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What to Eat with Cornbread?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Cornbread is a staple you can eat with stews, ribs, soups, and beans. Whether it’s sweet or savory, a little cornbread on the side will enhance the flavors of your meal.  But just what should that meal be? We have 8 delicious ideas for you.

What to Eat With Cornbread
What to Eat With Cornbread?

8 Dishes to Eat With Cornbread

1. Beef Stew

2. Chicken Tortilla Soup

3. BBQ Ribs

4. Chilli

5. Butter and Honey

6. Cheese Spread

7. Baked Beans

8. Cabbage Soup

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
Beef Stew

Preparation Time: 2 hours

Tip: Great for using leftover vegetables

Beef stew is excellent with cornbread: it’s thick, hearty, and filling, and the broth is perfect for dipping your cornbread in. Did we also mention it’s very easy to make?

You can skip the marinade and season the beef with salt and pepper for a quick and simple dish. Once you season the meat, put it in a large pan and add enough water, broth, or wine to cover.

Let it cook slowly over low heat for about an hour and a half. Then, add your vegetables and cook until the beef is tender.  

You can add carrots, onions, peas, potatoes, and mushrooms to the stew. Pour a cup of hot water or broth into the pan if the consistency is thicker than you like.

Season with red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and thyme.

If you’re craving a delicious stew but don’t have beef at hand, you can use other types of meat like chicken or pork. This dish can easily be made vegan if you switch out the meat with tofu and mushrooms.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Preparation Time: 30-90 minutes, depending on how you cook the chicken

Tip: Buy pre-roasted chicken to cut back on cooking time

This soup has everything you can ask for: vegetables, spices, and delicious tender chicken.

Start by sauteing chopped onions and garlic in a pot. You can add courgettes or mushrooms as well.

Season your veggies with chili powder, cumin, and salt. Drop a whole jalapeno in the pot for extra heat if you want a spicier soup.

Place a whole chicken in the pot and cover it with vegetable broth or water. If you’re using uncooked chicken, let it simmer for 60 to 90 minutes. Cook it until the meat thermometer registers 180°F, or until the meat is separated from the bones.

If you’re using pre-roasted chicken, you only need to simmer it for 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft.

Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it into smaller bits. Pour the broth into serving bowls and add chicken slices, tortilla bits, and other toppings you like.

You can add fresh lime juice to the broth for a tangy kick. Serve with a few slices of cornbread for a delicious meal.

See also: What to Serve With Chicken Tortilla Soup

BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs
BBQ Ribs

Preparation time: 4-5 hours depending on your marinade

Tip: Use an air fryer, and your ribs will be ready in half an hour

Ribs are all about the marinade, and we have the recipe for the perfect concoction.

Combine chili powder, oregano, cayenne, garlic, and onion powder in a pot and add a dash of brown sugar. Sugar will soften the pork and allow the spices to permeate the ribs better. Coat the ribs with the spice blend and let them marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Prepare your barbeque and grill the ribs for 10 minutes. Once they’re ready, serve with buttered cornbread. The sweetness of the cornbread complements the spicy ribs perfectly.

If you don’t want the hassle of preparing a grill, you can always air-fry your ribs for an easy fix. Line the tray with parchment paper to make the cleanup easier, and toss your ribs in. They’ll be ready to serve in 30 minutes.



Preparation Time: 45-50 minutes

Tip: You can use store-bought chili seasoning

Chili and cornbread make an unforgettable duo. This flavor-packed dish is fairly easy to make if you get the seasoning right. If you’re not used to cooking with spices, use a chili mix to make it easier.

In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat and add onions and ground beef. Stir until the beef is cooked and season with chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir until all the aromas mix, and add diced tomatoes, broth, and pre-cooked kidney beans. We also suggest adding some tomato paste and a pinch of sugar for some sweetness.

Let it simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, and serve with some grated cheddar cheese. You won’t be able to stop dipping your cornbread in this perfect soup.

You can use plant-based ground beef and vegetable broth to make this recipe vegan.

Butter and Honey

Butter and Honey
Butter and Honey

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Tip: It can be made vegan with vegan butter and honey substitutes

Sometimes the best way to eat cornbread is the simplest: with some honey and butter. Slice up your loaf and spread some butter on each slice. Toast them in a toaster or skillet so they’re warm and crunchy on the surface. Drizzle your favorite honey and enjoy!

You can easily substitute butter and honey with vegan alternatives. Spread the vegan butter on your cornbread and try out different honey alternatives like molasses, tahini, or maple syrup to see which works best for you.

Cheese Spread

Cheese Spread
Cheese Spread

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Tip: Make it spicy or sweet by adding jalapenos or cranberries

Bring those odd bits of cheese you have left in your fridge together: we are doing a spread.

You can use any cheese you like, but the best spread includes two soft and two hard cheeses and one creamy cheese to serve as a base.

First, grate the solid cheeses in a large bowl and combine the mix with the cream cheese. Add your favorite spices to the mix.

We recommend onion powder, some chili flakes, and garlic powder. Finally, add two spoons of mayonnaise and sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley. Give it a good stir, and you are done.

You can try different flavor combinations by switching cheeses or adding extra ingredients. Chopped jalapenos add a spicy kick, while dried cranberries enhance the sweetness of the spread. You can also crush some walnuts for added protein.

You can make cornbread in cupcake molds and spread your cheese mixture on top for a delicious snack.

Baked Beans

Baked Beans
Baked Beans

Preparation Time: 1.5 hours

Tip: You can use canned or pre-cooked beans to cut cooking time.

So. Much. Flavor. Thanks to the sugary sauce and the earthy flavor of the beans, this dish is both sweet and savory.

Start by preheating the oven to 400°F (200°C). In the meantime, heat the skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and add minced onions and garlic. You can also add chopped peppers for a spicier dish.

Combine BBQ sauce, mustard, and ketchup in a bowl for the sauce — don’t worry, it won’t be too sweet. If you want to cook the beans traditionally, replace the ready-made sauces with tomatoes, vinegar, and a dash of brown sugar.

Add the sauce to the skillet and let it thicken until it has a gravy-like consistency.

Next, add your beans. You can pre-cook your beans or use canned beans for a shorter cooking time. Stir for a few minutes and remove from the heat.

Put the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until it’s ready to serve. You can sprinkle bacon bits and cornbread crumbs on top for extra flavor and texture.

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup
Cabbage Soup

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Tip: Use any leftover vegetables in the fridge

Cabbage is an underrated vegetable packed with vitamins C and K. It makes a hearty soup you can enjoy with cornbread.

In a large pot, stir chopped carrots, celery, and onion over a drizzle of olive oil. You can add your preferred vegetables, including broccoli, celery, and cauliflower. Season with salt, black pepper, and some chili pepper.

Pour enough chicken broth or water to cover the pan and bring your vegetables to a simmer. You can add tomatoes, beans, or corn for a sweeter soup. Add your cabbages last because they wilt fast.

This soup works with any cabbage you like or might have at the bottom of your fridge. Red cabbages have an earthy taste that makes this soup exquisite, but napa or bok choy also work.


Cornbread is a gluten-free bread everyone can enjoy. It pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors. It can accompany cabbage or chicken tortilla soup, chilis, baked beans, and meat stews.

Dip it in your favorite soup, use it to scrape the sides of a stew, or top it with cheese dips; you can’t go wrong with it. You can also enjoy it with butter and honey for a simple yet tasty snack.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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