This Southern-style recipe elevates a classic moist cornbread to a flavorful Tex-Mex version. With the addition of green chilies and pepper jack cheese, we’ve taken the classic and added a twist. By infusing the cornbread with the rich, creamy goodness of buttermilk and the sweet, savory flavor of creamed corn you get a moist, delicious cornbread that’s the perfect complement to any meal. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to make, so you can have this melt-in-your-mouth Mexican cornbread ready to enjoy on a busy weeknight.
You’ve Got Time to Make Mexican Cornbread
This recipe for cheesy Mexican cornbread is not as spicy as you might think, it just has a hint of spice from the green chilies and pepper jack cheese, a jalapeno can be added if you want more spice. Otherwise it’s a classic Southern cornbread with a super moist texture and a Tex-Mex flare.
While it’s referred to as “Mexican” cornbread because of the chilies and peppers, I don’t think this is a version that is authentic to Mexico. Authentic Mexican cornbread is sweet.
Buttermilk and creamed corn make this cornbread recipe moist and tender, and for the final layer of flavor, pepper jack cheese adds a little kick! But I promise it doesn’t turn out too spicy. If you want, leave out the chilies and pepper jack and add colby instead and you’ll still have an amazing cornbread recipe.
My favorite thing about homemade cornbread is just how easy it is to make and it’s pretty hard to mess up. Whether it’s browned butter cornbread, sweet potato cornbread, cornbread biscuits or this Tex-Mex version, the prep only takes a few minutes, and I always have flour and cornmeal in my pantry.
This Tex-Mex cornbread recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and savory with a little spicy kick – perfect for enjoying with a bowl of chicken chili or alongside some bbq ribs. But cornbread isn’t just for chili and ribs – serve it with queso chicken or grilled chicken or whatever you’re planning for dinner tonight. It only takes 10 minutes to put together.
What Makes Cornbread Moist
Most Southern cornbread is moist due to the addition of sour cream. However, this version doesn’t need the sour cream. It gets it’s extra moisture from creamed corn and buttermilk.
Why Mexican Cornbread is the Perfect Side Dish
- It’s easy to put together. This Southern Mexican cornbread batter takes about ten minutes to make. Pop it in the oven to bake while you make the rest of your meal.
- It mainly uses pantry ingredients. At any given time, I have all the ingredients to make a batch of homemade cornbread. With a few other additions like a fresh jalapeno and some pepper jack cheese, I have a simple side dish that I can make at the last minute if I need to.
- It’s great for making ahead of time. When having guests over, making elements of your meal ahead of time can be a lifesaver. You can make this ahead and just reheat when you’re ready to eat.
Diced Green Chiles are a Must
Diced green chiles come in hot or mild varieties. You can find them either with the international ingredients or near the canned vegetables in your grocery store. They can be spicy or super mild. I prefer the flavor of mild hatch green chilies in this cornbread.
What You’ll Need to Make Mexican Cornbread
- Yellow cornmeal: Use fine or medium ground cornmeal for best results. You don’t want cornmeal muffin mix, just plain cornmeal.
- Creamed corn: A can of creamed corn adds flavor and texture to the cornbread – you can use a can of whole corn, just make sure you drain it first. I use whatever I have my pantry but I prefer the creamed corn. Frozen or fresh corn will not work for this cornbread recipe.
- Canned green chiles: They add a tiny bit of heat but mainly add a lot of flavor.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes baked goods tender and flavorful and helps it rise. I always recommend using real store-bought buttermilk, but in a pinch, you can make your own buttermilk.
- Jalapeno: Using some fresh along with the canned peppers gives this bread the best flavor. It doesn’t make it too spicy if you remove the seeds first, you also can leave them out.
- Pepper jack cheese: Pepper jack cheese is Monterey Jack cheese made with jalapenos mixed in. If you prefer, you can use cheddar or Monterey jack instead or colby.
- Pantry staples: Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, vegetable oil.
It’s so Simple to Make Cheesy Mexican Cornbread
Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. You’ll add the rest of the ingredients to this bowl as well, so make sure it’s big enough.
Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl (this one can be a little smaller), whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and oil. Then, add the can of creamed corn, chilies, diced jalapenos, and almost all of the cheese. Stir until combined. Adding jalapenos is completely optional, the green chilies will add some flavor without much heat.
Step 3: Combine the cornbread batter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined – for this step, I recommend ditching the whisk and switching to a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into a parchment-lined pan and top with the rest of the cheese.
Step 4: Bake the cornbread.
Bake the cornbread until it’s golden brown on top and cooked through, this will take about an hour. Allow to cool for just a few minutes before cutting and serving.
This is so moist that it will not fall apart when you eat it. You can add a little butter to the top, but it really doesn’t need it.
Tips for Making Perfect Mexican Cornbread
- Parchment paper makes the cornbread easy to get out of the pan, so you can cut prettier squares. If not using, spray the pan with cooking spray.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Since this cornbread uses flour in addition to the cornmeal, overmixing the batter can make a tough and gummy cornbread with a flat texture.
How to Store Cornbread
At room temperature: Store leftover cornbread in an airtight container for up to two days. Placing it in the refrigerator will dry it out.
In the freezer: Place the cornbread into a freezer bag or airtight container. It should stay fresh for 3 months.
To reheat: Let it thaw and them wrap in aluminum foil and warm in the oven at 350º for about 5-10 minutes.
What to Serve with Southern Mexican Cornbread
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Mexican Cornbread Recipe with Creamed Corn
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 14 ounces creamed corn
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed and diced
- 4 ounce can green chilies drained
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cup pepper jack cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350º and line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, slightly beaten eggs, and oil. Add drained corn, chilies, diced jalapenos and 1 cup cheese. Stir until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350º for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Don’t overmix the batter. Since this cornbread uses flour in addition to the cornmeal, over mixing the batter can make a tough and gummy cornbread with a flat texture.
- Creamed corn works best in the recipe but you can also use canned corn, just drain it first.
- To keep it mild, remove the seeds from the jalapeno or leave it out.