Hush Puppies with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Hush puppies are crispy and golden on the outside with a soft, cornbread interior and served with an irresistible spicy dipping sauce made from only three ingredients. These are a Southern classic and this recipe is absolutely the best; a simple batter that comes together quickly and only takes minutes to fry up. A perfect side dish or appetizer for your next seafood (or, heck, any!) meal!

Hush puppies on wire rack with bowl of dipping sauce.

I first fell in love with hush puppies when I was pretty young. One day when we were out, my mom stopped at Long John Silvers for lunch and I refused to touch a piece of fish; instead, I stuffed my face full of these deep-fried balls of cornbread batter and was in absolute heaven. I’ve loved them ever since!

I don’t encounter them on menus very often in our area, but anytime I travel even remotely south and have seen them on a menu, I HAVE to order them!

Ingredients for hush puppies prepped in bowls.

If you’ve never had hush puppies, they are basically like a cornbread fritter; usually served alongside seafood and other fried food like French fries. This somewhat comical name is said to have come about because hunters, fishermen, and other cooks would fry up a basic cornbread mixture to feed their dogs in order to “hush the puppies” during cookouts or fish fries.

Once I made them from scratch at home, I couldn’t believe how insanely simple they are to make. It takes literally less than 5 minutes to mix the batter together, and then you just drop them in some oil and fry away! You could use a large pot or Dutch oven; I make mine in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet easily in two batches. You can serve them on their own, but they are fabulous with dipping sauce!

Hush puppy batter in a bowl with a whisk.

Recipe tips

These are very easy to make right in your own kitchen, and I’m including some tips and ideas below:

  • Equipment Recommendations: Small cookie scoop (for perfect, even-sized hush puppies) / Cast iron skillet / Dutch oven / Thermometer
  • Oil: While peanut oil or vegetable oil is recommended, you can use other oils with a high smoke point – corn, soybean, safflower, canola, cottonseed, or sunflower.
  • Mix-Ins: If you want to stir in some extra flavor, you can toss in frozen or canned whole corn kernels, chopped jalapeno, chopped bacon, a little shredded cheese, etc.
  • To Bake: While I highly, highly encourage you to fry these for maximize flavor and texture, you can bake them in a mini muffin tin at 450 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Make-Ahead: You can mix together the batter up to 1 hour before frying the hush puppies.
  • Storing: Leftover hush puppies should be stored in a paper towel-lined airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Once made, cool completely, then place on a baking sheet in the freezer until solid, 1 to 2 hours. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined zip-to freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Hush puppies are definitely best eaten soon after being made but can be reheated in a 400-degree oven for about 5 minutes. If using frozen, microwave for about 1 minute to thaw before reheating in the oven.

Spicy dipping sauce in a bowl.

What to serve with hush puppies

A couple of ideas to round out your meal if you want to serve them as a side:

More cornbread-y favorites

If you love anything and everything cornbread-based, here are a few more recipes for you:

Hush puppies on cooling rack with bowl of dipping sauce.

If you make these hush puppies and love them, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much! ❤️️

Hush Puppies with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Servings 24
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

Hush puppies are a Southern classic! These homemade balls of fried cornmeal batter are quick and delicious. Serve with spicy dipping sauce!

Ingredients:

For the Hush Puppies:

  • ¾
    cup
    cornmeal
  • ½
    cup
    all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons
    baking powder
  • ½
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • ¾
    teaspoon
    salt
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    cayenne pepper
  • ¾
    cup
    buttermilk
  • 2
    eggs
  • ¼
    cup
    minced yellow onion
  • 2
    quarts
    peanut or vegetable oil
    (for frying)

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • cup
    sour cream
  • 2
    tablespoons
  • 1
    tablespoon
    Sriracha

Directions:

  1. Make the Batter: Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk, eggs and onion until combined. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, or up to 1 hour.

  2. Make the Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and Sriracha. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  3. Fry the Hush Puppies: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Drop half of batter into oil in heaping tablespoons (I used a small cookie scoop) and fry until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, turning hush puppies halfway through cooking.

  4. Transfer to a wire rack set over a double layer of paper towels and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately. The hushpuppies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes:

  • Equipment Recommendations: Small cookie scoop (for perfect, even-sized hush puppies) / Cast iron skillet / Dutch oven / Thermometer
  • Oil: While peanut oil or vegetable oil is recommended, you can use other oils with a high smoke point - corn, soybean, safflower, canola, cottonseed, or sunflower.
  • Mix-Ins: If you want to stir in some extra flavor, you can toss in frozen or canned whole corn kernels, chopped jalapeno, chopped bacon, a little shredded cheese, etc.
  • To Bake: While I highly, highly encourage you to fry these for maximize flavor and texture, you can bake them in a mini muffin tin at 450 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Make-Ahead: You can mix together the batter up to 1 hour before frying the hush puppies.
  • Storing: Leftover hush puppies should be stored in a paper towel-lined airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Once made, cool completely, then place on a baking sheet in the freezer until solid, 1 to 2 hours. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined zip-to freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Hush puppies are definitely best eaten soon after being made but can be reheated in a 400-degree oven for about 5 minutes. If using frozen, microwave for about 1 minute to thaw before reheating in the oven.
  • Recipe from Cook's Country, August/September 2009
Nutritional values are based on one hush puppy

Nutrition:

Calories: 53kcal
Fat: 2g
Saturated fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 16mg
Sodium: 135mg
Potassium: 66mg
Carbohydrates: 6g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 60%
Vitamin C: 0.5%
Calcium: 25%
Iron: 0.4%

Did you make this recipe?

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[Photography by Ari of Well Seasoned]