Southern Hush Puppies are a favorite side dish made with a cornmeal batter that is crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
When I was a kid, my family owned a catfish restaurant and the hush puppies were always my favorite. The batter is slightly sweet and we are adding jalapenos for a spicy kick that is the perfect side dish for fish fries, bbq pulled pork and our favorite fried shrimp.
Why You Will Love this Easy Hush Puppies Recipe
- The best part about this easy recipe is it only takes a few minutes to make with simple ingredients that you probably have on hand.
- Homemade hush puppies are so delicious. If you have only had the frozen ones from the grocery store, you will be amazed at the difference.
- The batter comes together in about 5 minutes and total cooking time is under 20 minutes.
- Delicious comfort food to round out your favorite southern meals or serve as an appetizer for game day parties.
Ingredients for Hush Puppies
- All Purpose Flour
- Yellow Cornmeal – Not cornmeal mix.
- Granulated Sugar
- Large Eggs
- Candied Jalapenos
- Whole Milk
- Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil
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Step-by-Step Directions for Homemade Hush Puppies
- Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add buttermilk, milk, eggs, diced jalapenos and vegetable oil.
- Stir just until combined, don’t over mix.
- Pour vegetable oil or peanut oil into a large dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet. Use a deep-fry thermometer and place over high heat, bringing the oil to 375°.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack and top with paper towels.
- Use a small cookie scoop or a couple of soup spoons to drop hush puppy batter into the hot oil.
- Cook in small batches, 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil to a paper towel lined wire rack.
Recipe Notes and Variations
- Variation: Mix in diced onion and additional spices into the batter with the milk and eggs if desired.
- Spices: Add granulated garlic, smoked paprika and black pepper for more savory flavors.
- Self Rising Flour: If you have self-rising flour or cornmeal mix, skip the salt and baking powder.
- Baked Hush Puppies: If you bake hush puppy batter in the oven or air fryer, you will essentially have corn bread or corn bread muffins.
- Warming: Keep hush puppies warm in a 250° oven until ready to serve.
- Storage: Hush puppies are best enjoyed fresh. Leftover hush puppies can be stored in a zip top bag or airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Place on a baking sheet and cook at 350° for 8 – 10 minutes.
Dipping Sauce for Hush Puppies
- Tartar Sauce is a great option for hush puppies and our homemade version is so delicious.
- We always make Cocktail Sauce for fried shrimp and it’s so good with hush puppies too.
- Blooming Onion Sauce is another favorite for anything deep fried.
- Softened butter is also delicious spread onto hush puppies and my kids love to dip them in ketchup.
Tips for the Best Hush Puppy Recipe
- Use a deep-fry thermometer to keep the oil temperature between 375° and 400°. Frying at the right temperature will make the hush puppies crisp on the outside and the insides will be light and fluffy. If the oil is not hot enough, the hush puppies will be heavy and greasy.
- Try for 1 inch balls of batter so that the insides cook through without the outsides getting too dark.
- If you want to make sure they are cooked through, insert a toothpick into the center of each hush puppy, if it comes out clean, it is done in the middle.
- Try for golf ball size hush puppies. If you make them too large, they will get too dark on the outside before the inside is cooked through.
Why Are They Called Hush Puppies?
According to Serious Eats, the common stories of civil war soldiers feeding the fried cornmeal-based batter to dogs and saying “hush puppies” or “shut up dogs” is disputable and that the origins are more likely from South Carolina called Red Horse Bread. I think they were also called corn dodgers by the pioneers.
Add these deep fried hush puppies for the perfect addition to any southern meal, fish fry or backyard bbq dinner.
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- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup diced candied jalapenos or pickled jalapenos, optional
- 3 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add eggs, buttermilk, milk, jalapenos and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
- Whisk just until combined.
- Heat frying oil in a dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet using a deep fry thermometer, heating to 375°.
- Use a small cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons to scoop batter into hot oil, frying a few hush puppies at a time. Cook 3- 5 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove hush puppies with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g
Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.