Southern Cornbread Salad

Total Time:
2 hr 10 min
10 min
2 hr

6 servings

  • 1 batch cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes, recipe follows
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can niblet corn, drained
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle ranch dressing
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
  • Cornbread:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 1/4 cup for greasing pan
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup cream-style corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

In the bottom of a large glass bowl, place cornbread cubes. Layer beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cheese on top of cornbread. Spread ranch dressing evenly over cheese. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Generously season a cast iron skillet with up to 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Preheat the pan either in the oven or on the stove over medium-high heat.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Pour batter into the preheated cast iron skillet. Place skillet in the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. If making individual size cornbreads in smaller pans, they will require a shorter cooking time.

Yield: 8 servings

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    Thought this sounded so weird, but was in the mood to be adventurous! Was delicious! It is a fun recipe to play with too. I added a chopped jalapeno in with the bellpepper. I made the ranch dressing from the hidden valley packet. (I hate bottled dressings!) I used black beans instead of kidney, and I added some romaine lettuce to the top for extra crispiness. The cornbread was really good too, and I will probably make it again to just eat plain.
    I wasn't overly thrilled with my results, but it was nutritious. So as not to waste all the good ingredients, I decided to turn the leftovers into something I would like better. I started by putting a can of cream of chicken soup and a cup of heavy cream into a heavy saucepan. I then dumped all the remainder salad into the pot. I added a few more cans of water just to make it soupy. Then I added some leftover roasted chicken, garlic powder, poultlry seasoning sriracha sauce, and slowly heated my soup to serving temp and simmered and stirred a few times so the cheese wouldn't stick to the bottom of the pan. I can't think of what to name my concoction, but all I know is, there are NO more leftovers! Best thing, I didn't have to serve bread on the side! I feel sorry for the person who said it was yuck and they had to throw their salad away cause they didn't like it. You CAN make a Silk purse from a sow's ear!
    I added a few things like bacon, jalapeņos to the cornbread, and extra cheese. My coworkers loved it, and they ate it up the day I served it and the next. I found the cornbread to not absorb any of the moisture, and the salad didn't seem to flow together. I'll make it again, because I know how popular it was. Maybe I wasn't at the top of my game the day I made it. I'll happily try it again!
    This is a great base recipe. I tweaked it for our taste by adding bacon, broccoli, cucumber to the tomatoes and onions and substituted black beans, red bell pepper, Mexican cornbread, and frozen corn. Like other reviewers, I made it the night before and let it set...awesome flavors.
    This is a favorite for my exercise class potlucks. SOmeone always "gets" to make it!
    Very easy to make and very delicious! I made this for our annual homecoming at Church and the crowd loved it!
    This Salad was dangerously delicious! Its sweet and crunchy and the variety of textures may this a pleasure to eat. I added a bag of lettuce above the cornbread cubes and it was fabulous. Only negative is that i could easily have eaten the entire bowl myself!
    This recipe was a hit! It is great with a Mexican dinner (enchiladas or tacos. I thought it could be a little bit sweeter so I made extra cornbread and added another layer of the cornbread in the middle. I also made the ranch dressing from the Hidden Valley Ranch packets and purposely made it a little bit runny so it would soak through to the bottom. I've already made it 3 times!
    My sister served this a few weeks ago and used southwest chipotle ranch dressing. Delish!!!!!!!!! 
    I will be taking it to a party this week-end. I will be sure to take a few copies of this with me.
    Excellent recipe to take to church dinners and family reunions! It is so pretty and colorful that it just demands to be tried! Also very easy to change around for your own taste. If you don't like kidney beans, then try pinto or garbanzo beans. Spring onions instead of Vidalia or perhaps a red onion. I always get rave reviews when I make it!
    Very tasty, made this for my girlfriend's birthday brunch and everyone really raved about it, everyone also had second and third helpings, there was only a pinch left in the bowl, took to work the next day, shared with one of my co workers told me I have to make it for him for their next family gathering, said a little will just make you mad, looking forward to making this for the girls again,will add fiesta steak or chicken next time or little of both, thanks Paula, very delightful
    Very Good!! Can't wait to make it again for next family get together.
    i think this recipe is delicious!! i have to be honest i used store bought corn bread b.c i wanted to try out this recipe and didnt have time to bake corn bread. the only thing i did differently was keep out tomatoes b.c my boyfriend doesnt like them, and b.c i didnt want to lose a layer of flavor i added black beans. i did salt and pepper the layers as well. this would be awesome for a party!! i just made it for us to try. hope you all give this a try. thanks Paula!!
    If anyone makes this wonderful dish and dose'nt like it, well then the problem lies with the cook and not the recipe. I also made my cornbread with my way, omited sugar added bacon greese with the butter and always in cast iron skillet. I also used 1/2 green bell pepper and 1/2 red. The next time I make it I am going to try just plain ranch dressing instead of buttermilk ranch. I am not a big fan of buttermilk ranch but for those that are I am sure you will love it.
