Cornbread is a traditional bread known for its rich, delicious flavor and crumbly, grainy texture.
Cornbread is also very versatile. You can enjoy it on its own with some honey and butter or alongside soups, ribs, chili, and many other dishes whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
But what if you end up making more cornbread than your meal needs? This brings us to today’s topic: what to do with leftover cornbread.
In this article, we’re discussing the possibility of storing leftover cornbread and the best way to keep it as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
We’re also sharing a bunch of tasty recipes that you can whip up using leftover cornbread, cornbread muffins, and cornbread dressing. Let’s get started!
There are multiple ways you can store baked goods or batter/dough before baking. But when it comes to storing cornbread, how should you do it?
Well, the best way to keep baked cornbread if you’re not going to eat it within a day or two is to freeze it. Don’t worry — freezing won’t affect the texture, consistency, or flavor of the cornbread as long as you do it right.
Cornbread actually freezes very well so even though it may not taste or feel 100 percent like the freshly baked version, it’s rather unlikely that you or anyone in your family will notice a difference once defrosted and reheated properly.
As for cornbread batter, freezing is also the ideal storage solution. Done correctly, it should still bake nicely after defrosting.
Is It OK to Keep Cornbread in the Refrigerator?
You can store cornbread in the refrigerator for around 4 to 5 days. Here’s how:
- Wait for the cornbread to cool down to room temperature.
- Wrap it in foil or plastic wrap.
- Put it in a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Stick it in the refrigerator.
However, we recommend freezing the cornbread if you don’t plan on using it within a week after.
Storing cornbread batter in the freezer is a fantastic way to save time and effort.
Whenever you feel like whipping up some fresh bread, you can simply defrost the batter and make it happen without the hassle of measuring and mixing.
Here’s how to freeze cornbread batter:
- Make the batter according to your favorite recipe.
- Choose one of the following approaches:
- Transfer the batter into a freezer-safe container bag, squeeze the excess air out of the bag or container, and then place the bag/container into a second freezer bag to reduce the chances of freezer burn.
- Transfer the batter into a freezer-safe baking pan and wrap it tightly with foil. This way, your cornbread will be ready for baking right out of the freezer.
- Write the date on a label and put it on the batter.
- Place the batter in the freezer.
Keep in mind that baking cornbread batter after defrosting tends to produce less airy cornbread compared to the freshly-made batter.
To fix this, we recommend adding a double-acting raising agent to the batter before freezing.
Keeping cornbread slices, muffins, or loaves in your freezer can be a huge time-saver when you don’t have time for baking or you need a quick snack on the go.
Here’s how to freeze cornbread after baking:
- Wait for your cornbread to cool down to room temperature. This is important to prevent sogginess from the steam as well as bacterial growth due to excessive moisture.
- Once the cornbread has cooled down, you should figure out whether you want to freeze it as a whole loaf or as slices. We always recommend freezing cornbread in smaller portions so you can defrost only the amount you’ll use.
- If you’re freezing muffins, simply proceed to the next step.
- Use a generous-sized piece of foil to wrap the cornbread as tightly as possible. If you’re freezing cornbread slices or muffins, wrap each one individually to prevent them from sticking to each other as they freeze.
- This step is optional, but consider wrapping the cornbread in another layer of foil to provide more protection against hardening and/or going bad.
- Place the wrapped cornbread into freezer containers or bags.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal well.
- Write the date on a label and put it on the cornbread
- Put the cornbread in the freezer.
Cornbread can last in the freezer for up to 3 or 4 months. During this period, there’s unlikely to be a change in taste, texture, odor, or color.
If you freeze cornbread longer than that, it’ll soon start getting affected by freezer burn and going bad.
As for cornbread batter, you can keep it in the freezer and use it within 2 to 3 weeks.
Although it’s technically possible to freeze cornbread again after thawing, you should avoid it.
Refreezing cornbread can cause degradation in its structure. It can also result in unpleasant changes in taste and consistency.
How to Defrost Cornbread
When it’s time to use your frozen cornbread, you should first let it thaw and then either bake it if it’s a batter or reheat it if it’s slices or muffins.
Here’s how to thaw frozen cornbread batter:
- Take the batter out of the freezer.
- Place the pan or bag of batter on the counter for a couple of hours depending on the amount.
- Alternatively, let the batter sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Here’s how to thaw frozen cornbread slices or muffins:
- Take the bag or container of frozen cornbread out of the freezer.
- Remove the wrapping and place the frozen cornbread on a plate on your counter. Consider laying a few paper towels under the bread to soak up extra moisture and prevent sogginess.
- Let the cornbread sit for a couple of hours depending on the size of the portion.
- Alternatively, let the cornbread sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Now that your cornbread has thawed, you can bake or reheat it.
