Cornbread is a mainstay in Southern cooking but if you think this is a creation that dates only in the 18th or 19th century, you’re dead wrong. This delicacy has its origins from the corn dishes of ancient Creek, Chotaw, Cherokee, and Chickasaw Indians. Its unique aroma and texture makes the cornbread an ideal accompaniment to many dishes. Whether it’s baked or fried, cornbread is a food item that can complete any meal. But what, you ask, goes well with cornbread? Let’s find out.
Honey and Butter
Cornbread has this texture that is a bit coarser than traditional pancakes. However, when it comes to their taste, cornbread wins hands down. The thing about this delicacy is that it can have the softness of pancakes, but with the rich flavor of an English muffin. As such, if you’re asking about what to put on cornbread, there’s nothing better to pair it with than honey and butter.
The trick here is to get cornbread that’s fresh from the oven. Still piping-hot, the butter will melt straight away and cover the surface of the bread with creamy richness. Now pour copious amounts of honey and you’ve got a dessert or a side dish that is heaven in itself. No wonder many eateries that serve such a delicacy always have bottles upon bottles of honey waiting for their patrons.
Still thinking of what to put on cornbread? Why not try putting a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream? It’s a decadent take on an already-decadent treat. The natural sweetness of cornbread is exceptional when paired with corn-flavored ice cream. If you cannot get your hands on such an ice cream flavor, ordinary vanilla ice cream will do.
Make sure not to put ice cream that is too sweet. You’d want the flavors of the cornbread to blend well with the richness of the frozen dessert. It should not be overpowering.
Savory and Rich Soups and Stews
Take your pick. When it comes to stews and soups that go with cornbread, you’ll never run out of options. Try Boeuf Bourguignon or the Cuban Beef Stew or the Mexican Beef and Vegetable Stew. There’s the Beef Stew with Potatoes and the Chilean Beef Stew. These and a whole lot more make perfect pairs with the cornbread. The natural sweetness of cornbread can add a very distinct flavor to these savory dishes. It allows for a more-rounded flavor profile for each mouthful.
When it comes to soups that go with cornbread, almost any other rich and creamy soup can be a great pair. From Chowders to Beef Soups to Chicken Noodle Soups, the cornbread is a great accompaniment. Bean and Pea Soups, Cream Soups, and other types of soups will do well with a cornbread on the side.
The best pairing is that of Chilies and cornbread. The sweetness of the bread can elevate the spicy flavor of your Chili dish. So, the next time you’re cooking some Chili Casserole, you might want to add cornbread to let your dish burst with flavor.
Eggs for Breakfast
Thinking of what to eat with cornbread for breakfast? How about ditching the traditional English muffin that goes with your Eggs Benedict and using cornbread instead? Also, skip the bacon and replace it with a few slices of Virginia ham. This is the perfect combination that can have you raring to go right in your seat.
A good alternative, for those who don’t want eggs for breakfast, is chicken. It’s an acquired taste, however. But if you can get past the initial shock, chicken and cornbread is something that can change your breakfasts forever. So, what to eat with cornbread for breakfast? It’s up to you. You can substitute it for almost any other bread that you have for breakfast.
Almost any other vegetable goes well with cornbread. But if you want something more spectacular to your taste buds, try vegetable greens. There’s something about collard greens, kale, and spinach sautéed in minced garlic that pairs so well with cornbread. In many instances, there’s no need to add meat because it’s a dish that is already bursting with flavor.
This is perfect for vegetarians as braised or sautéed greens can give them the healthy dining options they desire. Try roasted Brussels sprouts with cornbread croutons. It’s a different version of your ordinary salad green.
Beans and cornbread are always a good pair. Whether you’re concocting bean chilies, baked beans, or black-eyed peas, the savory nature of these dishes will work so well with cornbread. Try the Heirloom Beans with Cream and pair it with cornbread. The creamy texture and fragrant broth of the bean dish gets more appetizing with a mouthful of cornbread that follows.
A good alternative is Beans and Escarole Stew complete with olives and feta cheese. Cornbread goes well with cheese as well as the starchiness of slow-cooked beans. There’s no other dish that can get titillate your taste buds.
Whether it is barbecued beef, ribs, pork, or chicken, having cornbread on the side is always a treat. Southerners have a way with barbecues like no other regional cuisines can. The meat that falls off the bone are exploding with local spices that only Southern kitchens are known to lavish in their dishes.
When you add coleslaw and baked beans on the side, it’s hard to resist a good serving of cornbread. This pairs well with the savory and sweet sauce that often accompanies such a delight. You may love garlic toast with your barbecued goodies, but having a roll of cornbread is bliss.
The Thanksgiving dining table is never complete without the quintessential stuffed turkey at the center. And you know what you can stuff this bird with, right? Yes, that’s cornbread for you. In fact, cornbread is a great addition to any ingredient that you may want to stuff later on in the crevice of the star of the dinner table.
Cornbread is not a staple Southern food for nothing. It’s a versatile delicacy that pairs well with almost anything.
- Cornbread 101: What to Pair with It + 10 Stellar Recipes – Wide Open Eats
- 8 Ways to Serve Cornbread (plus one!) – Eat at Home