Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread with Miso is a moist and tender cheesy side with umami flavor. It’s a little sweet, has a hint of spicy, and goes perfectly with a cozy bowl of chili or soup.
Cornbread is naturally sweet because of the cornmeal base, so the jalapeño cheddar flavor adds heat and creaminess to the dish. Then, the miso paste, which is loaded with umami, adds a salty and sweet element. The result? A slightly spicy cornbread that’s sweet and savory.
Cornbread is a non-seasonal side that pairs with meals all year round like our Healthy Turkey Chili.
In the summer months, enjoy it with a barbecue dinner and in the winter, with a cozy bowl of stew or chili. It’s even good on its own or with a pat of butter and drizzle of honey.
So, while it may be tempting to reach for the box of Jiffy mix, I promise homemade cornbread from scratch is so much better. You can control the quality of the ingredients as well as the sweetness, moisture, and flavor. And all you need is a handful of ingredients and a few minutes to put everything together.
Ingredients For Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- Cornmeal - Cornmeal is the primary base for cornbread. I recommend yellow medium-grain cornmeal, which gives both corn texture and flavor. When mixed with all-purpose flour, it creates a tender crumb without sacrificing corn flavor.
- Whole Milk and Butter - Whole milk and butter add an element of fat to the cornbread recipe, creating a rich and moist texture. This cornbread recipe calls for a ½ cup of butter, so it will definitely be moist.
- Brown Sugar - The molasses base in brown sugar adds moisture to the cornbread and balances the dryness of the cornmeal and flour.
- Sharp Cheddar - Sharp cheddar adds mouthwatering flavor and buttery texture to cornbread that pairs well with the sweetness of the brown sugar. Sharp cheddar is my cheese of choice, but you can also use regular medium or mild yellow cheddar, or sharp white cheddar. I recommend hand grating the cheddar or using the grater disc on a food processor. Pre-grated cheddar often has stabilizers and doesn’t melt evenly.
- Pickled Jalapeño - Jalapeño adds a little heat to the cornbread. The heat from the jalapeño balances the buttery flavor from the cheddar. You can use either pickled or fresh and add as much or as little as you like. If you cannot find jalapeño peppers or you can use diced green chilis or omit the peppers if you dislike heat.
- Miso Paste - Miso paste provides even more umami flavor to the cornbread. The fermented soybean paste adds complexity and depth to the cornbread recipe.
How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Cornbread requires just a few easy steps and 15 minutes of prep:
- Heat the Oven and Prepare the Pan - Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a 8x8" square pan or 9" round baking pan with parchment paper or grease the pan in preparation for the cornbread batter
- Mix the Wet Ingredients - In a large bowl add a room temperature egg, milk, melted butter, and miso paste. Beat the ingredients together.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients - In a separate bowl add in flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and brown sugar and whisk until well-mixed. Then, use a spatula to fold in ingredients just until mixed. Fold in grated cheddar and jalapeños.
- Pour into Baking Pan - Pour batter into baking pan and gently smooth with an offset spatula or spoon. Add additional grated cheese and place jalapeño slices if desired.
- Bake the Cornbread - Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- Serve - Serve the Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread warm with honey and spread butter on top.
What is the Best Cornmeal for Cornbread?
The best cornmeal for Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is yellow medium-ground cornmeal. Medium-ground cornmeal offers both corn flavor and a medium texture to the cornbread. Small grain cornmeal only offers corn flavor; large grain cornmeal offers mostly texture and is better suited for dishes like polenta.
How Do You Make Cornbread Less Dry?
Since cornmeal is dry, you need all-purpose flour, moisture, and fat to create a tender cornbread crumb. The 1:1 cornmeal and flour ratio also requires other ingredients. Milk and butter add fat and richness to the recipe. And the molasses in brown sugar adds moisture to the batter.
What Can I Eat With Jalapeño Cornbread?
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is the ideal side for hearty chili, stew, or even a southwestern salad. The jalapeño adds a nice heat that compliments a warm meal. You can dip cornbread in a bowl of chili or even serve the chili atop a slice of cornbread for a heartier cozy meal.
Should Cornbread Be Served Warm?
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread should be served warm or at room temperature. If served cold, the fats in the cornbread harden and make the crumb feel dry and coarse. When served warm, the heat naturally enhances the cornbread flavors and it is easier to spread a pat of butter on top.
What Cornbread Variations Could I Make?
There are endless cornbread variations you can make. Here are some delicious flavors you can add:
- Cornbread with jalapeño, corn kernels, and pepper jack cheese
- Honey Skillet Cornbread
- Einkorn Cornbread Muffins
- Cornbread with gruyere and herbs
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread with Miso
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter melted at room temperature (1 stick)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup grated cheddar
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp jalapeños chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 egg
- Heat oven to 400 F. Line an 8x8" square pan or 9" round baking pan with parchment paper or grease the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg, milk, butter, and miso paste. Add in flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and brown sugar and use a spatula to fold in ingredients just until mixed. Fold in grated cheese and jalapeños.
- Pour batter into baking pan and gently smooth with an offset spatula or spoon. Add additional grated cheese and place jalapeño slices if desired.
- Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow the bread to cool and slice into 9 squares.