Super Mini Cheddar Kielbasa Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread muffins with tops!

If you are looking for a Super Bowl party appetizer to please both Steelers and Packers fans this Sunday, I’ve got one for you! Wisconsin’s cheddar cheese meets Pittsburgh’s favorite kielbasa sausage in these mini cornbread muffins.

The Story

Truth be told, I’m not a big football fan. Neither is my husband. So, there is not a lot of football watching happening at our house.

One weekend, my sister and her husband came to visit. We didn’t know what to say when my brother-in-law asked if we had the NFL channel. My husband and I blankly looked at each other and shrugged. My brother-in-law, a die-hard football fan, immediately grabbed the remote with a panicked look on his face and started surfing for it. Once he found it, he breathed a sigh of relief and exclaimed, “Look at you pretending not to know you have the NFL channel!”

I may not watch the NFL channel, but I do like to watch the Super Bowl. I like to watch it just to see the ads. There is one other thing I like about the Super Bowl. That’s baking appetizers to enjoy while watching the ads. (Um, I mean watching the game. :))

Topless cornbread muffins

About the Recipe

This recipe was the outcome of being unable to decide which team to support on Sunday: the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers. I made it up using ingredients I thought would satisfy fans of both teams.

The Cast of Characters

Cheddar cheese and kielbasa sausage are the star players in this baking game.

  • Why cheddar? Packers fans are “cheeseheads.”
  • Why kielbasa? It’s a Pittsburg favorite.
  • Why cornbread? I am from Iowa.

The Play-by-Play

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and grease two mini muffin tins. Each tin should hold six mini muffins.

Cut the kielbasa into 1/2 inch thick slices. Then cut the slices into quarters. Sauté the kielbasa in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Sauteing the sausage

Next, pour 1/4 cup of beer into the frying pan with the sausage. In honor of the Green Bay Packers, I used a Wisconsin beer called “Supper Club.” You can use any beer you like.
The first rule about Supper Club is...

Cover the pan with a lid, and reduce the heat to low. Let the sausage simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. I let it simmer for 5 minutes, but that was too long. When finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.
Cover the sausage

Prepare your favorite cornbread batter. You can use any recipe you like, or even a box of cornbread mix. I used the cornbread recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook. The original recipe made 12 standard size muffins. Since I was making mini muffins, I cut the ingredient quantities in half.
Making cornbread muffins

Save aside about half of the batter for “topping” the muffins later. Don’t do what I did and use too much of your batter too early in the game so you don’t have enough left for the tops of your muffins at the end. Only put about 1/2 tablespoon of the cornbread batter into each mini muffin cup for now, filling the cups about half way.
Corn bread mini muffins

Place two or three pieces of cooked kielbasa on top of the batter.
Kielbasa sausage and cornbread muffins

Sprinkle the muffins with shredded cheddar cheese. Oops! Looks like Wisconsin’s cheddar is out of bounds, missing the muffin pan completely.
Cheddar cheese out of bounds!

Add a few pieces of diced jalapeno on top of the cheddar. The game is starting to heat up.
Jalapeno spices up the game

Add some sliced green onion on top.
Green onion touchdown!

Finally, put about 1 teaspoon of the remaining batter on top of the muffins for the final play of this recipe. Since I wasn’t exactly “on my game” when making this, I ran out of batter for topping the muffins. I ended up making two different muffin variations. The first six muffins received cornbread tops, and I dubbed them “Team Muffin Tops.” The last six did not, and I called them the “Team With No Tops.” Original, huh?
Corn muffin tops

Put the muffins in the oven, sit down, relax and enjoy the rest of your beer. It’s time for the half time show. Let the little muffins bake for about 10 minutes.
Wisconsin beer and tin muffin pan

When you can stick a toothpick in them and it comes out clean, they are done. In my muffin bake off, “Team With No Tops” finished first. They baked a little faster since they were topless, clocking in at about 8 minutes. “Team Muffin Tops” took the entire 10 minutes to bake.
Cornbread muffin win-win

Serve immediately once you remove them from the oven, and brace yourself for all the cheers you will get from your football party fans.

Makes 12 mini muffins, depending on the size of your mini muffin tin.

The Footnotes

  • Make more batter: To avoid a game of “shirts” versus “skins,” make sure all your muffins have tops by making enough cornbread batter. Set some of the batter aside at the beginning for topping the muffins before putting them in the oven at the end.
  • Don’t burn the kielbasa: I made a couple of variations from the cooking instructions on the package. I cut the kielbasa into smaller pieces and cooked it in beer instead of water. It also cooked faster than the package instructions, so I ended up scorching it a bit. Once you add the beer, it cooks pretty fast. Reduce the cooking time on the package in half if you are chopping the sausage into smaller pieces and cooking in beer.

The Recipe: Mini Cheddar Kielbasa Cornbread Muffins

Baking Time:
10 minutes

12 mini muffins or 6 standard-size muffins

Cornbread batter — enough for 6 full sized muffins
½ package of kielbasa, sliced, quartered and cooked
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped jalapeno
½ cup chopped green onion


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease two mini muffin tins. Each tin should hold six mini muffins.
  2. Cook kielbasa according to the package instructions.
  3. Prepare cornbread batter according to recipe instructions.
  4. Place 1/2 tablespoon of cornbread batter into each muffin cup.
  5. Place 2 to 3 pieces of chopped kielbasa onto the batter.
  6. Sprinkle the muffins with shredded cheddar cheese.
  7. Put a few pieces of chopped jalapenos on top of the cheese.
  8. Place a few pieces of chopped green onions on top of the jalapeno.
  9. Pour about 1 teaspoon of remaining cornbread batter on top of each muffin.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What are you making for the Super Bowl?

Published by Lori

I'm the "girl" in Girl Meets Oven.

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