Hush Puppies

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Perfect Hush Puppies are a work of art. Fluffy and light on the inside, crispy and salty on the outside, these easy homemade Hush Puppies are about to become your new favorite snack recipe. Bonus: A warm platter of Hush Puppies can be yours in just 15 minutes!

Hush puppies on a light blue plate with white dipping sauce.

While we’re firm on what constitutes a traditional Hush Puppies recipe (a thick cornmeal batter fried in balls or strands until golden and crunchy on the outside yet chewy and fluffy on the inside) we have little intel about where they originated.

Food historians guess that Hush Puppies are a sibling of South Carolina’s popular “red horse bread,” a cornmeal batter cooked in the hot lard leftover from cooking the region’s ubiquitous red horse fish. In the 1920s, on the Georgia side of the Savannah River, residents started calling these fritters Hush Puppies. They have since become a staple across the south, especially at fish fry dinners and Mardi Gras celebrations.

You need not wait for a special occasion to try your hand at homemade Hush Puppies. I’ll walk you through the process for how to make Hush Puppies from scratch, and it takes a mere 15 minutes.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for hush puppies.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Yellow cornmeal: Classic Hush Puppies actually score their yellow hue and summery flavor from cornmeal, not corn. Although I wouldn’t be mad about a scoop of corn kernels in the batter if they happen to be handy!
  • Vegetable oil: Or any neutral cooking oil with a higher smoke point, like canola oil or avocado oil.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add egg, onion, and scallions, and stir until combined. Add milk in small amounts until a thick batter forms.
Hush puppy batter being made in a clear bowl.
  1. In a large pot, Dutch oven, or deep fryer, bring 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Drop batter in rounded teaspoons into the batter and fry until brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
Hush puppies being deep fried.
  1. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.
Hush puppies resting on a paper towel on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe tips and variations

Hush puppies on a light blue plate with white dipping sauce.

Recipe FAQs

How can I add even more flavor to homemade Hush Puppies?

Onions and scallions scent each crumb beautifully. But this homemade Hush Puppies recipe is just the beginning! Think of this like a canvas to make your own. As you mix up the batter and before you fry the puppies, try finishing the cornmeal mixture with dash of Cajun seasoning, minced garlic, snipped fresh chives, chopped bacon, or shredded cheese.

A plate with blackened salmon, hush puppies and rice.
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Hush puppies on a light blue plate with white dipping sauce.

Hush Puppies

Perfect Hush Puppies are a work of art. Fluffy and light on the inside, crispy and salty on the outside, these easy homemade Hush Puppies are about to become your new favorite snack recipe. Bonus: A warm platter of Hush Puppies can be yours in just 15 minutes!
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 6 servings (4 hush puppies each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 171

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal (see note 1)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons scallions finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add egg, onion, and scallions, and stir until combined. Add milk in small amounts until a thick batter forms.
  • In a large pot, Dutch oven, or deep fryer, bring 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Drop batter in rounded teaspoons into the batter and fry until brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
  • Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Yellow cornmeal: Classic Hush Puppies actually score their yellow hue and summery flavor from cornmeal, not corn. Although I wouldn’t be mad about a scoop of corn kernels in the batter if they happen to be handy!
  2. Vegetable oil: Or any neutral cooking oil with a higher smoke point, like canola oil or avocado oil.
  3. Yield: This Hush Puppies recipe makes six, 4-fritter servings. Feel free to double the batter for a crowd, frying in batches.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best results, reheat in an oven or air fryer.

Nutrition

Serving: 6servingsCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 515mgPotassium: 156mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 93IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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