Gluten-Free Southern Cornbread Recipe

This gluten-free cornbread is loaded with southwestern veggies and herbs, which deliver a flavor and texture unrivaled by even the traditional cornbread recipes!


Gluten-full bread usually makes an appearance at holiday dinners and this cornbread is a delicious replacement for those who can’t eat gluten. It’s rich with bacon, roasted chiles, sweet corn kernels, fresh herbs and an assertive cheese. (If dairy is off your list, it’s just as good without the cheese.) Bake this recipe in the morning or even the night before, and don’t be surprised if the tantalizing aromas wafting from the oven entice you to cut off a little piece to taste hours before dinner. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

gluten free southern style cornbread


2 large poblano chiles or bell peppers

5 ounces (about 6 slices) bacon, chopped (Black Forest preferred)

1½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) or frozen, thawed

2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

Coarse salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 cup buttermilk or ¾ cup + 3 table- spoons milk of choice mixed with 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

6 tablespoons melted butter or sun- flower oil

1 large egg

1¼ cups whole-grain cornmeal

½ cup sorghum flour

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

¼ cup potato starch or tapioca starch/flour (not potato flour)

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

¾ teaspoon xanthan gum

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces (about 1½ cups) Manchego or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush an 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish with butter or oil.

2. Place poblano chiles directly on a gas burner or under a broiler and cook until they’re charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate or plastic wrap. Let chiles steam 15 to 20 minutes. Using fingers or a small sharp knife, peel chiles, remove seeds and chop.

3. Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until it begins to brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add corn and sage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until corn is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Mix in chiles and cool.

4. In a glass measuring cup, add buttermilk, butter and egg and beat with a fork until blended.

5. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, sorghum flour, brown sugar, potato starch, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, xanthan gum, baking soda and a generous amount of pepper. Whisk to blend. Add liquid ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in bacon-corn-chile mixture and cheese, if using.

6. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.

7. Place in preheated oven and bake until bread is brown, springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool at least 20 minutes.

9. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Each serving contains 223 calories, 10g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 42mg cholesterol, 470mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 8g sugars, 7g protein, 18 Est GL.

EGG-FREE: For Egg-Free Cornbread, omit 1 egg. Combine 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons hot water. Let cool. Use this mixture to replace 1 egg in step 4. If cornbread is not done when tested, cover with foil and bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

TIPS: To chop bacon more easily, partially freeze it first. Poblano chiles can be replaced with bell peppers in this recipe. Sage can be replaced with an equal amount of marjoram or thyme.

Contributing chef Kristine Kidd is former food editor of Bon Appetit magazine. She is author of Weeknight Gluten Free (Williams-Sonoma) and Gluten-Free Baking (Williams-Sonoma).

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