Cornbread Salad

There are so many wonderful recipes around this world and I’m blessed to have tried just a handful of them. I was raised on good Southern cooking. We grew things in our garden and cooked them up just right to lay out on a table with vegetables galore, meats, and hot cornbread or biscuits, fresh from the oven.

When I was younger, once a year we’d all gather for a feast so big it would make kings cry - The family reunion. I’ve written about our old family reunions before and went into details in my first book, but today I’m looking back fondly and figured y’all would forgive me if I reminisce with you a spell.

To begin with, you have to picture me with two pony tails, one on each side of my head. That was my childhood hairstyle and in all of my memories I’m running around with ponytails flapping in the wind. The reunions involved a lot of running around, too! The folks would set up chairs all over the yard and the kids would be turned loose to chase chickens, run with dogs, and visit with goats and cows until someone rang the dinner bell and we all gahered around to bow our heads over the meal.

The table was a unique one, Papa Reed would saunter to his barn and pull out his big red tractor, hitching it to a flatbed trailer to pull it up by the house. Ladies would come and spread pretty bed sheets over it as makeshift table cloths and then it would get loaded down with every type of dish imaginable. Oh the food we had that day!

I got to thinking about all of this because of something I made recently. Have you ever heard of cornbread salad? I’ve heard of it for years but surprisingly, had never tasted it! After having person after person ask me if I had a recipe for it, one day Linda Wood posted on my Facebook page “Christy, you need to make cornbread salad sometime. I’ve got a recipe that I use and when I make it I could just about eat it all“. I had planned on working up a recipe of my own due to demand but when Linda posted that I responded “I think you’re right, Linda, and I think you should share your recipe with me!”

Lo and behold, she did! Now honestly, this is one of those dishes that is just really hard to imagine what it’s gonna taste like. I knew I liked everything in it, but I was going on faith in Linda and all of y’all that it was good. I made it when my Mother in law was here so I’d have a partner in crime to help me eat it and she and I were curious as all get out while I put it together. We didn’t even wait for it to get cold before we were dipping spoons in the bowl for a taste.

My verdict? CORNBREAD SALAD, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? My mother in law and I ate every blessed bit. Sure, it took us two days, but we’re no quitters. This stuff is amazing. It’s kind of in the same family as potato salad and definitely something you’d expect to find at a family reunion or barbecue.

I did alter this a bit from the traditional recipe but I’ll tell you exactly what I did in the notes and recipe so you can un-alter it if you like :) You see, I’m not a mayonnaise person. Alright now stop right there if you are a mayonnaise person. I know, I know. I am a horrible person and it’s a wonder they don’t lock me up somewhere to keep me separate from society. I would set aside a whole week to mourn my woeful character flaw of not liking mayonnaise but I’m too busy doing other things so we are just gonna have to move on from that. So here is the deal, if you love mayonnaise, you’re just going to have agree to love me despite this and I’ll agree to love you despite whatever character flaws you have too. Deal? Deal. See? That’s what family does :)

 

You’ll need: Onion, Corn, Mayo, tomatoes, bell pepper, dry ranch dressing mix (optional), 1 pan crumbled cornbread, and some crisp fried bacon.

Crisp Fried Bacon. Doesn’t that sound good?

Pour ranch dressing mix into bowl with mayo.

You can skip this step if you just really like mayo, but if you’re like me and want a little something to help you take your mind off the fact that it’s mayonnaise – or if you just love the taste of ranch, do what I’m doing here.

Then stir it up.

What is this? Well let me tell you one thing, it surely isn’t me adding in one teaspoon of bacon grease and stirring it up for an extra KAPOW of flavor.

No siree…it surely isn’t that.

~whispers~ if you saved any bacon grease from your bacon, pour in one teaspoon but don’t tell anyone because they’ll react as if you’d told them you didn’t like mayonnaise! I’m not going to put this in the recipe so only the folks who read this part of the post will know this little secret ingredient – shhhh. 

Stir it up til it’s all good and stirred up like.  

Dice up your tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and drain your can of corn.

Dump all that in a bowl.

A big bowl.

Add in your crumbled bacon.

Make sure you taste of the bacon to see if it is still good because it’s been sitting around for like…five minutes now…and it never hurts to test bacon.

By eating it.

Well now we done wasted time jabbering so you better test it again.

Bacon, the candy of meats!

Crumble up your cornbread and dump that on top of the veggies.

Stirry stirry

Add in mayo mixture.

Or as Linda said it “All that lovely mayonnaise!”

Stir that up really good until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until chilled well.

In your lovely Friendship pattern pyrex bowl :)

Garnish with beautiful sliced red tomatoes and serve cold.

DELICIOUS

 

Cornbread Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pan cornbread (see recipe here or use a package of cornbread mix)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 2-3 cups mayonnaise (I used two)

Instructions

  1. Bake cornbread. Cool and crumble and place in large bowl. Add in onions, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, corn, and bacon. Stir until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, place mayo and ranch mix (If using). Stir until well blended. Skip this step if using plain mayo.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to salad and stir until fully mixed. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours before serving. ENJOY!
  4. Linda Says: There are lots of ways to adjust this to suit your own taste by adding or leaving out ingredients. Corn or pinto beans (drained) can be added as can diced pickles or black olives or grated cheddar. I prefer the more plain one but with all that lovely mayonnaise there isn't much that can mess it up.
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I’m happier than a bird with a french fry!

