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Turn everyday Skillet Cornbread into a savory summer treat!
Skillet Cornbread with corn, basil, fresh garden tomatoes and plenty of Parmesan.
Everyday cornbread undergoes a complete flavor transformation in this delicious skillet recipe. Loaded with crisp yellow corn kernels, grated salty Parmesan, tons of fresh basil leaves, and topped with ripe thin sliced tomatoes. This is not your mamma’s everyday skillet cornbread!
We’re getting close to the end of summer and often find ourselves with lots of extra tomatoes and fresh corn in the crisper. At this point we’re also a little overrun with a giant bush of fresh basil. Skillet Cornbread with Tomatoes and Parmesan to the rescue!
What does tomato and Parmesan cornbread taste like?
It’s hard to describe the incredible flavor of this cornbread. It’s fresh, savory and sweet and almost pizza-like in some ways. My husband says it’s almost like a focaccia but made with cornbread. The basil really makes this cornbread sing, so don’t skimp on the fresh basil!
What can you serve with this cornbread?
Our skillet cornbread is very filling. In summer it’s great served with a hearty salad or a grilled piece of salmon. In cooler weather, this cornbread pairs perfectly with a nice meaty bowl of chili, creamy corn chowder or vegetable based Minestrone soup.
Turn this recipe into corn muffins and top with small heirloom tomatoes if desired. It’s all good!
Ingredients you’ll need to make Skillet Cornbread with Tomatoes and Parmesan:
If you have a favorite cornbread recipe, feel free to use it here as the base. Our buttermilk cornbread recipe never disappoints and is the foundation for this unusually delicious skillet bread.
For the basic cornbread recipe:
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Buttermilk – you can use full fat or low-fat for this cornbread
- Mayonnaise – I know it sounds weird, but adding mayonnaise to cornbread is a trick I learned from my sister. It makes for an amazingly moist and delicious corncake!
- Vegetable oil
Flavorful savory add-ins making this cornbread something special:
- Heirloom tomatoes – sliced thin
- Corn Kernels – fresh, frozen or canned
- Fresh basil leaves – lots and lots of basil!
- Parmesan cheese – fresh grated
How to make Skillet Cornbread with Tomatoes and Parmesan:
This is a pretty basic recipe and easy to mix up in no time:
1. First, prepare the tomatoes:
Slice the tomatoes and place in a single layer on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and set aside while preparing the cornbread.
2. Preheat the oven and skillet
We use a 9-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe but a cake pan will work too. Lightly grease the skillet and preheat in the oven.
3. Combine the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
4. Next blend the wet ingredients together.
Whisk the egg then add the buttermilk, mayonnaise and vegetable oil.
5. Combine the two mixtures:
Once blended add the drained corn, basil and a portion of the Parmesan cheese. Gently fold together until combined but don’t overmix!
6. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet.
Remove the skillet from the oven, pour in the batter and smooth the top.
7. Add the tomatoes:
Pat the tomatoes dry and arrange on top of the batter. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and bake.
8. Broil the top:
Once baked through, prop the oven door open and broil the top until the tomatoes sizzle and the cheese bubbles. This step is optional but I love the crust this method creates. It also helps dry up any moisture left in the tomatoes.
Cool for about 15 minutes and serve!
Can you freeze this Skillet Cornbread?
This cornbread can be frozen, but again, it is best served the day it’s made.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Rewarm gently in the microwave or wrap in foil and warm in the oven.
If properly stored, this skillet cornbread will keep for up to 3 days.
Can Skillet Cornbread be made ahead?
As mentioned above, this cornbread is best served the day it’s made. However, it is perfectly fine to make a few hours ahead. Our skillet cornbread is terrific served slightly warm which is my favorite way to enjoy it.
My husband loves this cornbread for breakfast, too. Cold leftover cornbread goes great with scrambled eggs!
Do you have to put tomatoes on top?
As you probably know, cornbread is great served plain with no add-ins at all. Slathered with a little butter and a drizzle of honey, I’m a happy camper! However, if you’re looking for something a little different and very special, don’t skip the tomatoes. The tomato flavor bakes into the top of the cornbread and blends beautifully with the Parmesan and basil.
Your cornbread loving family is going to LOVE this unique and delicious cornbread. Enjoy!
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Skillet Cornbread with Tomatoes and Parmesan
- 2 heirloom tomatoes sliced ¼-inch thick
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or flaked style)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (126g)
- 1 ¼ cups cornmeal (190g varies depending on brand)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (55g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup full fat buttermilk well shaken (230g or 8oz)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (100g or 4oz varies depending on brand)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (2oz or 55g)
- 1 cup corn kernels fresh, frozen or canned (drained and thawed) (5oz or 150g)
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese grated, divided (40g or 1 ½-oz)
- Slice the tomatoes and place in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon coarse salt. Set aside for 30-minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch cast iron skillet. Place the skillet in the oven to preheat.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and ½ teaspoon table salt.
- In a separate small bowl whisk the egg until blended. Add the buttermilk, mayonnaise and vegetable oil and whisk until combined.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour and add the corn, basil and ½ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Gently fold everything together until blended. Don’t overmix.
- Remove the preheated skillet from the oven. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet.
- Pat the tomato slices dry and arrange on top of the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
- OPTIONAL: Prop the oven door open and turn the oven to high-broil. Bake the cornbread under the broiler until the top is golden brown, the tomatoes are bubbling and the cheese is melted. Watch it carefully as this only takes a minute.
- Remove from the oven and cool 15 minutes. Garnish with additional basil and slice into wedges. Serve with butter or goat cheese.