A combination of sweet and savory, this cheesy Jalapeños Cheddar Cornbread is the perfect balance of moist and crumbly. This recipe is an all jazzed-up version of my favorite store-bought cornbread mix.
This Jalapeño Cornbread is a staple at my house on game-days, Thanksgiving, holiday meals and summer BBQ picnics. I add chopped pickled jalapeños and shredded sharp cheddar to the batter, so every bite tastes a little sweet, cheesy and has a little kick from the jalapeños.
My First Cornbread Recipe
Many years ago, the first time I was asked to bring a side to a friend's Thanksgiving meal, I opted for cornbread. Having never baked one before, I trusted my favorite store, Trader Joe's, and bought their cornbread-mix.
I made it as per package instructions. When I took it out, it smelled amazing and looked super moist, but I thought it looked too plain to take to someone's house for Thanksgiving. So, I sprinkled shredded cheese on top and randomly placed pickled jalapeños on it, and browned it under the broiler for a few minutes. It looked amazing and no one at the party believed me when I said it was made using a store-bought mix.
Oven Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Recipe
These Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins can be made in the oven as well as your electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, using silicone cupcake liners. There is a texture difference between the two methods. The cornbread made in the Instant Pot is more dense versus the one baked in the oven, which is a bit crisp and crumbly. In the end, it's a personal taste preference.
My family prefers the oven-baked Jalapeño Cornbread muffins, so this is how I make them:
✓ I follow package instructions for mixing the cornbread batter. I start by mixing the wet ingredients, egg, milk and oil, with a whisk. To that I add the cornbread mix and mix it gently using a spatula. You don' t want to over-mix this batter.
✓ Then, I add chopped scallions (greens only), frozen corn and chopped Jalapeños. I reserve ½ a cup of cheese for topping and add the rest in. Gently fold the batter till everything is incorporated.
✓ I line a cupcake tray with parchment cupcake liners. Using an ice-cream scoop (the one with a spring release), I add the same amount of batter to the cupcake liners. The ice-cream scoop really helps in keeping the portions consistent. I top each cupcake with shredded cheese.
✓ Insert the tray in a pre-heated oven at 350°F oven, on the middle rack, and bake for about 22-25 minutes.
✓ Insert a toothpick to check if they are done, else put it back for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Baking Mini Loaves with this Recipe
Using the same recipe, you can even bake mini-loaves instead of muffins. This recipe makes 3 mini loaves of cornbread. The only change you have to make is to the oven baking time. Simply increase the oven baking time to 30-35 mins. Bake till the toothpick comes out clean, and the cheese is a light golden brown color.
Variations of This Cornbread Recipe
You can create your own spin on this recipe and add customize it to your taste. Here are a few options:
- I like the taste of pickled jalapeño, but you can chop up some fresh jalapeños and throw them in there too. Canned fire-roasted green chili are a great option instead of pickled jalapeños.
- Cheese is another ingredients where you can have fun. Add grated pepper-jack cheese to add another depth of flavor.
- You can add chopped cilantro, or parsley, or rosemary in this recipe. Another favorite for us- add some sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled feta and give this a mediterranean spin.
Making Gluten-Free Cornbread
Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free. So, to make this jalapeno cheddar cornbread gluten-free, make sure your cornbread mix is gluten-free.
More Side-Dish Recipes for your Table
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Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread- Oven & Instant Pot Recipe
- Follow package instructions and mix the cornbread batter. I start by mixing the wet ingredients- egg, milk and oil. To that I add the cornbread mix and mix gently with a spatula. You don' t want to over-mix it.
- Add chopped scallions, frozen corn, chopped jalapenos and shredded cheese (reserve ½ cup for topping). Gently fold into the batter.
- Line a cupcake tray with parchment cupcake liners. Using an ice-cream scoop, add the same amount of batter to the cupcake liners. Top each cupcake with shredded cheese. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F, in the middle rack, for about 22-25 minutes.
- Insert a toothpick to check if they are done, else put it back for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Instant Pot recipe
- Mix the batter as per instructions above. Grease silicone baking cups and using an ice-cream scoop, add the batter, leaving about ¼ inch from the top. Loosely cover with aluminum foil.
- Pour water in the inner pot. Place a trivet and carefully stack the silicone cups on top of that. Close the lid. Pressure cook at Manual (Pressure Cook) or Cake mode, for 30 minutes.
- When the cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally and open the lid after the pin drops. Remove the silicone cups and insert a toothpick to check if they are done. If it comes out clean, let them cool for 10 minutes before inverting them on to a plate and releasing the cornbread muffins. If the cornbread muffins are not done, pressure cook them for another 5 minutes, followed by an NPR.