A pan of cornbread fresh from the oven is a wonderful thing, but leftover cornbread can be just as amazing. Here are our favorite ways to use it—they’re so good you might want to bake extra in the first place.
On the second day, cornbread is still great simply toasted and spread with butter, but beyond that, you can use it pretty much as you would any stale bread—turn it into croutons, bread pudding, and more.
Toasted cornbread cubes can be added as a crisp garnish to any salad (or even used as a bed for roasted chicken), but larger, craggier chunks are also a great main component of a simple heirloom tomato panzanella.
Finely crumbled or cubed leftover cornbread is a classic stuffing ingredient on many Thanksgiving tables, but it’s not just for turkey. You could make our Cornbread, Sausage, and Apple Stuffing recipe or our Cornbread and Oyster Stuffing recipe to serve any time all fall and winter. Or try our Cornbread Stuffed Baked Onion recipe as a main course with a simple green salad.
Cornbread makes a fine binder for meatloaf, but don’t stop there; the moist crumbs help hold together our Cornbread Crab Cake recipe while also adding extra texture and flavor.
Sprinkling cornbread crumbs on top of anything before you bake it is another brilliant move. Try it on our Hot Crab Dip recipe, or your favorite mac and cheese. But you can also toast the crumbled cornbread in butter on the stovetop to scatter on top of any finished dish that would love a little more texture, like soup and chili—or even ice cream (try spicing the crumbs with a little cinnamon and brown sugar if you go that route). If the dessert idea intrigues you, consider making a cornbread fruit crisp.
Just like firmer loaves often find their best second life in bread pudding, leftover cornbread can too. Try this Caramel Pecan Cornbread Pudding recipe or Cornbread Blueberry Bread Pudding recipe. You can make it savory if you prefer.
This Grilled Corn with Cornbread Puree and Popcorn recipe features corn in various forms, but the most notable is definitely the luscious cornbread butter (i.e., cornbread puree) spiced with Tabasco and enriched with lots of dairy. It’s a deliciously rich pudding-esque side dish you could serve with anything in place of mashed potatoes.
Check out our favorite ways to use leftover cornbread for more ideas.