Jalapeño Jack Cornbread Recipe

overhead shot of jalapeno jack cornbread baked in cast-iron skillet

Serious Eats / Carrie Vasios-Mullins

Why It Works

  • Removing the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño allows the pepper’s fruity flavor, not heat, to shine through.
  • Preheating the pan and coating it with butter creates the dark crust with a light nutty flavor.
  • Using sour cream along with buttermilk increases the mild tanginess and overall flavor of the bread.

Jalapeño Jack Cornbread batter in cast-iron skillet on stovetop

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

Jalapeño-cheddar cornbread has made recurring appearances throughout my summer barbecue series, thanks to my personal love for all things Tex-Mex. Since I had already used cheddar in my cheddar bacon scallion cornbread, I decided to try out pepper jack here to shake things up.

I like to seed my jalapeños for cornbread, which gives the loaf more of a fruitiness than spiciness, since the hottest parts of the pepper have been removed. I thought pepper jack would be a good way to bump up the heat ever so slightly, and it worked out very well.

cross-section slice of jalapeno jack cornbread

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

Since I now have a great Northern-stylebetter cornbread recipe to begin with, this one is the best jalapeño cornbread I've ever made. It's super moist and sweet, with enough contrasting heat to make things interesting. If you prefer it extra-hot, you can certainly leave the seeds and veins intact when dicing the jalapeño; if you want it more mild, regular Monterey jack or cheddar can be subbed for the pepper jack.

After you make this jalapeño bread, try maple walnut, orange cranberry, roasted red pepper, or cheddar bacon scallion.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks!

November 2014

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 8 servings

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  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup diced Pepper Jack cheese

  • 1/4 cup diced jalapeño

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (218°C). In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, and baking soda.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, and egg until combined.

  3. Stir wet ingredients into cornmeal mixture, mix until incorporated. Stir in cheese and jalapeño.

  4. Put shortening in cast iron skillet. Place skillet in oven and heat until shortening is translucent and completely melted.

  5. Take skillet out of oven. Carefully pour shortening into batter, leaving a thin layer of shortening in skillet. Mix until well combined. Pour batter back into skillet and bake until cracked and golden, 25 minutes.

Special Equipment

Cast-iron skillet

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
201 Calories
11g Fat
21g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 201
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 655mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 224mg 17%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)