If you’re working with cornbread batter, transfer it to the oven as you’d normally do. But don’t forget that baking defrosted cornbread batter may take longer than baking fresh batter.
If you want to reheat cornbread slices or muffins, choose one of the following methods:
- The oven, which is a better option for larger portions:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Pop the cornbread in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. This can vary according to the portion size.
- The microwave, which is a better option for smaller portions:
- Place the cornbread onto a microwave-safe plate.
- Stick it into the microwave for about 10 seconds on the medium setting.
Here are some of our favorite breakfast recipes that you can easily cook using leftover cornbread:
The cowboy cornbread casserole is the ultimate comfort food. Luckily, it calls for cornbread as a key ingredient, so your leftovers will be put to awesome use with this recipe.
It gets even better — this casserole also uses ingredients that you’re sure to find lying around your kitchen. Typically, it consists of four layers made out of cornbread, vegetables, cheese, and diced chicken.
Don’t hesitate to add your favorite seasonings before popping your creation into the oven. Once baked, you’ll have yourself a filling breakfast or brunch.
Leftover Cornbread Scrambled Eggs
What’s better than some warm scrambled eggs for breakfast? Cornbread scrambled eggs!
This is one of the easiest recipes you can cook using leftover cornbread. It’ll only take about 5 minutes once you crumble the cornbread.
All you need to do is mix eggs, cornbread, sausage, diced onions, and diced bell peppers. After that, dump everything in a hot pan and remove when the eggs and sausage are cooked.
Feel free to add whatever ingredients you prefer such as tomatoes, cheese, spinach, and so on.
Leftover Cornbread Ranch Salad
If you like munching on salads for breakfast, then you’ll love this refreshing and tasty cornbread ranch salad recipe.
Not to mention, it’s a staple in Southern cuisine, so you know your tummy will be left satisfied!
This salad calls for crumbled cornbread, onions, tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, and bacon. Then, top the mixture with some creamy ranch dressing and stir thoroughly.
Once you’re done, you can dig in! Alternatively, you can stick the salad in the fridge for an hour or two if you have the time, then take it out and enjoy it as a cold salad.
Nothing screams breakfast more than pancakes, so what if we told you there’s a pancake recipe that you can make using leftover cornbread?
These cornbread orange pancakes aren’t just delicious, but they also offer a fresh flavor and can be pretty nutritious.
Once you crumble your leftover cornbread, you’ll need to mix it with milk, eggs, salt, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Top off with maple syrup or any other syrup you prefer and you’re good to go!
Here are some of our favorite cornbread dessert recipes that you can easily cook using leftover cornbread muffins:
One of the best recipes for a dessert that uses leftover cornbread muffins is this leftover cornbread pudding. There’s just something about the sweetness, gooeyness, and aroma that can make anyone drool!
This recipe is also simple to follow. First, you’ll start by cutting up your leftover cornbread muffins into cubes and place the pieces in a bowl.
After that, mix in milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Once baked, top with a butter rum sauce for a mouthwatering experience!
Alternatively, you can boost the fruitiness of the pudding by adding blueberries into the equation. In this case, we prefer drizzling the pudding with peach sauce for a kick of sweet and sour.
Who doesn’t love a good trifle? The layered dessert has a way of capturing your taste buds thanks to how well the flavors of each layer usually go together.
This leftover cornbread yogurt and cranberry trifle recipe is no exception. Made with 4 ingredients only, it’s also a breeze to whip up in no time!
After you cut up your leftover cornbread muffins into pieces, place them at the bottom with whole cranberry sauce on top. Then, add vanilla Greek yogurt and just a pinch of lemon zest.
Here are some of our favorite cornbread recipes that you can easily cook using leftover cornbread dressing:
If you have leftover cornbread dressing and a waffle maker on hand, then this recipe is a must-try for your upcoming breakfast or brunch!
Even if you’re not particularly gifted in the kitchen, this recipe is just too simple to pass up.
All you need to do is mix the leftover cornbread dressing with eggs and chicken broth in a large bowl. Once the concoction is ready, scoop an appropriate amount, spread it on your waffle maker, and let it cook.
Keep in mind that cornbread dressing waffles take a bit longer to cook than regular pancakes. Top off with cranberry sauce and gravy for a rich meal.
Mashed potato patties are a fantastic way to use up your leftover cornbread dressing. They work brilliantly as a side whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The recipe calls for mixing your leftover cornbread dressing with eggs, chopped onions, pepper, mashed potatoes, and chopped turkey. After that, fry scoops of the mixture until golden brown and serve warm.
If you’re wondering what to do with leftover cornbread, you should know by now that the possibilities are endless!
Between freezing the cornbread for later use and the dozens of leftover recipes you can try, we’re sure you’ll have no issues using up those leftovers in the most delicious ways possible.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.