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Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies

This isn’t your average fried side. Take your fish & chips up a notch with these slightly spicy Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies!

Do you claim to dislike hush puppies? Are they the last thing remaining when you order a fried fish dinner? In that case, I’m not sure how you ended up on this recipe, but welcome! I’m here to tell you that you DO actually like hush puppies, you’ve just only had bad ones.

These Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies A: have actual flavor and B: have an amazing texture. They’re cheesy, ever so spicy, and have a great pop from the corn! 

Frying is completely out of my comfort zone. I’m definitely more of a roasting girl if you know what I mean, like this Crispy Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes with Tahini Drizzle. Frying can be a hassle, there’s no denying it. What I like to do is fry as many things as possible while I have the oil out and hot.

I’ll start with something will less aroma, maybe donuts, and go from there, reusing the oil as I go. If you’re frying fish, make sure you save that for the end because you’ll definitely need to toss it after that! 

I imagine these Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies being served with some Cajun Fried Fish, Onion Rings with a zesty Remoulade, and maybe some Apple Fritters and Ice Cream for Dessert! BRB, DROOLING.

Ingredients & Subs

  • Cornmeal — totally necessary, I’m afraid!
  • Flour — You can make these gluten-free by using your favorite GF flour! Rice flour works well for frying! 
  • Pepper jack cheese — Sharp cheddar cheese is amazing in these! If you still want the spice from using pepper jack, you can mince one jalapeño and add it to the batter!
  • Onion — White, yellow, red, or green onions would work! 
  • Buttermilk — If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make it for this recipe using by mixing one cup of milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. Easy peasy! 

How to store

I find anything fried tends to have a 2-day life-max. To reheat, place on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake in a 325ºF oven until warmed through. You could try scooping the balls of batter onto parchment paper to freeze.

You’d then fry from frozen, but you’d need to account for the cold food bringing down the temp of the oil and they’ll take a bit longer to fry.


🔥Hot Tips🔥

Afraid of frying? You’re not alone. Here are a few tips for success every time! First of all, the type of oil you use matters a ton. You want something with a high smoke point so that the oil itself won’t burn. Peanut, safflower, avocado, and sunflower oil all have smoke points above 440ºF.

Using a thermometer is crucial in making sure your oil is hot enough. If it’s not, you’ll get a soggy, oil-logged product and if it’s too hot, you may get the outside done before the middle is cooked. 350ºF is the sweet spot for these hush puppies. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can dip the end of a wooden spoon in the oil.

There should be tiny bubbles bubbling all around the wood. If that happens, you should be good to go. Ideally, you would use a heavy pot like a Dutch oven to fry your foods. The reason for this is that it holds the heat better so you won’t see fluctuations in your oil temp as much.

If you have to cook in batches, wait a minute or two in between to have the oil come back up to temp. A spider, cooking rack and paper towels also make the process easier! Also, be sure not to overcrowd the pot! When you’re all done and your grease has cooled, make sure you properly dispose of your oil.

A lot of cities have recycling areas where you can drop off your used cooking grease. Whatever you do, don’t pour oil down the drain. It will clog your pipes as it cools and solidifies.

More recipes you’ll love!

Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls

Crispy Air Fryer Wings

No-Knead Artisan Rolls

Orzo with Mint Pesto and Peas

Hearty Summer Panzanella

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Take a browse around the site and please let me know if you make anything by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or requests!

Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies
Yield: 6 Servings

Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These aren't your average fried side. Take your fish & chips up a notch with these slightly spicy Corn and Pepper Jack Hush Puppies!


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn
  • oil for frying


    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine, being careful not to over mix. It's ok if the batter is a little lumpy. 

Heat at least 2-3 cups of high smoke-point oil to 350ºF in a dutch oven.

Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, drop scoops of the batter in the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. 

Fry for about 2-3 minutes then flip over and fry another 2-3 minutes. They should be golden brown on all sides.

Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the hushpuppies from the oil and drain them on paper towels or a wire rack. Serve warm with an aioli or ketchup.


Check out the blog post for frying tips!

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