Jalapeño Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits are the perfect companion for your next soup or chili. Flaky and tender, these biscuits are filled with spicy jalapeños and sharp cheddar cheese.
I'd like to think of these jalapeño cheddar cornmeal biscuits as a fun hybrid between a biscuit and cornbread. After you try them, you'll be hooked!
Cornmeal is an unlikely ingredient in a biscuit recipe, but it adds an extra layer of texture and crunch that you'll love. Jalapeños and sharp cheddar cheese are the perfect pairing, adding heat and flavor.
Pair these biscuits with a bowl of chili, barbecue pulled pork, or grilled chicken. They make the perfect side dish for just about any meal!
Ingredients and substitutions
Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
Sharp cheddar cheese can be substituted with monterey jack cheese or pepper jack cheese.
Buttermilk adds the perfect amount of acidity to work with the baking soda and baking powder in this recipe. It should not be substituted.
Remove the seeds and membranes from your jalapeños for a milder flavor. Leave them in for a spicier biscuit!
Tips and tricks
- Cold butter - When baked, the butter melts and creates steam, which makes little pockets of air inside your biscuit. Make sure your butter is nice and cold, and don't handle your dough so much that the butter melts.
- Grating butter - I like to grate my butter fresh from the refrigerator (or freezer) with a box grater, using the largest grate. This makes incorporating your butter and flour a cinch.
- Or, use a pastry cutter - Use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into your flour. You can also use a food processor, which makes biscuits and pie crusts a cinch.
- Do not knead your dough - Biscuit dough does not need to be kneaded like bread dough. In fact, you want to handle your dough as little as possible. Gently stir your ingredients until they're just incorporated, then only use gently pats when folding your dough.
- Folding and turning - Do not skip the step of folding and turning your dough. This is what makes those flaky layers, and only takes about two minutes.
- Do not twist the biscuit cutter - Push straight down, then pull straight up. If you twist your biscuit cutter, you're sealing off the edges of the biscuit. This prevents the biscuit from rising to its fullest in the oven.
Folding biscuit dough
The goal of folding is to create layers of cold butter throughout your dough, which results in flaky, tender, and fluffy biscuits.
Once your dough is mostly mixed, but shaggy and sticky, turn it out onto a floured surface. Gently form your dough into a rectangle and pat it down with your hands.
Fold the rectangle in half, then turn it and gently pat it down into a wide rectangle again. You'll do this five times total before cutting out your biscuits.
If you're a visual person, here's a great YouTube video showing how exactly to fold biscuit dough: Biscuits and Shortcakes: Folding and Turning
What to serve with jalapeño cheddar biscuits
Serve biscuits on their own, or with a pat of butter or drizzle of honey. Biscuits pair well with soups, chilis, and barbecue, but you really can't go wrong serving biscuits with any meal!
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
- Beans and Rice Taco Soup
- Slow Cooker Taco Chili
- Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Fajita Stuffed Chicken
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits
- 1 ¼ cups (150 g) all purpose flour
- ¾ cup (117 g) cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup (113 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- ¾ cup (170 g) buttermilk, cold
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a cast iron skillet (or line a baking sheet with parchment paper) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and remove clumps. (Or, add to a food processor and pulse a few times).
- Grate cold butter using the large side of a box grater and add to flour mixture, along with shredded cheese and diced jalapenos. Stir to combine. Or, use a pastry cutter to cut cubed butter into flour mixture, then add cheese and jalapenos and stir to combine. (Or, add butter to food processor and pulse until butter is pea sized, then pour into a bowl, add cheese and jalapenos, and stir to combine).
- Make a well in the center of your flour mixture and add buttermilk. Gently stir until ingredients are mostly incorporated. Dough will look shaggy and sticky. Pour dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Gently pat dough with lightly floured hands into a large, flat rectangle, about 10-12 inches wide and about ¾ inch thick. Keep extra flour nearby and continually flour the surface, dough, and your hands as needed. Fold dough rectangle in half, turn to the right to make your new rectangle horizontal, and gently pat back into a large rectangle. Repeat 4 times, folding your dough 5 times in total. Pat dough into a large rectangle, about 1 inch thick.
- Using a 2.5 to 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut biscuits out of dough (do not twist your cutter, this will seal the edges). Reform leftover dough gently and continue cutting until all dough is used up.
- Place biscuits into prepared pan or baking sheet, with edges of biscuits touching each other. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown across the tops.
- For this recipe, I used a 10 ¼" cast iron skillet and a 2 ¾" biscuit cutter. 8 biscuits fit perfectly into the pan (as shown in photos).
- Optionally, brush tops of biscuits with heavy cream before baking. This helps your biscuits brown in the oven.
- Homemade biscuits keep for 1-2 days at room temperature in a sealed container, up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or 2-3 months in the freezer. If freezing, seal tightly with foil or plastic wrap and store in a freezer safe container.