Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad Recipe: A Southern Delight

Have you ever tried a dish that perfectly captures the essence of Southern comfort food? Look no further than Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad Recipe. This delightful concoction combines the heartiness of cornbread with the freshness of garden vegetables and the creaminess of ranch dressing, resulting in a dish that’s as flavorful as it is satisfying. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Brenda Gantt’s famous Cornbread Salad, exploring its origins, ingredients, preparation steps, and tips for serving it up just right.

Origins of Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad

Brenda Gantt, a beloved Southern cook and YouTube personality, is known for her down-to-earth approach to cooking and her knack for creating dishes that evoke feelings of nostalgia and comfort. Her Cornbread Salad has become a staple in many Southern households, often making appearances at potlucks, picnics, and family gatherings. While the exact origins of the recipe are unclear, it’s believed to have originated in the South, where cornbread holds a special place in culinary traditions.

Ingredients for Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad

For the Cornbread:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (red, green, or a combination)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Steps

  1. Make the Cornbread:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and grease a 9×9-inch baking pan.
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and egg.
    • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Allow the cornbread to cool completely, then crumble it into small pieces.
  2. Assemble the Salad:
    • In a large serving bowl, layer half of the crumbled cornbread.
    • Top with half of the black beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, cheddar cheese, and bacon.
    • Drizzle half of the ranch dressing over the ingredients.
    • Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.
    • Garnish the salad with chopped cilantro, if desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Suggestions

Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad is best served chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together. It makes a fantastic side dish for barbecue dinners, potluck gatherings, or any occasion where you want to impress guests with a taste of Southern hospitality. Pair it with grilled meats, fried chicken, or enjoy it on its own as a light yet satisfying meal.

Conclusion: Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad Recipe

In conclusion, Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the American South. With its blend of comforting flavors and wholesome ingredients, it’s no wonder that this dish has earned a special place on dinner tables across the region. So why not channel your inner Southern cook and whip up a batch of this delicious salad for your next gathering?

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Grit and Groceries.


Can I use store-bought cornbread for this recipe?

While homemade cornbread adds a special touch to the salad, you can certainly use store-bought cornbread if you’re short on time. Just be sure to crumble it into bite-sized pieces before assembling the salad.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just wait to add the dressing until right before serving to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.

Can I customize the ingredients in this salad?

Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, such as cucumbers, avocados, or jalapeños, to make the salad your own. You can also swap out the ranch dressing for a vinaigrette or creamy chipotle dressing for a different flavor profile.

Can I make this salad vegetarian?

Yes, simply omit the bacon from the recipe to make it vegetarian-friendly. You can also add extra black beans or grilled tofu for added protein.

How long will leftovers keep in the refrigerator?

Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread Salad will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days if stored in an airtight container. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the dressing and flavors.