Vidalia Onion upside down Broccoli Cornbread sweetsavant.comm America's best food blog

Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread with broccoli is an amazing recipe, add a little cooked bacon for a smokey twist.

Cornbread is a Southern meal staple and the recipes for it are as varied as the cooks that make it. Some cooks make their cornbread is so sweet it could be served as dessert while others feel that sugar has no place in cornbread, that may be because sugar was scarce in the old days and wasn’t included in the recipes of their Grandmother. I include a bit of sugar in my recipe, not a lot, I don’t want to make a cake

Onion Upside Down Cornbread recipe VIDEO!


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I was thinking about my late Great Aunt Ethel’s broccoli cornbread ( it was delicious but a bit too sweet for me, sorry auntie. She used a boxed cornbread mix) and I was also thinking about the five pounds of VIDALIA ONIONSย I have in my fridge. ย I put the two together and I came up with this Vidalia Onion Upside Down Broccoli Cornbread.

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This is DEFINITELY a winning recipe and it will be a part of our Thanksgiving meal I’m sure…yes, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving already. It’s delicious but it’s also beautiful, it’s going to look amazing between the fried turkey and some braised collard greens. The concentric rings of the caramelized sweet Vidalia onions is really quite stunning.

This would be perfect with my Chicken UNDER a skillet! Get the recipe HERE

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Why add broccoli to cornbread you may ask. Well, one reason is because it’s delicious, broccoli and corn taste really good together. Also, broccoli is really good for you and anything you can do to add more vegetables to your meal is a good thing. There is also cottage cheese in the batter making this cornbread incredibly moist.

Adding the cornbread batter to the hot, buttered cast iron skillet (LIKE THIS ONE FROM AMAZON) produces this GORGEOUS ย crust .
Please be very careful especially when you are turning the cornbread out of the skillet. Do this at your own risk and with extreme caution.

Vidalia Onion upside down Broccoli Cornbread sweetsavant.comm America's best food blog

Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread

Vidalia Onion upside down Broccoli Cornbread sweetsavant.comm America's best food blog

Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread

Demetra Overton
You will need a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet for this dish. Please be careful flipping the cornbread out of the pan, do this at your own risk
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 sservingss


  • 2 Vidalia Onions
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of fine ground yellow or white cornmeal I used yellow
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 8 ounces frozen broccoli-thawed
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon optional
  • 4 eggs
  • 16 ounces of 2% cottage cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice the Vidalia Onions into rings leaving the rings in order if possible
  • Melt the butter in the cast iron skillet
  • Place the onion slices close together into the butter, fill in any spaces with smaller bits of onion
  • Finely chop any remaining Vidalia onion and reserve it.
  • Let the onions cook on medium heat for 5 minutes
  • While the onions are cooking mix the batter:
  • Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • In a large bowl beat 4 eggs, mix in the cottage cheese
  • Squeeze the water out of the broccoli and mix this into the eggs. Add the reserved chopped onions
  • Add the cornmeal mix and stir to combine. (add optional bacon if you like)
  • Pour the batter over the onions
  • Bake the cornbread for 20 - 23 minutes or until done.
  • Let the cornbread cool for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cornbread.
  • Place a plate over the pan and using oven mitts carefully flip the pan over and remove the cornbread from the pan

Vidalia Onion upside down Broccoli Cornbread sweetsavant.comm America's best food blog


220 Comments on Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread recipe with VIDEO

  1. Rochelle Winston Davies
    May 23, 2016 at 12:59 am (8 years ago)

    Has anyone made this using fresh, not frozen, broccoli? I almost always hVe fresh broccoli crowns on hand but not frozen.

    • Demetra Overton
      May 23, 2016 at 11:08 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Rochelle! Fresh broccoli may not soften enough in the cornbread during cooking. If you want to use fresh broccoli I would either cut it very small or steam it for a minute or two to soften it.

  2. Larry E. Allen Sr!
    May 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm (8 years ago)

    Sounds delicious however… In my house anytime sugar is added to cornbread it becomes johnny cake which is not allowed! Lol.

  3. Arlo Lusby II
    May 22, 2016 at 4:41 am (8 years ago)

    I’m going to try this recipe. I use Edwards Mill stone ground yellow grits from The College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo. 65726. One time I ran out of enough grits so I substituted a little steel cut oats; worked great! I use Greek yogurt and it works well. Please add me to your email list.

  4. Ken Brown
    May 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm (8 years ago)

    Sugar, and some wheat flower is needed to make modern cornbread unless you have access to field dried, stone ground cornmeal, which is hard to come by. Steal ground corn meal needs the sugar and flour that stone ground cornmeal does not require. Nice article on this subject here:

  5. Rhonda Tatum
    May 19, 2016 at 3:29 am (8 years ago)

    Has anyone tried this without the sugar? If so, did you make any other adjustments when leaving out the sugar? Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jim
      May 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm (8 years ago)

      I would think the onions provide more than enough sweetness.

