This dairy-free spoon bread recipe is like a cross between corn muffins and corn pudding. But it’s savory, or lightly sweetened. It’s a perfect Southern-style side year round, for barbecues in summer or holidays in winter. And it’s naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free for more guests to enjoy.
I made this batch in single-serve ramekins, but the recipe can optionally be made in one casserole dish instead.
This is my basic, no frills dairy-free spoon bread. It’s got a simple flavor that is versatile and pairs well with many main dishes. But you can also customize the recipe with different seasonings to suit your meal.
It also does well with add-ins. You can toss in some roasted corn kernels, add diced roasted red peppers, or grate in some onion. You can even add some dairy-free cheese alternative. Most shredded cheese alternatives actually perform better baked in dishes rather than sprinkled on top. I would stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups for a cheesy hit.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Spoon Bread
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For egg-free and vegan spoon bread, I recommend whipping 1/2 cup aquafaba in place of the egg whites. I would also increase the buttery spread in the initial mixture to 3 tablespoons. Omit the egg yolks, but you can optionally whisk 1/2 teaspoon baking powder into the 1 cup milk beverage for a little extra lift. Please note that I haven’t tested this method yet. These suggestions are based on my experience with similar recipes.
- 2 cups + 1 cup unsweetened or plain dairy-free milk beverage*, divided
- 4 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread (can sub your favorite baking oil**), divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cornmeal (I use a fine grind)
- 3 large eggs, separated (see vegan option above for egg-free)
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Place an 8x8-inch baking dish or 6 single-serve ramekins (I put them on a baking sheet) in your oven while it preheats.
- Put the 2 cups milk beverage, 2 tablespoons buttery spread, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cornmeal, whisking quickly to avoid lumps.
- Place the pan back on the heat and cook, whisking often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until quite thick. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl, and beat with a hand mixer (or whisk) until stiff peaks form.
- Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk in the remaining 1 cup milk beverage until smooth.
- Gradually add the egg yolk mixture into the cornmeal mixture while whisking. Gently fold in the stiff egg whites just until the whites disappear.
- Remove the baking dish or ramekins from your oven and add the remaining 2 tablespoons buttery spread (1 teaspoon in each if using single serve ramekins). It should quickly melt and coat the bottom. Pour the batter into your baking dish(es) and gently even out.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the spoon bread comes out clean.
**If using oil, I would increase the salt to 1⅛ teaspoons.