Cornbread is a crowd favorite, but it’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t feed an army. Many times, a lot of the bread inevitably goes to waste, especially because while it’s perfect and fresh the day of baking, cornbread hardens up and loses its flavor as quickly as the day after. It also doesn’t help that it usually fails to freeze as beautifully as its other quick bread cousins. But unwanted leftovers of the good stuff should not deter you from continuing to pull out your cornmeal and cast-iron skillet — you just have to know how to serve it fresh and then how to transform your leftovers into a whole new appetizing dish.
If you’re ready to get to work but don’t know where to turn for the next best cornbread leftovers recipe, look no further than this list, which features six great options ranging from cornbread stuffing to pudding to croutons to tacos and back again. You’ll be amazed what you’ve been missing out on when you sent your leftover quick bread to the trash.
1. Sausage, Cranberry, and Cornbread Stuffing
This Sausage, Cranberry, and Cornbread Stuffing recipe from Epicurious is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Colored by the cranberries, this dish is beautiful. It is also indulgent, with pops of flavor from the sausage, which the sweet cornbread rounds out perfectly. Put this on your Thanksgiving table and everyone will forget about traditional bread stuffing.
- 1½ loaves cornbread
- 2 cups pecans
- 7 leeks (about 1 pound, white and pale green parts only)
- 3 celery ribs
- ¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- ½ pound sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links)
- 2 cups fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 cups chicken broth
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut cornbread into ½-inch cubes, and in two large shallow baking pans, bake in middle of oven until just dry, about 20 minutes. Transfer cornbread from one pan to a large bowl, and in pan, toast pecans in oven until insides are golden, 10 to 20 minutes.
Halve leeks lengthwise and then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces. In a bowl of cold water, wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain. Chop celery. In a 12-inch skillet, cook leeks and celery in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until leeks are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove sausage from casings and break into small pieces. Add sausage to leek mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through.
In a small heavy saucepan, cook cranberries with sugar over moderately high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until some begin to burst. Chop parsley. To bowl of cornbread, add remaining cornbread cubes, pecans, sausage mixture, cranberries, parsley, broth, and salt and pepper to taste and toss together. Cool stuffing completely. Stuffing may be made up to this point one day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring stuffing to room temperature before proceeding.
For cooking stuffing outside poultry: In a shallow baking dish, bake stuffing in preheated 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour (for moist stuffing, bake covered entire time; for less moist stuffing with a slightly crisp top, uncover halfway through baking time).
2. Cornbread Croutons
Another way to use up your cornbread is by transforming it into croutons. Chefs often do this with day-old bread, so you shouldn’t forget that you can easily do it with cornbread, too. Follow this recipe for Cornbread Croutons found on Tablespoon.com and see for yourself.
- 1 batch day-old cornbread (homemade or from a box mix)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut leftover or day-old cornbread into cubes, any size. Place cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle a few dashes of salt and pepper to taste on croutons. Drizzle with olive oil and toss lightly to coat. Toast in oven until edges are a deep brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once during baking. Remove from oven and sprinkle on your favorite foods.
3. Cornbread Pudding
Another recipe that uses up day-old cornbread is this formula for Cornbread Pudding from Food.com. This decadent dish is so good that you’ll always double your cornbread recipe, just so you have leftovers. Make this cornbread pudding for an indulgent side dish or a devilish dessert, and you’re sure to have some happy dinner guests on your hands.
- 4 cups cornbread, day-old and crumbled into bite-size chunks
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray glass loaf pan, then layer cornbread in bottom. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugars, and aromatics. Pour over cornbread, pressing chunks of bread down into liquid. Liquid should cover all bread. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until all pudding mixture is baked and golden.
4. Cornbread Casserole
Casseroles get a bad rap, but this savory concoction from Taste of Home is no doubt delicious and can be made with fresh or day-old cornbread. Cornbread Casserole will change your mind about casseroles, and only seven ingredients are necessary to help cook up the switch. Once you’ve made your cornbread or have the old stuff on hand, all you need to do is combine the rest of this recipe’s ingredients in a baking dish and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- 1 can (15¼ ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 can (14¾ ounces) cream-style corn
- 1 package (8½ ounces) cornbread/muffin mix
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
Directions: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into a greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top and edges are golden brown. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
5. Cornbread Taco Bake
If you’re in the mood for Mexican, use up your leftover cornbread or extra box mix with this recipe for Cornbread Taco Bake from Relish. This meal comes together in no time but is still inventive and impressive. Tacos and burritos are good, but they get old — it’s time to bring this Cornbread Taco Bake into the rotation.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- ½ cup water
- 1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (8½-ounce) package corn muffin mix
- 1 (2.8-ounce) can french fried onions
- ⅓ cup shredded sharp cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown beef in a skillet and drain. Stir in taco seasoning, water, corn, pepper, and tomato sauce. Pour into a 7-by-12-inch glass dish or 2-quart casserole dish. In a bowl, mix corn muffin mix according to package directions, then stir in ½ can onions. Spoon corn muffin mixture around outer edge of casserole. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, take out of oven, and sprinkle cheese and remaining onions on the corn muffin topping. Bake 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Cornbread and Eggs
Last up is Cornbread and Eggs, a breakfast you really won’t mind waking up for. Tap into your cravings with this dish from Taste of Southern. The ingredient list contains only a few items and yields 3 to 4 servings — what’s more, you only need to consider 15 minutes of prep time.
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup milk, approximately, as needed
- Butter and shortening, for greasing skillet
Directions: For cornbread, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, add corn meal and flour, and whisk together. Add sugar and whisk together well. Add the egg; stir to break up. Stir in enough milk until the batter mirrors the consistency of cake batter. Place butter in a warm skillet and let it melt, swirling it around to coat the skillet. Pour batter into the skillet and place skillet in the oven. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden-brown. If a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean, it is done.
To make cornbread and eggs: Place a skillet over medium heat on your stove top. Add about one tablespoon to the skillet, letting it melt. Crumble pie slice section of cornbread into the skillet. Stir the cornbread into the butter and let it heat up. Break four eggs into a small mixing bowl, whisking well. Pour the whisked eggs into the skillet, spreading it over the crumbled cornbread. Cornbread will absorb most of the eggs. Stir the mixture and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, or until eggs are done.