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If you’re from Chicago, or have visited this most fantastic city, odds are good that you’ve eaten at Bandera restaurant on Michigan Avenue. (And if you are from Chicago and you have not eaten at Bandera, go! It’s a.maz.ing and you will have a wonderful time in the city, as always, and a most delicious meal!) Bandera has other locations, too, and I am sure they are every bit as awesome as the Chicago location.
One of the best dishes at Bandera is their skillet cornbread. It is soooo good. It has everything amazing cornbread should have: cornmeal, cheese, chili peppers, a hint of jalapeno…oh.my.yum. Baked in a cast iron skillet, this is more than just a “side dish.” It’s part of your dinner, whether it’s chili, maple baked beans or country fried chicken this cornbread will complete you. No more box mixed muffins after this!
If you need a cast iron skillet, this T-fal skillet is perfect for this dish, and at 12 inches it can be used for just about every cast iron skillet recipe you come across.
Of course, I have at least 3 cast iron skillets at our house in Michigan, but our apartment in Illinois is an experiment between minimalism, camping and making do without. But this I could not do without because we were invited to friends’ for a chili dinner and I knew I wanted to make this cornbread! Amazon came through for me once again.
If you have a new skillet it will need to be seasoned. You can read my post here on How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet. It’s really easy and takes just about an hour.
Back to cornbread! As I said, this is one of the best dishes at Bandera, BUT I did not have it at Bandera first. Nope, I first had it about 5 years ago at my girlfriend’s wedding. It was an amazing outdoor backyard wedding that definitely didn’t look, feel or taste like the budget wedding that it was! After collecting and borrowing about 10 cast iron skillets, we whipped up this copycat cornbread for guests to accompany stuffed cornish hens and roasted root vegetables. It was the *perfect* rustic, outdoor Fall wedding. The cornbread was so good my husband and I were eating at Bandera very shortly after the wedding! Let’s get cooking!
Bandera Copycat Skillet Cornbread
Pre-heat your oven, with your skillet inside it, to 300F. Start by gathering all of your ingredients. Most of the ingredients are “pantry staples,” but you probably won’t have the green chiles on hand. You can find them in the ethnic food section at your grocery store.
Once you have your ingredients portioned out, begin by melting the butter and mixing the butter, sugar, creamed corn, green chiles, diced jalapeno and hot sauce either by hand or with your mixer.
Stir in the eggs, one at a time, and add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt mixture. Stir to combine.
Finally, fold the cubed cheddar into the cornbread batter.
Remove your skillet from the oven and “grease it” with vegetable oil so the cornbread doesn’t stick to the skillet. Pour the batter into the greased skillet.
Bake at 300F for 30-45 minutes. Use a toothpick to see if the cornbread is cooked through at the 30-minute mark. The edges should be a lovely golden brown color and your house will start to smell like mmm mmm good cornbread when it’s done.
Helpful tip: THE SKILLET IS HELLA HOT. Do NOT grab the handle to reposition the skillet for your photo op. Or else you will be sitting with an ice pack on your whole hand while you type one-handed with the other. <scream>
A little pat of butter (or not!) and this is sure to be the very best skillet cornbread you have ever made. Or tasted. Or wished for. It’s SO good!
See how the cubed cheese doesn’t fully melt? Mmmmm mmmm yum.
How cute is that little pumpkin plate? They are from the Dollar Spot at Target. $3 for three plates!
The full recipe can be found below, ready to print and ready to bake!
Looking for some more recipe ideas? Check out our Meal Prep series and easy dinner recipes below- we’re all about saving time in the kitchen on busy nights!
Meal Prep Like a Pro With These 10 Yummy Recipes
Meal Prep Like a Pro- Part Two: 10 Awesome Recipes to Try This Month
Meal Prep Like a Pro: Part Three- The Lunch List
10 Easy Dinners for Busy Weeknights
Super Easy Dinners For Super Busy Weeknights
If you are looking for more side dish recipes, be sure to visit our Side Dishes- Dinner Is Now Complete! board on Pinterest. There are hundreds of awesome side dish recipes to browse.