Paraguayan Cheese & Onion Cornbread

Horizontal photo of the cornbread on green surface.

This unique cornbread from Paraguay consists of corn flour, eggs, milk, cheese, and onion and comes together easily and quickly. It’s a gluten-free spongy cake, traditionally called sopa paraguaya, which translates to Paraguayan soup. 

 

Sliced cornbread with cheese and onions Paraguay-style with text.

 

I told my husband to name a country for our next taste travel, and he quickly came up with Paraguay, as if saying I thought you’d never ask. Why Paraguay, I haven’t a clue. 🤷‍♀️

 

I’m not at all familiar with Paraguayan cuisine, so I had little digging to do. Lo and behold, this cornbread, aka sopa paraguaya was front and center everywhere I looked.

 

SOPA PARAGUAYA – THE ONLY SOLID SOUP IN THE WORLD

 

So, why do they call this cornbread the Paraguayan soup, when it’s not liquid at all?

 

Legend has it that Paraguayan president of the mid-19th century, Don Carlos Antonio López, named this dish sopa paraguaya after his cook made a mistake by adding too much corn flour to the tykuetï soup.

 

With no time to make another soup, the cook decided to put the mixture in a skillet and bake it. Lucky for him, president López loved it!

 

Easy to make #glutenfree sopa paraguaya - Paraguay style #cornbread with cheese and onions. Taste travel the world! #comfortfood #sopapraguayaClick to Tweet

 

Fresh out of the oven Paraguayan bread with corn flour

 

Paraguayans often bake their cornbread in the drippings from a roasted chicken, which adds additional flavor. Rebel that I am, I added fresh rosemary too, but it’s not found in the traditional recipe. 

 

Sopa paraguaya is a dense, sturdy country dish. I learned that separating the eggs and folding them in will make it a bit airier. I like it better because it’s more versatile for serving as opposed to the original approach, which is next to a hearty beef soup or stew.

 

WHAT GOES WITH PARAGUAYAN CHEESE & ONION CORNBREAD?

 

This cheesy cornbread with onions is excellent warm or cold accompanying any meat or as a starter.

 

  • Try it for breakfast with yogurt or buttermilk.
  • Serve it alongside stew or chili.
  • Add it to mixed salad greens and vegetables for a satisfying gluten-free lunch or supper.

 

WHAT’S IN THE CORNBREAD FROM PARAGUAY?

 

As you already know, I favor simple dishes with few ingredients, and this cornbread definitely fits the bill. You’ll need:

 

  • Corn flour (superfine cornmeal)
  • Onions
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary (optional)

 

Ingredients for making cheese and onion cornbread from Paraguay

 

WHAT IS THE BEST CHEESE FOR PARAGUAYAN CORNBREAD?

 

Traditionally, the recipe calls for queso fresco Paraguay-style. If you can’t find queso Paraguay, you can use Mexican queso fresco, mozzarella, pepper jack (for a little kick), or even feta cheese.

 

HOW TO MAKE SOPA PARAGUAYA?

 

It is an easy and reasonably quick process. The detailed how-to description is in the recipe box below.

 

  1. Sauté the sliced onions in a skillet with olive oil until transparent. Let cool.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with cheese, onions, milk, and salt. Add corn flour and mix to combine.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the corn flour mixture and add rosemary if using.
  4. Bake in a 375 F preheated oven until golden brown. Cool and slice.

 

9 steps to making sopa paraguaya - cornbread

 

RECIPE NOTES/TIPS:

 

  • Separating eggs is not necessary. It will yield a very dense cornbread if you choose not to separate the eggs. It’s up to you.
  • Pour milk in gradually, while constantly whisking the batter.
  • Non-stick and thoroughly greased pan is essential unless you like to scrape the sticky cornbread with a spoon. Also up to you. 🙂
  • You can add a tablespoon of butter on the hot cornbread and let it melt. 
  • For more texture, add a handful of whole cooked or frozen corn kernels. 
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne or chili pepper to spice it up. 
  • Serve cornbread warm or cold.

 

Paraguayan cornbread slices on brown plates

 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORN FLOUR AND CORNMEAL?

 

Corn flour is very finely ground cornmeal.

Cornmeal is dried and ground corn, with a coarse texture.

 

ARE CORN FLOUR AND CORNSTARCH THE SAME?

 

In the majority of British English speaking countries, they are interchangeable. In the US, we use cornstarch (finely powdered corn) primarily as a thickening agent.

 

TIP: if a recipe calls for ‘cornflour’ (one word), it most likely means cornstarch.

 

Round cornbread cake sliced in wedges

 

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CORN FLOUR?

 

Keep the corn flour sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated, or better yet frozen. It will get you the most mileage out of it, including all other dry corn products. It will keep for up to two years.

 

However, if you plan on using the leftover corn flour in the next six or nine months, you can store it in your pantry.

