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An image of deep fried balls of cornmeal dough known as hush puppies in the South.
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4.80 from 10 votes

Southern Hush Puppies

Southern Hush Puppies are deceptively delicious bites of slightly sweetened cornmeal batter flavored with a little onion and fried until crisp on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside. They make a fantastic appetizer or side dish for almost any meal!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time16 mins
Course: Uncategorized
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 189kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 1 cup cornmeal (138g)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, scooped & leveled (71g)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (25g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (169g)
  • ½ small onion, grated (about ¼ to ⅓ cup)
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying


  • Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients along with the grated onion and its juices, stirring until combined.
  • Heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven until it reaches 375°F on a digital thermometer. When hot, carefully use two spoons to drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil, using the back of one spoon to push the batter in one at a time. Work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes, turning partway through with a wire spatula, until the hush puppies are golden brown.
  • Remove the hush puppies from the oil and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep an eye on the oil temperature while frying so that it stays consistent, adjusting the heat up or down as necessary.


  • How to store: Leftover hush puppies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • How to freeze: Arrange cooked hush puppies in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a resealable airtight container for longer term storage up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: First, thaw if frozen. Then reheat in the air fryer or oven for best results. You can also use the microwave to reheat a few at a time. If you have an air fryer, hush puppies reheat really well by popping them in for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the outsides and taste almost as good as when they are fresh.
  • Control the oil temperature. Use a good digital thermometer to maintain the oil temp right around 365 degrees F, although anywhere between 350°F and 375°F will work.  At lower temperatures, fried food absorbs more oil and takes longer to cook, while higher temperatures result in the outside burning before the inside is done.


Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg