Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is a recipe that is requested time and time again from friends and family. The addition of corn in this recipe brings a little bit of sweetness to a muy caliente dish! I also garnish with a dollop of sour cream just in case the jalapeños add too much heat. Have some fun with this one by adding your own favorite ingredients like crispy bacon, green onions, or green chilies.
This dish comes out of the oven sizzling with a crispy cornmeal crust, juicy beef, melted cheese, and spicy diced jalapeños. I use reserved bacon grease to add a touch of smokiness. If spiciness is a concern for you, you can easily control the amount of heat by adding less jalapeños. This dish is definitely hearty enough to serve on its own, or as an accompanying dish to add to Chili Night. If Chili Night is not a thing at your house, I highly recommend it! I serve Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Chili with cornbread for a table that serves more than one delicious option.
Favorite Baked Meals
How to make Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
What I love about this recipe is that I usually have the ingredients on hand, and I get the chance to use my cast iron skillet. If you do not have a skillet, you can use a well-greased casserole dish and cut the cornbread into squares. As, a southerner, it is required for me to use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet to make any cornbread recipe. My mother taught me well!
- Sauté Pan – used to cook the ground beef
- Cutting Board – used to chop the vegetables
- Mixing Bowl – used to mix ingredients
- Cast Iron Skillet – used to bake the Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- Meat – ground beef
- Veggies – whole kernel corn, jalapeños
- Cheese – mild cheddar
- Batter – yellow cornmeal, buttermilk, eggs, salt, baking soda, bacon grease
What can I use if I don’t have bacon grease?
Reserved bacon grease is the gold standard in southern cooking. I have actually cooked bacon for the sole purpose of draining its glorious liquid wonder. Don’t worry…no bacon was wasted during this process. I can always find a reason to eat BACON! But let’s say you don’t cook enough bacon to reserve the grease, or dare I say, you don’t even eat bacon!!!! What is a good substitute oil? You can actually use any oil you prefer, however; nothing can mimic that savory smoky flavor you get from bacon fat.
- In a large frying pan, cook ground beef over medium heat. The heat is key here if you want ground beef that is tender, juicy, and not clumpy. The higher the heat the faster the meat cooks, which means it can cook into clumps. Once meat is cooked through, drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using plastic gloves to protect your fingers from the juice, seed the jalapeño peppers. Dice the peppers, then do a taste test to see how hot they are. This will let you know how many peppers should go into your dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, buttermilk, eggs, salt, baking soda, grease, and corn. Make sure the mixture is blended completely so you don’t have pieces of egg cooking into your cornbread.
- In a well-greased cast iron skillet (or casserole dish), pour half of the batter. Add a layer the ground beef over the batter.
- Next, layer the shredded cheese evenly over the beef, then sprinkle with diced jalapeños. My peppers were very mild in heat so I used a lot.
- Pour the remaining batter over the shredded cheese and diced jalapeños. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the sides of the cornbread are sizzling and the top is golden brown. Garnish Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread with sour cream to cool down the heat of the peppers.
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup bacon grease or cooking oil
- 1 can whole kernel corn drained
- 12 oz mild cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 jalapeños seeded and diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan over medium heat, brown ground beef then drain.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, buttermilk, eggs, salt, baking soda, grease, and corn.
- Pour half of cornmeal batter into a well-greased skillet or casserole dish. Top with a layer of beef, then shredded cheese, then diced jalapeños.
- Top cheese layer with remaining cornmeal batter and bake for 50 minutes, or until edges are crispy and top is golden brown.