Southern Hush Puppies are a quick and easy side dish, snack, or easy appetizer. These tender, crispy bites are made with cornmeal, buttermilk, scallions and garlic, fried to golden perfection and perfectly paired with my garlic sriracha aioli for dipping.
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Why We Love This Hush Puppies Recipe
Hush Puppies are creamy and tender on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside. They are the perfect finger food to grab and dunk in a delicious dipping sauce like my garlic sriracha aioli or a simple tartar sauce.
This homemade hush puppies recipe is so easy to make, too! Simply mix up the seasoned cornmeal batter, drop scoops in hot oil and fry them up. A whole batch of hush puppies can be ready in under 30 minutes.
This Southern snack is commonly served with seafood, and as an appetizer it pairs well with my Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Marinated Shrimp or Popcorn Shrimp. Of course, it’s just as delicious with other easy finger foods like Stuffed Mushrooms and Mini Corn Cakes.
Ingredients For Hush Puppies
- Canola Oil – I prefer canola oil or vegetable oil for frying, but you can use a different neutral oil if you prefer. Just make sure it has a high smoke point.
- Cornmeal – You can use white or yellow cornmeal (I used white, which is slightly sweeter). Just make sure you get cornmeal and not masa, which is a corn flour used in a lot of Mexican cooking.
- All-Purpose Flour – The flour helps to bind the batter and softens the grainy texture of the cornmeal.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda – These are two different things, but both contribute to a fluffy, tender interior.
- Sugar – Just a little for a slightly sweet bite.
- Seasoning – Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Egg – One egg is all that’s needed to help keep the batter moistened.
- Buttermilk – For moisture, but also reacts with the baking powder to keep the insides soft and fluffy.
- Scallions – I love the addition to the batter for the subtle onion flavor. These are simply the green tops from green onions. You can save the whites for another purpose or discard them.
How To Make Hush Puppies
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
- Heat a couple inches of oil in a deep pot to about 365℉. Prepare a large sheet pan by covering it with paper towels and topping with a cooling rack for draining. If you have a deep fryer, you can use that instead.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, then whisk in the wet ingredients.
- Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (golf ball size) into the hot oil, careful not to add too many at a time. Fry until golden; about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the wire rack and sprinkle with salt.
It is not recommended to make the batter ahead of time, the leavening agents in the batter will lose their leavening power over time.
A hush puppy is a Southern delicacy! It’s made of deep fried and highly seasoned cornmeal batter and they are fluffy and tender on the inside while the outsides are golden brown and crispy.
My favorite thing to serve these with is a spicy garlic aioli. Mix together mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, sriracha, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you wish. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
If you’re worried about the heat of the sriracha, you can reduce the amount and adjust as needed. Or, omit altogether.
They are also great with tartar sauce, spicy ketchup, or melted butter.
I used scallions, but there are a variety of other mix-ins that work really well:
- Diced jalapeno (seeds and membrane removed)
- Red pepper flakes (just a ½ teaspoon)
- Diced bell pepper
- Cooked and finely chopped bacon
- Grated yellow onions
Storing: These are best prepared and served the same day. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1-2 days. Make sure to cool completely before freezing.
Freezing: Cool completely, then arrange on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for an hour or two. Once solid, you can transfer them to a resealable freezer bag or other freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
Reheating: Reheat in a 375℉ oven; place a cooling rack on a sheet pan and place leftovers on the rack to allow all sides to crisp up. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through and crispy. You can also reheat in an air fryer at 375℉ for 3-5 minutes.
- When deep frying in batches, be sure the oil gets back up to 365℉ before dropping in another batch.
- Did they fall apart? This can happen when the oil is not hot enough. Be sure to maintain a temperature between 360-370℉.
- This recipe doubles well.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make some! Just mix 1 cup of buttermilk with a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes.
More Crispy Fried Appetizers
- Canola oil for deep frying
- 1 ½ cups cornmeal white or yellow
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 scallions finely sliced
Garlic sriracha aioli
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic grated or pressed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch black pepper
- Make the dipping sauce: Combine the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, sriracha, salt and pepper in a small bowl with a whisk. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed. Place in refrigerator to chill.
- Fill a large pot, preferably a cast iron dutch oven, with 2-3” of oil, and attach a deep fry thermometer to the side of the pot. Begin heating the oil over medium high heat. Cover a large sheet pan with clean paper towel, and/or a cooling rack to drain after frying.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. If the batter doesn’t come together easily, add another scant splash of buttermilk.
- Once the oil reaches 365℉, test 1 hush puppy. Then work in batches and carefully drop batter by the rounded tablespoon full into the hot oil, using another spoon to ease the batter off the tablespoon and into the oil. Use a long handled slotted spoon or strainer ladle to flip so they brown on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Remove once golden brown and cooked through. Place on paper towel, sprinkle immediately with a pinch of salt. Serve immediately with garlic aioli.