This upside-down bacon cornbread recipe is genius, delicious and great for Thanksgiving

Turn this traditional American side on it's head for Thanksgiving.

November 21, 2023, 10:15 AM

Cornbread is a staple side for many Thanksgiving tables, but this inventive recipe flips the classic on its head with a crisp, savory and spicy twist.

PHOTO: Demetra Overton's bacon jalapeno upside down cornbread.
Demetra Overton's bacon jalapeno upside down cornbread.
Sweet Savant

Atlanta food blogger and personal chef Demetra Overton shared her delicious jalapeño, bacon cornbread recipe with "Good Morning America" just in time for turkey day.

Overton, who has been cooking since she was 10 years old, studied to become a chef at the Institute of Culinary Education and, after becoming a mother, launched a blog and personal chef service, Sweet Savant.

PHOTO: Demetra Overton's bacon jalapeno upside down cornbread.
Demetra Overton's bacon jalapeno upside down cornbread.
Sweet Savant

Her blog and YouTube channel are filled with drool-worthy dishes and recipes, but she said this one is sure to be "a showstopper on your Thanksgiving table."

"Cornbread is a staple at Sunday dinners and holiday meals," Overton said. "I developed this bacon upside-down jalapeño cornbread recipe as a follow up to my smash hit, Vidalia Onion Upside-Down Cornbread."

Check out the full recipe and Overton's helpful hints to perfect this dish in your own kitchen.

Bacon Upside-Down Cornbread

1 1/2 cups of fine ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 eggs
16 ounces of 2% cottage cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup jalapeño peppers (from 1-3 jalapeño peppers)
1/2 cup chopped onion (one small onion)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
8-9 strips of thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup milk if you need to thin the batter (optional)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the seeds from the jalapeño and dice it (you should have about 1/4 cup total). Dice the onion. Sauté the onion and jalapeño in the oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the jalapeños and onion from the skillet, and let them cool while you mix the batter.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl, and stir well to combine.

In another bowl beat the eggs, and stir in the cottage cheese and lemon juice. Combine the cottage cheese mixture, the cornmeal mixture, and the sautéed peppers and onions. Stir and add milk if you need to thin the batter.

Let the skillet cool off then lay the strips of bacon into the skillet.

Cook the bacon over medium heat on the stove top for about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and flip the bacon over keeping it in order.

Spoon the batter carefully over the bacon strips. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Let the cornbread rest for about 5-10 minutes.

Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to make sure the cornbread isn't stuck.

Place a platter on top of the skillet and, using pot holders, invert the cornbread onto the platter.

Chef's Tips

A cast-iron skillet is key to perfect cornbread.

Taste your jalapeño peppers to judge the heat level, then decide if you need 1 or 2 peppers.

Adding creamy cottage cheese makes this cornbread incredibly moist. You don't taste the flavor so don't worry if you don't like cottage cheese.

Recipe reprinted with permission courtesy of Demetra Overton of Sweet Savant culinary media.

This story was originally published on Nov. 15, 2021.

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