Spoon Bread from Outlander book Drums of Autumn

Claire's Spoon Bread from Drums of Autumn

"That's a fine wee book, Uncle Jamie," Ian said, with approval.  "Does it say more about the snakes?"  He looked hungrily over the expanse of table, in search of more food.  Without comment, I reached into the hutch and brought out a plate of spoonbread, which I set before him.  He sighed happily and waded in, as Jamie turned the page.

"Well, here's a bit about how the rattlesnakes charm squirrels and rabbits."  Jamie touched his plate, but encountered nothing save bare surface.  I pushed the muffins toward him.

" 'It is surprizing to observe how these Snakes will allure and charm Squirrel, Hedge-Conneys, Partridges and many other small Beasts and Birds to them, which they quickly devour.  The Sympathy is so strong between these, that you shall see the Squirrel or Partridge (as they have espied this Snake) leap or fly from Bough to Bough, until at last they run or leap directly into its Mouth, not having power to avoid their enemy, who never stirs out of the Posture or Quoil until he obtains his Prey.' "

His hand, blindly groping after sustenance, encountered the muffins.  He picked one up and glanced up at me.  "Damned if I've ever seen that, myself.  D'ye think it likely?"

"No," I said, pushing the curls back off my forehead.  "Does that book have any helpful suggestions for dealing with vicious pigs?"

He waved absently at me with the remnants of his muffin.

"Dinna fash," he murmured.  "I'll manage the pig."  He took his eyes off the book long enough to glance over the table at the empty dishes.  "Are there no more eggs?"

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 25)

Dinna fash?!

I wouldn't be worried so much about the pig as I would be about having enough food to get Jamie and Young Ian through the coming winter.  Those 2 can really put it away.

You may have noticed in your journey through these books that Claire only cooks when she has too -- and given the circumstances, I can't blame her.  Cooking in the comfort of my well-appointed kitchen is one thing.  Cooking over an open hearth in a hastily built, cramped cabin far from civilization is another.  And when you consider that she probably had no more than an iron pot, a knife, a couple of pewter plates and a wooden spoon, our favourite surgeon turned home-steader's efforts to feed her 2 men become bloody heroic.

Can you find me in the picture below?  I'm waving -- can you see me? (Hint:  I'm in red) :)


Spoon Bread

Just because Ian had his for breakfast, there's no need to limit your spoon bread intake to before noon.  Indeed, we had so much (I experimented with a couple of different methods) that I got a bit creative and served it up for 3 meals in 1 day.  A little overboard?  Maybe.  But both my Englishman and I enjoyed all 3 variations:

For breakfast, I topped it with fresh bananas, spiced nuts and some birch syrup (a less-sweet alternative to maple).  The eggs in the bread and the nuts on top make for a protein-packed start to an Outlander day and keep you going until noon.

Spoon Bread

For lunch, I shredded the last of the pulled pork from last night's dinner, then added some cheese, tomato and green onion.  The light, cornbread-style base makes the perfect blank canvas for leftovers.  Here at home I served it with a small salad, but I guarantee that if you were to pop this, all by itself, in the office kitchen's toaster oven for 2 minutes, you'll be fighting off your workmates with a fork.

And finally, dinner was an Italian affair.  I treated the spoon bread much like I would a dish of polenta, topping it with caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, a few chopped fennel fronds and parmesan cheese.  I paired it with some grilled veggies for a simple dinner -- chicken breast would be nice too.

What will you serve with your spoon bread?

Spoon Bread

Show/Hide Comments


20 Feb 2012 - 7:17am

Cathy V

This looks and sounds amazing. I'm looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for the recipe :)


Breakfast, lunch or dinner? I think this is my favorite recipe yet- I love a dish that can diversify! This would go great with my husband's green chili as well...

20 Feb 2012 - 4:12pm

Shana Jensen

Theresa, it looks in the pictures as though it has melted cheese on the top. Since I'm a cheese-aholic, wondering what you would recommend as a flavoUr of cheese to pair with this bread? Yummmmmm....Can't wait to make it. You've got to publish this in a book. I need it.


Cheddar Cheese is nice, Monterey Jack is another good choice. If you're into strong cheeses, blue cheese and a few walnuts would be fabulous with some caramelized onions...I think the better question, Shana, is: What's your favourite cheese? Go with that...

20 Feb 2012 - 5:24pm


Wow that looks so GOOD!..I want some now!..I will be trying this almost like a Bread pudding.....LOV


I would describe this as a corn-bread pudding, Vickie..you're right on track!

20 Feb 2012 - 10:58pm

Shari Nocera

I LOVE spoon bread!! Can't wait to try this!

21 Feb 2012 - 12:02am

Kath Angier

Wonderful, although Clare probably had no lemon!


If you prefer, use vinegar -- the acid is required to activate the leavening power of the baking soda.

21 Feb 2012 - 12:08am


Sounds wonderful !

21 Feb 2012 - 2:53am


Wonderful recipe! It made me go to the pantry this morning to see if I could make it! Tonight it we had beef stew and spoonbread for dinner with apple pie for dessert. Thank you for the inspiration!nCatherine


Thanks for letting me know, Catherine...I love that kind of feedback!

21 Feb 2012 - 3:24am


Sounds yummy! How about adding some chocolate chips?

21 Feb 2012 - 4:06pm

Lee Ann

Oh my GOD! This is right up my alley!!! YUM!


