Southern Cornbread Salad

Southern Cornbread Salad is a delightful dish that transforms cornbread into a colorful and flavorful dish. This southern-inspired recipe offers a unique twist on the traditional salad and combines crumbled cornbread with fresh, crisp vegetables that create satisfying and unique textures and flavors. Whether served as a side dish or a light lunch, the dish will captivate your taste and elevate your meal with its comforting appeal. 

Cornbread salad shown in a baking dish and with ingredients. Text overlay.

What Is Cornbread Salad

Southern Cornbread Salad is a crowd-pleasing layered salad with bacon, cheese, and cornbread that comes together quickly for all of your gatherings. Perfect for any time of the year.

Have you heard of Cornbread Salad? If you answered no, then you are missing out.

Cornbread salad is a delightful and unique dish that incorporates crumbled cornbread as a base with a variety of vegetables, cheese, and bacon. The result is a layered salad with tremendous taste and textures, including the cornbread’s sweetness and the dressing’s creaminess. This salad is typically assembled in a serving dish with the dressing spread between the layers. The salad is often chilled before serving, allowing the flavors to meld.

My sister has been making this recipe for years and is in charge of making it for every get-together. The first time I had this dish, I was hooked. This cornbread salad is fantastic. Once you taste it, you will see exactly what I mean. Your family will request it at every get-together, potluck, or cookout. I know my family does!

Why This Dish Is Fabulous

This easy cornbread salad recipe is fabulous for several reasons. First, it can transform a simple pan of cornbread into a refreshing salad and showcase bright and fresh ingredients, resulting in a colorful and beautiful presentation. This dish appeals to various tastes, making it perfect for many occasions. Whether served at a picnic, summer gathering, holiday, or weeknight dinner, this great dish will always stand out as a winner.

What Are The Ingredients In Cornbread Salad?

Ingredients shown for making southern cornbread salad with text overlay.

Ranch Dressing Mix – This prepackaged mix combines delightful elements to create a classic ranch flavor that adds a nice kick to the salad.

Sour Cream & Mayonnaise – These ingredients are combined with the ranch dressing mix to create a rich, tangy, and creamy dressing while providing a smooth base for the salad.

Cornbread – Cornbread is the heart of the dish with a crumbly texture. A  pan of sweet cornbread is quite delicious.

Pinto Beans and Whole Kernel Corn – These ingredients bring a heartiness and freshness to the salad. Black beans may be substituted for pinto beans.

Tomatoes – Diced fresh tomatoes are needed for this dish. They add a juicy and refreshing component to the dish.

Bell Peppers – A  red bell pepper is needed for the mix’s sweet, crisp, and colorful flavor. A green bell pepper may also be used.

Onion – Red, sweet, or yellow onions will work nicely for this recipe. Sliced green onions can be added to the top.

Shredded Cheese – Cheddar cheese adds richness to the dish. Sharp cheddar cheese may be used.

Bacon – Crispy bacon adds crunch and smoky flavor to the dish.

Cornbread, pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cheese, and bacon are layered in a casserole dish with creamy ranch dressing. Delicious! I mean, if it has ranch dressing in it, then it must be good!

How to Make Cornbread Salad

The steps for making cornbread salad are quite easy, but for complete instructions, see the printable recipe card below.

  • Make the cornbread.
  • Chop the vegetables.
  • Mix the dressing.
  • Layer all the ingredients in a casserole dish.
  • Top with cheese and bacon.
  • Cover and chill.

A Southern Cornbread Salad

I love all of the layers in this salad, and it’s easy to customize to your preferences. Just add or subtract ingredients according to what you like and dislike. Just make sure you add the dressing mixture in the middle of the salad and on top so that everyone gets a taste of that delicious ranch-flavored dressing. And–don’t be stingy with the bacon. I could literally eat my weight in bacon.

Southern Cornbread Salad
Southern Cornbread Salad

My Skillet Cornbread Recipe is super easy with simple ingredients. Check out my Chicken and Dressing recipe for a simple cornbread that is great for this salad.

This salad is made with homemade cornbread. You could certainly prep all of the ingredients the day before and refrigerate until you are ready to prepare your salad. This would make the salad come together faster and save you some time. It can be eaten immediately, but it is better if you can refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.

Let’s Talk Cornbread

This dish is named for the cornbread used in this salad. A big batch of cornbread is needed for this dish. Feel free to make homemade cornbread, as I usually do. But if needed, Jiffy has some amazing-tasting cornbread mix that would be fine for this recipe. If you want to make a skillet of homemade cornbread, here is an easy recipe I use for Chicken and Dressing. 

Cornbread Salad could be served as a meal, but at my house, it is served as a side dish. You can serve it all mixed up or keep it in layers.

My Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread is great for a side with soups. You could even use this recipe with this salad to give it a slight kick.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Feel free to get creative and tailor the recipe to your taste preferences. Cornbread salad is a versatile dish, a delicious combination of flavors,  and one of our family favorites.

Fresh Cornbread – Start with fresh cornbread for the best texture and flavor.