 

Stacked squares of cheese and onion cornbread with rosemary.

 

Perfect warm or cold,  the whole family loves this tasty cornbread for a light lunch, supper or on-the-go snack.  

 

IF YOU LIKE THIS CORNBREAD YOU SHOULD TRY THESE RECIPES: 

 

TRADITIONAL BOSNIAN POLENTA

ITALIAN POLENTA TORTA

SLAVONIAN POLENTA CASSEROLE

 

This post might contain some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for obligatory boring legal stuff.

 

 

ESSENTIALS

for Paraguayan Cheese & Onion Cornbread


 


Horizontal photo of the cornbread on green surface.
Print Recipe

Paraguayan Cheese & Onion Cornbread

Sopa paraguaya is gluten-free unique cornbread from Paraguay that is spongy in texture and flavored with cheese and onion.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Paraguayan
Servings: 12
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lbs corn flour extra fine cornmeal
  • 2 large onions julienne sliced or chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 oz. queso Paraguay chopped or shredded (*see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary optional

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a small skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil in over medium-high heat. Add two sliced or chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk four egg yolks with 10 oz cheese and a teaspoon of salt. Mix in the sautéed onions and one cup of milk. Add 1/2 pound corn flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour in the remaining milk and mix with a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, if using.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the four egg whites on high speed until foamy and stiff peak forms. Fold into the cornmeal mixture.
  • Grease a 9" non-stick round or square baking dish with two tablespoons of olive oil. Pour in the mixture and bake until golden brown, for 30-35 minutes. Let cool and slice into wedges or squares.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Separating eggs is not necessary. It will yield a very dense cornbread if you choose not to separate the eggs. It's up to you.
  • Pour milk in gradually, while constantly whisking the batter.
  • Non-stick and thoroughly greased pan is essential unless you like to scrape the sticky cornbread with a spoon. Also up to you. 🙂
  • You can add a tablespoon of butter on the hot cornbread and let it melt. 
  • For more texture, add a handful of whole cooked or frozen corn kernels. 
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne or chili pepper to spice it up. 
  • Serve cornbread warm or cold.
Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
Paraguayan Cheese & Onion Cornbread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2770 Calories from Fat 1377
% Daily Value*
Fat 153g235%
Saturated Fat 57g285%
Cholesterol 887mg296%
Sodium 4892mg204%
Potassium 1413mg40%
Carbohydrates 255g85%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 88g176%
Vitamin A 3830IU77%
Vitamin C 16.3mg20%
Calcium 2167mg217%
Iron 5.5mg31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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14 Comment

  1. Reply
    Alexandra Shunk
    June 25, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I just LOVE cornbread so any way to make it unique, I am on board!! This recipe sounds delicious! I also am NOT familiar with food from Paraguay but I love this idea. The addition of rosemary would not be optional for me because of my love for rosemary. Thanks for the delicious cornbread idea!!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 25, 2019 at 10:43 pm

      I love rosemary too! It adds an earthy tone to the cornbread. Thank you for visiting, Aleka! XX

  2. Reply
    Kim | Give it Some Thyme
    June 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    This cornbread looks so moist and delicious! Such a great side for all the bbq’s and throughout the year. I would definitely be adding in the rosemary as well!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 25, 2019 at 10:40 pm

      It goes well with almost anything and is good all by itself. Thanks for stopping in, Kim! Hugs

  3. Reply
    Chelsey
    June 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Yum!! I can just taste this cornbread served along some soup or chili! I’m not familiar with food from Paraguay, but this looks absolutely delicious. I also love that you added some fresh rosemary, it makes everything taste better!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 25, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks, Chelsey! I thought so too. Rosemary and corn flour/cornmeal are meant to be together. 😀

  4. Reply
    Haley Seymour
    June 25, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Looks great, Jas! I love cornbread – what a fun twist! Can’t wait to try.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 25, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Glad you like it, Haley!

  5. Reply
    Macy Brown From MakeTheBread
    June 29, 2019 at 2:23 am

    This looks an amazing and i loves cornbread also and your way to make it so unique as well. i will definitely make it tomorrow..Thanks for sharing a incredible recipe….!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 29, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Awe, thank you, Macy! I’m glad you like it. Enjoy! XX

  6. Reply
    2pots2cook
    June 30, 2019 at 7:17 am

    So in love with the twist you’ve make ! Great one to pin and keep of course 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 30, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      I appreciate your kindness. <3 Hugs!

  7. Reply
    Ron
    June 30, 2019 at 10:33 am

    A wonderful dish that takes me back to my days of traveling in South America. I’ve not thought of this dish for many years, but do remember tasting and enjoying it. Now, with your excellent tutorial I can make that memory come to life. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      June 30, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you, Ron! I hope you enjoy it again sometime soon. 🙂

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