    I loved the recipe...but made a couple of changes...I made the corn bread then I bought a bag of green giant corn in butter sauce poured it over the corn bread that way the butter sauce could absorb into the cornbread...I also put a layer of real bacon bits and after I put the buttermilk dressing I put some sliced tomatoes and sprinkled some cheese and bacon bits and chives across the was divine...but it was even better the next day. Everyone loved it!!! I also made my cornbread the way I like it THX Paula your the best!
    Yuck! Bleh! This was boring! The flavors of the ingredients didn't blend together at all. The cornbread was dry and tasteless! If not for the ranch dressing, it wouldn't have had any flavor at all... I served this dish for 4th of July; everyone had a couple of bites and left the rest on their plates -- ended up throwing the rest away because nobody would eat any more of it. I've reviewed the recipe again to see what I did wrong, but couldn't find the error(s). This is the worst Paula Deen recipe I've ever made -- certainly won't make it again. Sorry, Paula, but this recipe is just plain horrible.
    This stuff is amazing! I prefer green onions, so I used those, and next time I think I'm gonna try black-eyed peas! I'm pretty excited about it... But the recipe is great just the way it is. :
    Thought this recipe looked rel. tame and boring, but had a menu that I wanted to incorporate cornbread into so decided to make it. It was unbelievable. It wound up being the best thing on the menu and what everybody asked about. I made mine the night before, which I think really helps. I also wound up with extra cornbread after I filled up the bottom of the bowl, so I crumbled the leftovers and did thin layers of the crumbled stuff inbetween the other layers. I also used a small bamboo skewer to poke a few holes all the way down to the bottom of the bowl after I poured the ranch on top to make sure it could run down some. Will def. make agin.
    This salad was surprisingly good. I wanted to try it because it was something totally different from salads I would normally make. With the odd combination of layers in here, I was intrigued, but didn't have my hopes up too high. I absolutely loved it. I only made a 1/2 recipe, just in case it was a flop and my daughter and I were fighting over the leftovers! It looks elegant in the bowl and is so unique, it'll be great for my next potluck.
    This was a huge hit. Everyone kept going back for more and more till the bowl was scraped clean. Next time I'm going southwest with chipotle cornbread and jalapeno ranch.
    If I could give this recipe 10 stars, I would. I consider myself a layered salad connoisseur and this one is the greatest! Quick and easy enough to make for regular dinner and tasty enough to make for company.
    I made this last year for a New Years get together and also for Memorial Day! It is absolutely delightful!! I've had several requests for this receiped. I made mexican cornbread with jalapenos, cheese and cream corn and it was wonderful!
    For years I've prepared a different recipe for cornbread salad. Now that I've made Paula's Southern Cornbread Salad, it's my recipe of choice. Take the time to make her cornbread recipe at the bottom of the recipe. Well worth it---tasty and stays moist. I left out the optional cheese in the cornbread since there is so much in the salad and it was still wonderful. Red pepper gives the great little kick---not too much. You can substitute a different type of onion but the sweet Vidalia is perfect. Be sure and use a really deep, glass bowl. Layers are so pretty showing through the glass. Need lots of depth to have plenty of room for all layers. Plus, you want a little gap between top of salad and top of bowl so you can cover it without messing up dressing on top. Note: this salad needs to be made ahead as directed so flavors have time to blend all together. Great make ahead dish. I just finished off a bowl of this salad that I made three days ago and it's better than it was the first day!
    I served this last night to a group of discerning women with sophisticated palates. Would they like it? Would it be too casual, too folksy? They LOVED it! Thanks to previous reviewers, I made it the previous evening which let the flavors meld and the dressing - all 16 ounces - soak through. Everyone asked for the recipe. Heartfelt thanks to the many helpful reviews and to Paula.
    My family loved this salad! I served it with balsamic dressing instead of the dressing in the recipe and it was FABULOUS!
    I made it for a 4th of July celebration. It was a huge hit with everyone!
    Absolutely LOVED this salad!!! Made it for a Memorial Day Cookout. Everyone thought it looked beautiful and tasted delicious. Only change I made was used 1 pint of halved cherry tomatoes and used Buttermilk dressing. The Cornbread was EXCELLENT. I was brave and used the Cayenne Pepper, which was optional. I didn't put cheese in the cornbread (also, was optional) because of adding cheese later to the recipe. PAULA DEEN, you are one of the VERY best out there. Thanks for this recipe. PS. It was even better the next day as other reviewers noted. This also can be made a day in advance...Thanks again!!!!
    I made this for my family's mother's day meal, and everyone raved about it! It was delicious and easy to make. It looks wonderful served in a clear trifle dish, too! I am going to make this again for tonight's dinner. Thanks, Paula!! what this dish should be called.
     The salad was a big hit yesterday; I left some aside and brought it home in my trifle dish...went to gym; when I returned home, my husband had the trifle dish "EMPTIED" and sitting on his LAP...I almost killed him! lol
     Instead I just whipped another batch!
     ..thank you for this heavenly dish Paula!
     ~Raving Fan~
    Made this for a family gathering and it was the hit!!! Everyone loved it. Thanks Paula.
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