Northern Beans and Cornbread

Northern beans and cornbread is a delicious and very inexpensive meal, that costs about $0.50 a serving. It is great for cold winter evenings as the beans cook in the crock pot all day and warm your kitchen.

Northern Beans and Cornbread (serves 8) )


  • 1 pound bag Great Northern Beans ($1.89)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion ($0.30)
  • salt, pepper to taste ($0.10)
  • 1 pork chop or ham hock ($0.52)

Rinse beans, then soak overnight.

Drain the water, then place beans, onion, salt and pepper, and pork chop in the crock pot. Add enough water to cover the beans.

Cook on high for 4 hours, then set crock pot to low and cook for 4 hours.

Serve with cornbread. (I am still looking for the perfect cornbread recipe, so use your own or buy the $0.40 Jiffy mix from the store)

Total cost: $4.31 or $0.54 a serving.

  • Beans: $2.81
  • Cornbread $1.50

The post is linking to the $5 Dinner Challenge and Tasty Tuesday.


  1. Ooh, I bet someone gives you the “perfect” cornbread recipe! Let us know when you find it!

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I am hoping! I have tried four or five and they just haven’t measured up!

    • If you aren’t cooking your cornbread in a seasoned iron skillet – try that. That makes all the difference. Then when it’s done, drop it on the floor (unless you have tile) and your cornbread will pop right out – perfect everytime!
      The recipe with the cornmeal, little flour, egg, milk, no sugar, and Crisco melted in that iron skillet- while you mix the ingredients – Then pour the melted Crisco in your bowl and mix well. Return it all to the iron skillet. This makes the best bread! Cook it on 350 til it’s done, then brown the top. Delicious!! Especially with beans or peas on top!

  2. Ok…here’s my tip…add about 1t of liquid smoke to your pot of beans…adds depth to the flavor. And here’s my cornbread recipe (its southern..not sweet…yuck)

    1c yellow cornmeal
    1c flour
    (if using all purpose flour add 4t baking powder)
    3/4 t salt
    1 slightly beaten egg
    1c milk
    2T melted bacon grease

    Melt shortening in a heavy skillet. Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Add egg & milk & mix well. Pour into same skillet & stir again to mix batter. (I use a cast iron skillet) Bake at 425 for 25 min.

    I also eat my beans over rice too. Pluse I love my homemade veg soup or chili over cornbread.

  3. What do you do with the pork chop? Do you cut it up and have it in with the beans?

  4. If you like sweet cornbread, mix a prepared box of jiffy cornbread and a prepared box of jiffy yellow cake mix. Bake as usual 🙂

  5. I’m going to have to try these beans! They look wonderful.
    Our favorite cornbread recipe is from “I’m Just Here for More Food – Baking” by Alton Brown (page 118). It’s a coarser cornbread and not cakey or fluffy in any way. You bake it in a cast iron skillet, so it gets an awesome hearty crust on it too. I imagine it would go very well with your beans.

    • I second Kim! I love that Alton Brown recipe. I add about 2 tbsp of honey to it to keep it sweet for my hubby. Other than that…some butter on top…ooh crusty!!

  6. i dislike beans but this might have to go in the beans and rice pile. we’re tightening up for the dave ramsey plan again this year!

  7. I have to add my cornbread recipe 🙂 I think it is as good as a box of jiffy.

    1/2 c butter
    2/3 c white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 c buttermilk (I sour milk)
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 c cornmeal
    1 c flour
    1/2 tsp salt

    Melt butter, add sugar. Quickly add eggs.
    Beat till well blended. Combine buttermilk
    w/baking soda and add. Stir in cornmeal,
    flour and salt. May have lumps. Pour into
    buttered 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake @ 375* for
    30-40 min or till toothpick is clean.

    My mom actually made this while I was nursing my baby who has an allergy to wheat. She took a portion out before adding flour and added cornstarch and it tasted really good that way!

    • I use this EXACT same recipe and it is the BEST cornbread ever!!! My mother has a wheat grinder and she makes her own cornmeal using popcorn from Sam’s (50# bag for 12$). If you don’t like it overly sweet so you can cut the sugar in half but its good either way!!! YUMMY!!!!

