South by Southwest Layered Cornbread Salad

Let me begin by saying that I am extremely disappointed with the new Facebook changes. 

I needed to get that off my chest.  Thank you for listening.

Now on to other matters.

Before soup season sets in, just one more cold salad.  This is one of my go-to potluck recipes that I’ve been making for probably six or seven years.  I adapted it from a Southern Living recipe (can you tell I love Southern Living yet?) and I never fail to bring home an empty bowl.  It’s a real crowd pleaser, very easy to make, and what about those layers, eh?  Are they pretty or what? 

Here are my notes:

-I think this salad is best chilled for several hours before serving, so it’s a great make-ahead dish.  Just don’t make it too far ahead. 

-This is a great way to use up leftover cornbread.

-You could substitute green onions for the red onions, but I love that little bit of color.  And speaking of red onions, just why are they called red onions when they are clearly purple?  Who’s bright idea was that, huh?

-Frozen, thawed corn would also work well.

-I think some freshly squeezed lime juice would be great between the layers.  I didn’t do that, but it’s a thought.

-Any kind of shredded cheese will do.  I used Colby jack this time.

-The dressing is pretty thick so I spoon it on in little globs, then use an offset spatula to smooth the globs into an even layer.  I’ve coined this method the glob-smooth method.  Only highly sophisticated cooking terminology on this blog, people.

-The cilantro is optional, and if I was making this only for myself, I’d definitely throw it in.  But this past week I took this salad to a revival at my church and I didn’t want to offend the cilantro haters because I’m sensitive to others like that.  That and the fact that the cilantro at my grocery store looked like it had been through a hurricane.  If you are a cilantro lover like me, you might want to consider adding it to the dressing as well as sprinkling some on top.

South by Southwest Layered Cornbread Salad
1 (6-8 ounce) package cornbread mix, cooked according to package instructions and cooled (or your favorite recipe of cornbread)
2 cups mayonnaise
3 teaspoons Mexican chili powder or mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro, optional
1/2 head torn iceberg lettuce or 2 heads Romaine lettuce chopped (or you can substitute a bag of torn lettuce)
1 (14-ounce) can shoepeg or yellow corn, drained
1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cups shredded cheese (Colby jack, Mexican blend, cheddar, etc.)   
Crumble cornbread into fine crumbs; set aside.  Stir together the mayonnaise, chili powder, salt, and chopped cilantro, if desired.  In a 4-quart glass bowl or trifle dish, place half of the lettuce, then sprinkle with half of the cornbread crumbs.  Spread half of the mayonnaise mixture on the cornbread layer.  Layer half each of the corn, black beans, tomatoes, onions, and cheese.  Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.


  1. Cindy Harrell says

    Looks so good .I will have to try this.Love the glass dish.Where did you get it at?If you would ,email where you got it at?

  2. Deborah says

    This recipe is PERFECT as is! Don’t change out or substitute anything. I’m telling you this is a winner! I have eat it left over the next day And the cornbread does not get soggy until about the third day if you drain all the ingredientss like she said. Follow her recipe and you will see.. it is a keeper! !

  3. Roxanne says

    This is one of our favorite salads now! Company coming for dinner tomorrow so I am making it again. Yummmmm.

  4. Helenf says

    Lori, this sounds so good! I need something to take to a cemetery work day (is that a southern thing?) and this will be perfect.

  5. wanda self says

    I have made this and took it to a church function brought home an empty bowl. There were several people asking for tge recipe. Taste wonderful.

  6. Anonymous says

    We had this Thanksgiving….it was delicious! I even ate it twice the next day and the cornbread wasn’t soggy at all! …great recipe as written no need for changes or substitutions…

  7. says

    How long before the cornbread gets soggy?…this sounds great and nice change from the usual standard one I make and we really love…any ideas…I suppose the corn chips someone else mentioned would get soggy as well?….any thoughts?

  8. says

    How long does the cornbread stay dry…does it get soggy?…this looks like a nice option instead of the traditional layered salad I make….but my husband and I can’t eat the whole salad at once….someone mentioned corn chips…they probably would get soggy to after a while…any thoughts?

  9. Anonymous says

    I have been making a version of this for years. My cornbread salad layers cornbread rinsed pinto beans ,corn ,bell pepper ,onions ,tomatoes ranch dressing bacon and cheese and layer it all again. It is awesome everyone loves it.Wanted to share

  10. Anonymous says

    I made this salad and my family LOVED it! A couple of my husband’s friends were over and they loved it too! I am making it again for a church function and my husband said “Hopefully, they won’t like it.” How funny, he wants it all for us.

    Keep them Coming.


  11. Anonymous says

    I want to agree with you about facebook! Your site is so beautifully photgraphed the layer salad stopped me dead in my tracks the vegans in my family are going to love this one can’t wait to make it I will add cilantro Thanks good luck!!

  12. Anonymous says

    Love this salad. I used sour cream instead of mayo and regular chili powder to give it a little kick. I think the sour cream fit with the southwestern flavors well :)

  13. Anonymous says

    Saw this on Pinterest and was curious…just read the recipe and instructions and now I’m hooked! I’ve seen many cornbread salad recipes but none quite like this. Sounds delicious! Thanks!

  14. Anonymous says

    I feel ignorant for even having to ask this, but how do you make the dressing? I’m not quite sure what ingredients to mix up. Any help would be great. Making this today. By the way, it looks delicious!

  15. says

    Hi Lorie,
    I just found this blog and didn’t realize you have two. For some reason your old link wasn’t working and I thought you had taken a break. Love this blog and all your photos! Delcious recipe too!

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