Spoon Bread – a beloved classic side dish that originated from the Southern part of the U.S. using cornmeal, milk, eggs with a little bit of my own personal twist. Serve it as a side dish during weeknight dinners or for the holidays. It just melts in your mouth!
Happy Friday, everyone!
I’m probably taking my much needed Friday off when you read this blog post. With all the Thanksgiving preparation and some blog stuff going on, it’s hard not to put my body to rest. No one wants to be sick on one of the merriest time of the year! So I’m off to an earlier weekend rest and hopefully be able to get back on track on Monday.
This gal is hustling!
But let’s talk about this cozy side dish here – SPOON BREAD.
What is Spoon Bread?
If you haven’t noticed, I’m on a side dish-kick lately. (Did you see my Ultimate Holiday Side Dish Recipes yesterday? 😉 ) In today’s blog post, we’re featuring this classic Southern Spoon Bread.
Spoon Bread is a savory cornmeal-based dish that is like a cross between Corn Pudding and Cornbread. It originally uses cornmeal, milk, egg yolk, and egg whites that is baked until soft in the center and a bit crusty around the edges.
What is the Difference between a Spoon Bread and Cornbread?
Both Spoon Bread and Cornbread are popular cornmeal-based dishes that are usually present during the holidays. And we all know why. They’re cozy, comforting, easy to prepare and pair well with all kinds of protein and most especially with soups and stews.
But these two somehow differ just by a hair!
Spoon Bread is softer than Cornbread; soft enough to eat it with a spoon. Cornbread, on the other hand, has a denser crumble compared to spoon bread, although it is still quite moist and buttery.
Furthermore, Spoon Bread uses egg whites as a leavening which are beaten until stiffs form and mixed into the cornmeal, milk, butter and egg yolk mixture.
And of course, I decided to put my own personal touch on this cornbread-like casserole by adding nutmeg and fresh thyme.
Spoon Bread Ingredients
Purists from the South might not agree with me on this, but taking that extra step of whipping egg whites adds a beautiful rise and texture to our side dish without compromising the taste. Light, fluffy and literally melts in your mouth! Below are the rest of the ingredients that I use for this cornmeal based casserole:
- whole milk
- unsalted butter
- salt (omit if using salted butter)
- freshly ground pepper
- egg yolks
- egg whites
- fresh thyme
- grated nutmeg
As always, adjust the sugar in this recipe to suit your preference, This recipe is more on the savory side with just a hint of sweetness.
What Else Can You Add?
Just like it’s cornmeal-based cousins, you can pretty much add anything into this: Below are some of the things that you can add; depending on how you are serving this:
- crumbled bacon
- ham (perfect way to use leftover holiday ham)
- corn kernels (for that added corny texture in between)
- green chiles or jalapenos
- herbs (sage and basil)
- caramelized onions
- raisins or any dried fruit (if you want to go the sweet route)
Can You Make Spoon Bread Ahead of Time?
I don’t highly encourage though that you prepare this ahead of time or freeze. This is one of those dishes that you can easily whip up and best enjoyed when served immediately. But if you wish to free up some time on Thanksgiving Day, you may bake this ahead of time, let it cool then cover with a plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, simply pop it in the oven until heated through or let it sit on a countertop until at room temperature.
What to Serve with Spoon Bread?
Aside from serving this hearty steaming hot spoon bread with lots and lots of butter or a drizzle of honey for brunch, you may serve it with the following below:
- Slow Cooker Pork Chops
- Collard Greens
- Southern Homemade Baked Beans
- Chili Recipe
- Spicy Roast Turkey
- Southern Fried Chicken
- Green Bean Casserole
More Corny Side Dishes You’ll Love
- Creamed Corn
- Hot Water Cornbread
- Cornbread Dressing
- Jalapenos Corn Casserole
- Pineapple Jalapenos Corn Muffin
- Southern Fried Corn
How To Make Spoon Bread
In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups milk over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of the pan. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt and remaining milk until smooth.
Slowly whisk cornmeal mixture into hot milk. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly or until the cornmeal mixture pulls off the sides. Do not let it burn. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir it in with the butter. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks; stir in a small amount of hot cornmeal mixture to temper the eggs. It stops the eggs from cooking or curdling.
Return all to the pan and mix well. And add pepper, thyme, and nutmeg (you can add your desired add-ins at this part).
In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Start by folding a fourth of the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture, then repeat with remaining egg whites until blended.
Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish.
Sprinkle with chives, if using any. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Watch How To Make It
- 3 ½ cups (840ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (122g) cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
- 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs , separated
- ½ teaspoon (1g) freshly ground pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon (0.80g) fresh thyme (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon (0.50g) freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 1-2 Tablespoon chives , chopped (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 1/2 cups milk over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of the pan.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt and remaining milk until smooth.
- Slowly whisk cornmeal mixture into hot milk. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for about 3- 5 minutes, stirring constantly or until cornmeal mixture pulls off the sides. Do not let it burn.
- Remove pot from the heat. Stir the the butter. Set aside
- In a small bowl, beat egg yolks; stir in a small amount of hot cornmeal mixture, to temper the eggs. Stops the eggs from cooking or curdling. Return all to the pan and mix well. And add pepper, thyme, and nutmeg (you can add your desired add-ins at this part).
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Start by folding a fourth of the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture, then repeat with remaining egg whites until blended.
- Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with chives, if using any. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.