Southern Cornbread Salad is going to be your new favorite potluck side! Tender, homemade cornbread is topped with fresh vegetables and crisp, crumbled bacon, and dressed in a rich Ranch-based dressing for layers of flavor!
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Looking for a crowd-pleasing side dish to bring to a weekend BBQ or family gathering? Look no further than this Southern Cornbread Salad recipe! Packed with savory flavor, it features an amazing combination of ingredients ranging from freshly baked cornbread to bacon, cheese, crunchy corn, onions, sour cream, and Ranch.
The end result is an explosion of tastes and textures even the pickiest eaters will love. Served alongside all your favorites like baked beans, broccoli salad, hot dogs, and burgers, it’s guaranteed to disappear fast!
Southern Cornbread Salad Recipe
If you haven’t tried a layered salad before, I hope you’ll give this one a try! This old-fashioned potluck side salad is essentially a savory trifle, with cornbread serving as the “cake” component. It’s packed with vegetables like grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, and green onion plus black-eyed peas for southern flair. Then, you finish the salad with a creamy Ranch-infused dressing for even more flavor!
You can make this recipe as written, or if you have leftover cornbread, this is a great way to use it up. Play around with the vegetables you throw in, too – other crunchy veggies like cucumber or celery would add a nice texture contrast. Or, use fresh corn rather than frozen when it’s in season.
I love that this salad is served cold – it’s so refreshing on a hot summer afternoon and it also means you can easily make it in advance! To keep your prep easy, make a box of Jif cornbread mix as the recipe suggests. Or, you can make a batch of homemade cornbread. However you make this cornbread salad recipe, it’s sure to be a hit!
Ingredients for Southern Cornbread Salad
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Jiffy cornbread mix – Or, you can make cornbread from scratch.
- Salt – I use kosher salt.
- Butter – I typically use unsalted butter in this recipe, but you can use salted butter.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk in cornbread is a must! It gives it a wonderful lightness.
- Eggs – To bind the batter and form structure in the cornbread.
- Cherry tomatoes – Or, substitute grape tomatoes.
- Red bell pepper – For color and crunch.
- Black-eyed peas – Use canned black-eyed peas to speed up your prep time.
- Olive oil – I use extra virgin olive oil.
- Red wine vinegar – You can find red wine vinegar in the vinegar aisle at the grocery store.
- Ranch dressing – Store-bought or homemade Ranch.
- Sour cream – Use full-fat sour cream for the ultimate richness.
- Green onions – For a hint of tang and a little extra crunch.
- Frozen corn – You can substitute fresh or canned corn if you wish.
- Mexican-style cheese
As noted, you can add other vegetables, such as cubed cucumber or diced celery. Try fresh corn from a cob rather than frozen corn. You can substitute the black-eyed peas for other canned beans, like navy beans or black beans. Or swap the bacon for ham.
How to Make Southern Cornbread Salad
- Heat the oven and prepare the pan: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set it aside.
- Make the cornbread: In a mixing bowl, mix together the cornbread ingredients until combined, it is okay if a few small lumps remain. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake the cornbread: Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dish is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Let the cornbread cool completely, and cut it into 1 ½ to 2-inch cubes.
- Toss together the salad ingredients: In a mixing bowl, toss together the tomatoes, bell pepper, black-eyed peas, olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
- Make the dressing: In a separate bowl, mix together the Ranch dressing, sour cream, and green onions.
- Assemble the salad: To assemble, spread the cornbread pieces evenly along the bottom of a large glass serving bowl. Layer over the tomato mixture, followed by the corn, and the crumbled bacon. Gently spread the dressing mixture over the top, and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
You can bake the cornbread a day or two in advance to save yourself time when assembling your salad!
How to Store Southern Cornbread Salad
Store leftover cornbread salad in an airtight container or tightly covered in a bowl, for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Southern cornbread salad is perfect on the potluck table or at a barbecue. Here are a few of my suggestions for what to serve with it:
- Other cold salads. Southern corn salad is a good companion to other potluck cold salads, like my Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, and Easy Pasta Salad recipe.
- Hamburgers. Serve southern corn salad with burgers! If you feel like going a little lighter, skip the hamburger bun.
- Ham. This southern cornbread salad would be a wonderful side to a ham. Or, serve it alongside my Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders.
Northern cornbread is slightly less sweet than other varieties and is made with yellow cornmeal and fewer eggs. Southern-style cornbread can be made with white or yellow cornmeal, has a buttery finish, and calls for more eggs, which produces a cakelike texture.
Cornbread is more of a cake or bread, while Johnny Cakes are cornmeal pancakes fried on the stove.
If you add an extra egg to your cornbread recipe, the end result will be denser and have an eggier flavor than if you stick to the amount called for in the ingredients list.
Southern Cornbread Salad
- Large glass serving bowl
- 13 x 9 baking dish
- Mixing bowls
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 (8 ½ ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 Tablepsoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 (15 ½ ounce) cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups Ranch dressing
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup green onions, minced
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed
- 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 ½ cups Mexican style cheese
- Preheat an oven to 400℉. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.Nonstick cooking spray
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the cornbread ingredients until combined, it is okay if a few small lumps remain. Pour into the prepared baking dish.2 (8 ½ ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 3 Tablepsoons unsalted butter, melted, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut into 1 ½ to 2- inch cubes.
- In a mixing bowl, toss together the tomatoes, bell pepper, black-eyed peas, olive oil, vinegar and salt.2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 red bell pepper, diced, 2 (15 ½ ounce) cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a separate bowl, mix together the Ranch dressing, sour cream and green onions.2 cups Ranch dressing, ½ cup sour cream, ¼ cup green onions, minced
- To assemble, spread the cornbread pieces evenly along the bottom of a large glass serving bowl. Layer over the tomato mixture, followed by the corn, then the crumbled bacon. Gently spread the dressing mixture over the top, then sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Keep chilled until ready to serve.1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed, 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled, 1 ½ cups Mexican style cheese