Pixelated Crumb

Cornbread Salad With Black Beans, Red Bell Peppers, and Cherry Tomatoes

Cornbread Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

As much as I love fall, I’ve been happy that it has still been fairly warm in Boston. Most importantly, the farmers’ market still has tomatoes and honestly, that’s all I need to fend off fears of snow and ice. I love fall and living in New England, it doesn’t really get any better. The only problem is that fall feels so short and then winter comes along.

tomatoes, scallions, black beans, read peppers, and basil

Apparently southerners make cornbread salad, although I had never heard of that until I came across this blog post from Ezra Pound Cake. Rebecca, the author, says that they are most traditionally topped off with a bottle of Ranch dressing, so I was happy to find her recipe, which is bright and cheery and tied together with a nice, light vinaigrette. I love cornbread and I love panzanella (an Italian bread salad), so this seemed like the perfect idea to me.


Joseph and I first made this salad the night before my knee surgery back in July. When I came home from the hospital all woozy and out of it, I really wasn’t hungry, but I hadn’t eaten in nearly 20 hours, so it seemed like I should at least try to eat something. The leftovers of this cornbread salad was the perfect solution. The cornbread made it feel like comfort food while the juicy tomatoes, crisp red peppers, fresh basil, and earthy black beans with the vinaigrette made it light and approachable.

cornbread salad with black beans, red bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes

I had wanted to make the salad again, but summer somehow got away from me (is it really October now?). Luckily tomatoes are still gracing the farmer’s market and our basil plant is still holding up, so we made this again last week and it made me so happy. I can’t wait to fully delve into fall foods, but I needed this dish as one last little wave goodbye to tomatoes and warm weather. Now bring on the pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes and butternut squash!

Cornbread Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe adapted from Jamie and Bobby Deen via Ezra Pound Cake

If you're making this salad ahead of time, don't add the cornbread until you're ready to serve it. Likewise, if you're not going to be eating all of it at once, leave the cornbread out of the leftovers and add them when you're ready.


  • 1/2 to 1 pan cornbread (preferably 1-2 days old), crumbled or cut into 1-inch pieces

For the dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 2 large tomatoes chopped)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Place an oven rack 6 inches from the heat source, and preheat the broiler.
  2. Place the cornbread on a baking sheet, and toast under the broiler until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes (check often to make sure that the crumbs are not burning). Transfer to a large salad bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the black beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions and basil to the salad bowl. Toss gently.
  5. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, and toss to combine well. Serve immediately.