6 Unexpected Ways to Use Cornbread Mix for a Faster Meal

Stocking up on staples for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert means your shopping cart can start to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa by the time you get to the register. There’s a better way, and it’s hiding in the baking aisle. Instead of purchasing every component separately, grab a box of cornbread mix. It’ll cut down on the number of items you have to purchase and help speed up the cooking process. With these 6 recipes, you’ll learn how to transform that packaged mix into a speedy supper, a fun breakfast, or even a unique dessert. You might want to grab a couple of boxes.

1. Cheesy Bacon Cornbread Waffle Bites

Bacon, cooking

Bacon cooking | iStock.com

Give cornbread some serious texture by turning it into a waffle. This savory recipe from Farm and Flavor gives the quick bread tons of salty goodness with bacon and cheese while the waffle iron ensures a delightfully crisp exterior. Just stir milk and eggs into the cornbread mix, then fold the tasty add-ins into the batter. Once cooked, they’re ready to be devoured. These morning treats are delicious with the creamy mustard maple sauce for dunking, but we also like a simple drizzle of honey.



  • 2 eggs
  • 1⅓ cups milk, plus more, as needed
  • 2 (8.5-ounce) boxes cornbread mix
  • 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • ½ cup finely sliced chives
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Canola oil


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Directions: Prepare waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Stir in cornbread mix and stir until mostly smooth. A few lumps are fine. Fold in the bacon, chives, cheese, and cayenne. Add additional milk to thin, if needed.

Brush waffle iron with oil. Ladle batter into iron a dollop at a time for bites, or fill completely for full waffles; cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Stir together dip ingredients until combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with waffle bites.

2. Cornbread Pancakes with Zucchini

Zucchini Squash Pancakes

Zucchini pancakes | iStock.com

Filled with cheese, veggies, and herbs, these pancakes from Mother Rimmy’s make a great pastry option for savory breakfast lovers. Using boxed cornbread mix saves time measuring and means you’ll have fewer dishes by the time you’re through, so get started! Just mix all the ingredients together and cook in a greased skillet. The recipe recommends serving with butter or sour cream, but they’re also pretty tasty eaten right out of hand.


  • 1½ cups corn bread mix
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ¼ cup sliced chives
  • 1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking spray or canola oil

Directions: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray or drizzle with oil.

Combine batter ingredients and mix until just combined.

Lade about ⅔ cup batter into the pan. Allow to cook until bottom is nicely browned and then flip. Brown on the other side to cook through. Serve with butter or sour cream.

3. Corn Bread Chicken Tenders

chicken tenders, fries

Chicken tenders | iStock.com

While chicken tenders might sound like kid food, most adults secretly miss these crispy goodies from their youth. Relive the nostalgia, but add a bit of a twist with these corn bread chicken tenders from Taste of Home. Just dunk the tenders in some prepared dressing, dredge in the cornbread mix, then cook in a bit of oil. With only 4 ingredients and such a simple method, these could be on the menu tonight.


  • ¼ cup cornbread mix
  • 3 tablespoons prepared ranch salad dressing
  • 6 chicken tenderloins
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Directions: Place corn bread mix and salad dressing in separate shallow bowls. Dip each tenderloin in dressing, then roll in corn bread mix to coat. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until meat is cooked through. Serve.

4. White Chicken Chili with Cornbread Dumplings

chili with corn and cheese

Chili | iStock.com

Chili and cornbread are a match made in heaven, but the combo could use a little shake up now and again. The Country Cook’s white chicken chili with cornbread dumplings saves some time, and a few pans, by morphing the bread into dumplings that cook right in the stew. And they’ll be loads more flavorful than regular cornbread since they can soak up all the flavor of the chili as they cook.

Simmer a mixture of broth, chicken, onions, and garlic. Remove the chicken and shred it, then add it back to the pot along with the beans, condensed soup, chiles, corn, and the seasoning. Mix up the cornbread batter with a touch of cheese and green onion, then dollop the mixture into the bubbling broth. In 10 to 12 minutes, this hearty meal is ready to eat. Keep in mind the batter makes twice as many dumplings as you’ll need. You can halve the recipe, or save the leftover dough for another time.



  • 1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 (1-ounce) taco seasoning packet
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, undrained
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles


  • 1 (7-ounce) box cornbread mix
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sour cream, plus more
  • ¼ cup shredded Mexican cheese, plus more

Directions: In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine stock, water, garlic, onions, and chicken. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Shred chicken.

Add taco seasoning, beans, corn, condensed soup, and green chiles to broth. Stir, then mix in chicken. Cover and cook over medium heat.

Meanwhile, combine cornbread mix with green onions, egg, ¼ cup sour cream, and ¼ cup cheese. Mix until a stiff dough forms. Drop dumplings by teaspoonful into the pot. You will only use about half of the dumpling mixture. Save the rest for another use.

Cover and allow dumplings to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Spoon into bowls and serve topped with additional cheese and sour cream.

5. Sausage and Chard White Cornbread Pizza


Cornbread in a skillet | iStock.com

This cornbread-crusted pizza from The Food Network’s Jeff Mauro proves that an ultra-thin crust isn’t the only tasty pie option out there. Just combine the cornbread mix with some milk, butter, and an egg, then bake in the oven. Spread on a 4-cheese mix, pile on some sausage and chard, then finish it under the broiler. A final sprinkle of pickled peppers adds a little bit of heat and zing. Who needs delivery when a fresh pizza is this easy to make?


  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 2 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pickled sweet red cherry peppers

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix cornbread mix, butter, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined. Coat a large, cast-iron skillet with oil. Add the cornbread mixture to skillet and press until it covers the entire surface of skillet. Bake until golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.

Mix together ricotta, Asiago, Pecorino Romano, and Parmesan in a small bowl, set aside.

In a separate skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, crumbling with a spoon, until golden brown and cooked. Drain on a paper towel, but reserve fat. Lower heat to medium and add greens. Season with salt and pepper and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Preheat broiler. Smear cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Top with sausage and chard. Broil until bubbling and melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with sliced peppers. Serve.

6. Texas Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies | iStock.com

For a completely unexpected and totally delicious dessert, bake up a batch of these Texas chocolate chip cookies from Life’s Too Short to Skip Dessert for your next get-together. The unusual recipe transforms a box of cornbread mix with plenty of chocolate chips and a sprinkle of salt. The sweetness of the cornmeal goes wonderfully in a cookie and offers up a nice crunch. And these are so easy, even baking beginners will look like professionals.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

Directions: Mix softened butter with sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add box of cornbread mix and stir to incorporate. Add chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned around edges and set on top. Sprinkle with salt immediately after removing from oven. Cool and serve.