Mexican cornbread takes this classic to a new level with plenty of spice (or just a little if you like it that way) corn in the batter for texture and a little cheddar on top for the perfect finish. Dress up your next dinner with this flavorful side.
Good cornbread is something I think a lot of people have never actually had. This version uses a dry mix and add-ins for the ultimate version. You can add sugar if needed or leave it out, and as much heat as your heart desires.
Want to use a box? I’d love to see you try it as written first, but this version is flexible enough that it would probably work.
If you can’t find self-rising cornmeal mix
Self-rising cornmeal mix can be a little tricky to find at the store but you can buy a bag from Amazon and have it delivered in a couple of days. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, whip up your own self-rising cornmeal mix. All you need is cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt which is exactly what you would find in a pre-made mix.
This cornbread can easily be adapted for those of you who are gluten-free. Just use a 1:1 gluten-free flour instead of the conventional flour and you’ll be on your way.
Can I add meat to homemade Mexican cornbread?
I love adding spicy sausage, ground beef, bacon, or even chorizo to this recipe. It contributes a nice flavor and a little extra moisture to the finished product. Just be sure to cook the meat and drain off any excess fat before folding it into the batter.
Can I use Jiffy mix?
In theory, yes you can. I haven’t personally tested it but I am sure it would work beautifully.
If you want sugar in yours
Cornmeal has a natural sweetness to it but, if you would like a little extra pop of sweetness, feel free to add a bit of honey or sugar. Mix ¼ cup of either into the batter before cooking.
Can cornbread be made in a cast iron skillet?
Absolutely! I think it’s best that way, actually. Heat the oil in a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. To check that the skillet is hot enough, drop a coin’s worth of batter onto the pan. If it sizzles, you’re ready to go.
Pour the remaining batter into the skillet and bake. I recommend using a 10-inch cast iron for the best outcome.
If you don’t have cast iron
Don’t worry. Just use a greased glass or ceramic dish. Use a 9×13 for a thinner cornbread or a 7×11 for thicker cornbread and don’t pre heat it. Just add the batter in and toss it in the oven.
Substitutes for buttermilk
While buttermilk contributes a lovely tang and extra tenderness to this Mexican cornbread, diluted sour cream or diluted plain yogurt will have a similar effect.
Just mix together 1 part milk or water with 3 parts sour cream or Greek yogurt. Alternatively, you could mix milk with a dash of pickled jalapeno vinegar from the jar.
Ingredients needed for Mexican Cornbread
- Cream style corn
- Cheddar cheese
- Fresh jalapenos
- Green chiles
- Self rising cornmeal mix
- Oil for the skillet or an equal amount of bacon grease or lard
How to assemble the best cornbread with jalapenos
Step 1: Chop all ingredients and get everything measured out. Once that’s done add your skillet to your stove top, put in the oil and let it preheat on medium while you mix the batter. Keep an eye on the skillet so it doesn’t smoke.
Step 2: Mix the cornmeal mix, eggs, oil, green chiles, corn, part of the fresh jalapenos and buttermilk. Stir gently and don’t over mix.
Step 3: Add the cheese and fold it in. Just a few turns but reserve some of the cheese for the top.
Step 4: Test the skillet with a drop of batter. If it sizzles, add the batter then top with the rest of the cheese and jalapenos.
Can I add a little more heat?
If you’re looking for a spicier Mexican cornbread, mix the ribs and seeds of the jalapeno into the batter. Alternatively (or in addition), you can add cayenne pepper or chipotles in adobo.
If adding chipotles in adobo, drain the chipotles and run a knife through them before folding into the batter.
How to store Mexican cornbread
If you find yourself with leftover Mexican cornbread, allow it to cool completely before wrapping it in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you would like to freeze it, seal the wrapped cornbread in a large Ziploc bag and pop it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating from the refrigerator
remove the bread from its wrapping, slice it, and arrange it on a sheet pan.
Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Reheating from frozen
Follow the same method. Just give it 15 minutes in the oven instead of 10.
What to serve with Mexican cornbread
Mexican cornbread is a delightful snack on its own but it’s even better with a slice of butter and a drizzle of honey or served alongside a delicious entree. Here are some ideas for you.
- Stews and hearty soups. Dip a hunk of homemade cornbread into a bowl of southern chili, a heartwarming beef stew, vegetable beef soup, or my chicken tortilla soup.
- As a BBQ side dish. Scoop up my BBQ pulled pork with a slice of Mexican cornbread or serve it alongside this vinegar BBQ chicken or my classic baby back ribs.
- With baked beans. Check out my post on how to make canned baked beans taste homemade.
- As a brunch item. Top a slice with a couple of poached eggs and crispy bacon and call it brunch.
- With pot roast. Soak up the juices from a slow-cooked pot roast with this slightly sweet cornbread. I have been loving this Dutch oven pot roast recipe.
- 1 10-inch cast iron skillet
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix not just plain cornmeal
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup diced green chiles
- 1 cup grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese, divided ¼ cup left for the top
- ½ can creamed corn (about 7 ounces); 1 cup corn kernels would be fine here too
- 1 large diced jalapeno pepper, divided seeds and ribs left in for more heat (1 tablespoon left for the top)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or an equivalent amount of refined coconut oil, bacon grease, or lard
- 1/4 cup oil for the skillet if using cast iron; an equivalent amount of refined coconut oil, bacon grease or lard will substitute
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk or regular milk; start with 1 cup of liquid if you are using regular milk and add the rest as necessary
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If you are using cast iron, place the 1/4 cup oil in the bottom of a 9" skillet and place over medium heat on your stove top while you make the batter. Just keep an eye on it and don't let it smoke. See note below if you don't have cast iron.
- Pour the cornmeal mix into a medium size bowl and add the oil, egg, green chiles, corn, cheese, jalapeno, and buttermilk.
- Using a fork, mix until combined but don't over mix. Drop a quarter size amount onto your hot skillet. If it sizzles, add the rest of the batter within 1 inch of the top of the skillet.
- If you'd like your cornbread to be thinner, don't pour in as much and make muffins from the rest or make a second batch when the first batch is done.
- Sprinkle the top of the batter with the remaining cheese and jalapenos.
- Transfer the skillet from the stove top to the hot oven.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden and set.
- Serve warm with butter and, if you'd like, a drizzle of honey.