20 Scrumptious Recipes That Start With Cornmeal

Mawmaw's Simple Fried Green Tomatoes
Photo: lutzflcat

If you've baked cornbread to your heart's content, don't stop there. Use cornmeal in pancakes, fried pickles, corndogs, cookies, and more. We've pulled together our favorite recipes that call for cornmeal. And yes, we've included a few of our best recipes for warm, buttery cornbread because — let's be honest — it's just a matter of time before you're craving it again.

01 of 20

South of the Border Shrimp and Grits

South of the Border Shrimp and Grits
thedailygourmet

"This shrimp and grits can usually be made with on-hand ingredients. The best part: It's ready in under 30 minutes." —thedailygourmet

02 of 20

One-Skillet Hearty Chili and Cornbread

One-Skillet Hearty Chili and Cornbread
SunnyDaysNora

This cornbread-chili mashup gets its rich flavor from herbs, spices, sugar, and even unsweetened cocoa powder.

03 of 20

Blue Cornmeal Pancakes

A stack of dark brown pancakes on a white plate, topped with maple syrup and a sprinkling of pine nuts
Buckwheat Queen

Blue cornmeal boasts more protein than the yellow cornmeal, but our reviewers attest that you can use either here.

04 of 20

Cheesy Polenta

Cheesy Polenta with meat on top
Karen Dean Covington

"This versatile side dish would work great along with pork, chicken, beef or fish. The trick is to slowly add the cornmeal and whisk constantly to avoid lumps." —dadrules

05 of 20

Lemon Polenta Cake

Lemon Polenta Cake
Buckwheat Queen

"The flavor of the cake is actually quite delicate with no hint of a cornbread taste," Buckwheat Queen says. "The lemon glaze gives it a gooey texture, and the almond meal accents that. I kept mine in the fridge and served cool with warm toasted almond shavings on top. A nice light, cake that just happens to be gluten free — can't beat that!"

06 of 20

Crispy Air Fryer Cod

Crispy Air Fryer Cod
Kim's Cooking Now

Though the recipe calls for polenta, you can replace it with cornmeal. With equal parts cornmeal and all-purpose flour, plus some seasoning, this recipe qualifies a pantry-friendly dinner.

07 of 20

Crunchy Oven Fried Tilapia

Crunchy Oven Fried Tilapia
Dianne

No air fryer? No problem. This oil-free, cornbread-crusted fish relies on the oven to "fry" it to crispy perfection.

08 of 20

Mawmaw's Simple Fried Green Tomatoes

Mawmaw's Simple Fried Green Tomatoes
lutzflcat

"My grandmother's fried green tomatoes were famous in our community. The recipe is so simple, but the results are delicious!" —HeyGoodLookin

09 of 20

Blueberry Cornbread in a Skillet

Blueberry Cornbread in a Skillet
lutzflcat

"Sweet blueberries and savory corn are the perfect combination in this easy skillet cornbread that's perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner." —Jenine

10 of 20

Vegan Baked Polenta with Radicchio

Vegan Baked Polenta with Radicchio
Buckwheat Queen

"This is an adaptation of a popular dish from the Lombardy region of Italy. It typically uses fatty cheeses and butter. This version offers all the flavor without animal fats," recipe creator Buckwheat Queen says.

11 of 20

Cast Iron Cornbread

Cast Iron Cornbread
Chef John

"This is a scrumptious real cornbread recipe. It is not the yellow cakey sweet cornbread that some restaurants serve. It is a real corn-mealy cornbread. It is delicious as is or with the addition of chopped jalapenos or corn or whatever. The cayenne adds flavor but not heat. Don't leave it out," Jean Severance Ney says.

12 of 20

Cornmeal Strawberry Cake

Cornmeal Strawberry Cake
J

"Oh, how delightful! I wanted to use up some yogurt and cornbread, so I input those two ingredients into the recipe finder and this is what came up. It's like a dense, sweet cornbread. I used frozen blueberries because I wanted to save my fresh strawberries for another dish," Maria Brown says. "I had a slice with some vanilla ice cream while it was still just slightly warm, and it was delicious. This recipe is a keeper."

13 of 20

Cranberry Cornmeal Linzer Cookies

Cranberry Cornmeal Linzer Cookies
SHORECOOK

"This recipe combines two Wisconsin favorites: cranberries and cornmeal. These deliciously different cookies with their tangy cranberry filling are hard to resist!" —larkspur

14 of 20

Deep Fried Dill Pickles

Deep Fried Dill Pickles
Sarah Jean Shaffner

If you're not a pickle person, you can use this method to fry other veggies. If, however, you are a pickle person, you're in for a treat.

15 of 20

Corn Dogs

Corn Dogs
sopenia

Be warned: Once you cook these carnival-inspired corn dogs, you won't go back to the store-bought alternative.

16 of 20

Persimmon Cobbler

Persimmon Cobbler
Buckwheat Queen

Persimmons and cornmeal don't seem like an obvious pair — until you try this dessert.

17 of 20

Simple New England Fried Fish

Simple New England Fried Fish
pelicangal

"This was a very easy recipe, and the fish was delicious, flaky, and crisp, without too much coating," says Kathy L. "I will make this again, for sure!"

18 of 20

Fried Okra

Fried Okra slices
Gem Smith

"Oh my goodness! This is as good as you can get in any restaurant. I was a little worried because the egg coupled with the okra's natural 'stickiness' made sort of an ooey-gooey mess when I tried to roll them in the cornmeal mixture. But once they went into the oil, they fried up perfectly and were delish! In fact, I'm making them again tonight." —JBKINCAID

19 of 20

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Corn and Fresh Sage

polenta on a plate with meat and broccoli
LynnInHK

Sage adds a savory, herby flavor to creamy Parmesan polenta.

20 of 20

Oven-Fried Catfish

Oven-Fried Catfish
Nancy Ball

"This recipe is a great alternative to pan-fried catfish. A combination of cornmeal and a variety of spices gives this recipe a savory kick in less than 30 minutes." —Mrs. Hermes

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