Cornbread Salad

So, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when I heard about cornbread salad, questioning if it was one of those “salads” that really aren’t salads at all. It turns out, though, that this salad is completely legit and packed full of plenty of veggies along with hearty cornbread.

overhead shot of serving spoon in bowl of cornbread salad


 

If you’ve been looking for a different side dish to serve at cookouts and other parties, you have to give this easy cornbread salad recipe a try. It’s a breeze to make and its layered presentation is always a show-stopper.

Why You’ll Love Cornbread Salad

There are lots of reasons to love this layered goodness!

  • It’s pretty. If you use a large glass bowl (like a trifle dish) you can make this salad just as much of a feast for everyone’s eyes as it is for their taste buds.
  • Hearty. Cornbread salad is the ultimate cold comfort food. When it seems too warm to heat up the kitchen for other comfort classics, this salad is the perfect go-to. 
  • Super simple. There’s very little hands-on prep time with this one! Plus, you can make the dressing and marinate the peppers ahead of time so that it’s ready to go when you are.

Ingredients

While the ingredient list is a little lengthy, this salad comes together in nearly no time! 

  • Bell Peppers – Using red, green, and yellow bell peppers gives the salad a pop of bright color. 
  • Red Onion – Red onions also add color as well as their signature flavor to the salad.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The acidity of the vinegar helps to balance out the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Coarse Kosher Salt – Salt brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Sugar – A little bit of sugar balances out the savory ingredients.
  • Ground Black Pepper – Pepper adds subtle heat to the salad. 
  • Cooked Cornbread – You can buy cornbread, use a boxed cornbread mix, or bake the cornbread yourself ahead of time. Be sure to dice the bread into evenly sized cubes before adding it to the salad.
  • Bacon – Bacon adds a smoky flavor and layers of crunchiness.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Adding tomatoes gives the salad a fresh and bright flavor. 
  • Whole Kernel Corn – Corn kernels also add a subtle sweetness and a crunchy texture.
  • Canned Black-Eyed Peas – Black-eyed peas add plant-based protein. Plus, their creamy texture and earthy flavor complement the other ingredients.
  • Scallions/Green Onions – These are optional, but we love the pop of color it adds to the top of the salad.
chopped veggies and black eyed peas in bowl- ingredients for corn bread salad recipe
  • Dry Ranch Dressing Mix – Ranch is the signature seasoning for this salad. You can buy the packets or make your own homemade ranch dressing (you can even keep ranch seasoning mix on hand for when you need it). 
  • Whole Milk – Milk helps to thin the dressing out while keeping it creamy. 
  • Mayonnaise – Using mayonnaise as the base of the dressing makes it creamy and smooth. 
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk also helps to thin the sauce but also gives it a touch of tanginess.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The vinegar offs an acidic contrast to the other rich, savory flavors.
  • Fresh Flat Parsley – Parsley gives the dressing its fresh flavor. 
  • Fresh Dill – Dill adds even more bright and herbaceous flavor to the dressing.
  • Fresh Lemon – Both the zest and the juice add a citrusy zing to the dressing.

Cornbread Salad Dressing:

dressing ingredients in bowl

How to Make Cornbread Salad

You’ll love the look of this layered salad that comes together so quickly and easily!

  1. Combine veggies, black eyed peas and seasonings. Add the bell peppers, onion, and black eyed peas to a medium bowl with the apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and black pepper. 
  2. Marinate veggies. Toss all of the ingredients together and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. 
  3. Drain veggies. To assemble, drain the chilled bell peppers, onion, and black eyed peas and prepare the dressing.
  4. Make dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together until completely combined. 
  5. Add dressing to bottom of bowl. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to create the first layer of dressing in the bottom of the bowl. 
  6. Top with cornbread and bacon. Place a portion of the cornbread on top of the dressing and crumble the bacon on top. 
  7. Add tomatoes, corn and pepper mixture. Add a layer of tomatoes, a layer of corn, and a layer of the bell pepper mixture. 
  8. Repeat layers. Spoon a layer of dressing over top before repeating the same layers 2 times to create a total of 3 sections. 
  9. Top with dressing and garnish. Add the remaining dressing to the top and garnish with a sprinkle of scallions. 

What to Serve With Cornbread Salad

Since it’s full of hearty cornbread and veggies, cornbread salad can be served all on its own but we love to pair it with all sorts of other dishes. It’s perfect for cookouts alongside meats like grilled pork chops, BBQ pulled pork, Dill Chicken and grilled chicken.

Cornbread salad is also fantastic for potlucks — serve it with other Southern-style comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, baked beans, or fried cabbage with bacon

Variations 

This recipe is a standard version of the salad but you can get creative in the kitchen with add-ins or swaps. 

