This recipe for Jalapeño Cornbread is made with pickled jalapeños and the brine, so the flavor infused into every bite! It’s moist and packed with sweet and spicy flavor, and the perfect side for chili or BBQ. I love serving it with a drizzle of honey!
There’s not much better than homemade sweet cornbread paired with chili. It may be a million degrees here in Texas, and it’s not even close to fall, but the other night I made pumpkin chili with this cornbread and I have no regrets about it!
Whether you need a side for chili, or your favorite BBQ food, or you need an easy dish to take to a potluck, this Jalapeño Cornbread is sure to be a winner.
And it’s really easy to make it mild or spicy, depending on your preferences! I used mild jalapeños, which meant my kids gobbled it up.
Ingredients and Susbstitutions
- Pickled Jalapeños and the brine– I used homemade quick pickled jalapeños, but normally I would use store-bought. You can usually find store-bought in both mild and spicy forms. As a substitute, you can use fresh diced jalapeños and omit the brine in the recipe, or use canned diced green chiles.
- Cornmeal- I recommend stone-ground, but any cornmeal will do. Please note, corn flour (masa) is not interchangeable with cornmeal and is not recommended.
- All-Purpose Flour- you can use a gluten-free substitute if you prefer.
- Honey and brown sugar- I love the flavor of both in here, but you can use any combination of honey, brown sugar, or white sugar.
- Butter- You can use oil instead, or ghee.
- Milk- this can be substituted with a plant-based alternative if you prefer.
- Baking essentials- Egg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
How to make Jalapeño Cornbread
- First, preheat your oven and butter a baking dish.
- Whisk all the wet ingredients in a large bowl- butter, brown sugar, honey, egg, and milk.
- Then, add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour and cornmeal and mix until there are no dry spots left.
- Fold in the pickled jalapeños and jalapeño brine until evenly dispersed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!
Tips and Tricks
- By mixing the wet ingredients first and gradually adding the dry ingredients, you can save on dishes by not mixing the dry ingredients separately.
- Allow the cornbread to cool in the pan for 5-10 (or more) minutes before slicing- this will help it stay together and will be safer for you.
How to store cornbread
You can store the cooled, sliced cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend warming it up in the microwave if it’s been in the fridge.
You can also freeze it- I recommend flash freezing the sliced cornbread on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, then removing the pieces and placing in a plastic bag or airtight container. That way, you can grab pieces individually when you need them.
I recommend an 8×8 baking pan, but a 9×9 or similar size will do. I actually don’t own any square baking pans (whoops, food blogger fail haha!). So I used a random small casserole dish I got a Homegoods that’s about 10″ by 7″ which worked well.
You could also use a 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet for this. Here’s how to make cornbread in a skillet. Or, add the batter to a muffin pan for jalapeño corn muffins!
What to serve with Jalapeño Cornbread
- Homemade chili- I love pumpkin chili, crockpot turkey and vegetable chili, vegetarian chili, slow cooker white chicken chili, and instant pot chili.
- BBQ chicken with a side of coleslaw and potato salad.
- Homemade soup- split pea soup, lentil soup, black bean soup, or loaded baked potato soup.
I also love serving cornbread for breakfast, slathered with butter and grilled butter-side down in a skillet, and drizzled with honey. Yum!
Other cornbread recipes
- Cornbread Dressing with Sausage (from I Heart Recipes)
- Hot Water Cornbread (from Grandbaby Cakes)
- Butter Pecan Cornbread (from Darius Cooks)
- Honey Skillet Cornbread
- Instant Pot Cornbread (from Recipes from a Pantry)
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- 1/2 cup butter melted (8 tablespoons, or 1 stick)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or white
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños chopped
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño brine from the jar
- 1 cup cornmeal preferably stoneground
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (or GF substitute)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt the butter in the bottom of a large bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the butter into a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan (or approximate equivalent) and spread it around to grease the bottom and sides of the pan (using your hands or a pastry brush). Set aside.
- In the large bowl with the butter, add the brown sugar (1/4 cup), honey (1/4 cup), egg, and milk (3/4 cup). Whisk to combine. Add the salt (1/4 teaspoon), baking powder (1 teaspoon), and baking soda and whisk together well.
- Add the cornmeal (1 cup) and the all-purpose flour (1 cup) and mix to combine until there are no dry spots (do not over-mix). Add the diced pickled jalapeño peppers (1/4 cup) and brine (1 tablespoon). Fold in until mixed evenly.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and center is cooked (check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean).
- Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan. Slice into 12 pieces (or however many you prefer) and serve.
- Ingredient Substitutions: white sugar may be substituted for brown; granulated sugar may be substituted for honey; gluten-free flour mix may be substituted for all-purpose; fresh jalapeños may be substituted for pickled (and the brine omitted); plant-based milk substitute such as soy may be substituted for the milk; ghee or oil may be substituted for the butter.
- To make this in a cast iron skillet, preheat a 10″ skillet in the oven while it warms up. Once the oven is preheated, remove the skillet and add 1 tablespoon butter (or bacon grease, if you have it!) and allow it to melt, coating the bottom and sides. Pour the cornbread batter in and bake according to directions. (recipe for honey skillet cornbread)
- Storage: store cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend reheating in the microwave for a few seconds before eating.
- This recipe is inspired by the Sally’s Baking Addiction Favorite Cornbread recipe.