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Southern Hush Puppies are round golf ball sized, light and flakey cornmeal batter that is fried golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside served as a side dish to any southern meal. These hush puppies are the perfect side dish ready in minutes! 

This side dish is perfect for pairing with any fried food or southern favorite dish. If you love southern food as much as I do try this Chicken Fried Steak, Cajun Garlic Shrimp and Grits or Best Oven Fried Chicken.

Hush Puppies on a plate with a side of tartar sauce.

The Best Hush Puppies Recipe

Hush puppies are made up of corn meal batter that has garlic powder, onion powder and a hint of paprika for some added spice. The cornmeal batter has flour, cornmeal, a little sugar and buttermilk as a sweetener and aiding in smoothing the batter. Mixed these all together and your batter is thick, rich and creamy. Perfect for dropping into a heated skillet filled with oil.

These little hush puppies are small, bite sized fun side dish that are easy to eat and Oh.So.Good! They are a savory sweet, a hint of spiciness with a tender, flakey inside that tastes AMAZING! Hush puppies are mouth watering good and so easy to make. With a golden brown crunchy outside and a tender, flakey inside these hush puppies are sure to please family and friends at your next southern dinner.

Simply mix together the hush puppies batter and add them by the spoonful into a hot oiled pan. Complete a meal with this quick and easy side dish that is perfect to serve with seafood or any other deep fried recipe. Every bite will be making you want more!

What are Hush Puppies?

Hush puppies are small, round balls that are deep fried dough that is made from cornmeal batter with extra seasonings. These are simple to make and known in the southern community. They are typically served as a side dish to seafood.

Why are Hush Puppies called Hush Puppies?

There are a couple reasons these are known to be called hush puppies. One is the fried round balls were thrown at dogs to have them stop barking and to hush them essentially. The other theory is, hush puppies were a humbling meal that was hush-hush when you were serving it to your family. Both are thought to be true where the name came from but I am just grateful someone came up with this sweet side for all of us to enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Hush Puppies:

Make sure to preheat your oil for these homemade hush puppies. It is best to use a candy thermometer to have on the side of the skillet you are frying your hush puppies in. To test the oil to make sure it is hot enough, drop in one inch batter and see how quickly it fries. It should be 2 to 3 minutes of frying spinning it around. Once the mixture is mixed together evenly continue to add in more hush puppies batter to the hot oil cooking these quickly. Serve with a side of tarter sauce and enjoy!

  1. Preheat oil: Preheat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet to 365 degrees.
  2. Mix together the dough:  In a medium sized mixing bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper. Add the egg and buttermilk and stir until combined. Stir in cubed butter.
  3. Cook in oil: Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls in the hot oil. Let cook until they are golden brown 2-3 minutes. Remove with a metal strainer on a paper toweled lined plate. Serve with tarter sauce if desired.

My Pro Tip:

Add in small cubed cold butter. This will release pockets of moisture into the hush puppies while they cook. It makes every bite perfect and moist! 

The process of making hush puppies with the cornmeal and egg mixed together, the dough formed in a ball then added to the oil for frying until golden brown. Then removed with a strainer from the oil.

Hush Puppies Ingredients:

Simple ingredients for a simple recipe. Mix together the ingredients until it is smooth and creamy. See how quick and easy it is to make, then add golf ball sized round balls to the oil, spinning the ball around until the outside becomes a golden brown. The inside will maintain a light and flakey dough. These are best served with tartar sauce or even ranch dressing.

  • Oil: Used for frying
  • Flour: This is a main ingredient that thickens the hush puppies and gives it the texture it needs to be fried.
  • Cornmeal: Is an additive that is finely ground up maize.
  • Sugar: This is used to give a sweet taste to the hush puppies.
  • Baking Powder: Helps rise and increase the dough as well as lighten the texture.
  • Salt: Just a pinch!
  • Garlic Powder: Adds in a garlic flavoring.
  • Onion Powder: Gives an onion flavor without the texture.
  • Paprika: A hint of spice.
  • Pepper: Just a bit
  • Large Egg: This helps bind the hush puppies together.
  • Buttermilk: Sweet and creamy milk.
  • Cold Butter: This helps in expanding the dough that creates pockets of air in the dough making it light and fluffy on the inside.
  • Tartar Sauce: Used for dipping the hush puppies into.

Hush puppies on a plate with a side of tartar sauce.