  8. The perfect cornbread for this southern gal is so easy. Take a box of Jiffy cornbread and prepare according to directions, mixing in a good-sized dollop (about 1/4 cup or so) of sour cream. Toss in a handful of frozen corn kernels (or leftovers, if you have a little container floating in the fridge) and bake as directed, using a cast-iron skillet coated with just a tad of bacon grease.

    You’ll love it!

    • That is how I make cornbread and my family loves it and requests this at pitch-ins, sometimes I will change it up and add 1/2 cup of salsa, the pepers and onions are yummy.

  9. I’m making this! Sounds great….but does anyone have an idea for a pork substitute? Non-meat that is, but would still add a great taste.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I am not sure, I was wondering the same thing. I made it once without the pork and it was not very good. I am sure there is a vegetarian substitute, I just don’t know what it is….

  10. I love bean soup! So easy to make, so tasty and so healthy. What do you want more?

  11. April in CT says:

    I’ll toss my favorite cornbread recipe into the ring as well. I recently found it and really love it. I like to give credit where credit is due and I found this one at the blog I’ve used lowfat sour cream so far and you can leave out the sugar if you prefer it that way.
    Carson’s Corn Bread
    4 TBS unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 large egg, room temperature
    1 C milk
    ¼ C plain yogurt or sour cream
    3 TBS sugar
    1 C corn meal
    1 C flour
    1 TBS baking powder
    1/8 tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp salt

    Preheat oven to 425. Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, milk, yogurt (or sour cream), and sugar. In another bowl whisk together remaining dry ingredients and stir in wet mixture until just blended. Don’t over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Just take care not to over bake or the cornbread will be too dry.

  12. This is a favorite meal of ours in this house. Except, we usually do Pinto beans instead, and we LOVE what we call Mexican cornbread!

    I make the cornbread as normal, and add in jalapenos, onions, corn niblets, and cheese and then bake! YUMMM!!

  13. Somebody's Mimi says:

    Oh my gosh.. cornbread and beans… my favorite meal!! I also like black eyed peas and cornbread! I like them cooked almost anyway… the last time I fixed then I added onion, salt, pepper, and diced ham… OH they were soooo good. I put some prepared Jiffy cornbread in a bowl then put my beans on top, OH OH OH they were sooooo yummy! Ain’t nothin mo better!! And I feel Jiffy cornbread is the Best (I like sweet cornbread).

  14. Funny Ham and Bean story…When my daughter was in the Kindergarten the teacher asked them to draw a picture of their favorite food. My daughter drew a picture of Ham and Beans. The teacher got a big kick out of it! She said in all of her years teaching she had never came across a student that picked Ham and Beans as their favorite meal!LOL


  15. To be honest, I’ve never really ever had beans to eat as a meal until just recently, when I got Erin Chase’s recipe book. And I have to say, I’m totally loving them! Not only are they good but they’re really inexpensive! To think I’ve been making meals so long without them!! I’m going to try your recipe too!!

    Just out of curiosity, do you think eating this meal would give a nursing infant lots of gas? If so, I might just have to make it for everyone else & fix a sandwich for me…My little guy is so sensitive!

  16. Try the recipe on the Quaker Yellow Corn Meal box–it is the best recipe that I have found!

  17. mmmmm, beans and cornbread! We have this with Mexican cornbread that is prepackaged (Martha White brand) all the time. Here is my cornbread recipe, but be forewarned… I am one of those Southern gals who doesn’t really measure out so it is rough estimates! And it depends which of my cast iron skillets that I make it in.

    For my mid-sized pan ( maybe 8-in or it could be 9-in):
    Don’t forget to grease iron skillet then coat with cornmeal first!

    3 cups of cornmeal
    1 egg
    1 cup of buttermilk
    1 heaping tablespoon of mayo (regular tbps)
    1/8 tsp of baking powder

    Mix all ingredients together. You will need water to thin it out. I am sorry but I don’t even want to quess how much. You will want your batter to be about as thick as pancake batter. You can also skip the water by adding more buttermilk or plain milk. I always use water. Bake on 400 degrees until top is as browned as desired and toothpick comes out clean. To change it up…. chop up and onion and add a little bacon grease… Add shredded cheese… whole or creamed corn… or a combination of all!

