Skip to Content

Jalapeno Cheddar Hush Puppies

Vegetarian

The perfect combination of textures and flavors, these jalapeno cheddar hush puppies are a great starter or side dish to serve alongside your next Cajun dinner. Naturally vegetarian.

Close up of cheddar hush puppy that has been bitten into

Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Once upon a time, I was not a big fan of hush puppies. That all changed the day I made Heather Christo’s goat cheese hush puppies. If you haven’t tried them, do it! They are so damn good!!!

Since then I have experimented with different types of cheese and various add-on ingredients. And I’ve go to say, I’ve truly perfected my hush puppy game.


What you’ll love about this recipe?


  • The flavors! If you’re looking for a traditional tasting hush puppy recipe, this is not the one for you. While they’re most definitely still identifable as hush puppies, the flavor profile is a bit different. For one thing, you will not find a lick of sugar in this recipe. These little flavor balls pack a bit of heat from the jalapenos and some smoke from the smoky cheddar cheese.
  • The textures! One of the best things about hush puppies is the combination of textures. Thanks to the buttermilk and cream cheese, these babies are extra soft on the inside. Since the ratio of flour to cornmeal is nearly even rather than cornmeal heavy, they don’t have that grainy texture like some do. Once fried, the exterior is perfectly golden and crisp.
  • It’s perfect for your next Cajun dinner! Whether you serve them as an appetizer or a side, these jalapeno hush puppies will not disappoint. They pair well with all sorts of dishes, from gumbo to jambalaya to fried fish.
Basket of jalapeno cheddar hush puppies garnished with diced jalapenos

What are hush puppies?


Hush puppies are deep-fried balls prepared with a combination of cornmeal and flour. They are commonly described as tasting like fried cornbread balls.

It is believed that they originated in the Southern United States, specifically in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. These savory balls have become a staple in Southern cuisine and are typically served as a side dish with Cajun seafood dishes such as fried catfish or gumbo.


Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)


Ingredients for Jalapeno Cheddar Hush Puppies
  • Neutral oil: High smoke point, neutral oils like vegetable and canola are ideal for deep frying.
  • All-purpose flour: The base of the batter.
  • Cornmeal: The second ingredient forming the base of the batter. The cornmeal give them the “cornbread” taste they are known for. Opt for your standard cornmeal rather than coarse ground.
  • Paprika: Preferrably smoked.
  • Baking powder: For leavening.
  • Baking soda: Also for leavening.
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground white pepper:  Often used in French, Chinese, and Creole cooking, white pepper is milder than black pepper but more complex in flavor, often described as earthy and musty. If you’d like to up your spice game and don’t already have some, I highly recommend purchasing some white pepper for your spice cabinent. If you don’t have any white pepper, you can sub for 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • Onion powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Smoked cheddar cheese: Could sub for regular sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Jalapenos: Two medium sized jalapenos will do it. I typically remove the seeds. I like to leave the membranes intact, however, for the the added heat. To tame things down a bit feel free to remove them.
  • Buttermilk: Using buttermilk rather than regular milk, helps keep the interior of the hush puppies nice and soft. It also adds some tanginess to the batter.
  • Egg
  • Cream cheese: Another ingredient that leads to the soft texture of the hush puppy interior. It does need to be warmed to room temperature prior to use so that it incorporates into the batter without clumping.

How do you make jalapeno cheddar hush puppies? (+tips)


  1. Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep-fat fryer or a heavy-bottomed pan with oil at least 2-inches deep.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, paprika, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, ground white pepper, onion powder, and salt.
Dry ingredients in a bowl surrounded by bowl of jalapenos and bowl of cheese

Stir in the cheddar cheese and jalapenos.

Dry ingredients mixed with cheese and jalapenos

3. In a liquid measuring cup or a bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Batter before and after wet ingredients.

5. Add the cream cheese and mix until just combined.

Batter in a bowl

6. In batches of no more than six, use an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to scoop the batter and drop it into the hot oil. Fry for 2-2 1/2 minutes then transfer, using a slotted spoon or metal tongs, to a paper towel-lined surface or a wire cooling rack set atop a sheet pan. ***If the oil temperature drops, be sure to allow it to rise back to temp before frying the next batch.

Jalapeno hush puppies on a wire cooling rack

7. Serve warm with Cajun dipping sauce.


Storage


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days.


FAQ


Are hush puppies gluten-free?

Hush puppies are typically not gluten-free as they are prepared with a mixture of all-purpose flour and cornmeal. Although I have not tried it personally, I would assume you could sub the all-purpose flour in this recipe for gluten-free all-purpose flour with good results.

Are hush puppies vegan?

No, hush puppies are prepared with eggs so they are not vegan. They are, however, vegetarian-friendly!!!

Can I cook these in an air fryer?

Unfortunately, it is not recommended as the dough is not thick enough to hold its shape. While you could certainly try it, keep in mind that the shape of the hush puppies would not be round but rather flat on one side.

Stack of jalapeno hush puppies with a whole jalapeno
Pile of hush puppies with a jalapeno
Hand holding hush puppy with Cajun dipping sauce

More Cajun-inspired recipes you may enjoy:


  • Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Pasta: Layered with flavor, this simple Cajun chicken and shrimp pasta is prepared with my signature Cajun spice blend in less than 30-minutes. Serve it up with a light salad and/or crusty bread and dinner is served.
  • Gumbo with Crawfish, Andouille, and Chicken: This hearty gumbo with crawfish, andouille, and chicken tops my list as the most comforting food. From the thick roux-based broth to the holy trinity of veggies and the plethora of spices, this flavorful dish will not let you down.
  • Hush Puppy Corn Dog Bites: These unique hush puppy corn dog bites are a fun appetizer to share with a crowd. They’re packed full of spices, Andouille sausage, and served up with an amazing Cajun seasoned dipping sauce.

If you make these jalapeno cheddar hush puppies I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Close up of cheddar hush puppy that has been bitten into

Jalapeno Cheddar Hush Puppies

Yield: 28
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

The perfect combination of textures and flavors, these jalapeno cheddar hush puppies are a great starter or side dish to serve alongside your next Cajun dinner.

Ingredients

  • Neutral oil for frying, canola or vegetable oil work great
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, can sub for sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium jalapenos, deseeded and minced
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temp

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep-fat fryer or a heavy-bottomed pan with oil at least 2-inches deep.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, paprika, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, ground white pepper, onion powder, and salt. Stir in the cheddar cheese and jalapenos.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup or a bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Add the cream cheese and mix until just combined.
  6. In batches of no more than six, use an ice scoop or a tablespoon to scoop the batter and drop it into the hot oil. Fry for 2-2 1/2 minutes then transfer, using a slotted spoon or metal tongs, to a paper towel-lined surface or a wire cooling rack set atop a sheet pan.
  7. Serve warm with Cajun dipping sauce (recipe in notes).

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days.

Notes

Creamy Cajun Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun/creole seasoning
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add cayenne pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Liz

Sunday 9th of January 2022

I have never made hushpuppies before. However, I have eaten my fair share of them! This recipe sounds pretty simple, so will have to give it a try!

Jere Cassidy

Thursday 6th of January 2022

I have never made hushpuppies but this recipe looks so easy I am going to give it a try. Love the addition of jalpeno.

Skip to Recipe