Skip to main content
Live Well. Eat Well.

Recipe Rescue: Cornbread

Healthy and cornbread are not two words that typically go together, but today they do! Traditional cornbread recipes typically include some combination of butter or bacon grease and buttermilk or sour cream along with cornmeal, flour, and other ingredients to make it rise. Sugar is also sometimes added to give the cornbread a sweeter note. So how do we make this traditional bread both tasty and healthy? (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

Image removed.

Original Recipe Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for greasing dish
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Nutrition Facts

Image removed.

Changes Made:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for greasing dish: Prepared dish with cooking spray, used canola oil in place of butter and reduced to 2 tablespoons
  • 8.5 ounce can cream-style corn: Added for moisture and flavor
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour: Reduced to 1/2 cup to decrease density
  • 1 tablespoon sugar: Eliminated; sweet taste added through cream-style corn
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder: Increased slightly for additional leavening
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt: Eliminated; not necessary in this recipe
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten: Replaced with 2 egg whites to decrease fat and cholesterol
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk: Replaced with fat-free Greek yogurt, which also has tangy taste
    In summary:
      • Took out butter to eliminate saturated fat (not so good for your heart)
      • Used canola oil for omega-3 and other unsaturated fats (heart-healthy!)
      • Added creamed corn for texture and fat replacement
      • Replaced buttermilk with fat-free plain Greek yogurt to lower saturated fat
      • Egg substitute in place of eggs to further control fat and cholesterol
      • Minor changes to dry ingredients for texture and flavor
      Nutrition Facts Face-Off! Image removed.

      Double Cornbread (Printable PDF Version)

      Yields 12 muffins, one 9x9" pan, or one 8" skillet (cut into 12 pieces)


      • 1 cup cornmeal
      • ½ cup all-purpose flour
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • ½ teaspoon baking soda
      • 2 egg whites (or ¼ cup egg substitute)
      • ½ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt*
      • 2 tablespoons canola oil
      • 8.5 oz (1 cup) creamed corn


        1. Preheat oven to 425º. If using iron skillet, place skillet in oven to heat.
        2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder and baking soda in large mixing bowl. Mix well.
        3. Separate eggs or measure egg substitute and place in small bowl. Add Greek yogurt, oil, and creamed corn and mix well.
        4. Add corn mixture to dry ingredients and stir only enough to dampen flour.
        5. If using muffin tins or 9" x 9" pan, spray with nonstick baking spray. If using iron skillet, remove from oven and hold away from face and oven while spraying lightly with nonstick baking spray.
        6. Spoon batter into muffin tin or pan. Spray top lightly with baking spray.
        7. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, pan or skillet bread for 25 minutes.
        8. Remove from oven; serve warm. Cut bread into 12 servings.

        *You may substitute low-fat buttermilk or fat-free sour cream


        Note: This recipe is part of our "I on Diabetes" recipe collection. "I on Diabetes" is a 4-part workshop series, taught by UI Extension Nutrition & Wellness Educators, on how to make healthy food choices when you have diabetes.

        Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.