Simple Southern Spoonbread Recipe

There's plenty to love about cornbread, but if you have ever found it a bit too dry and crumbly, you might want to whip up this closely related but much softer version instead. When you're in the mood for a corn-based dish with a moister and fluffier consistency, spoonbread is the answer. Its name is a giveaway to its smooth and almost custard-like consistency, which brings to mind light souffles and puddings — it needs to be served with a spoon. This simple and satisfying side comes from Mashed recipe developer Christina Musgrave, who brings us this Southern spoonbread recipe that's true to its name.

She shares, "I like that this recipe comes together so quickly and is a great side dish for a variety of mains." Indeed, you probably already have all the ingredients you need to make the batter, which you simply pour into a large dish and bake until golden. Serve this Southern comfort food warm from the oven with your favorite Southern mains foods or as a side for a barbecue or potluck gathering

Gather the ingredients for this simple Southern spoonbread recipe.

For this simple Southern spoonbread recipe, all you'll need is whole milk, cornmeal (any type), unsalted butter, eggs (beaten), salt, and baking powder.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Warm the milk

Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat.

Step 3: Add the cornmeal

Add the cornmeal and stir to thoroughly combine.

Step 4: Stir the milk and cornmeal

Continue stirring for 3 minutes, until thickened, then remove from heat.

Step 5: Add the butter

Add in butter and stir. Let cool.

Step 6: Add the remaining ingredients

Slowly add eggs, salt, and baking powder and whisk well.

Step 7: Pour the mixture into the dish

Transfer to a greased 10x7-inch baking dish.

Step 8: Bake the spoonbread

Bake for 30 minutes, until just golden brown.

Step 9: Serve the spoonbread

Serve and enjoy.

What do you serve with this simple Southern spoonbread recipe?

Considering its Southern origins, it's no surprise that spoonbread makes a great side dish for classic Southern recipes. Musgrave comments, "I recommend serving this with barbeque — pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs, and cole slaw pair great with this recipe." Thanks to its simplicity, this creamy dish complements a range of flavors. The natural sweetness of the corn works well with smoky flavors, which is why it's such a winner with smoked meats or baked beans. 

Alternatively, any grilled meat like steak, chicken, and sausages work well with the spoonbread. It makes a great base for your favorite chili, whether meat-based or vegetarian. The soft comforting texture makes it a perfect accompaniment for any sort of spicy or flavorful sauce, from a hearty marinara to fresh salsa. It's quick enough to throw together on a weeknight, but it also makes a great no-hassle side for any holiday meal. 

How should you store leftover Southern spoonbread?

Whereas some leftovers need to be transferred into an airtight container, that's not the case with spoonbread. Considering the soft and airy consistency of spoonbread, it's easier not to try to move it out of the dish. For this reason, Musgrave says, "I leave [leftovers] in the baking dish and cover with foil." You'll want to make sure to seal the dish well to keep the leftover spoonbread at its freshest.

As for where to store the leftovers, Musgrave notes, "They can sit out on the counter." Just be sure to get through them fairly quickly for optimal flavor and texture, as the spoonbread can dry out if left to sit for too long. Depending on your personal preference (and motivation to turn on appliances), you can eat the remaining portions at room temperature or warm them up. "There is no need to reheat, but if you want to you can reheat in the oven or microwave," Musgrave instructs.

Simple Southern Spoonbread Recipe
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Spoonbread, a classic and comforting Southern side can be whipped up in minutes. Serve it at your barbecue or potluck with all your favorite Southern mains.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Southern spoonbread in baking dish
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Add cornmeal and stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. Continue stirring for 3 minutes, until thickened, then remove from heat.
  5. Add in butter and stir. Let cool.
  6. Slowly add eggs, salt, and baking powder and whisk well.
  7. Transfer to a greased 10x7-inch baking dish.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, until just golden brown.
  9. Serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 118
Total Fat 4.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 68.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 2.6 g
Sodium 183.6 mg
Protein 4.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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