Expert Tips for Making Easy Hush Puppies:

  • Cornmeal: If you are using self-rising cornmeal and flour omit the baking powder and salt for the recipe. This will ensure a lighter batter.
  • Add-ins: Add in minced jalapeños or red pepper flakes for a little more heat. Switch out your favorite seasonings to make different variations.
  • Batter Tip: It is best not to over mix the batter. If the batter looks lumpy that is okay.
  • Dropping batter into oil: For an easier way to drop the balls into the batter I like to use a cookie dough scooper to not only for the round balls but also drop them in without using my fingers. It is a cleaner and easier way.
  • Cooking spray: To make it easier when dropping the batter into the oil, simply spray cooking spray on the cookie dough scooper or your spoon that you are using to help relieve the sticky batter into the oil.
  • Oil: I used a peanut oil for taste but it also does the best at high temperatures when deep frying. Vegetable oil or canola oil work well too. Olive oil is not a deep frying oil to use.
  • Keep warm: While making several hush puppies, place the hush puppies in an oven safe pan and let them rest in the oven at the lowest temperature (about 200 degrees Fahrenheit). Do not over bake your hush puppies though. The maximum amount of time in the oven is about 15 to 20 minutes.

FAQs when making Homemade Hush Puppies:

  • What is the best oil to use when frying? It is best to use peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Olive oil does not do well in the heat.
  • Can you fry hush puppies? Yes! They will look more like a corn bread but still have the same delicious flavor. Add the batter into spoonfuls or cookie dough round balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, flip in between.
  • How long can hush puppies be stored? It is best to serve them right away while they are still warm but they can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed up in the oven the next day.

More Delicious Southern Recipes to Try:

Hush puppies being dipped in tartar sauce.

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Southern Hush Puppies

4.39 from 21 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Southern Hush Puppies are golf ball sized, light and flakey cornmeal dough that is fried golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside served as a side dish to any southern meal. These hush puppies are ready in minutes! 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 People



  • Preheat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet to 365 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper. Add the egg and buttermilk and stir until combined. Stir in cubed butter.
  • Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls in the hot oil. Let cook until they are golden brown 2-3 minutes. Remove with a metal strainer on a paper toweled lined plate. Serve with tarter sauce if desired.



Calories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 672mgPotassium: 184mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 316IUCalcium: 74mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. My moms recipe is much the same but she always put tomatoes in the batter! Canned tomatoes or purred work. Maybe a half cup? But might need to drain the juice as you don’t want the batter too runny!
    I had squash puppies while in Mississippi one summer and they were delish so you just cook some yellow squash, mash and add to your batter! I’m making some now using this recipe but adding both a little squash and tomato sauce!

  2. Sorry—- hush puppies are not not not round gold balls. They are oval or elliptical and NEVER gooey in the middle wil hard crust outsides

    1. That’s interesting, I am in the largest catfish production area in the US and every restaurant from high end New Orleans places to po dunk fish camps has always had good old round hush puppies.

  3. 4 stars
    Alyssa the recipe was fantastic and came out great. I added some red pepper flakes for just a bit of heat. I also added something on my own which seemed to really richen and deepen the overall flavor. I added some chili powder along with the paprika. Try it and let me know your thoughts. 😁😁😁

  4. 2 stars
    These were way too salty and yet somehow bland. (?) But otherwise the recipe is easy and works well. Next time, I’m going to reduce the salt by two-thirds (yes, they were that salty!) and up the other spices. I also had to fry them much longer than the recommended 2-3 minutes…more like 6-7 minutes.

  5. Just made these! My first time making hush puppies. No paprika but they are good. Recipe yields quite a few. I had them with catfish and homemade mashed potato salad.

  6. While the seasoning palate is wonderful, I may go a little heavier on the seasonings next time. Also, the batter was very wet and soupy to me. I ended up adding more cornmeal and flour which helped, however I did it very minimally. It was still a little too runny, but would stay on the spoon long enough to drop them into the oil. Next time I may just do 1-Cup of flour/cornmeal and an additional 1/2tsp of the seasonings. Though I would make changes, what’s just what I would prefer personally. But you can make them your own using this recipe as a base because they really were delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    My husband promised our daughter hush puppies and we couldn’t find any pre made. I quickly searched and found this recipe at the store. I grabbed the ingredients I needed and had them cooked up so quickly. They were amazing! Even better than the restaurant we get them from. Light and full of flavor. Crispy and amazing!!

  8. The name actually comes from when enslaved people were running away. They’d give “hush puppies” to children to keep them quiet while they were being chased and hiding from dogs and slave catchers. Hence the name “hush puppies”…

    1. Just ignorant. The name comes from giving them to the hounds. They would literally “ Hush the Puppies”. If you don’t know what your speaking on then why do it?

  9. 5 stars
    It was a hit with my family. Really good flavoring/seasoning, and they had a good texture. I did cube the butter as the recipe specified but I made really small cubes (pea size); next time I may try the cheese grater as others suggested.

  10. This is my go-to hush puppy recipe! Any time we have seafood or bbq, this is what we use! We are headed on a family vacation and want to make these ahead of time and reheat – any suggestions? I’m thinking cook as normal, freeze, then heat in the oven for 15-18 minutes around 400?