Jalapeno Hush Puppies To Make Your Next Fish Fry Unforgettable

Sneak Preview: This Jalapeno Hush Puppies Recipe is a flavorful, fried ball of seasoned and prepared cornmeal traditionally served with fried seafood. Jalapenos are optional if you prefer a milder flavor.

fried hushpuppies on a plate with tartar sauce and cocktail sauce on the sidePin

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How do you feel about jalapeno peppers? Do you like jalapenos on your pizza? How about your burgers? Maybe in your cheese rolls? Have you tried them in a pot of beans?

My Texas-born-and-raised friends seem to like jalapenos in just about everything, including this cornbread and mashed potatoes. Personally, I prefer the aftertaste more than the initial squirt. Either way, this recipe is for you because the jalapenos are optional.

Three Reasons Why You Will Enjoy Serving This Recipe

  1. Jalapeno Hush Puppies pair nicely with any fried fish. Try them with Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp. They were a hit at our last New Year’s Day party, disappearing as fast as I could cook them.
  2. These are delicious without the jalapenos. I usually make some with jalapenos and some without.
  3. Be sure to provide tartar sauce and cocktail sauce to your guests. Condiments can make all the difference.

Ingredients and Substitutions

picture shows the ingredients needed for this Jalapeno Hush Puppies recipePin
The yellow-ish liquid in a Mason jar on the right is whey strained from yogurt to make Greek yogurt. It makes a great substitute for buttermilk in baked goods.
  • CORNMEAL: Yellow or white finely ground cornmeal is best.
  • FLOUR: Use either all-purpose bleached or all-purpose unbleached flour.
  • EGG: I always use large-size eggs in my recipes.
  • BUTTERMILK: If you don’t have buttermilk, no problem. You have options: 1-1/4 cup whey strained from yogurt, 1 cup milk + 1/4 cup yogurt, or 1 cup +3 tablespoons of milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar added.
  • ONIONS: Yellow or white onions are perfect for this recipe.
  • JALAPENOS: Fresh jalapenos add so much flavor. However, you can leave them out if you don’t want any spiciness. Don’t miss the kitchen tip in the FAQ’s for storing fresh jalapenos.
    • Substitute chopped pickled jalapeño slices if you prefer. Pickled jalapenos packaged in a glass jar are usually spicier, but they may vary according to the brand and label. Fresh jalapenos tend to be milder, although they can vary. Remember this when deciding whether to use fresh or canned jalapenos.

FAQ About Hush Puppies and Jalapenos

Can I make hush puppies ahead of time or freeze them?

Like most deep-fried foods, these are best made and eaten immediately. If you have leftovers, refrigerate or freeze them. Reheat in an oven or air fryer to make the crust crispy again.

Can I freeze fresh jalapenos?

Place them in a zippered plastic bag and freeze them whole. There is no need to seed and chop them first.

Where does the name “Hush Puppy” come from?

Supposedly, hunters and trappers would fry balls of cornmeal before preparing their fish for dinner. Then they would toss the fried balls to the dogs to keep them quiet while dinner was prepared.

Parting Thoughts: So, what are you waiting for? Get your apron on, grab those fresh jalapenos, and create a symphony of flavors. Whether you’re a spice enthusiast or prefer a milder taste, these Jalapeno Hush Puppies will steal your heart, one bite at a time.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Cooking Texas Style by Candy Wagner & Sandra Marquez(paid link). It is my favorite Tex-Mex cookbook in the whole world.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

fried jalapeno hushpuppies on a platter with dipping sauces on the sidePin
Yield: 12 servings

Jalapeno Hush Puppies

These hush puppies are fairly basic until you add jalapenos. Ooh-la-la!

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(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 1 vote
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups (318 g) white or yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 (50 g) large egg
  • 1-1/4 cups (284 g) buttermilk (yogurt whey, or 1 cup milk+1/4 cup yogurt)
  • ½ cup (80 g) chopped onions
  • 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • peanut or vegetable oil (for frying)


  • Stir together 2 cups (318 g) white or yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon table or sea salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powderand 1 teaspoon granulated sugar a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk 1 (50 g) large egg, and 1-1/4 cups (284 g) buttermilk together. Stir in 1/2 cup (80 g) chopped onions and 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped), if using.
  • Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Allow the batter to rest (it will thicken some) while the oil heats.
  • Heat 1½-2 inches of peanut or vegetable oil in a fryer, heavy skillet or Dutch oven to 350˚F.
  • Use two spoons to drop small balls of batter into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown all over and cooked in the middle.
  • Turn the hushpuppies with a slotted spoon or tongs to ensure they cook and brown evenly. Remove from the oil to a few layers of paper towels to drain and cool a bit before serving.


The nutritionals do not include the oil these hush puppies are cooked in, as I have no way to evaluate that variable.


Serving: 2hush puppies | Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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  1. I am impressed with the way your hush puppies look. In the interest of keeping the temp of the oil at the right place, how many hush puppies at a time would you probably cook in a 10″ skillet or pan?

    1. A skillet? It would need to be a pretty deep one because you don’t want the hushpuppies to touch the bottom when you drop them in. Better to use a saucepan or deep fryer. How many you can put in at a time also depends on your heat source and how quickly it can bring the heat back up to 350.

  2. Paula I just made hush puppies for the first time almost like these minus the jalapeño. I’m like you I rarely fry anything so I will keep this recipe in mind the next time we fry some catfish up. I normally don’t like hush puppies but homemade ones were so much better than any place I’ve had them before :).

  3. Hushpuppies I love, especially with seafood. I usually use a mix though, but next time I’ll try yours. Ever since my son moved to Texas, he’s been loving the jalapenos. Does that come with the territory? 🙂 I’ll take mine without thanks!

  4. Hi Paula,

    Will this taste as good with yellow cornmeal?

    1. Erica,
      I would imagine it would taste great, but the texture will be a little different–somewhat coarser but certainly not bad.

  5. OH, these look good. Love me some hush puppies … with and/or without the jalapeno peppers. Because of Fukushima, I’m avoiding all seafood from the Pacific region, which means most of the shrimp sold in the USA. I’ll be glad when our NC shrimp begin to come in from the Atlantic!

    1. Thanks Gary. You got me to thinking about the source of our shrimp. Think what we get is from the Gulf.

      BTW, I’m trying your Tibetan Pan Bread today. Sounds interesting!

      1. LOL … Just made that bread this morning .. because I had no bread! But, seriously … I’m worried about our oceans .. they are the lungs of our PLANET … Not even sure I would want Gulf shrimp … considering “chemicals” pumped into it after oil spill. Before it was a holiday destination and all condos, my family and I always vacationed at Gulf Shores, AL. Every day we’d catch and eat “CRAB.”Would NOT do that now. Honestly, I’m worried about this. I’m also talking to other bloggers. This is our Food Chain. Too many conflicting reports. Radiation is radiation. No such thing as a “safe amount.” Let me know what you think.