  • Cheese – Sprinkle in layers of cheese — use sharp cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or smoked gouda. 
  • Protein – Add in a layer of shredded or diced chicken or ham. Or, add shrimp. 
  • Veggies – Switch up the vegetables, or add more. Cucumbers, carrots, and avocados are all good options!
  • Beans – Instead of black-eyed peas, try using pinto beans, black beans, or kidney beans. 
  • Herbs – Add cilantro, basil, or other fresh herbs. 
  • Dressing Base – Replace some or all of the mayo with sour cream or Greek yogurt for more tangy flavor.

Storage and Freezing

While you can safely store this salad for a few days in the fridge, it does quickly become soggy so it’s best to eat it within a day or two. 

You can make the dressing and marinate the bell pepper mixture up to 1 day ahead of time and just assemble when you’re ready to serve.

How to Store Cornbread Salad

Cover the salad in its original bowl or transfer it to an airtight container. Store it for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Can I Freeze Cornbread Salad?

We do not recommend freezing leftovers. 

Common Questions About Cornbread Salad

What is cornbread salad made of?

Cornbread salad is made of cubed cornbread, veggies, and beans. It’s all layered with a ranch-based dressing.

Does Southern cornbread have sugar in it?

Most Southern cornbread does not have sugar in it.

Is cornbread made from real corn?

Cornbread is made from real corn — cornmeal is used to form the batter.

More Southern-Inspired Recipes

Sometimes there’s nothing better to satisfy that comfort food craving than a down home southern recipe. Here are a few of our favorites.

pile of biscuits on a wire rack

Biscuits from Scratch (Biscuits without Buttermilk)

4.60 from 10 votes
Discover the perfect recipe for homemade biscuits without buttermilk. Our easy-to-follow instructions will help you create tender, flaky biscuits with simple pantry ingredients. Enjoy golden-brown biscuits that are a delight for any meal!
See The Recipe!
spoon adding sausage gravy to biscuit

Sausage Gravy Recipe

4.98 from 39 votes
Sausage Gravy, a simple recipe made from pork sausage and cream and a few other ingredients, is a Southern staple. Serve over warm biscuits,  fried chicken or chicken fried bacon.
See The Recipe!
close up of southern fried corn in pan

Southern Fried Corn

5 from 5 votes
Southern Fried Corn is a simple southern recipe caramelizing corn and onions for a sweet side dish or taco filling!
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of bowl of cornbread salad with text overlay
overhead shot of serving spoon in bowl of cornbread salad

Cornbread Salad

5 from 4 votes
This EASY, layered Cornbread Salad recipe is packed full of plenty of veggies, black-eyed peas, and hearty cornbread. Full of southern charm!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Salad:

Dressing:

Instructions

Salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, black eyed peas and apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar and black pepper, tossing to coat. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
  • When ready to assemble, remove the bell pepper mixture and drain any excess liquid. Make the dressing (below). Prepare the other items to easily assemble in the trifle dish or other large glass bowl.
  • Spread about ½ cup of the dressing in the bottom of the bowl. Add about 2 cups of the cornbread, topped with 2 tablespoons of crumbled bacon, ½ cup of the cut tomatoes, ½ cup of the corn and ½ cup of the bell pepper mixture. Measurements do not have to be exact.
  • Top these first layers with about 1 cup of the dressing and repeat, attempting to layer evenly into 3 even sections, ending with another drizzle of the dressing. Top with scallions when ready to serve.

Dressing:

  • In a mixing bowl using a whisk, combine the dry ranch seasoning mix, milk, mayonnaise, butter, apple cider vinegar, parsley, dill and the juice and zest of one fresh lemon. Blend until well mixed. This can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Whisk briskly to mix before using.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Notes

Cornbread can be purchased cooked at your local bakery in the form of loaf bread or muffins or use 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbead mix or use our homemade Jiffy blend to make your own!

Nutrition

Calories: 1031 kcal, Carbohydrates: 116 g, Protein: 22 g, Fat: 54 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 21 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 126 mg, Sodium: 2176 mg, Potassium: 723 mg, Fiber: 10 g, Sugar: 35 g, Vitamin A: 860 IU, Vitamin C: 38 mg, Calcium: 322 mg, Iron: 5 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 1031
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cornbread salad
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of cornbread salad
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Oh how fun! I absolutely love the variety of flavors and vibrant colors packed into this cornbread salad. Looks so easy too.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh, wow. I can’t wait to make this. I have never seen cornbread used like this before. It looks amazing.

  3. 5 stars
    The cornbread salad was a delightful surprise! The textures and flavors blended so well, turning traditional cornbread into a vibrant, tasty dish. I loved how each ingredient added its own unique touch, making it both nourishing and incredibly satisfying. Thanks for sharing such a creative and enjoyable recipe!