Leftovers

16 Creative Ways to Use Leftover Cornbread (Other Than Stuffing)

July 14, 2020

Cornbread, warm, right out of the oven: It's something we find ourselves eagerly cutting off squares of and eating straight from the pan, with a knifeful of soft butter for slathering onto each bite. It goes wonderfully with summer BBQs and Thanksgiving dinners alike. But no matter what time of year we make it, it all too soon it becomes a very different, much less joyous affair—bordering on tasteless, dry, and crumbly. What a shame. 

Some years ago, community member, Aargersi, made a big batch of cornbread—and asked our community what they like to do with their leftovers. She mentioned that she normally freezes any extras for stuffing and other goodies, but was looking for some new ideas to use it even after it went to the dry, sorry state of no return. The community's suggestions were helpful to us then, and have stuck with us to this day. So, in honor of cornbread season officially beginning, here's a handful of ways to use them. 

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Keep it simple:

  • Pegeen believes that all day-old cornbread needs is a little T.L.C. Revive it by toasting and slathering it with butter—or, as saragrad prefers, with jam—and call it breakfast.

Crumb it:

  • Blitz it into bread crumbs using your food processor (here's an overview on how to do it) to use anywhere you'd call in for fine crumbs. 
  • Fry up some jiggly-topped, custardy-sided eggs in buttery bread crumbs for this take on the classic from the Zuni Café Cookbook. Or take a cue from this recipe: mash your bread crumbs together with salty, umami-rich anchovies, and serve 'em up with jammy soft-boiled eggs and asparagus. And last, because the egg-greens-bread crumb combo is unbeatable, this recipe with tender braised kale and crispy bread crumbs will keep you warm all winter long. 
  • Dessert loves bread crumbs, too—especially this rhubarb-based cake with lots and lots of butter. 

Cube it:

  • Turn cornbread into croutons, as Susan W and EmilyC suggest, to toss in any salad, but in particular, this one.
  • For a breakfast of champions, look no further than...mush! Seriously. Some tangy coconut buttermilk, dried fruit, vanilla, and honey takes the stuff to a new level. 
  • This cornbread and heirloom tomato panzanella is an excellent vehicle for sweet, juicy summery produce and sharp balsamic vinegar. Day-old cornbread soaks up all the flavors wonderfully. 
  • In the fall and winter especially, Pegeen also suggests tossing toasted cubes with roasted vegetables of all sorts, or using them as a bed for roast chicken.

More: Achieve roast chicken perfection.

Use the crumble to your advantage:

  • ChezHenry likes to turn dry cornbread into an easy fruit crisp or crumble topping by substituting it for the flour in any recipe. He recommends baking the fruit without the topping for the first half of baking before adding the cornbread mixture, to prevent it from drying out too much, since the cornbread has already been cooked through once.
  • Crumble it into a variant on corn pudding. Amysarah points to her recipe for corn pudding, and suggests substituting the cornmeal with crumbled, dry cornbread.
  • Or use cornbread to thicken soup. Missmertz stirs the crumbles into chili as it cooks.

What do you do with an excess of cornbread? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

Sausage and Cornbread Salad photo by Alpha Smoot, all other photos by James Ransom  

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Sheela Prakash is a food and wine writer, recipe developer, and the author of Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. Her writing and recipes can be found in numerous online and print publications, including Kitchn, Epicurious, Food52, Serious Eats, Tasting Table, The Splendid Table, Simply Recipes, Culture Cheese Magazine, Clean Plates, and Slow Food USA. She received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, holds Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Wines from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), graduated from New York University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, and is also a Registered Dietitian.

10 Comments

Sel July 27, 2020
I use my crumbs for crab cakes, fish cakes etc. Of course the fav. is fish cakes. Left over catfish takes on a nice cajun taste. And then there is the bread pudding. My atelier is really a lab. One quickly discovers with all the test tubes filled with herbs etc. The many beakers in the pantry, and the counter coverings of brushed SS...
 
Barbara July 26, 2020
I crumble it up and feed it out for the birds, they love it!
 
Katy February 3, 2020
My mother always put chunks of leftover cornbread in a mug and poured milk over top. She would serve it to us that way for breakfast the next day.
 
Lisa M. September 10, 2015
Toast and use it instead of tortillas under eggs for Huevos Rancheros.
 
janet T. November 21, 2014
Leftover cornbread spread with butter, drizzled with maple syrup, warmed briefly in the microwave makes a wonderful breakfast.
 
TERRYE H. November 12, 2014
Make an "Arkansas Traveler." Place a square of cornbread over black-eyed peas, top with roast beef and gravy. Maybe a little chow-chow on the side.
 
AntoniaJames November 10, 2014
Perfect toasted under the broiler and used instead of regular toast or biscuits for this type of supper: https://food52.com/recipes/7331-chicken-and-mushrooms-on-toasts Also, it freezes really well, if reheated in the oven. I've been making cornbread in mini-loaves lately, as it is so convenient/less messy to wrap. I'll be posting a recipe soon that uses leftover cornbread, including a useful trick or two on this subject. ;o)
 
CHeeb November 9, 2014
We use cubed cornbread as the "bread" in our eggy breakfast casseroles that also feature maple sausage. The most popular bread is toasted waffles,but cornbread is very popular. We make them in bulk for St. Peter 's freezer,sometimes with cheese,sometime without. Both leave eaters wondering what they just ate. They are sturdy enough to withstand an overnight soak,too.
 
elf1 November 9, 2014
I just adore cornbread....it's not a usual item to be found in the UK but I make it a lot. There have been some fab recipes on here for Cornbread...my fav is Sarah Leah Chase...crackling cornbread in here book......love what you over there are cooking at the moment...great !
 
Charlotte S. November 8, 2014
Mmm.. cornbread.. :)

Found some delicious fall recipes here too.. http://entertaining.idailyinfo.com