If you're a comfort food fan, Spoon Bread is definitely for you! Enjoy, Lee Ann!

21 Feb 2012 - 5:58pm

Jenn @LeftoverQueen

This looks so good, and gluten-free too! I am new to your blog and I think it is just genius!

22 Feb 2012 - 2:08am


Wait a second. There's no flour in this! Ooh! I'm giving up bread for Lent (because I eat it non stop, all day), but maybe I could make this...


Don't let the name spoon BREAD stop you, Deniz! ;)

06 Mar 2012 - 12:52am


yummy! heading to the kitchen now!

03 May 2012 - 1:51pm

Yvette Burtschell

FABULOUS!!! I love all your variations - so inspiring, and the photos are beautiful. And, I too, am gluten free and thought I'd just be reading for fun (and lust), and was so excited to see just cornmeal. Can't wait. . . Thank you!!!

03 May 2012 - 2:39pm


Every time you make it look so so wonderful..I enjoy this page so much!..nAs always your pictures are awesome and they make me want to have some !!nThey always look so yummy..I will have seconds Please 8) spoon it up!

03 May 2012 - 2:46pm

Karin Thomas

I have a 10 year old boy who is a cornbread fanatic - I bet he will devour this! Especially if I add cheese on the top...

04 May 2012 - 4:49am


I do think I will try my hand at this one. We will see what hubby thinks.nHelen in Ark.


I hope he likes it, Helen! If he likes cornbread, he'll love this...Theresa

15 Nov 2012 - 1:17pm


I know I'm late to the party, but ... Have you tried doubling the recipe in a 9x13 casserole? I am going to try it for Thanksgiving next week.


Nancy, I haven't tried doubling it, but it should work just fine -- you will probably have to increase the baking time a bit. Theresa

16 Nov 2012 - 6:18pm


I will definitely try this, doubled, for Thanksgiving. Sounds yummy!


Have a wonderful day with your family, Kris!

25 Aug 2014 - 11:57pm

Indigo Brude

I've made this twice now for friends (to eat while watching Outlander), and everyone has really liked it. I made it in the little ramekins (I had to look up what a "ramekin" was first, and go buy a few at Target) We tried several toppings, including honey, maple syrup, with the hands-down favorite being fresh fruit and creme (the atholl brose is particularly yummy for this!) Thank you for helping a kitchen-rookie entertain like an expert. :-)

13 Nov 2014 - 1:41am


I'm so glad to follow OK both here and on FB...especially since the FB posts give us lovely reminders of gems like this post. Going to the kitchen right after I hit 'reply' to try this with almond milk and coconut oil subs. That will make it completely safe for my daughter who has to eat gluten free for herself and dairy free for her wee nursling. (AKA my new grandson!) Theresa, you ROCK! Thank you!!!

24 Mar 2015 - 1:59pm


You want to add the extras after its out of the oven. Enjoy!

24 Sep 2014 - 3:20am


I am making this right now. I have made several of your other recipes and have loved them all! I'm so excited to eat this that I hope I can last until it's done!

10 Oct 2014 - 3:22pm


I am SO making this recipe this weekend. I love how simple it is, yet how many different ways you can make it nomtastic. THANK YOU Theresa. You are awesome.

10 Oct 2014 - 5:35pm


wow, this is not at all as I had pictured it! It looks really wonderful. Can't wait to try this as the weather cools. Fall is here!

10 Oct 2014 - 5:57pm


I wish I'd found this recipe yesterday before I made my scones to go with a big pot of homemade Chili for supper. But I'm writing it down and putting it in my recipe box for the next time. It looks delicious and gluten free too. Thanks for posting it. Love your site.......Happy Thanksgiving.

11 Oct 2014 - 5:19am

Bentje Ott

Gonna have to try this one but I'm not sure yet what to use instead of the cornmeal. My son and I both can't eat corn without risking a tummyache...


If you can't eat cornmeal, I'm not sure you'll find a substitute. Instead of spoon bread, how about ?

Bentje Ott

Oh yes, I love those. Still I'd verry much like to try the spoon bread... gonna let you know when I find something that works fine as replacement for the co meal (if I find something)

11 Nov 2014 - 12:44am


I have now made this recipe four times and it turns out lovely every time (even when I did a double batch in a huge pan). So delicious! My favorite topper to date is homemade chunky applesauce with some sharp cheddar cheese.

20 Nov 2014 - 1:53am

Julie McDonald

Are we all using a regular grind of cornmeal or has anyone tried this with a course grind cornmeal? Would it need more liquid and more time to sit if using a courser grind (like what you'd use for polenta)?

04 Jan 2015 - 5:10pm

Jackie J

I JUST read that chapter last night! This sounds delicious...I'll be making it soon. P.S. I've made Fiona's Cinnamon Scones for Christmas several times and they are a HUGE hit with family and friends! Looking forward to trying many more recipes from the books! Thanks for giving me the tools to "cook my way" through this great series of books.

04 Jan 2015 - 8:28pm

Pat Alzady

Hi, Theresa - Have you tried refrigerating or freezing this yet? I live alone, so 4 servings would last longer than the day on the counter. It would be wonderful if I could freeze some of these for use later (I do a lot of cooking that way so I only have to defrost/heat supper on the nights I'm too tired to do anything more strenuous than punch a button on the microwave). Thanks - Pat

Add new comment

You might also be interested in