This list of 13 cornbread appetizers will inspire you to use leftover cornbread or start fresh with a new batch and make a brunch appetizer plate!
Before I give you these wonderful recipes for appetizers made out of cornbread, let’s first dive into a little history and trivia about this beloved side dish.
Cornbread is an age-old side dish that dates back to the Native Americans.
It’s a cake-like bread made using maize, eggs, and milk, but in the past, it was made using only ground corn or cornmeal, salt, and water.
These days, while the ingredients used in the modern version of this dish generally stay the same no matter who makes it, location can play a part in how it will taste.
In the south, cornbread is usually made without sugar and without additional wheat flour, giving it a denser texture and less sweet flavor.
In the north, however, it’s made with some sugar, some flour, and is lighter as well as sweeter.
Cornbread can be cooked a few different ways – baked, fried, or even steamed.
Whether baked, fried, or steamed, however, cornbread is oftentimes partnered with savory and meaty main dishes.
It’s usually served with barbecue, but you can see it paired with other dishes like chili and fried chicken too.
Now, while cornbread is generally regarded as a side dish, it can actually hold its own as an appetizer and maybe even as a snack.
The main difference between cornbread that’s enjoyed as a side dish and as an appetizer is in what’s added to it and how it’s put together.
Appetizers that are made with cornbread can begin with regular cornbread that’s cut into pieces or crumbled.
These are then mixed in with meats or vegetables before being fried or baked again.
Recipes in this list that repurpose cornbread this way include Cheesy Cornbread Quiche and Bacon Thanksgiving Stuffing Fritters.
Some cornbread appetizers, on the other hand, are made from scratch and can come with filled centers or have savory/sweet toppings.
Examples of these include Crab Cornbread Muffins and Barbecue Pork Cornbread Muffins.
Cornbread has always been regarded as a side dish or starter, but it doesn’t have to be just that!
Then what are you waiting for?
Let’s dive in!
This is one of those recipes you make from scratch and will require the use of mini muffin tins.
The sausage used in this recipe are jalapeno and cheese sausages, but you can use any sausage you want for it.
You can even use chorizo, if you want something spicier or more Mexican in flavor.
You can also top each muffin with grated cheese before baking, or simply have them as is.
Here’s a recipe for a cornbread appetizer you can prepare by just using an iron skillet!
The southern cooks know how to jazz up cornbread.
I generally dislike too much spicy heat, but this cornbread has JUST enough to be a flavorful bread to sidle up to a meal, or having a chunk with a hot cup of coffee.
It’s not too sweet, so the cheese and peppers aren’t going to duke it out with sugar.
This recipe you can tweak to your heart’s content.
While the ingredients in this recipe are vegan, you can change things up according to your preference.
You’ll need to have some ready-made cornbread for this, or you can bake a loaf from scratch, if you like.
Cut the cornbread into bruschetta sized slices and toast over your grill or in your oven.
Toppings for this recipe can range from regular salsa, corn salsa, and even a variety of cheeses.
This can be considered more of a snack than an appetizer, but if baked in smaller sizes, they can be one or the other.
When you bite into these appetizers, you get a pleasant surprise.
Hiding inside each one of these muffins is some barbecued pulled pork!
You can make these with leftover pulled pork smothered in your favorite barbecue sauce.
Want to amp up the barbecue element of this dish?
Add more barbecue sauce smothered pulled pork on top!
Quiche can be served in slices, like a pie, or if you want them to be easy to handle, make them in small muffin-sized pieces.
Whatever you decide to do, this recipe will work really well with it!
The cornbread in this appetizer is cubed and mixed in with the egg mixture, giving you hearty cornbread bites all around.
For the smaller muffin cups, crumbling your cornbread before adding it to the egg mixture might be a better idea.
Try these Leftover Bread Recipes too!
Planning on serving crostini appetizers for a party or special event?
Here’s a good idea to try!
Aside from the recipe featured here, you can bake a few cornbread rounds in a mini-muffin pan, toast these, and serve them with a selection of toppings!
