What Are Hush Puppies?

These savory, golden treats belong right next to a crispy fried seafood dish. You should whip up a batch tonight!

You’ve probably seen hush puppies served up at a church fish fry or with a rack of barbecued ribs. They’re quick, cheap and delicious, and I love the story behind the dish, too. It was probably invented South Carolina in the late 1800s.

The most widely known myth is about hunters, fishermen or other outdoor cooks frying up basic cornmeal bread for dogs to eat during a cookout. In other words, they wanted to “hush the puppies” in their midst!

What Are Hush Puppies?

The golden nuggets are made from cornmeal, egg and water. The ingredients come together to form a basic dough, which is shaped into spoon-sized balls and then deep-fried. If the idea of using a deep fryer is not your idea of a good time, take heart. It can be easy to do—here are the tricks you need to know.

Hush puppies are one of the easiest bread recipes you can make. Each cake ball-sized orb of golden goodness is best when the outside is crispy and the inside soft and chewy. Yum!

How to Make Hush Puppies

With a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps, you can serve up a batch of freshly made hush puppies with dinner.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Step 1: Make the dough

Our version probably has more ingredients than the original cookout invention, but it’s worth the extra effort. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk the egg, milk and onion; add to dry ingredients just until combined.

Step 2: Fry the batter

In a large cast-iron or electric skillet, heat oil to 365°. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. (Make sure you avoid these frying mistakes.) Drain on paper towels. Serve warm, with fried fish or barbecue!

What to Serve With Hush Puppies
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Rebecca Walden
Rebecca C. Walden is a freelance writer with Deep South roots - an Alabama native now living in north Texas. Her writing has appeared in Reader's Digest, the Huffington Post, Southern Living, and many other regional publications, focusing on everything from health and wellness to parenting, family, and women's interests. Walden also provides freelance writing to corporate clients in finance, government, healthcare, and higher education. Check out her latest work @rebeccacwalden.com.