Recipe: Sweet Onion Hush Puppies

For me, hush puppies are an absolute must with fried fish – together with some coleslaw and great tartar sauce. After sharing my Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish, I knew I had to share a delicious hush puppy recipe. And this recipe for my Sweet Onion Hush Puppies is just that.

Use a deep-frying thermometer to keep the oil temperature at around 350 degrees. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Well, there are some stories out there about how these delicious little bites of fried cornbread got their name. My grandfather used to tell me that hush puppies were named that way because chefs started frying simple dough balls for softly barking dogs begging for food. I’m not sure this is the truth, but since my papa said it, it has to be. And honestly, I don’t need another story to explain the name. It works pretty well for me.

When it comes to hush puppies, cornmeal is a must have. A little flour and egg will help hold them together. Buttermilk gives them a little spice. A little sweetness is also good. And since onions add great flavor to an otherwise bland ball of fried cornmeal, adding sweet onions makes them even better. That’s how I got my Sweet Onion Hush Puppies. Simple, tasty and uncomplicated.

A few tips for perfect hush puppies:

Maintaining the correct oil temperature is very important here. A deep-frying thermometer comes in handy. I try to fry mine between 350 degrees and 360 degrees. This turns the outside golden brown and the inside cooked through. If the temperature is too high, the outside will be too dark and the inside will not cook completely through. If it’s too low, it can make for mushy or greasy hush puppies.

Just like with making cornbread, you don’t want to want to stir the batter. Simply combine everything and then stop stirring.

If you give the dough a little time to rest, the sourdough can begin to work, resulting in lighter, fluffier hush pups. Do not stir it after the rest. Just take it out and carefully dip it into the oil.

Make a serving of southern style golden goodness in less than 20 minutes. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

A 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie spoon or bowl is great for keeping your hush pups of similar size and getting them into the oil a little easier.

Sweet Onion Hush puppy

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 6 minutes

Serves: 18th


  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable or peanut oil for frying


  1. Add about 3 inches of oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven or deep, heavy-bottomed pan, making sure the oil doesn’t come up more than halfway up the side of the jar. Heat to 350 degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating, mix the onion, cornmeal, flour, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk. Add to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Put the dough in the hot oil by carefully heaping tablespoons and fry for 5-6 minutes, turning once or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on a wire rack over kitchen paper. Work in batches and be careful not to cook too many at once as the oil temperature will drop and the hush pups will get greasy. Make sure the heat is set so that the oil stays at around 350 degrees.

This recipe originally appeared on You can find more great recipes on the website or in The Southern Bite Cookbook.

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