Gluten-Free Cornbread with Jalapeño and Bacon is smoky, spicy and subtly sweet. It’s fabulous to serve with coffee for brunch or with a bowl of chili for dinner.
I love cornbread! It’s comforting, savory, subtly sweet and delicious with breakfast, lunch or dinner.
My son was diagnosed Celiac Disease when he was 5-years-old. At that time, I’d assumed cornbread would be safe for him. Not true! Even though cornbread is made primarily with cornmeal or cornflour, they typically also have all-purpose flour in the mix.
* Cornbread is not always gluten free. *
Read the labels of breads and mix boxes. As I said, while corn meal and corn flour are both gluten free, watch out for what else might be added.
Tips for Making Gluten-Free Cornbread with Jalapeño and Bacon
- I love making cornbread in my cast iron skillet, and the instructions below will tell you to do the same. You can however use an approximately, 9 x 13 x 3-inch baking dish, if you don’t have one. It will still be great. I prefer the cast iron because the edges and bottom crisp up especially well, and it’s a one-pan recipe this way.
- When you add the batter to the skillet with the onion, jalapeño, corn and butter, be sure to mix it very well. It takes a couple of minutes before the butter will fully incorporate.
- If you really love extra heat, do not remove the seeds from the jalapeños. I usually remove about half.
- Two things you can do to save time: 1) Use frozen, thawed corn and 2), use canned (well drained), chopped jalapeño peppers. (Please note that the seeds are usually included in the canned, and would be difficult to remove.)
- I use cornmeal in this recipe — you can use corn flour for a smoother texture.
- Don’t expect a sweet cornbread. This is subtly sweet.
Can you make it without the bacon?
Yes! Of course. The bacon is so delicious in this — but, if you’re serving vegetarians, this is an easy change. Simply use olive oil to sauté the onions and jalapeño (instead of the bacon fat from cooking the bacon).
What to Serve with this Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe
- Let’s fire up the comfort foods of fall and winter. Serve this cornbread with Roasted Butternut Squash Chili or Chipotle Brisket Chili for a cozy gathering of friends or family over the weekend!
- Or, you could have the gathering for brunch, and serve this Jalapeño Bacon Cornbread with Honey Broiled Grapefruit and Grilled Avocado and Eggs. What a combination that would be. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee!
- And finally, you can use it to make my Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing! 🙂
Gluten-Free Cornbread with Jalapeño and Bacon
- 4 strips applewood smoked bacon
- 1 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup jalapeño pepepr, washed and dried, finely chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 425°F and line a large plate with a paper towel. Set aside.
- Add the bacon to a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the bacon -- but not the bacon fat -- from the skillet. Set the bacon aside on the paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the onion to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes. Add the jalapeños and sauté until the mixture is aromatic and the onions are soft, about 2 more minutes. Crumble or finely chop the bacon and add it to this mixture, along with the corn. Now add the butter to the skillet, swirl it around the bottom and sides to melt it into the other ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and leave the skillet as it is on the stove.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir the cornmeal, baking soda, salt, sugar and cumin. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and lemon juice together. Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth.
- Slowly pour the batter into the skillet and mix until everything is totally incorporated. You'll want to be sure you don't see any "pools' of the melted butter. Place the skillet in the 425°F preheated oven. Bake until the edges are golden and it no longer jiggles, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve directly from the skillet.
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