Our Best Cornmeal Recipes

Polenta, arepas, hush puppies—the possibilities are endless

Not sure what to do with cornmeal? The possibilities are endless: you can make dough from it, encrust fried food in it, or boil it into polenta and grits, just to name a few ideas.

Use cornmeal in one of our favorite South American recipes, arepas, or give it an Italian spin for some classic polenta. In the mood for something sweet? You can also swap in cornmeal in cookies and pie crusts.

From a sausage-camembert spoon pudding to simple hush puppies and grilled polenta, here are our very best cornmeal recipes to master today.

Sausage-Camembert Spoon Pudding

Sausage-Camembert Spoon Pudding
Italian sausage and creamy Camembert cheese transform simple cornmeal spoon pudding into a rich side dish in this recipe from Ludivine restaurant in Oklahoma City. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story Oklahoma Rising. Get the recipe for Sausage-Camembert Spoon Pudding »James Roper

Broiled Rainbow Trout with Hush Puppies

Broiled Rainbow Trout with Hush Puppies
Butterflied freshwater fish is slathered in butter and spices before broiling in this recipe from Tulsa's White River Fish Market. Corn-laden hush puppies are served alongside fish at the restaurant, which has been open since 1932. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 issue along with Jane and Michael Stern's story on Route 66, Glory Road. Get the recipe for Broiled Rainbow Trout with Hush Puppies »James Roper

Spicy Cornbread Stuffing

Spicy Jalapeño Cornbread Stuffing
Jalapeños add a twist to classic cornbread stuffing, developed by chef Mary Sue Milliken. To stuff a 10- to 12-pound bird, we recommend tripling the recipe, which first appeared in the iPad edition of our November 2013 issue with the article State of Grace. Get the recipe for Spicy Cornbread Stuffing »Helen Rosner

Grillades and Grits

Grillades and Grits
In this recipe, beef medallions are simmered in a Creole-Italian red gravy including enough tomatoes or tomato paste to color and flavor but not dominate the sauce. Get the recipe for Grillades and Grits »Penny De Los Santos

Cornbread Financiers

Sea Salt Ice Cream with Cornbread Financiers
These are an elegant, restaurant-style nod to the hunks of cornbread typically found on Thanksgiving tables. La Petite Grocery chef Justin Devillier's financiers are larger than their French counterparts, making them perfect for breaking apart and dunking in Sea Salt Ice Cream. Get the recipe for Cornbread Financiers »Christina Holmes

Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread Dressing
This dressing is the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving Roast Turkey. Rather than cooking it in the bird, cook it in a cast iron skillet and serve it on the side. Get the recipe for Cornbread Dressing »Helen Rosner

Egg-Stuffed Corn Cakes (Arepas de Huevo)

Egg-Stuffed Corn Cakes (Arepas de Huevo)
Twice-fried arepas stuffed with soft-cooked eggs are a classic street food in Cartagena, Colombia. Get the recipe for Egg-Stuffed Corn Cakes (Arepas de Huevo) »Helen Rosner

Cornmeal-Crusted Onion Rings

Cornmeal-Crusted Onion Rings
Buttermilk-dipped and cornmeal-crusted onion rings are fried extra-crispy at Anthony's Steakhouse in Omaha. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story Here's the Beef. Get the recipe for Egg-Stuffed Corn Cakes (Arepas de Huevo) »Penny De Los Santos

Classic Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies
These crisp-fried cornmeal balls are traditionally served alongside fried fish and tartar sauce in the Deep South. Get the recipe for Classic Hush Puppies »Landon Nordeman

Seeded Crispbread (Knäckebröd med Frön)

Seeded Crispbread (Knäckebröd med Frön)
This crackerlike Swedish bread made with sesame and sunflower seeds is a crunchy platform for gravadlax or pickled herring. Versions of knäckebröd have been enjoyed in Sweden since antiquity; it's an essential component of Midsummer celebrations, like the one featured in Per Styregård's story "A Midsummer's Dream," from our June/July 2014 issue. Get the recipe for Seeded Crispbread (Knäckebröd med Frön) »Ingalls Photography

Gluten-Free Grapefruit Cake

Gluten-Free Grapefruit Cake
This moist cake soaked with citrus-infused syrup gets its nutty flavor and hearty texture from a blend of almond flour and coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Grapefruit Cake »Helen Rosner

Apple-Rosemary Lattice Pie

Apple-Rosemary Lattice Pie
A rosemary-laced cornmeal crust gives this lattice-topped apple pie from Drummond Ranch pie contestant Annette Rosenheck a fragrant, savory dimension. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story Big Pie Country. Get the recipe for Apple-Rosemary Lattice Pie »James Roper

Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragù

Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragù
This simple, comforting dish adapted from Anna Watson Carl's cookbook The Yellow Table is a great one to make for dinner parties; the ragù improves over time, so make it the day before, and reheat it just before serving. The polenta can also be made ahead, but you'll need to whisk in a bit of water to loosen it while you warm it on the stove. Get the recipe for Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragù »Signe Birck

Almond-Flour Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli

Almond-Flour Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli
The substitution of almond flour for conventional wheat flour in this recipe, developed by Judy Haubert, originated as a gluten-free workaround, but actually makes the cakes moister and more tender than traditional crab cakes. Get the recipe for Almond-Flour Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli »Helen Rosner

Chocolate Chess Pie with Cornbread Crumble

Chocolate Chess Pie with Cornbread Crumble
Chef Scott Crawford updates the simple Southern custard pie by adding cacao nibs to the butter crust and sprinkling a nutty cornbread crumble on top. Get the recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie with Cornbread Crumble »Joseph De Leo

Grilled Polenta

Grilled Polenta
Polenta is a popular dish in Venice and is often served grilled as a side, though you can also eat it without grilling it if you like. Get the recipe for Grilled Polenta »Maxime Iattoni

Shrimp and Grits

cheese shrimp grits, shrimp and grits
Coarse stone-ground grits lend texture and robust flavor to a classic, cheesy dish with sweet shrimp and smoky bacon. Get the recipe for Shrimp and Grits »André Baranowski