Hush Puppies are the perfect addition to accompany your Southern-inspired meal from fried chicken to shrimp and grits. Bites of corn batter fried until crisp on the outside and tender and fluffy inside!

Of course Hush puppies are great for snacking too! Slather them in a sweet Honey Butter, dip them in soups or even in a spicy mayonnaise.

Golden brown Hush Puppies in a bowl

Bites of Heaven

Small little handheld bites of heaven.

What Are Hush Puppies? Hush puppies are small bits of deep fried cornmeal batter. Unlike soft cornbread, they are crunchy and golden brown on the outside and melt-in-your mouth light on the inside. Typically, you’ll find them in golf ball sized globes or fingers, depending on how the cook drops them in the oil.

The main ingredient in hush puppies is always going to be cornmeal, we also add buttermilk, egg and a leavening ingredient, usually baking soda.

Hush Puppies batter in a bowl

These homemade hush puppies most often served with those other Southern classics: fried fish, shrimp boil, fried chicken and collard greens.

Can you freeze them? Sure you can! If you have leftovers or want to make extras, let them cool, and place them in a freezer bag for up to four months. The next time you’re hungry for some hush puppies, let them thaw and spread them out on a foil-lined cookie sheet, and warm them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to restore some of the crunchiness.

So Why are They Called Hush Puppies? It’s a much-debated question! It’s speculated (among many other stories) that fishermen would fry up the batter they used for fish fries, and toss them to yapping dogs to “hush” their barking. The true origins may be lost, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy this iconic Southern staple any less!

Hush Puppies in a yellow bowl

How To Make Hush Puppies

This is one time when you’ll want to get out your deep fryer. True hush puppies are golden crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Here’s how to make this easy hush puppy recipe:

  1. Heat up your deep fryer. (If using a pan on the stovetop, you’ll need several inches of oil so the hush puppies will float as they fry.)
  2. Mix your ingredients and drop by spoonfuls into the fryer. Allow to cook until golden on the outside and tender in the middle.
  3. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Peanut oil holds up well to intense fryer heat and doesn’t produce any off flavors. You can also use canola oil, vegetable oil or corn oil.

More Southern Favorites

Hush Puppies in a yellow bowl
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Easy Hush Puppies Recipe

If you need a side of bread to accompany your Southern-inspired meal, you won’t find anything more delicious than hush puppies. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk you may not use all of it
  • oil for frying

Instructions 

  • Preheat oil to 350°F.
  • Combine dry ingredients.
  • Beat egg. Add to dry mixture with most of the buttermilk adding more as needed to create a dough that is moist but not runny.
  • Drop mixture by teaspoon in hot oil. Cook 3-5 minutes until golden, turning once during cook time.
  • Place on paper towel to cool. Serve with honey butter.

Notes

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can make a buttermilk substitute!
Optional: add a tablespoon of minced onion.
4.85 from 33 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 124 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Your Hushpuppies sound great, but not New Orleans style. A Tablespoon of Minced Onions is not nearly enough. Plus you omitted the chopped Green Onions, and Red Pepper. These three are a must to have true Hushpuppies. Here in North Carolina they don’t know how to make delicious Hushpuppies. All they wind up with is fried cornbread. That’s Texas style Hushpuppies. New Orleans is known for spice which gives flavors. Try it this way and you won’t be disappointed. I promise you.

    1. Oh boy, that does sound super delicious, Barbara! Thanks for sharing, we will have to give that a try.

    1. Hi Holly, we haven’t tried this recipe using a mix. Depending on the brand it already has a mixture of flour, baking powder, sugar, and such already mixed in. Maybe another reader can offer some insight into making this recipe with a cornmeal mix instead of plain cornmeal.

  2. I’ve never had great success making hush puppies from scratch, until I tried this recipe. I had saved it for quite some time and finally made it today. It was great as written!! Thanks

  3. I so look forward to your posts and have made many of the recipes. The hush puppies sound so good but wonder if there is a way to adjust the recipe to make them in an air fryer. I do realize this is more of a batter but some people (not me) find ways to adapt and I cannot have too much oil.5 stars

    1. I have not attempted to convert this recipe to an air fryer recipe. You are correct in that it is a batter but perhaps if it were thickened a little bit more (reduce the liquid) and dropped onto foil it might work. I can’t say for sure if it would cook properly, if you try it, let us know how it goes!

  4. Very old style hush puppies that I used to love had bits of fish, onion in them, so I am going to try it with your recipe, just alter ingredients a little, based on comments, can’t wait. I notice people in New England, make them much sweeter and serve with maple syrup……more like an appetizer, they are good, but I want old style.

  5. I think if I were to do this again I’d reverse the measurements for the flour and cornmeal. These were just too gritty. They puffed and browned nicely and tasted good-just a hint of sweetness. But there was no lightness or creaminess because there was too much grit from the cornmeal. I used the really fine cornmeal.3 stars

    1. We have not tried this recipe with self-rising cornmeal. You may want to omit the baking soda and salt though. Let us know how it turns out Hazel!

  6. This was my first attempt at homemade hishpuppies, and they turned out great! I had to add a few more splashes of milk, probably because I used white whole wheat flour. I added finely chooped onion and jarred diced jalepenos to one batch, and a little onion powder to the other batch. They were a big hit! Nice and crispy outside, while fluffy on the inside, just how hushpuppies should be.5 stars

  7. “Spend with pennies” is my number one go to for recipes! IVE BEEN WITH YOU MANY YEARS I would love to meet you face to face!! I live in A suburb of Fort Worth, Texas!5 stars

  8. the best hush puppies I ever ate included adding some canned or frozen whole kernel corn to the batter. Try it!!3 stars