Cornbread Salad

published Mar 11, 2022
Cornbread Salad Recipe

Cornbread salad is the sure-to-impress potluck classic.


Prep25 minutes to 30 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 14 minutes

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layered cornbread salad with beans, sour cream, tomatoes and chives
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Cornbread salad is a classic Southern side dish with layers of colors and textures. While there are many tasty ingredients that go into this salad, the cornbread is absolutely the star of the show. Here you’ll start with a batch of skillet cornbread, which I firmly believe can’t be beat. Since it’s prepared in a cast iron pan, a beautiful crisp crust forms along the bottom while the center is tender and the top is golden-brown.

After preparing the skillet cornbread, you’ll cut it into cubes and layer the cubes with bacon, tomatoes, scallions, cheddar, pinto beans, and corn in a trifle dish. It’s important to make sure each layer presses up all the way against the sides of the glass bowl so your guests can see exactly what they can expect in each and every bite. This salad is all about the presentation, which means it’s perfect for entertaining. Plus, it’s big enough to serve a crowd. The flavors are ideal to pair with all of your favorite grilled foods like chicken, steaks, hamburgers, or hot dogs.

What’s in Cornbread Salad?

Cornbread salad is made with cubed cornbread, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, sliced scallions, shredded cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and corn kernels. Everything comes together with a ranch-flavored dressing made with mayonnaise and sour cream.

How to Serve Cornbread Salad

Cornbread salad is beautiful when served in a glass bowl or trifle dish to show off each colorful layer. Guests can scoop up the salad and enjoy as a flavorful side dish alongside grilled fare at any party, potluck, or backyard barbecue.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

How Many Layers Is Cornbread Salad?

This cornbread salad has a total of 14 layers. There are 7 different elements — cornbread, pinto beans, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon, corn, and dressing — that are layered twice. The final layer of dressing is then topped with sliced scallions for garnish.

Cornbread Salad Recipe

Cornbread salad is the sure-to-impress potluck classic.

Prep time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 14 minutes

Serves 10

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    batch Skillet Cornbread (or 15 to 16 cups cubed cornbread)

  • 12 ounces

    sliced bacon (about 12 slices)

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    tomatoes (3 to 4 large)

  • 6

    medium scallions

  • 8 ounces

    cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

  • 2 (about 15-ounce) cans

    pinto beans

  • 2 (11-ounce) cans

    corn kernels

  • 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups

    sour cream

  • 1 (1-ounce) packet

    ranch dressing mix


  1. Prepare 1 recipe skillet cornbread. Once cool, cut into 1-inch cubes (15 to 16 cups).

  2. Cut 12 ounces sliced bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large frying pan and use your hands to separate any large clumps of bacon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 10 to 14 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

  3. Seed and dice 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 4 cups) and place in a medium bowl. Thinly slice 6 medium scallions (about 1 cup). Reserve 1/2 cup for garnish and add the remaining to the bowl of tomatoes. Toss to combine.

  4. Grate 8 ounces cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 cups). Drain and rinse 2 (about 15-ounce) cans pinto beans. Drain 2 (11-ounce) cans corn kernels (about 3 1/2 cups).

  5. Place 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, 1 1/2 cups sour cream, and 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix in a medium bowl and stir until combined.

  6. Layer in the following order, spreading each layer out in an even layer, in a large glass or trifle bowl: Half each of the cornbread, beans, tomato mixture, cheese, bacon, corn, and dressing. Repeat the layers. Top with the reserved scallions. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. Serve chilled.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cornbread can be made up to 2 days in advance. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.