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A classic Southern skillet cornbread recipe gets a flavor boost from diced jalapeño pepper, sharp cheddar cheese, and chopped fresh chives! Serve this Mexican Cornbread with a bowl of chili, chicken tortilla soup, or a plate of beef barbacoa. It’s zippy (but not too spicy), soft and moist with crispy edges, and perfect with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey!

Drizzling honey on Mexican cornbread

Skillet cornbread is the perfect last-minute easy side dish. It pairs well with everything from barbecue and ribs to soup, stew, chili and grilled chicken. Stir in some jalapeño and cheddar for an amped up twist on the classic. This easy Mexican cornbread recipe will soon become a family favorite!

Southern Mexican Cornbread

Also called Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread, this easy quick bread is just a traditional Southern cornbread recipe with a few extra ingredients. The jalapeño pepper adds a bit of heat and some south-of-the-border flare to the cheesy Mexican cornbread. We don’t like it too spicy, so I remove all of the seeds and ribs from the pepper. If you prefer a bolder cornbread, you can add extra jalapeño or leave some of the seeds intact. You can also use Pepper Jack cheese instead of cheddar, and stir in some diced pimento or chopped red bell pepper for a little pop of color. Use this easy recipe as a starting point and have fun in the kitchen!

Side shot of a cast iron skillet full of jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a Mexican cornbread recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Yellow or white cornmeal: cornmeal is dried and ground corn, and can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Either medium or fine ground cornmeal will work well.
  • All-purpose flour: adds a softer, finer consistency to the base of the cornbread.
  • Granulated sugar: just enough to make the cornbread slightly sweet in the background, but not as sweet as honey cornbread.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: the leavening agents that help the cornbread rise.
  • Kosher salt: to enhance the other flavors in the bread.
  • Buttermilk: adds moisture to the bread, creates a soft, tender crumb, provides a slight tangy flavor and richness. Use whole buttermilk (not low-fat) for the best texture and flavor.
  • Butter: for delicious, rich flavor and added moisture.
  • Eggs: for structure.
  • Jalapeño pepper, sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh chives or green onions: the extra add-ins that give this Southern cornbread its Mexican flare!
  • Vegetable oil: for greasing the hot skillet.

What size skillet or pan for cornbread?

10-inch cast iron skillet is the best size for this recipe. You can also use a deep 9-inch skillet for extra-thick slices. I don’t recommend using a skillet that’s larger than 10 inches, or your cornbread will be too thin.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can prepare the bread in a regular 8-inch or 9-inch round or square cake pan.

Square image of mexican cheesy cornbread on a table with honey and jalapenos nearby

How to Make Mexican Cornbread from Scratch

You’ll want to keep these simple ingredients in your pantry all year round so that you can stir together a batch of the best sweet Mexican cornbread whenever the craving strikes. Don’t forget the butter and honey on top!

  1. Preheat the skillet or baking pan in a 400° F oven.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs; stir to combine.
  4. Fold in the jalapeño pepper, cheese and chives.
  5. Brush the hot skillet with oil.
  6. Pour the batter into the hot greased skillet.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Process shot showing dry ingredients for jalapeno cheddar cornbread
Process shot showing how to make mexican cornbread
Jalapenos and cheddar in a bowl of cornbread batter
Overhead image of a cast iron skillet of mexican cornbread on a rustic farm table

What to Serve with Easy Mexican Cornbread

Spread the warm Mexican cheesy cornbread with butter, honey or homemade honey butter. As a side dish, the cornbread goes well with any of these dinner entrées:

Stack of jalapeno cheddar cornbread slices on a plate

Storage

  • Cornbread is best when freshly baked and warm from the oven, but you can prepare it up to 8 hours in advance and leave it on your countertop until ready to serve.
  • How to store Cornbread: Wrap it tightly and store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Wrapped tightly, you can freeze Mexican cornbread for up to 3 months. Thaw the cornbread on the countertop before enjoying.
  • To reheat leftover cornbread, wrap in foil and warm in a 350° F oven for about 5-10 minutes. You can also microwave individual slices of cornbread just until warmed through — about 20-30 seconds.
Table full of mexican style cornbread with toppings

Recipe Variations — Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

  • This bread is not very spicy if you remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño. If you prefer a spicy cornbread, leave some of the seeds and ribs intact, or increase the amount of jalapeño in the batter.
  • For a colorful red touch, stir in diced red bell pepper or pimento.
  • Use any good melting cheese in lieu of the cheddar. Pepper Jack is great for a spicy kick, or try Colby, Monterey Jack, or a blend of cheeses.
  • Sweet Mexican Cornbread: if you’d like the bread to be sweeter, increase the sugar to ¼ cup (or more).
Slice of southern mexican cornbread with butter and honey on top

Tips for the Best Mexican Cornbread Recipe

  • Use a finely-ground or medium ground yellow or white cornmeal. Coarse cornmeal will give the bread a more grainy (rather than soft) texture.
  • Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes before baking, if you have the time. This allows the baking powder to activate and incorporate more air.
  • Preheat the skillet or baking pan in the oven to achieve crisp, golden brown edges.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter or it will become too dense, and you’ll end up with dry cornbread.
  • To check if the cornbread is done, insert a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean. Don’t cook for too long, or it can dry out.
Sliced mexican cornbread in a cast iron skillet

More Cornbread Recipes You’ll Love

Drizzling honey on Mexican cornbread

Jalapeño Cheddar Mexican Cornbread

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 379 kcal
A classic Southern skillet cornbread recipe gets a flavor boost from diced jalapeño pepper, sharp cheddar cheese, and chopped fresh chives!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup yellow or white cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Place a 9-inch or 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 400° F, leaving the skillet or pan in the oven while it heats.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Add the buttermilk, butter and eggs. Stir to combine. Fold in jalapeño, cheese and chives.
  • When the oven has come to temperature, pour oil into the hot skillet or pan. Use a brush to evenly spread the oil. Pour batter into the hot, greased skillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes

  • Use a finely-ground or medium ground yellow or white cornmeal. Coarse cornmeal will give the bread a more grainy (rather than soft) texture.
  • Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes before baking, if you have the time. This allows the baking powder to activate and incorporate more air.
  • Preheat the skillet or baking pan in the oven to achieve crisp, golden brown edges.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter or it will become too dense, and you’ll end up with dry cornbread.
  • To check if the cornbread is done, insert a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean. Don’t cook for too long, or it can dry out.
  • This bread is not very spicy if you remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño. If you prefer a spicy cornbread, leave some of the seeds and ribs intact, or increase the amount of jalapeño in the batter.
  • For a colorful red touch, stir in diced red bell pepper or pimento.
  • Use any good melting cheese in lieu of the cheddar. Pepper Jack is great for a spicy kick, or try Colby, Monterey Jack, or a blend of cheeses.
  • Sweet Mexican Cornbread: if you’d like the bread to be sweeter, increase the sugar to ¼ cup (or more).

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 10gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 480mgPotassium: 326mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 630IUCalcium: 232mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: jalapeno cheddar cornbread, mexican cornbread
Course: bread, Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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