Southern Hush Puppies


Southern Hush Puppies are more than just a side dish – they’re a beloved staple of Southern cuisine that packs a punch of flavor and nostalgia in every bite. These golden-brown cornmeal fritters are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and bursting with savory goodness. Join us as we dive into the world of Southern Hush Puppies, exploring their history, ingredients, and how to make them at home for a taste of the South wherever you are.

The Story Behind Southern Hush Puppies:

Hush Puppies have a rich history rooted in Southern culinary tradition. Legend has it that these tasty morsels were originally created by fishermen along the Southern coast. After frying up their catch of the day, they would toss balls of cornmeal batter into the hot oil to “hush” the barking dogs eagerly awaiting their share, hence the name “hush puppies.”


To make authentic Southern Hush Puppies, you’ll need a few key ingredients:

  • Cornmeal: The star ingredient that gives hush puppies their signature texture and flavor.
  • Flour: Helps bind the batter together and adds a lightness to the fritters.
  • Baking powder: Provides the necessary leavening agent to make the hush puppies rise and puff up while frying.
  • Buttermilk: Adds moisture and a tangy flavor to the batter.
  • Onion: Finely chopped onion adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the hush puppies.
  • Salt and pepper: Essential seasonings to enhance the overall taste of the fritters.
  • Oil for frying: Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or peanut oil, for frying.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir in the finely chopped onion and buttermilk until the batter comes together.
  3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot to 375°F (190°C).
  4. Using a spoon or scoop, carefully drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil, frying in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
  5. Remove the hush puppies from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy the crispy, golden goodness of Southern Hush Puppies alongside your favorite Southern dishes like fried catfish, shrimp, or barbecue.

Serving and Storage Tips:


  1. Serve Southern Hush Puppies hot and fresh for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Pair them with classic Southern dishes like fried catfish, shrimp, or barbecue for a complete Southern meal.
  3. Drizzle with honey or serve with a side of tartar sauce or remoulade for dipping.
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley or green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
  5. Arrange the hush puppies on a platter or in a basket lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil before serving.


  1. Store any leftover hush puppies in an airtight container or resealable bag once they have cooled completely.
  2. Refrigerate for up to 2-3 days to maintain freshness.
  3. To reheat, place the hush puppies on a baking sheet and warm them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-10 minutes until heated through.
  4. Avoid storing hush puppies in the refrigerator for too long, as they may become soggy. It’s best to enjoy them fresh whenever possible.
  5. For longer storage, you can freeze the cooled hush puppies in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer bag once frozen solid. Reheat from frozen in the oven until heated through.

Variations of Southern Hush Puppies:

  1. Cheesy Hush Puppies:
    • Mix shredded cheddar cheese into the batter for a gooey and savory twist on the classic recipe.
  2. Jalapeno Hush Puppies:
    • Add finely chopped jalapeno peppers to the batter for a spicy kick. Serve with a side of ranch dressing or sour cream for dipping.
  3. Garlic Herb Hush Puppies:
    • Mix minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, and chives), and grated Parmesan cheese into the batter for a flavorful option.
  4. Corn and Bacon Hush Puppies:
    • Stir in canned corn kernels and crispy crumbled bacon into the batter for a hearty and indulgent variation.
  5. Shrimp Hush Puppies:
    • Fold chopped cooked shrimp into the batter for a seafood twist on the classic recipe. Serve with a spicy remoulade sauce for dipping.
  6. Cajun Spiced Hush Puppies:
    • Add Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning to the batter for a bold and zesty flavor profile.
  7. Sweet Potato Hush Puppies:
    • Substitute part of the cornmeal with mashed sweet potatoes for a slightly sweet and moist variation.
  8. Green Onion and Bacon Hush Puppies:
    • Mix chopped green onions and crispy cooked bacon into the batter for a savory and flavorful option.
  9. Chili Cheese Hush Puppies:
    • Fold in canned chili beans and shredded pepper jack cheese into the batter for a hearty and spicy variation.
  10. Buffalo Chicken Hush Puppies:
    • Mix shredded cooked chicken tossed in buffalo sauce into the batter for a spicy and tangy twist. Serve with a side of blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Experiment with these variations to add your own unique twist to the classic Southern Hush Puppies recipe and delight your taste buds with every bite.


  1. Can I make Southern Hush Puppies without buttermilk?
    • Yes, you can substitute buttermilk with a mixture of regular milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
  2. Can I make gluten-free hush puppies?
    • Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend in place of regular flour to make gluten-free hush puppies. Just be sure to check that all other ingredients, such as cornmeal and baking powder, are also gluten-free.
  3. Can I bake hush puppies instead of frying them?
    • While traditional hush puppies are fried for that crispy exterior, you can bake them in the oven for a healthier alternative. Place spoonfuls of batter on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  4. What is the best oil for frying hush puppies?
    • Neutral oils with high smoke points, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil, are best for frying hush puppies. These oils can withstand the high heat needed for frying without burning or imparting off-flavors.
  5. How do I know when hush puppies are done frying?
    • Hush puppies are done frying when they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. They should float to the surface of the oil and have a hollow sound when tapped.
  6. Can I freeze leftover hush puppies?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftover hush puppies for later enjoyment. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or container. Reheat from frozen in the oven until heated through.
  7. What can I serve with hush puppies?
    • Hush puppies are traditionally served as a side dish with fried fish or seafood. They also pair well with barbecue, fried chicken, or other Southern comfort foods.
  8. How do I reheat leftover hush puppies?
    • To reheat leftover hush puppies, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave for a quick option.
  9. Can I make hush puppies ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the hush puppy batter ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to a few hours before frying. Be sure to mix the batter well before frying to ensure even consistency.
  10. Are hush puppies vegan-friendly?
    • Traditional hush puppies contain buttermilk and may not be suitable for vegans. However, you can make vegan-friendly hush puppies by using plant-based milk and omitting any animal-derived ingredients.


Southern Hush Puppies are a quintessential Southern comfort food that captures the essence of Southern hospitality and charm. Whether enjoyed as a side dish or a snack, these crispy delights are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you craving more. So, gather your ingredients, heat up the oil, and get ready to savor the irresistible taste of Southern Hush Puppies in your own kitchen.

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