Take your classic cornbread recipe to the next level with this jalapeño cheddar cornbread! This easy recipe makes a fluffy cornbread with a deliciously moist crumb. It’s the perfect combination of spicy and cheesy, making it a super comforting side for the entire family!
We absolutely LOVE cornbread here on The Cheese Knees, so you know we just had to cheese-ify it to add our own little spin. But what also goes excellently with the flavors of sweet corn and sharp cheddar cheese? Spicy jalapeño, of course! It’s seriously a match made in cornbread heaven.
What is in jalapeño cheddar cornbread?
- Jalapeños: we used fresh jalapeños, but you’re welcome to use pickled jalapeños as well.
- Butter: we used unsalted butter and added salt to the recipe. If you only have salted, you can omit the salt or add it to taste.
- Frozen corn: corn adds some extra texture and flavor to the cornbread.
- Yellow cornmeal: cornmeal makes up the base of the cornbread, so don’t skip it!
- Sugar: any good cornbread will have a touch of sweetness, which balances out the savory flavors.
- Whole milk: whole milk adds richness to the cornbread. You can use any type of milk you prefer.
- Eggs: eggs help bind the cornbread together and also add moisture.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: you can use any type of cheese you prefer, but we love using sharp cheddar!
Substitutes & Variations
Spice Level: If you want a milder flavor, consider using green bell peppers or Anaheim peppers instead of jalapeños. For a spicier kick, try serrano peppers.
Cheese Varieties: Swap out cheddar for other cheeses like pepper jack, Monterey Jack, or cotija. Each cheese will offer a unique twist to the flavor profile.
Add-Ins: Introduce other ingredients to diversify the texture and flavor:
- Meats: Add crumbled cooked bacon or chorizo for a meaty, savory touch.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs such as chopped cilantro or green onions can add a refreshing burst of flavor.
- Grains: Replace yellow cornmeal with blue cornmeal for a different hue and slightly altered taste.
- Veggies: Fold in diced red bell peppers or sun-dried tomatoes for a sweet contrast to the spicy jalapeños.
Corn Variations: If you don’t have frozen corn on hand, you can use canned corn (drained) or fresh corn kernels cut straight from the cob.
Milk Alternatives: If you’re looking to avoid dairy, you can substitute the whole milk with almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. The texture might be slightly different, but it’ll still be delicious!
Sweetness Level: Some people enjoy a sweeter cornbread. If that’s you, consider adding honey or maple syrup to the batter.
What makes cornbread tough?
Too much stirring! The key to light and fluffy cornbread is not to overmix. Once you’ve added the liquids, just stir until the ingredients are combined. A few lumps in your batter will mean tender cornbread.
Can I make this jalapeño cheddar cornbread gluten-free?
Absolutely! Cornmeal itself is gluten-free, so you just have to replace the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free baking mix.
Can jalapeño cheddar cornbread be frozen?
Yes. Just wrap the cooled cornbread in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. For maximum freshness, put the wrapped cornbread in a zipper-type plastic bag with all the air removed. Then freeze it up until ready to use.
Store any leftover jalapeño cheddar cornbread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
To reheat, place the cornbread in a foil-covered pan. Then place it in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Wrap the cooled cornbread in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. For maximum freshness, put the wrapped cornbread in a zipper-type plastic bag with all the air removed. This cornbread will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Let’s be real — this Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is good enough to eat on its own. Even so, it makes for the perfect side dish for any occasion! Our sister site, Fit Foodie Finds, has some amazing recipes that would pair beautifully with this cornbread. Here are some of our top suggestions:
- Texas Chili
- Crunchy Pan Fried Chicken Breast
- Guinness Beef Stew
- Tender Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Sausage Gnocchi Soup
- Wild Rice Meatloaf
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Seed and mince three jalapeños. Transfer the jalapeños into a cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the frozen corn and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the corn is golden brown.
- Once the corn is golden brown, remove from heat and add another 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a bowl. Mix to combine.
- Next, stir in the milk and eggs. Melt the remaining butter and stir that into the mixture.
- Add 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese to the batter and mix to combine.
- Transfer the jalapeños and corn to the cornbread batter and stir to combine.
- Transfer back to the cast iron skillet.
- Slice the remaining jalapeño and top the cornbread. Bake for 25-35 minutes.
Tips & Notes
- Spice it up, and don’t seed the jalapeños.
- Fresh corn could be substituted for frozen.