Grab a slice of jalapeno cheddar cornbread to go with your dinner. Nothing beats this fluffy, cheesy side with the perfect kick of spice.
There is nothing I love more than having cornbread for a side, especially if I am making something like my favorite turkey chili. A jalapeno cheddar cornbread that is heavy on the cheese and jalapenos is everything I need in my life, and it is so good, even on its own.
The secret to good cornbread are a few great ingredients. What we use for this jalapeno cheddar cornbread are:
- fine cornmeal
- baking powder & baking soda
Why there is no flour in this cornbread recipe - I wanted something that was closer to Southern-style cornbread. Typically, this type of cornbread is made without flour, and uses bacon fat. However, since you may not have bacon fat available (and I do not eat bacon personally), we use butter.
With limited supplies, it is good to have a few substitutions available to you.
Fine cornmeal - You need at least some cornmeal in your recipe, otherwise, it won't be cornbread. You can use substitute some of the cornmeal (up to 1 cup) with all-purpose flour.
Yogurt - First, make sure you are using plain yogurt. Second, if you don't have it around, you can substitute it with sour cream or buttermilk. You can make your own buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into milk. This works for dairy and non-dairy milk alternatives.
Eggs - The eggs play a critical role in the recipe for me, but if you have ground flax, you can mix it with water to replace the egg in a pinch.
Oil - Any oil works. I don't recommend extra virgin olive oil normally, but if you don't mind the flavor it adds to the cornbread, you can use that too. You can also replace the oil with more butter, melted lard, or bacon grease.
Butter - You can replace it with bacon grease. I do not recommend replacing it with more oil.
Cheddar - Cheddar is important in this recipe and I think you'd be missing out without it, but you can use some other types of cheese that you enjoy. I do not recommend using American cheese.
How to make
This recipe was made using a cast-iron skillet in mind. If you don't have one, I recommend at least using a heavy-bottomed oven-safe skillet.
We begin by toasting the cornmeal in the skillet. This gives it more depth of flavor, and also gives the cornbread more texture.
From there, we can use the already hot skillet to begin melting the butter and heating the oil. During this step, you can mix the remaining wet ingredients - the yogurt and eggs together and into the cornmeal.
Mix all the remaining ingredients together with the cornmeal, including the butter and oil, then fold in the cheddar and jalapenos.
Top with more cheese and jalapenos, and bake until delicious!
Cornbread isn't really meant to be stored away. It is best fresh the day it is made. If you really want to safe it, store it in an airtight container. It will keep for three days at room temperature. I recommend warming up the cornbread before eating it again for the best flavor.
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- 2 ¼ cups finely ground cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 3 jalapeños sliced and divided
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high and add the cornmeal. Toast for about 5 minutes, then place in a bowl.
- Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with the cornmeal. Set aside.
- In the cast-iron skillet, add the oil and butter and heat until the butter is melted.
- While the butter and oil are heating, beat together the yogurt, milk, and eggs together. Finely dice two of the jalapeños and slice the third. Stir the yogurt mixture into the cornmeal. It will be very thick.
- Add most of the oil and melted butter into the cornmeal mixture, leaving just enough to coat the bottom and sides of the cast iron.
- Fold in 1 ½ cups of the cheese and the finely diced jalapenos into the cornmeal mixture. Pour the mixture into the cast iron skillet.
- Top with the remaining cheese and sliced jalapenos.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.