Chill before Serving – For best results, chill the assembled salad a few hours before serving. This gives all of the flavors time to meld.

Drain Vegetables Well – Make sure to drain all of the vegetables well before adding to the salad.

Spicy Kick – Add some diced jalapenos for more of a spicy kick.

Adjust the Dressing – For a lighter version, replace the ranch dressing with a Greek yogurt-based dressing.

Add Chicken – Include some grilled chicken for some added protein.

What Is The Best Way To Serve This Salad

This is a dish that tends to spark conversation and is always enjoyed by all. My family looks for this dish at all of our family gatherings. This is one of our favorite recipes.

There are several ways to present this salad. Serve it in a casserole dish or layered in a trifle bowl, large bowl, or a clear bowl to display the layers.

Add some crumbled bacon and extra shredded cheese to the top before serving.

​If serving this at a large gathering, you might make several dishes or serve it in individual portions, cups, or small bowls.

Provide extra dressing on the side.

Southern Cornbread Salad
Southern Cornbread Salad

When To Serve This Dish

Cornbread salad can be served on various occasions and works as a year-round side dish. This is a super easy go-to dish, a great recipe, and quite delicious. The key to serving this dish is the versatility. Here are some suggestions on when to serve this dish:

Summer Cookouts

Family Gatherings

Perfect Potluck Dish

Holiday Celebrations

Casual Dinners

Tailgating Parties

A Family Reunion

How To Store Leftovers

Storing leftover cornbread salad is very important for maintaining freshness. Store all leftovers wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What To Serve With Southern Cornbread Salad

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs

Southern Fried Pork Chops

Roasted Turkey

Easy southern cornbread salad shown in a baking dish with a few ingredients. Text overlay.

Recipe FAQs

Can I Make This Cornbread Salad Ahead of Time?

Absolutely, you can make this dish ahead of time. You can bake the cornbread and mix the dressing a few days in advance.

Can I Freeze This Salad?

Freezing this salad is not recommended. The flavors and vegetables may change upon thawing. 

What Can I Substitute For Pinto Beans?

If you are not a fan of pinto beans, you can substitute them for black beans or kidney beans. Drain and rinse well before adding them to the salad.

More Salad Recipes

Southern Classic Potato Salad

Southern Tomato Cracker Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Easy Corn Salad with Jalapenos

Thanks, Angie, for always making your family happy with this dish!

I bet your family will request this salad as much as mine!

If you are looking for more delicious salad recipes, try Caprese Salad. This is a beautiful and simple dish to serve at a holiday meal or to your dinner guest. It tastes fresh and is so easy to prepare. Bacon and Broccoli Salad is still one of my favorite salads to eat. Again, there is bacon in the dish, and you just can’t go wrong with bacon.

Southern Cornbread Salad

Southern Cornbread Salad

Gina Abernathy
A crowd pleasing layered salad with bacon, cheese, and cornbread that comes together easily for all of your gatherings. Perfect for any time of the year.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people (A Crowd)


  • 1 1 ounce package Ranch Dry Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 pan cornbread 9-10 inch skillet, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 16 ounce can pinto beans drained
  • 1 16 ounce can whole kernel corn drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup Bell Peppers any color, chopped
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 16 ounce package bacon cooked and crumbled


  • Combine salad dressing mix, sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir well. Set aside.
  • Crumble cornbread. Set aside.
  • Chop tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion. Set aside.
  • In a deep bowl or casserole dish (13″ x 9″), place half of the crumbled cornbread in the bottom of the dish. Top with half of each: beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, salad dressing mix, cheese and bacon.
  • Repeat layers using the rest of the ingredients ending with cheese and bacon.
  • Cover and chill several hours before serving.
Keyword cornbread, salad, easy, holiday, potluck


  1. Hey, Gina – I’m going to try this for New Year’s day. Do you make traditional, from scratch cornbread or can the boxed mix be used?

    1. Hummmm! I have never substituted anything for the ranch. My family “drinks” it by the bottle! 🙂 Is it the dill, parsley, chives, or some other seasoning you don’t like in the ranch dressing? If so, you could make a homemade version leaving out that particular seasoning or ingredient. Let me know if you find a way to substitute the ranch dressing mix. I will do the same..

  2. I love cornbread salad. I’m making for church this Sunday. I wonder if it’ll be ok to make Saturday night…..or should I wait till Sunday morning?

    1. My sister makes this salad a lot for all of our get togethers. She usually makes it in the morning. But, you can certainly prep everything the day before, and have everything ready to assemble Sunday morning. It is best if you can refrigerate for several hours before serving. Honestly, I eat this for several days as left-overs and it is just as good as it was the first day it was made. 🙂

  3. You had me at cornbread. I absolutely love cornbread, so the idea of Southern cornbread salad is very intriguing. This looks like something I would absolutely devour. I will have to give this one a try soon. Any excuse to add cornbread to our meal plan is a win in my books.

  4. 5 stars
    How have I never had this until now??? All of my favorite things in one dish, you had me at ranch dressing. LOL!

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