~Unknown, but an awfully good way to feel!

 

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Comments

    • Jordan says

      I am thinking “Cotton Pickin’ Cornbread” mix recipe for “Egg Bread” on the back of package will make this recipe tastier than Jiffy. One package should do ya, unless you’re entertaining then I would double.

  1. Jordan says

    “Hard 8 BBQ” restaurant in Stevenville, Texas offers cornbread salad and it is wonderful. I am not sure if it’s because I’ve never tried any other version, but it is fab with their fresh grilled meats and pinto beans! I am thinking the bacon grease is a must to get the right taste.
    Though the restaurant’s dish doesn’t taste like it includes the ranch, I am very excited to try your!
    Thanks of sharing!
    If you ever get a chance to visit there and compare, please write me with your thoughts :)

  2. Margaret Cottrell says

    Ate a cornbread salad at a wedding reception last year and have been looking for a recipe ever since. Your recipe looks like I remember and can’t wait to try it.

  3. Pooch says

    Christy, I’m not a mayo person either (but I do love cole slaw but it’s got to be more on the vinegary side). I eat my salad dry, just veggies, croutons, sun flower seeds , bacon with pepper only. I would eat everything in the mix with the exception of the dressing and I would eat it while the cornbread is still warm. Bestest dish to me is green beans cooked in bacon, tomatoes and cornbread accompanied with sweet tea, lots of it or a extremely cold glass of right-out-of-the-creek milk.

  4. Kathy Consolaro says

    The great thing about this recipe is how easy it is to modify to suit your taste and you don’t have to worry about measuring. I love mayo, but even two cups instead of three seemed like too much. I suggest starting with one cup or less and, if you feel the need, add more after everything is mixed. I used one cup. I sprinkled some dry ranch dressing in on top of the mayo, and since I didn’t feel like frying bacon I threw in a packet of real bacon bits I had. My husband asked me if I kept the recipe, and I can count one one hand how many times he’s done that! Definitely a keeper.

  5. Patty in Lexington SC says

    Y’all…I like this salad, a LOT, and I don’t like to waste food. I’ll freeze anything…at least once. Let me tell ya what I did with leftover cornbread salad (after freezing it!); I let it thaw in the fridge overnight, added some beaten egg and flour and fried it up as patties in a lightly-oiled non-stick pan. It was wonderful…husband LOVED it!
    Thanks Christy!

  6. Margaret says

    The cornbread salad recipe I use calls for green onions instead of regular onion. I suggest you try frozen whole kernel corn, it’s so much better than canned. Just thaw and use in salad, no cooking necessary. It’s better than canned it you do cook it with a little butter and black pepper.

  7. Sara says

    Had this for the first time in LaGrange, GA. Oh my, was that good. It did have green onions, but I think that is just what you have on hand. Frozen corn is closer to fresh, and fresh is best. I would suggest using shoepeg or best of all the super sweet varieties, like Silver Queen. (I can eat that right in the garden! LOL)

  8. says

    I love Panzanella, and have heard of Corn Bread Salad. I get the Mayo thing and that is why I keep holding off on this one…but, it just may be time to try it. Thanks for the great story, I can see your pig tails flappin away as you chase those pesky boys, the ones who pulled them.

    • Ellen in MO says

      My recipe uses beans, too–generally I use one can of black beans and one can of pinto beans drained. I use the Southwest Ranch Dip mix in the dressing and also add some shredded cheese. I like to layer it in a glass bowl and then stir it up just before serving. LOVE IT.

  9. Eva says

    I will give it try. My mother never bought mayo or salad dressing we were too poor to waste money on it. She made Cole slaw dressing by pouring canned milk into a small jar about three quarters of a cup for a huge bowl of slsw, she added salt and black pepper around a tap and half that for the pepper, then a pinch of cayenne, a couple of tap white vinegar, put the lid on the jar, shake vigorously pour over and toss, cover the top of salad in the bowl with paprika and let meld in fridge. Mom never bought anything but strong pickling vinegar so adjust the sour to your tastes, when we had more funds she used lemon juice fresh or bottled.

  10. Jonna says

    I have eaten this at church functions, and everyone acted like it was a very secret recipe not able to be shared! I am so thankful you posted this. I have the bacon and cornbread cooking right now and will be serving this with our dinner tonight!!

  11. Lisa says

    My experience with Cornbread Salad has been that it is best eaten fresh, as the cornbread gets soggy after sitting refrigerated overnight. It is a unique and delicious salad though!!

  12. Marianne says

    Hey Christy… this sounds wonderful, but like you I have a terrible aversion to Mayo or anything in the family of such. My question is simply is there anything that can be substituted that is not mayo based?? My Mom cannot tolerate something in Ranch dressing.. so should I just file this for a Pot Luck type dish or be able to make it for my family?
    Thank you, I love your recipes!!

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