Cheesy cornbread soup: A copycat recipe from Starboard Market in Clear Lake, Iowa. Repin to save!

As long as the temperature is under 60 degrees, I’m all about soup. Especially soup like this, which could quite possibly knock your socks off.

Once again, I’m posting a copycat recipe from a great little cafe/deli in Clear Lake, Iowa: Starboard Market.

Whenever I happen to be going south on I-35 through Iowa, I have to stop at this place. They have one of those rare menus that make ordering difficult -because everything looks so good.

One of their standout menu items is cheesy cornbread soup. This soup is almost worth the 140-mile drive down to Clear Lake. But I thought it would be more practical to try to recreate it at home.

It took some Internet sleuthing and a few kitchen trials, but I believe this recipe comes pretty close to the kind I had at Starboard Market.

Cheesy cornbread soup: A copycat recipe from Starboard Market in Clear Lake, Iowa. Click through for recipe.

Please note: There is actual cornbread mix in this recipe. Don’t use cornmeal or it won’t turn out. Using the cornbread mix causes the soup to thicken to a nice consistency.

Spicy cornbread salad. It's shockingly delicious. Click through for recipe.

Get the recipe: Starboard Market-inspired spicy cornbread salad

Butternut squash pasta salad with apples, walnuts, and grapes. Click through for recipe!

Get the recipe: Starboard Market-inspired butternut squash pasta

If you make a lot of soups, an immersion blender will make your life easier.

Put toppings on your soup! Here are 80+ soup topping ideas.

If you like thick, rich corn-based recipes, check out this sweet corn spoon bread.

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Cheesu cornbread soup recipe

Cheesy Cornbread Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

I recommend using shredded cheddar, pepper jack, smoked gouda, or Mexican-blend cheese for this recipe. Also, to save money, use bouillon or Better Than Bouillon instead of purchasing a can of chicken broth.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 14.75 ounce can cream style corn
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese (see notes above)
  • 1/3 cup cornbread mix
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onions in butter until they begin to soften - about three minutes or so. Add corn, milk, and chicken broth. Heat to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.
  2. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients together until the soup is pureed. Alternatively, you can allow the soup to cool for a bit, transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth.
  3. Once soup is pureed, add cheese, cornbread mix, and spices. Heat until cheese melts and soup thickens a bit. Serve with extra shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, bacon bits, or other desired toppings.

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