If something calls for a packet of Ranch dressing mix, chances are, I’m gonna love it. And today’s recipe is no exception. A hearty, layered salad that can be served as a main dish, side dish, or app, we discovered this Cornbread Salad recipe years ago and the flavor profile includes some of my very favorite things — Ranch, bacon, cheese, tomatoes and other veggies. The recipe makes A LOT, so it’s a great item to serve to a crowd, at a potluck, or to incorporate into several meals throughout the week. It’s a great dish to make in advance during the warm weather months and when that fresh summer produce is in season. And, since it’s just about that time, it’s time to start pulling out all the cold salad recipe favorites for the months ahead!
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There are several steps involved in making the dish, but you may perform some of the steps concurrently (i.e. cook the bacon while you are mixing the cornbread mix.) And, while there are several steps involved, none are difficult. Also appealing, the Cornbread Salad ingredients are typically ones that we have on hand!
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Cornbread Salad?
One of my favorite things about this Cornbread Salad recipe is, it doesn’t call for any “fancy” or exotic ingredients. They’re all easily accessible and we typically have most of these pantry and refrigerator staples on hand. Here are the ingredients I use for this recipe.
- Mexican cornbread mix
- canned chopped chill peppers
- sour cream/Greek yogurt
- Ranch dressing mix
- canned pinto beans
- bell pepper
- cheddar cheese
What to Serve with Cornbread Salad
This Cornbread Salad is hearty enough with enough variance in ingredients to eat on its own, but is also a great side dish for outdoor barbecues, Sunday suppers or any weeknight meal. It’s also a great dish to take to a pot luck or to serve at a party as an appetizer. Here are some meal ideas that would pair well with this salad:
- Barbecue chicken
- Grilled pork chops
- Baked ham
- Baked chicken
- Vegetable dinner
- Roasted pork tenderloin
- Fried chicken
- Smoked brisket
- Roast beef sandwiches
- Barbecue sandwiches
Cornbread Salad As Leftovers
If you aren’t feeding a large crowd, there WILL be leftovers. I think that’s great, since this is a dish that’s better the next day when the flavors have more time to marry. The recipe calls for a two-hour refrigeration time before serving, but the Cornbread Salad is even better if you can refrigerate it overnight. Of course, if you are making the Cornbread Salad for an event, prepare the dish the day/night before.
CORNBREAD SALAD RECIPE
This hearty "salad" may be served as a main dish or as a side dish. It includes almost all of the food groups, including meat, dairy, vegetable and bread.
- 10 Bacon Strips Cooked & Crumbled
- 8.5 oz. Package Mexican Cornbread Mix
- 4 oz. Can Chopped Chilis
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 8 oz. Sour Cream Greek Yogurt may be substituted
- 1 Envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
- 2 cans Pinto Beans Drained and Rinsed
- 2 cans Whole Kernel Corn Rinsed
- 3 Medium Tomatoes Chopped
- 1 cup Green Bell Pepper Chopped
- 1 cup Green Onions Chopped
- 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble when cool.
Prepare cornbread mix per package directions. Stir in can of green chilis. Spread in a greased 8 x 8" square baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream and dressing mix. Set aside.
Drain and rinse pinto beans in colander. Add corn to drain and mix together.
Chop tomatoes, green bell pepper and green onions.
Crumble half of the cornbread into a 13 x 9" glass dish or trifle bowl.
Add layer of 1/2 pinto beans and corn.
Add layer of 1/2 of the tomatoes, green bell pepper and onions.
Add 1/2 of the dressing mixture in dollops.
Add layer 1/2 of the crumbled bacon.
Add layer of 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Repeat layers. (Dish will be very full!)
Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
The cornbread salad may be served by itself or on a bed of shredded lettuce. Other bean types, such as black beans or garbanzo beans may be added or substituted.
Cornbread Salad Garnish Ideas
It’s always fun to make a dish a bit more festive by adding an additional garnish. Depending on the tastes of your family and friends, you can have as many or few of these garnishes available to add a bit more flavor and fun to the dish.
- Sliced fresh jalapeño pepper
- Pickled jalapeño pepper
- Sliced scallions
- Sliced black olives
- Dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Dollop of salsa
- Bacon crumbles
- Halved grape or cherry tomato
- Drizzle of Ranch dressing
- Drizzle of hot sauce
- Chopped chives
Have you ever hear of Cornbread Salad or better yet, actually made Cornbread Salad? If you’re a fan of all encompassing one-dish dinners and cold summer salads, add this one to your list, stat!
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