Salads like this Layered Southwestern Cornbread Salad are a true favorite here in the South. This variation has evolved through the years in my kitchen because of my family’s love of Southwestern and Tex-Mex flavors. The fresh pico de gallo, is a must and takes this salad over the top. It also pairs beautifully with the classic flavors that inspired my take on cornbread salad.
Cornbread salad needs to be made ahead to allow the flavors to fully develop. If you plan on serving this salad for dinner, it can be made during early morning for the best same day results. Otherwise, overnight is ideal for the full impact and flavor combination to shine. For the top, I reserve some of the pico de gallo, bacon crumbles, and cheese to garnish. So, theoretically, there are four layers of pico, bacon and cheese in my salad, but, who’s counting? I’m pretty generous with the dressing when assembling the salad, so I use plain sour cream dolloped on top as a garnish. When serving a salad that includes spicy or hot peppers, I always try to place a few visible as a garnish, letting people know what’s inside of the dish. So, a few rounds of jalapeno are placed on top of the sour cream for the finishing touch.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Layered Southwestern Cornbread Salad
- 1 [1.0 oz] package of Spicy Ranch dressing mix
- 1 1/3 cups milk or buttermilk
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- For the pico de gallo:
- 6 medium Roma tomatoes
- 1 medium purple onion
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- garlic salt and black pepper to taste
- For the salad:
- 1 [7.5 oz] box cornbread mix plus ingredients to prepare
- 2 [12 oz] pkgs frozen Southwestern Corn [such as Steamfresh] OR 2 [11 oz] cans Mexi-Corn
- 1 [15 oz] can black beans drained & rinsed
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 8 oz shredded iceberg lettuce
- 12 oz. bacon cooked crumbled & cooled
- 1/2 cup sour cream [for the top]
- Prepare the cornbread per the instructions on the package and cool. Divide into thirds. Prepare the dressing using 1 1/3 cup of milk/buttermilk and 1 cup of mayo, then chill until assembling the salad.
- To prepare the pico de gallo, dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno pepper.
- Add to a bowl, and toss with the chopped cilantro, lime juice and seasonings.
- Drain the Mexican corn and black beans, and rinse the beans thoroughly. Mix together.
- To assemble the salad:
- Divide the ingredients into thirds. Layer in this order...shredded lettuce, crumbled cornbread, bacon, Mexican corn and black beans, pico de gallo, dressing and shredded cheese. Repeat until all of the ingredients are used.
- Reserve some of the pico de gallo, bacon crumbles, and cheese to garnish the top
- Dollop plain sour cream on top as a garnish.
- Refrigerate for several hours, or preferably overnight to allow the flavors to come together before serving.
In the Summer months when fresh corn is abundant, I always use fresh corn in this salad. I roast a batch of Roasted Mexican Corn, and toss it with the black beans for the corn and bean layer.