A savory version of the traditional cornbread recipe, this Savory Cornbread with Leeks and Jalapeños is bursting with flavor and is one of my favorite cornbread recipes. Give it a try today!
You'll love the savory flavor from the caramelized leeks and the little bit of heat from the jalapeño peppers.
Unpopular opinion time: I don't love overly sweet cornbread. I prefer my cornbread savory and less sugary.
HOLD ON, DON'T LEAVE YET!
Haha let me convince you why you should try this Savory Cornbread with Leeks and Jalapeños. It has little bits of caramelized leeks and spicy jalapeño bites for an awesome savory flavor.
It's amazing slathered with some good butter and a bit of sweet and spicy pepper jelly. It's amazing with chili. It's great as a snack on its own.
More cornmeal recipes: Air Fryer Polenta Fries
This savory cornbread still has a little bit of sugar (hey, I didn't say I like flavorless things! I just said I don't like sugary cornbread). But in addition to a little sugar it has a whole lot of savory flavor from the leeks and jalapeño peppers.
I saute the leeks and peppers together to bring out the rich caramelized flavor from the leeks and to mellow out the spice.
I was able to find mixed red and green jalapeños and I love the color of that, but you can just use green jalapeños, or use cherry peppers if you prefer a little color.
Then I added the sauteed leek and jalapeño mixture to the cornbread batter and baked it as usual... super easy!
Here's a little cornbread baking tip: If your cornbread is cooked but is not yet golden brown on top, just brush it with a little bit of butter and put it back in the oven for a few minutes.
The butter will immediately melt over the hot cornbread, and will make the top of the cornbread turn golden brown and crispy.
A tip for cooking with leeks
Leeks are GREAT flavor boosters for many savory recipes (see my Sweet Potato Leek Soup, my Leek and Sweet Potato Latkes, my Leek and Asparagus Soup, and my Cauliflower Risotto with Caramelized Leeks).
The only problem with leeks is that they can trap a lot of dirt in between all those layers and they need to be cleaned really thoroughly. You do NOT want to bite down on your food and find yourself biting down on dirt. UGH!
I recommend rinsing leeks really well and trying to do your best to get any dirt out. Then dice the leeks and rinse them again in a large bowl of water, then under running water in a colander. This is the best way to make sure all the dirt is removed and rinsed off.
I always use a salad spinner to wash and rinse the diced leeks, then spin them dry. This helps the leek caramelize nicely and bring out their wonderful flavor. If the leeks have too much water they will steam in the pan instead of caramelizing when you go to sauté them.
This is the salad spinner I have, and I absolutely love it for so much more than just salads, as you can see! Click the image below to go to Amazon and learn more about this salad spinner:
Other savory additions
If you want to really switch things up and add more savory flavors to this cornbread, here are a few ideas for savory cornbread additions to try:
- Crumbled bacon
- Diced ham or pepperoni
- Fresh corn kernels
- Fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or sage
- Cheese - a sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, or Gruyere would be fantastic here!
Serve this corn bread with:
Looking for more savory recipes?
- Cheesy savory pancakes with scallions
- Cauliflower fritters
- Cheddar sage cornbread
- Cheery grits fritters with Cajun marinara sauce
- Savory French toast
- Corn fritters
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Savory Cornbread with Jalapeños and Leeks
- 1 large leek (about 3 cups chopped leek)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for cooking leeks)
- 1 jalapeño seeds removed and finely diced (use red jalapeños for a pop of color or cherry peppers)
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup corn meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (for the cornbread batter)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9x9 or 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or vegetable oil.
- Prepare the leeks. Leeks are usually very dirty between all the layers so I like to chop them up first and then give them a good thorough rinse in a colander using my hands to get all the hidden dirt off.Chop leeks into thin slices.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and add the chopped leeks. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the finely diced cherry pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or until the leeks softened and are just starting to brown. Set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl - flour, corn meal, baking powder, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl - milk, beaten egg, olive oil - and mix until almost combined, but not fully. Add the the sauteed leeks mixture and mix well.
- Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and cook at 400 for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cornbread is done but not golden brown, brush the top with butter or olive oil and put it back in the oven for a couple of minutes.Remove from oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes, and cut into 12 pieces.