Cornmeal Waffles with Bacon, Parmesan, and Black Pepper Recipe

Reimagine breakfast fare with sweet but savory waffles to serve any time of the day
Cornmeal Waffles with Bacon, Parmesan, and Black Pepper topped with Salted Honey Butter

Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

A leisurely weekend breakfast or brunch is a wonderful thing. The food you enjoy then can also shake up your dinner routine when you transform traditional breakfast dishes such as waffles into these savory versions that are packed with flavor and crunch. Serve them as-is or slather on a bit of Salted Honey Butter for an extra special treat, says chef, instructor, and cookbook author Molly Stevens, who created this recipe for Real Food. You may also want to try the alternative topping suggestions you’ll find in the Cook’s Notes. Plus, Steven says, when you cut the waffles into wedges, they make an excellent accompaniment to tomato soup—perfect for dipping.

Cornmeal Waffles with Bacon, Parmesan, and Black Pepper

Makes about 8 (6-inch) waffles

4 slices bacon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow or white cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ to 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs, at room temperature (see Cook’s Notes)
2 cups buttermilk, preferably whole milk, at room temperature
½ cup grated Parmesan

Optional Toppings
Salted Honey Butter (recipe below)
minced green onion
flaky salt, such as Maldon

  1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and take the skillet off the heat. Immediately add the butter and green onions, stirring with a wooden spoon to melt the butter and warm the onions in the residual heat. Set aside. Chop the bacon into ¼-inch pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°F and heat a waffle iron to medium-high or high.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and black pepper. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Add the melted butter mixture to the buttermilk, scraping to get all the drippings from the skillet, and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Fold in the Parmesan and chopped bacon.
  4. Bake the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions until steam has stopped coming from the waffle iron and the outsides are well browned. Transfer the waffles directly to the oven rack to stay warm and crisp while you cook the rest of the waffles. Repeat with the remaining batter, taking care not to stack the waffles, or they will steam. When all the waffles are cooked, serve warm topped with Salted Honey Butter, green onions and a sprinkle of flaky salt.

Cook’s Notes:

  • For extra light waffles, start by separating the eggs. Add only the yolks to the buttermilk as directed. In a separate bowl, whip the whites into soft peaks to fold into the finished batter.
  • Alternative topping ideas include: creamed mushrooms, chicken, warmed pepper jelly, chili or mixed green salad.
  • Consider letting the waffles cool and use them to make spectacularly good grilled cheese sandwiches; Swiss cheese with honey mustard works especially well.

Salted Honey Butter

Makes 8 servings

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon flaky salt, such as Maldon, or to taste

1. In a small bowl, whip together the butter and honey. Season with flaky salt. The honey butter can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the waffles.

Nutrition info Cornmeal Waffles and Salted Honey Butter (Per Serving): Calories 460 (266 From Fat); Fat 30g (Sat. 17g); Chol 116mg; Sodium 721mg; Carb 37g; Fiber 1g; Protein 11g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.