  6. Dave In Texas
    May 6, 2016 at 9:31 pm (8 years ago)

    You had me ready to make cornbread right up to the ‘sugar’ part. Sorry, but there is a difference in cornbread and cake.

    • writernan
      May 11, 2016 at 6:26 pm (8 years ago)

      Sometimes cornbread is much better with a small amount of sugar. In this recipe, I used coconut sugar (low glycemic). Substituted the bacon for spanish chorizo and used fresh broccoli. Husband LOVES this recipe, as do I!!

      • Demetra Overton
        May 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm (8 years ago)

        Thanks so much! I really appreciate your support and your variation sounds AMAZING!

    • Aunty Lee
      May 18, 2016 at 11:31 pm (8 years ago)

      Stick to lemonade without sugar.

    • Belinda
      May 19, 2016 at 5:23 am (8 years ago)

      Dave in Texas….. Belinda in Tennessee agrees with you!!!! No place for sugar in cornbread…. I was taught if a cook has to add sugar to all of their recipes is a cook who can’t cook to begin with!!! I agree with that saying too….. I know a woman that adds sugar to everything, corn, beans, breads *all breads* if it’s on her stove there is sugar in it….. She even puts sugar in her chicken and dumplings!!! Now that is a sin!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Mimi
        May 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm (8 years ago)

        My husband likes sweet cornbread on occasion. It is a matter of preference and it is nice to know how to make both-in his case-for whatever he is hungry for. I draw the line at sugar in chicken and dumplings, though.

  7. Bhaskar
    April 30, 2016 at 9:31 pm (8 years ago)

    I fell in love cornbread and potato leek soup when I was a student in Ohio, so I can’t wait to try this and get all nostalgic. I’m going to add in some cilantro leaves, and perhaps a dash of paprika. I’ve got high cholesterol, so I’ll substitute olive oil for butter. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. sherri
    April 25, 2016 at 5:05 pm (8 years ago)

    looks amazing!! but I have to add some shredded cheese ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder if I need to make any adjustments to the recipe when adding some cheese???

    • Demetra Overton
      April 25, 2016 at 5:37 pm (8 years ago)

      Shredded cheese would be a great addition to this recipe. I would add a cup without any other adjustments and see how it turns out. Thanks so much for reading.

      • Donna C Miller
        May 1, 2016 at 6:41 pm (8 years ago)

        Could I use squash instead of broccoli ? We can’t handle broccoli anymore

        • Demetra Overton
          May 4, 2016 at 12:47 am (8 years ago)

          I haven’t tried to use squash instead of broccoli Donna but I think that would taste delicious. Let me know if you try it, I’d love your feedback

      • Michael Hitt
        May 19, 2016 at 2:04 am (8 years ago)

        I really, really detest cottage cheese! What could I use instead to keep it moist and how much!?

        • Demetra Overton
          May 19, 2016 at 11:14 am (8 years ago)

          I haven’t tried any substitutes for the cottage cheese. Some of the commenters have mentioned buttermilk or Greek yogurt . Give it a shot and see what you come up with. Thanks for reading, Michael.

    • jr
      April 29, 2016 at 11:58 pm (8 years ago)

      Oooooohhh yes , this just screams for Cheese !

  9. Jennifer Harris
    March 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm (8 years ago)

    This looks delicious. I shall definitely be trying it out. I would think the leftoversJennifer could last several days, covered with Saran Wrap.

    • Demetra Overton
      March 5, 2016 at 10:12 pm (8 years ago)

      Hi Jennifer. Yes the leftovers keep well wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. You may want to toast it before serving. Thanks so much for reading!

      • Maria
        May 1, 2016 at 8:28 pm (8 years ago)

        I dampen a paper towel wrap around the cornbread and loosely wrap foil around that and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes 350 degrees. Almost like fresh baked.

  10. linda l
    February 27, 2016 at 9:38 pm (8 years ago)

    I just made this cornbread, used noonday onions. I am taking it to church tomorrow. We are having an Italian lunch, thought this would go well with spaghetti/lasagna. Linda

    • Demetra Overton
      February 27, 2016 at 10:34 pm (8 years ago)

      That’s fantastic, Linda. I hope everyone enjoys it. Thanks so much for reading.

  11. SusanInSFL
    February 24, 2016 at 4:27 pm (8 years ago)

    I’m going to make some changes and try this. We’re gluten free but I have some gluten free oat flour I can substitute for the flour. We’re also all organic and I have some GF / organic corn meal. We also don’t do dairy so do you have any ideas what can substitute for the cottage cheese in the recipe?

    I know it sounds complicated and it is, but we do eat really well in spite of our limitations and our ethical demands of our food.

    Vidalias aren’t here yet (I’m in South Florida) but they should be soon and when they arrive, I’ll be ready!

    I’d appreciate being on your mailing list. Looks like some interesting ideas!

    • Demetra Overton
      February 24, 2016 at 10:59 pm (8 years ago)

      Hi Susan. I haven’t tried a non dairy substitute yet but I think if you substituted almond milk (maybe a 1/4 cup less than the amount of cottage cheese in the recipe) and a tablespoon of lemon juice that might work. I’d love to hear the results after you make the changes, please let me know.

      • SusanInSFL
        February 25, 2016 at 4:29 pm (8 years ago)

        I keep Coconut Milk in the fridge, so that might work. I’ll try that. Now just waiting for the Vidalias!

      • amy
        May 3, 2016 at 3:53 am (8 years ago)

        I’m so happy I see someone else that has health issues. I also appreciate you giving the great alternatives. Please add me to your email list. Thanks!

    • Lu Su
      May 2, 2016 at 9:13 pm (8 years ago)

      I have had good luck with vegan recipes for my son by substituting silken tofu processed with a hand held “stick blender” for eggs, dairy, or cheese. In fact in a blind taste test, meat eaters preferred the tofu pumpkin pie. Bonus is, you will up the protein.

      • Demetra Overton
        May 4, 2016 at 12:49 am (8 years ago)

        That sounds delicious Lu. I’ll have to try that

  12. Julie P
    February 24, 2016 at 5:30 am (8 years ago)

    I, too, have the Broccoli Cornbread recipe that uses the sweet boxed cornbread mix. It is delicious, but too sweet for me. I am happy to have come across your recipe on Facebook tonight. I can’t wait to try it. It looks so pretty, too!

    • Demetra Overton
      February 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm (8 years ago)

      Yes the boxed cornbread mix is much too sweet for my taste too Julie. Please let me know when you make this recipe, I’d love to hear your feedback.

    • betty richard
      April 30, 2016 at 8:15 am (8 years ago)

      I use aunt Jemimmas corn bread mix. It’s not sweet at all so the sweet you get would come from just the onions.

  13. Heather Lipscomb
    February 24, 2016 at 5:15 am (8 years ago)

    Hi! I would love to try this to go along with a pot of crockpot pinto beans but I have a problem. I have a glass top stove and can’t use cast iron. I know I won’t get the same sear in a casserole dish, but can it be done? Bake the same way? Thanks

    • Demetra Overton
      February 24, 2016 at 12:53 pm (8 years ago)

      Hi Heather. I would try this in the oven in a dark cake pan like this one They usually produce a nice crust. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think if you bake it in the lower third of you oven it should get a nice crust on it. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks so much for reading.

      • Cissy
        May 3, 2016 at 8:46 pm (8 years ago)

        You do know you can use the cast iron skillet in the oven? That’s mostly how we use cast iron pans here in the South!
        Preheat not just the oven, but the pan as well….then add the onions and butter, then rest of ingredients. Will probably be even better than stove top!

        • Bonnie Payne
          May 4, 2016 at 2:33 am (8 years ago)

          I use my cast iron skillet on my glass top stove. NEVER turn the heat above medium. The oven is best for cornbread!

    • Sandy White
      February 24, 2016 at 10:40 pm (8 years ago)

      I use my cast iron on my glass cook top for 8 years now. Its fine, just don’t slide the pan across the stove, or may scratch your glass surface. I just hate you are missing out.

      • Demetra Overton
        February 24, 2016 at 11:00 pm (8 years ago)

        Thanks for the input, Sandy! I appreciate it.

        • Pamela
          May 3, 2016 at 12:39 am (8 years ago)

          I have used cast iron in my glass top for nearly 11 years. It actually came with an iron griddle when purchased. Just don’t slide it around. And I remove it immediately when done cooking. I have heard leaving it on for long periods can scorch the top.

      • Melanie Arrowood
        May 2, 2016 at 4:04 pm (8 years ago)

        Just what I was going to say! You can put cast iron on glass top stoves. I was worried about it for the longest time and finally tried it and there was no problem. Just don’t slide it around as Sandy said. I think this is a common misconception because the manufacturers don’t recommend it – probably because people would not be careful and the glass would scratch and they’d have complaints!

    • Chris
      April 30, 2016 at 2:36 am (8 years ago)

      I put my cast iron skillet in the oven, to melt my bacon grease for cornbread, while the oven is preheating and my cornbread always has a crust. I’m sure it would be the same for butter but you’d probably want to keep an eye on it, to make sure that the butter doesn’t burn. Will have to try this recipe with the onions and broccoli, sounds great!

    • Diane Walker
      May 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm (8 years ago)

      I always put my cast iron pan in the oven at 400 degrees when I make corn bread. It makes a great crust. DELICIOUS!