Some toppings to consider include herbed cream cheese, a variety of cold cuts, some smoked salmon, and even caviar!
These bite sized cornbread sandwiches are like mini ham and cheese sliders!
Each round piece has a slice of ham, cheese, and mustard, but you can change the fillings according to your taste.
You can do salmon, bacon, cucumber, and many other combinations that are great in sandwiches or canapes.
Whatever you choose to use for this recipe, the cornbread is still the star here, with its dense and buttery flavor.
Then this appetizer made with crab, cornbread, and cheese is to die for!
Instead of having the crab on top of the cornbread muffin, they’re integrated into the batter.
This gives you crab all throughout these bite-sized yummies!
You can also substitute the crab with lobster or shrimp in this recipe, or use all three in it!
If you’re craving for some spice in your cornbread appetizers, this is what you’re looking for.
These mini muffins have not just one or two flavors, but it incorporates three distinct flavors in one tasty bite!
You get buttery, spicy, and cheesy morsels with this recipe.
If you want it even spicier than it already is, you can also add in some pepper flakes and cayenne powder for a super fiery kick!
A cornbread and biscuit appetizer in one?
That’s what this recipe gives you, which is actually made as a stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey!
Aside from being used as a stuffing, it can also be served on the side as a starter for your meal.
Have loads leftover from the feast the night before?
Cut into squares and toast for a crusty exterior and serve this the next day.
Tangy, cheesy, salty, and savory sweet are the flavors you get from this appetizer.
These bite-sized squares of cornbread have quite a lot going on in each piece, even though it’s not obvious at first glance.
When you sink your teeth into each one, you get a burst of flavors that will leave you wanting for more!
If you can’t find goat cheese, cream cheese or feta will work well with this recipe.
This is an appetizer that can be made into a side dish, if baked in a loaf pan or in bigger full-sized muffins.
When baked in a smaller muffin size, you get bite-sized appetizers that you can top with more cheese.
You can also smear each mini muffin with some cream cheese and sprinkle freshly chopped chives on top for an eye-catching presentation.
You can also garnish each one with a roasted broccoli floret or smoked salmon.
Even more bread appetizers right here!
What do you do with leftover cornbread stuffing from Thanksgiving?
You turn them into these super tasty fried bites filled with bacon, onions, and more bacon!
You can also add in some cheese, jalapeno, and more to this recipe for a super savory treat.
Don’t have leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving dinner?
You can always make some from scratch or buy some ready-made cornbread stuffing just to make this recipe!
The bottom line
Cornbread is so versatile, it can be used in a lot of recipes, including appetizers.
This list proves that there’s more to it than being used in soups or to sop up drippings.
It helps create rustic or sophisticated bites for parties, potlucks, and family gatherings too!
You can use cornbread mixes for these recipes or use your own personal recipe, if you have one.
You can even use store-bought or restaurant-bought cornbread for some of the canape ideas in this list.
The denseness and somewhat milky flavor of cornbread goes well with both sweet and savory ingredients, so you can add what you want to it without worry.
Whether you choose to go with southern style cornbread or the sweeter northern style recipes, your cornbread will still give you the kind of flavor and texture you expect from it.
Do you have your own take on these cornbread appetizers?
I’d love to hear about your own homemade appetizers made with cornbread.
Let me know what tweaks you make with the recipes above and if these are way better than the original.
- Cornbread Sausage Bites
- Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Cornbread Bruschetta
- Barbecue Pork Cornbread Muffins
- Cheesy Sausage Cornbread Quiche
- Beef Tenderloin Cornbread Crostini with Horseradish Blue Cheese Sauce
- Mini Cornbread Bites
- Crab Cornbread Muffins
- Cheesy Chili Zucchini Cornbread Muffins
- Biscuit Cornbread Stuffing
- Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Cornbread
- Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
- Bacon Thanksgiving Stuffing Fritters
- Cornbread is so good. It’s even better when you make it into appetizers!
- Pull up this list of cornbread appetizers when you need inspiration.
- Get cookin’ and chewin’ and don’t forget to share!