the best ever cornbread with rosemary + serrano chilies // gluten-free

I cannot leave you with a recipe for chili, and not give you some cornbread to go with it. 

A piece of crusty cornbread, a warm bowl of chili, a crisp kale salad, and a really good magazine .... the perfect way to spend a chilly saturday afternoon. 

There is also no better way to feed a large group of hungry friends on football sunday. A quick batch of cornbread and big pot of chili, and you’re happily feasting.

There are a few things I look for in a cornbread to consider it really good:

1 – a crusty top layer
2 – a moist inner layer
3 – not so crumbly (you know, the kind that you can barley eat because it crumbles to bits)

bonus – super yummy things to flavor it like chilies and herbs.
double bonus – vegan or gluten-free (without knowing the difference).

So if I am going to post a recipe for cornbread, you know it has to pass this test. In case you’re wondering, this cornbread scored 120% (extra 10% for the chilies and rosemary + 10 more % for being gluten-free).

When I started working on this, the first and only blog I consulted was gluten-free girl. Shauna sure does know her stuff. Her recipe for gluten-free cornbread is flawless and absolutely delicious. I did make just a few tweaks. I know that not everyone is as ambitious as she is to make their own GF flour (ahem, me) but she does include an awesome video how to do it if you are interested. I also include a milk-free option because even though whole milk does do a wonderful job, it is not an ingredient I typically use. Lastly, I used maple syrup as a sweetener which is not only better for you than white sugar, it compliments this recipe so well. And of course I threw in some extra yummy things like rosemary and serrano chilies. Killer cornbread is born. 


cornbread with rosemary + serrano chilies

enough for 8-10 people


dry ingredients:
1 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour (bob's red mill brands makes a great one)
1 cup of gluten-free cornmeal
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum

1/4 cup of vegan vegetable shortening (chilled + cubed)

wet ingredients:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup of organic, whole milk (or a non-dairy milk, or 1/2 cup of water + 1/2 cup of plain yogurt)
1/3 cup of maple syrup

3-4 serrano chilies, seed removed and minced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, stems discarded and leaves minced (about 1 tablespoon)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 450º, and grease an 9" round or a 9x9 "square baking dish. 
  • Sift the gluten-free flour into a large bowl. Sifting if an important step for making a lighter bread or cake so do not skip. Here is a link how to do it if you do not have a flour sifter handy. 
  • Then add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir with a whisk to combine everything. 
  • Then, using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork, cut the shortening cubes into the dry mixture, just as you would for making a pie crust. You should end up with small chunky flecks of shortening throughout the flour mixture. 
  • The add the wet ingredients and stir until everything is combined, being careful not to over mix. 
  • Then add the rosemary and chilies and stir again until everything is combined. 
  • Transfer the batter to the dish and bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is starting to brown and the sides are pulling away from the dish. Insert a toothpick or baking needle into the center and if it comes out clean (no batter) it is done. 
  • Allow the cornbread to sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. This is excellent warm, right out of the oven, but is also equally as good at room temperature. Will keep for at least 5 days, but be sure to refrigerate it after a day or two.