This cornbread salad recipe has flavorful layers of crumbled cornbread, veggies, bacon, cheese and a delicious salsa ranch dressing. It’s a classic Southern dish that is the perfect way to spice up a potluck!
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Southern Cornbread Salad Recipe
This easy cornbread salad recipe combines the traditional flavors of cornbread with fresh vegetables and a creamy dressing. I put a Southwest spin on mine by adding bell peppers, corn and black beans.
The result was a delightful and refreshing side that is a favorite recipe to bring to a BBQ.
It starts with a layer of crumbled cornbread, then another layer of lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, corn, ranch dressing, bacon, green onions and cheese. Layered salads like this and seven layer salad are all kinds of yummy flavors and textures!
This layered cornbread salad is fresh, bright, and flavorful! It’s the perfect dish for your next potluck.
Find the full recipe with measurements below.
- Cornbread: The sweetness of the cornbread provides the perfect backdrop for all of the other flavors. You could also use cornbread croutons.
- Romaine lettuce: The leafy green gives the salad the ideal crunch.
- Cherry tomatoes: A pop of freshness added to every bite.
- Black beans: Giving the salad a necessary dose of earthiness and antioxidants.
- Corn: Just a little bit more sweetness never hurt anyone.
- Bacon: The crispiness and saltiness of bacon add the perfect texture and flavor to the salad.
- Green onions: Can you really have bacon and cheddar without green onions?
- Cheddar Cheese: The creamy element that rounds out the flavors.
- Dressing: A homemade dressing of buttermilk ranch, sour cream, mayo, and salsa brings all the ingredients and flavors into one harmonious dish.
Cornbread for Salad
For convenience, you can use premade cornbread from the store, or use a box mix such as Jiffy Mix to make it easier.
If I have the time, I love to make homemade sweet cornbread or a batch of cornbread muffins so that I can freeze any leftovers for a quick snack. For a little more spice you could use this Mexican corn bread or even this cast iron skillet cornbread.
Usually I’ll make the cornbread the day before, so that it has some time to harden up a bit. That way it stays sturdy in the salad and it’s one less thing to do when preparing on the day of serving. I love the flavor and texture it adds!
How to Make Cornbread Salad
Four simple steps to a stunning salad, packed with flavor and lots good food.
- Bake the cornbread. Once you have baked cornbread (either packaged, homemade, or store-bought), cut it into cubes.
- Make the dressing. Stir together the ranch dressing mix, sour cream, mayo, and salsa.
- Layer the salad. In a large serving bowl, layer half of cornbread, romaine, tomatoes, black beans, corn, bacon, green onions, and cheddar. Drizzle with dressing, and repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Chill. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
Tips and Substitutions
- Dressing: Plain ranch dressing also tastes delicious on top of this dish.
- Mexican cornbread: To add a little spice and more Mexican flare, make a batch of Mexican cornbread.
- Grilled corn: Instead of canned corn, try adding grilled corn for a charred and delicious flavor.
- Spice: If you like a little heat, mix in some chopped jalapeños or use hot salsa for the dressing.
- Bacon: I love to cook my bacon in the oven for easy cleanup and a perfectly crispy exterior.
- Layering: Layer in a large glass bowl or trifle bowl for best results.
- Let chill: Make sure to chill the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to set.
This salad tastes best the first day of assembling. The cornbread tends to get a little moist (and sometimes mushy) after being in the fridge for an extended period of time, so I’d recommend serving it the same day as preparing for best results.
It does need to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to settle, but this isn’t long enough for the cornbread to lose it’s shape or sturdiness.
Yes, you can definitely leave out the bacon to make it vegetarian. You could add more vegetables or beans if desired.
When you think of cornbread you may not think immediately of salad but this cornbread salad is both! Packed with colorful veggies, beans, cheese, sweet cornbread and a creamy ranch dressing the word salad doesn’t do it justice!
Make Ahead + Storing
This salad tastes best the first day, so I don’t recommend storing it as the cornbread can lose some of its structure and the texture might not hold up after a day.
If you’d like to prepare this dish ahead of time, I’d recommend that you prepare the different components ahead of time however do not assemble the salad. You can cook both the cornbread and bacon the day before, as well as mix together the dressing. Then when ready to serve the next day, layer the ingredients into the bowl and let chill for 30 minutes.
More Salad Recipes
Southwest Cornbread Salad
- 1 (6-ounce) package cornbread mix , can also use homemade or buy premade
- 1 (1-ounce) package Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup mayo
- 1-2 cups salsa
- 1 head romaine lettuce , shredded
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes , sliced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn , drained
- 6 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled
- 4 green onions , chopped
- 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Bake cornbread according to package directions. Let cool and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
- In a medium bowl, , stir together ranch dressing mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Add salsa and stir. Cover until ready to assemble.
- In a large bowl, layer using half of all ingredients: cornbread, romaine, tomato, beans, corn, bacon, green onions, and cheddar. Drizzle over some of the dressing. Repeat the layering process with the remaining ingredients.
- Chill the salad in the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Recipe contributed by Leigh Anne from Your Homebased Mom for I Heart Naptime.