Okra & Red Pepper Cornbread

July/August 2014

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Colorful red bell pepper and thinly sliced okra add an exciting element in this cast-iron skillet cornbread recipe. Serve the cornbread in wedges alongside chili, baked beans or barbecued chicken or pork.

Okra & Red Pepper Cornbread

Makes: 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 slice

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced okra
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups buttermilk (see Tip)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Add oil to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or 2-quart metal baking dish) and place in the preheating oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a large, heatproof bowl. Add okra, onion and bell pepper and toss to coat. Whisk buttermilk and egg in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Carefully remove the heated skillet (or pan) from the oven and pour the hot oil into the batter. Stir to combine, then pour the batter back into the hot pan. Bake until starting to brown around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into 12 slices and serve warm.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cool, cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 day or wrap airtight and freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Buttermilk is a thick, tangy cow’s-milk dairy product great for baking, salad dressings and marinades. Low-fat and nonfat versions can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Look for it in quart containers in the dairy section of the supermarket. In a pinch, you can make a substitute, mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk.


Per serving: 123 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 17 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g total sugars; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 356 mg sodium; 167 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat

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