It’s always best to have a few easy-peasy dishes in your recipe arsenal to rely on in a pinch. One product we can’t get enough of is cornbread mix. Classic cornbread is oh-so-delicious and perfect to accompany fried chicken, macaroni and cheese or your favourite chili recipe, but with a couple of flourishes, you can whip up a myriad of creative and easy dishes that will have you using this convenient product all the time!

1. Jalapeno and Bacon Cornbread Muffins

This simple recipe involves using the mix as you normally would, and adding one diced jalapeno (keep in the seeds if you want extra spice) and ½ cup (about 6 slices) of cooked, crumbled bacon. Portion into 12 lined muffin cups and bake at 375°F until golden, about 20 minutes. For a cute decoration, top each muffin with a thin slice of jalapeno before baking.

Read More: 45 Totally Awesome Ways to Use a Muffin Tin

2. Maple Pecan Cornbread Cake

A surefire winner, this simple skillet cake can be made by adding 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 cup chopped pecans to the mix and pouring into a well-buttered cast iron skillet. Bake at 350°F until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Once out of the oven, poke the top of the warm cake with a toothpick and brush with a bit more maple syrup. Kick it up a notch by serving warm with a scoop of maple pecan or vanilla ice cream.

3. Savoury Buttermilk Pancakes

This recipe is bound to become your new favourite savoury brunch dish. Make these pancakes by adding 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar cheese, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp melted butter to 1 cup of mix along with 3 finely sliced green onions and 1/2 cup of thawed frozen corn kernels. Cook in batches in a non-stick skillet brushed with butter over medium-low until bubbles appear on surface; flip and continue to cook until golden on both sides, about 6 minutes.

Read More: 70 Pancake Recipes That Will Make You Drool

4. Mexican Spiced Cornbread

An exciting twist on regular cornbread, stir 2 Tbsp adobo and 3 chopped chipotle peppers into the batter along with ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro stems, 1 tsp each chili, garlic and onion powders and ½ tsp cumin. Bake as directed on the package until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5. Cornbread Crab Cakes

These delicious cakes will have you coming back for more! Mix together 2 cups crab meat with 2/3 cup cornbread mix, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 egg, 2 minced green onions, 2 Tbsp each minced parsley and cilantro, 1 tsp lemon zest and ½ tsp salt. Form into ¼ cup patties and fry in batches in a generously oiled non-stick skillet until golden on both sides, flipping halfway, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Looking for more life-changing cooking hacks? Here are 5 Ways to Fix Over-Salted Food, 5 Tasty Ways to Use Hummus (That Aren’t Dip!) and 5 Make-Ahead Chicken Marinades to Freeze Now.