  18. Golden Sweet Cornbread

    1 Cup all-purpose flour
    1 Cup yellow cornmeal
    2/3 Cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 egg
    1 Cup milk
    1/3 Cup Veg. oil

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan (I typically use a muffin pan or a 9×9).
    2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and veg oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.

    Enjoy! I looked for years before I found this recipe. We love it!


  19. Now THAT looks like comfort food. I haven’t made beans in months and was just toying with the idea, but this post has made up my mind! Next week, we’re going to have this for dinner!

    Also, I just posted a cornbread recipe that I love on my blog a couple days ago:

  20. Sounds great! I made a crockpot of pintos that we ate for 6 days last week. My favorite cornbread is the Southern Cornbread recipe on the White Lily self-rising cornmeal package. But I always substitute bacon grease for oil – that’s the secret!

  21. Oh, yum! This sounds delish!

  22. I make my beans vegetarian since I have never liked meat. Favorite beans are: pinto, northern beans, black beans, and all follow the same recipe. Soak them over night, dump the water, cover them with water in a pan, add some salt and a tablespoon of olive oil, cover and cook on medium low for about 2 hours, taste them again, add salt to taste. Totally yummy and healthy. Beans have lots of flavor on their own. One tip: organic beans have a fuller flavor.

    I serve them with collard greens, which I also make without meat. And cornbread. My secret to cornbread is that I follow the directions on the Jiffy box, except I half the milk with about a half a can of creamed corn, add some jalapeno juice, and a few chopped jalapenos!!! It’s so good and I am not really a spicy food girl.

  23. Saw the beans and cornbread the other night while blog surfing…and we have it in crock pot for tonight…Super easy/cheap dinner…I had everything on hand to make it to….This is first time I have used pork chop in we shall see…but we are using what we have on hand and not buying

  24. We love beans, and eat them often. I was making cornbread from scratch, but lately I have been using Jiffy and adding corn. It gives me more time for reading blogs. That half a minute spent measuring can add up. 😉

  25. Could you do this on the stove or oven for a quicker dinner or is it best in the crockpot?

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      If the beans have already been cooked (like canned beans) you could do this on the stove top or oven. Dried beans take longer to cook and unless you had a pressure cooker, are best in the crock pot.

  26. though t i share this recipe from they have other great recipes too.. they’re johnny cakes are phenomenal just like mom used to make ’em

  27. Brian Rahn says:

    I’ve found that if you LIKE a SWEET cornbread, you can use a Jiffy Mix and after you pour it into the pan you drizzle a little honey over it in lines, both directions, then cut it in with a knife. Not only is it good for those that like Sweet cornbread with their beans, but it makes a wonderful snack when hot or cold lathered in butter.

  28. White cornmeal makes the best cornbread. I like White Lily and use the Cornbread Mix but don’t follow the directions. Use buttermilk in place of sweet milk, and I always use more that what is call for. You want your batter to be in between of thick and thin. You want it to be slightly thicker than cake batter. Heat your iron skillet in a hot over with a couple of tablespoons of congealed bacon grease. After the grease has melted pour it in the batter and mix. I then keep the skillet on the stove over a medium flame to get it very hot. Pour the batter in the skillet and let cook on the stove for a few minutes. I think this gives it a crunchy outer crust. Then put the skillet in the over and bake until top is golden brown!

  29. One more thing…….. do not add sugar. This is country corn bread!

  30. martha carbon says:

    Buy some Martha white corn MEAL self rising butter milk…mix 3 cups of corn MEAL cup of flour 3 eggs 1/2 cup of vegetable oil warmed put in nice size pan that is oiled with warm oil….for best results put the 1/2 cup of oil in this pan stick in oven then pour the oil that’s warmed on mix…this way u have a warmed oil pan

  31. Sylvia Koonce says:

    You said you were looking for a good cornbread recipe…Here’s mine.
    2 cups Martha White buttermilk cornmeal mix
    1 egg
    1 1/3 cups canned cream such as Carnation, etc.
    1/4 cup oil such as Wesson oil
    Beat egg, cream and oil together with a whisk or fork, pour into cornmeal and stir to mix ingredients. Spray a 12 inch iron skillet with non-stick spray, pour batter into skillet and bake at 450° for approximately 25 minutes depending on your oven, or until golden brown. Yum…


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