Gluten-free Chilli Cornbread’s a good recipe if gluten-free or less wheat’s needed due to an allergy to gluten or because of a diet but bread’s appreciated to go with a meal. It’s very easy as no yeast and no wheat flour’s used.

Recipe by Helen Barker-Benfield of BBC Good Food, April 2015 issue

Serves 4-6; Prep Time: 20 mins+2hrs soaking; Cook: 30-40 mins


  • 200 g polenta or fine ground cornmeal
  • 284 ml buttermilk
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
  • ¼ tsp bicarb. of soda
  • 50 g corn (defrosted if frozen or drained if canned)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten


  1. Lightly toast polenta in a dry frying pan for 3-4 mins, stirring to ensure even cooking, till polenta has heated thru, is fragrant and small patches starts to turn golden brown.
  2. Take off heat, tip half into a large bowl and add buttermilk.
  3. Stir well, cover and leave to soak for 2-3 hrs.
  4. Melt butter in an 25cm ovenproof or cast-iron frying pan (or melt butter in an 25cm ovenproof casserole dish in microwave at 30seconds interval till melted).
  5. Heat oven to 220C or 200C fan.
  6. Stir melted butter and remaining ingredients, including the rest of toasted polenta and ½ tsp salt, into buttermilk and polenta mix. (Don’t wipe out pan or casserole dish 0 slick of butter will ensure bread doesn’t stick.)
  7. Put pan back on heat (or put dish into oven to warm up) and turn up heat.
  8. Pour mixture into pan (or remove dish carefully from oven and pour mixture into dish). It should sizzle as it hits it, like a Yorkshire pudding.
  9. Put whole pan or dish in oven. Bake for 15-20 mins till golden brown and firm in the middle.
  10. Leave to cool a little and serve cut into wedges.

It’s best eaten super-fresh and ideal to make at home. Although, I think my cornbread was a little on the dry-side.
Serve with a slow-cooked casserole and fresh salad. Mine’s served with chicken curry and tomato-corn salad.


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