culinary creations that pair well with almost anything. I, for one, have lost count of how many cornbread pairings I have done through the years. Some dishes that include cornbread are well known and pretty common pairings, while others might just surprise you a bit.
A few months ago, a friend of mine called me, seeking my help regarding this very topic. She needed some awesome cornbread pairings for a second date with a guy she really liked (Apparently, cornbread was a main topic of their first date). So I helped her out a bit by giving her the best cornbread pairings out there. I have now decided to post this list below for those who might be interested in finding out more.
My friend already does a wicked chicken pot pie, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to tell her to pair her recipe with some fantastic cornbread sides. Munching a beautiful bowl of creamy, hearty, warm chicken pot pie with some sweet cornbread makes for a good Sunday evening.
This delicious combination is a quick and easy way to feed a big group of friends while still impressing them. I just cook a big tray of chicken pot pie and look for a cast iron cornbread recipe if I have a large group of people coming over and I do not have much time.
- Pro Tip: Try pairing your chicken pot pie and cornbread with a cold glass of freshly brewed sweetened tea to get the full Southern experience!
One thing that I have tried in the past is to pair my Midwestern chili with some sweet cornbread. And let me tell you right now, this is always a massive hit with the people I try it on. Even if you make your chili extra hot, a sweet slice of cornbread will cut into the spiciness and make it a more pleasant meal.
A hot gloopy bowl of chili is usually paired with crusty bread like baguettes, ciabattas, or challahs. But you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that cornbread adds some zest to your favorite chili.
- Pro Tip: Try using a cornbread recipe that’s cooked in an iron cast pan when pairing it with a bowl of chili. This adds a little crust underneath the cornbread for that added crunch.
This one is a bit of a mixed bag. Some people like it, while others don’t. But for those who just love to eat cornbread for dessert, then the butter and jam option might just be for you. After you have finished baking your cornbread, try spooning a bit of butter on top and finishing it off with a good helping of jam. Take a bite and surprise yourself with something new.
If you are wondering which jam pairs best with this, the combination is endless. I have friends who swear by apricot, while others prefer a bit of marmalade on their cornbread. Those are both fine, but I prefer to have something a bit sweeter, like strawberry.
- Pro Tip: Think about this recipe the next time you are planning a picnic in the park. Not only is it easy to make and transport, but you can also turn it into a romantic affair by bringing along a nice bottle of red wine.
While southern fried chicken seems to be the perfect pairing for cornbread, I have one dish idea that might even be better. Yep, you know it: Roast Duck! This meat tends to be a bit saltier, and you’ll find the cornbread on the side helps to cut a bit of that saltiness down.
If you still can’t fathom what roast duck and cornbread tastes like, just imagine taking a bite of salty, crispy roasted duck skin and then follow that up with a buttery sweet bite of cornbread! I hope that is enough to convince you to try this magical mashup.
- Pro Tip: Impress your guest by making a Peking duck and cornbread pairing. This dish is entirely unexpected but surprisingly delightful once tasted.
I was hoping not to go down the more common routes, but this particular cornbread pairing is just too good not to include. Ribs and cornbread go so well together that it would be a culinary sin not to mention this combo.
There is just something mouth-watering about a juicy, fork-tender, and a saucy piece of meat eaten with some sweet cornbread. This one needs no further explanation, as ribs and cornbread is a combination made in the divine cosmos.
- Pro Tip: If you do not have ribs, try a slow roast pork recipe instead. It is an excellent substitute if you really crave this cornbread pairing.
If I had to choose between Southern fried chicken and pork schnitzel to pair with cornbread, I’d go with the schnitzel. While this might sound sacrilegious to most Southern states, my reasoning is pretty sound. Pork schnitzel has a thin and crispy texture that gives it an edge over southern fried chicken.
Mix this with some greens, dunk it in gravy and you have a dish that is a sure fire winner. Try this and don’t let those Southern snobs stop you from tasting this fantastic cornbread pairing.
- Pro Tip: Always be sure to do your pork schnitzel the right way. If you have no experience of preparing this tricky dish, check out this video to avoid making any sad schnitzels in future.
Tired of plain old chili and cornbread? Then add a little flair from across the border and pair your cornbread with a Mexican taco casserole. This dish is sure to conjure up images of a fantastic Mexican fiesta with an American touch.
Taco casseroles are hearty, meaty, cheesy, and delightfully spicy. This makes them a perfect accompaniment to a slice of cornbread. Try adding some crushed tortilla chips, and you have the perfect dish for watching football.
- Pro Tip: Use some mild cheddar cheese so that the dish won’t be overly salty, and enjoy with some chips and beer!
I always love helping out friends with their culinary dilemmas. That is why I love sharing lists with my readers. Cornbread is a particular dish that I love to talk about, as it is a huge part of my cherished childhood culinary memories.
So please feel free to share this list with anyone you know who might be interested. Don’t forget to write your comments about this list in the space below. Happy eating!