    • Dan
      May 1, 2016 at 5:25 pm (8 years ago)

      I’ve used nothing but cast iron on a glass top stove with zero problems!

    • amy
      May 3, 2016 at 3:44 am (8 years ago)

      Why does the top of the stove matter? It’s baked in the oven.

      • amy
        May 3, 2016 at 3:55 am (8 years ago)

        I went back and re read it. But you can do the
        -stovetop- step in the oven.

  14. Deborah
    February 23, 2016 at 2:41 am (8 years ago)

    This cornbread looks great. Going to try it.

    • Demetra Overton
      February 23, 2016 at 3:01 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks so much for reading, Deborah. I really appreciate your comment.

      • Kevin Kennedy
        February 24, 2016 at 5:37 am (8 years ago)

        So great looking I want it now, Vidalia’s are 6 months out here (Colorado), what type of onion can I substitute and are there any other adjustments to make? Thank You!

        • Demetra Overton
          February 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm (8 years ago)

          Hi Kevin. I’m waiting patiently for Vidalia onions to come back into season as well. Ask your local grocery store to stock them when they come into season around late April. You can also have them delivered, check out for information. There are some sweet onions coming from Peru if you don’t mind going international for a while. Sweet Walla Walla onions out of Washington and Oregon come into season around June. You may be able to find Maui onions year round. Thanks so much for reading.

  15. Rhissanna
    February 23, 2016 at 12:16 am (8 years ago)

    I just found this shared on facebook. Oh, my gosh it looks wonderful and I am so doing this! Hubby loves cornbread, and onions and I’m lucky enough to have a seasoned cast-iron skillet. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Demetra Overton
      February 23, 2016 at 1:20 am (8 years ago)

      FANTASTIC Rhissanna a seasoned cast iron pan is a wonderful tool. Please let me know when you make it, I’d love your feedback.

  16. Margaret M
    February 22, 2016 at 5:09 pm (8 years ago)

    nothing can be better than vidalia onions! i cannot wait to try this. You are Genius. (i may attempt some variations with mushrooms and other flours!)

    • Demetra Overton
      February 22, 2016 at 5:36 pm (8 years ago)

      WOW! Genius is high praise indeed, thanks so much Margaret. I’d love to hear about your variations when you make them. Please let me know how you make this recipe your own. Thanks so much for reading!

  17. Phyllis Williams
    February 22, 2016 at 12:15 pm (8 years ago)

    Can you use Greek Yogurt instead of the cottage cheese?

    • Demetra Overton
      February 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm (8 years ago)

      I haven’t tried using Greek yogurt Phyllis, but I’m pretty sure it would work. I’ll try it and see how it works and how much yogurt you need to use. Check back soon to see the results. Thanks so much for reading

      • Stella
        May 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm (8 years ago)

        I use sour cream in my cornbread mix, I have used Mayonnaise , I do use Mayonnaise in my homemade biscuit mix when making homemade biscuits

      • Angela Tucker
        May 17, 2016 at 7:07 pm (8 years ago)

        I’m going for buttermilk instead of cottage cheese. Also, using sauteed chopped yellow squash instead of broccoli. Having slow cooked dry baby lima beans and some sliced center cut ham, fried cabbage and baked fresh sweet potatoes.This will be Sunday dinner this week!!

        • Demetra Overton
          May 17, 2016 at 8:28 pm (8 years ago)

          This sounds like a wonderful meal Angela!

  18. Emma Brown
    February 21, 2016 at 4:03 am (8 years ago)

    Oh yummy! Looks and sounds so delish! Got to try it! I looove cornbread! And this one looks extra delicious!

    • Demetra Overton
      February 21, 2016 at 4:04 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks so much Emma, I really appreciate the complement.

  19. Linda Smith
    February 21, 2016 at 2:52 am (8 years ago)

    Can’t wait to try this one….oh my goodness I know it is going to be good…..collards, slow cooker pork chops/gravy deviled eggs….going to be so good. Thank you for sharing. I am going to be on your blog looking for more great ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Demetra Overton
      February 21, 2016 at 3:18 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks so much for reading, Linda. Please let me know when you make it, I would love your feedback.

  20. Paul Garrett
    February 20, 2016 at 10:30 pm (8 years ago)

    Where is the 1/3 cup of vinegar used?

    • Demetra Overton
      February 21, 2016 at 3:25 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Paul. There is no vinegar in the recipe, unless I typed it accidentally. I’ve reviewed the recipe a few times and I don’t see it. Thanks so much for reading.

  21. Alex McDill
    February 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm (8 years ago)

    I am from the South. Use my mother’s recipe. NO SUGAR!!! PLEASE. When I came up North, all cornbread was sweet. Couldn’t understand it. Yuck. Everyone can’t believe how great my cornbread is. Will be doing this recipe. Without the sugar or bacon. Yummmm. Thanks for the idea.