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Cornbread Salad

Elizabeth Heiskell
Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it is a most unusual side dish. It is beautiful when layered in a trifle bowl and frankly makes boring potato salad look foolish when it's next to this.

Technique tip: Instead of using canned corn, roast whole ears of corn in the husk in the oven after 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and once they're cool enough to handle, remove husks and cut the kernels from the cob.

Swap option: Add shrimp for a heartier main course.


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups white self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 12 tablespoons oil
  • 1 10-ounce package ranch dressing
  • cups sour cream
  • cups mayonnaise
  • 10 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced


For the cornbread:


Preheat oven to 400°F.


Mix flour, cornmeal and sugar in one bowl. In another bowl whisk eggs with buttermilk and add dry ingredients (this mixture should be as thick as cake batter). Add more buttermilk if it is too dry, or more cornmeal if it is too thin.


Pour oil evenly into muffin pan (1 tablespoon per muffin cup). Place the muffin pan into the oven for 5-7 minutes.


Remove pan from the oven and carefully pour the hot oil into the cornbread mixture. Stir well.


Pour batter into the muffin cups and cook until golden brown, about 25 minutes.


Remove from oven and let cool. Crumble the muffins and set aside.

For the salad:


Whisk together ranch mixture, sour cream and mayonnaise. Set aside.


Place 1/2 cornbread crumbles on the bottom of a serving dish followed with half of the bacon, cheese, tomatoes, corn, green onions, peppers and iceberg lettuce. Top with half of the ranch dressing. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second layer.


Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving.